Tuesday, 10 July 2012
The key is, when we reach Jerusalem, not to be adversarial but to treat the authorities with understanding and love.
"'Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.'" Luke 6:27,28 (NRSV)
If we understand that, like us, they are the product of their heredity and experience we may be able to defuse the situation.
Jesus criticized the religious authorities but was prepared to talk with Joseph of Arimathia and Nicodemus. He could be said to have provoked the Scribes and Pharisees.
When he was brought before them he said nothing.
He knew that they would use his words against him or put words into his mouth. He understood treachery.
But treachery is fear.
Fear of losing power and influence.
Fear of losing riches and privileges.
Fear of divine punishment.
Fear of God.
What experiences had they had to bring them to this place?
To talk about fear and love is the key.
There are only two things in the world fear and love.
As fear diminishes love grows.
What stops us from loving but fear.
Fear is cold and hard - like stone.
Love is warm and soft - like flesh.
Fear makes us attack, become violent.
Love makes us fearless.
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." 1 John 4:18a (NRSV)
(Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.)
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