The Sure Word for Today's quotation for the week:
God Has Forgiven Me.
Jesus and Conflict — Part 3.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Philippians 2: 3-4 (KJV).
The conflict of Jesus results from the Universalism and radicalism of Jesus. He ignited the violence that was eventually seen in such a fashion as his violent death on the cross. That Jesus foresaw such violence (though probably not its precise outcome) is clear from several of his sayings. Jesus provoked the religious leaders to an extent they dealt him with violence. They inflicted pain on him. They want to crush him forever. Compared to John the Baptist, Jesus met violence with violent death as part of his authentic calling.
Instead of countering violence with violence, Jesus overcomes violence by freely submitting to it (ref. Matthew 26, 51-54). He thus becomes the 'scapegoat' who, by taking upon himself all the inherent violence of humankind, purges the world of violence and makes human reconciliation possible. Faithful to his experience of God as the abba. Despite all they did to Jesus, he never took it personally. There was the rage among his followers and everyone in his community.
Jesus commands his followers to love their enemies--and not just their personal enemies, hostile to them as individuals, but (and explicitly) their group enemies who 'hate', 'ostracize' and 'persecute' their group.
Luke 6: 27-28 “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
Jesus urges his followers to accept an extreme form of conflict without complaining. Jesus refused to retaliate. The supreme goal of the life of Jesus is not unconditional freedom but unconditional love. For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son, Jesus, who also loved the world, died for the world.
1 John 4:18 (ESV) “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
The cross shows us the seriousness of our sin, but it also shows us the immeasurable love of God. The gospel is the message of love.
All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the HOLY BIBLE unless otherwise indicated.
‘The Sure Word for Today’ is a publication of ‘The Sure Foundation Transcend Ministries,’ registered in the United Kingdom.
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