I will not go down the path of writing about how to correct bad behavior, alter misaligned agendas, thwart violence, redirect hatred, quell anger, – no. What I will do is tell you about my Jesus – His life, death and resurrection correct all these things when we come to know Him – the Jesus I know.
Racial Tensions: Samaritans
Talk about hate! Wow, the Samaritans were the filth of the earth to the Jewish people. They wouldn’t even walk on the same side of the road. So what did Jesus do? He used the Good Samaritan as an example of love and compassion (Luke 10:25-37). He sat and talked with the Samaritan woman (a woman, no less) by the well and shared the Truth with her. She went on to change her entire town. (John 4:1-42) He showed his disciples a way to love those who have been deemed unlovable.
Prejudice: Tax Collector
Vile! That’s what people thought of tax collectors. They were the scum of the earth. No one trusted them and no one wanted to be associated with such person. Even the Temple leaders pointed fingers at them with righteous condemnation. Jesus’ response? Hey, Matt, let’s go have dinner at your house. (Matthew 9:9-13) Yes, the Pharisees condemned him for it, but Jesus didn’t care. Matthew the tax collector became His disciple.
Political Injustices: Sermon on the Mount
Jesus had a crowd of people on the mountainside waiting to hear His words. He could have rallied them in many ways – rise up against the oppressive Romans, make changes in the Temple leadership, help Him become an earthly King, but here is what He did – He taught them the Beatitudes:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who seek righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted because of righteousness. (Matthew 5:1-11) He spread the message of peace, acceptance, love, and humility.
Greatest Commandments: Love God, Love others as yourself
Jesus summed up all His teachings with these simple commandments – it starts and ends in Love – Love your God, Love your neighbor, Love yourself. It’s all about Love. “There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-34)
These are just a few of the examples of the Love Jesus showed His followers. Yes, there were times He became angry – like when He whipped through the Temple – a justified anger and lament over the use of His Father’s House to fleece money from poor people instead of being used for Praise and Prayer to Our God (Matthew 21:11-17). He was correcting a grave injustice in the spiritual well-being of His people. Ultimately, it was all about Love.
The Jesus I know to be my Lord and Savior is compassionate, kind, a champion for the downtrodden, the comforter of the broken, a strength for the weak, peace for the bitter, courage for the fearful – this is my Jesus. His Love changed my heart, my life, my mind, and my spirit. His Love is Radical.