Friday, March 20, 2009

In Brian McLaren’s book “The Secret Message of Jesus”, he comments on Matthew 5 verses 43-48 where Jesus teaches His most radical and difficult subject, about loving our enemies, and Jesus ends with, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

He comments – “ This is one of the most powerful – yet misunderstood – passages in biblical literature, misunderstood largely because people neglect Jesus’ larger-scale strategy in this whole sermon. They assume that “Be Perfect” means “Achieve external technical perfection.” In context, though, it’s abundantly clear that Jesus means something poles apart from external technical perfection.

The kingdom of God calls you to a higher way of living. It’s not just about loving friends and hating enemies. It’s about loving your enemies. This is what the King does, so this is the way of the Kingdom. God is good to all – including evil people. God’s perfection is a compassionate perfection. That’s the kind of love you need to have in God’s kingdom – a compassionate perfection that transcends old divisions of us/them and neighbor/enemy, that loves those who do not yet love you. We will never reach universal reconciliation in the kingdom of God until we move beyond conventional religious morality and believe in and practice this radical, higher plan.

The parallel passage in Luke 6:36 substitutes the word “merciful” for “perfect,” strongly reinforcing this reading.”

Photo taken from the internet


Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred :)

Very interesting post.

When Jesus was arrested, Peter drew his sword and cut off a guard's ear. Jesus took that severed ear and put it back in its place on the guard and told Peter that those who take the sword will die by the sword.

This is a clear cut example shown to us by Jesus to love our enemies. HE knew HE was arrested to be crucified and yet HE had the compassion to heal the guard's ear.

Have a good day :)

Mel said...

This post is just one more example of the mystery and unfathomability of our God. There's no explaining Him, and the only way anyone can reflect this kind of glory - the kind spoken of in this post - is by reflecting and projecting the light and glory of God Himself. I pray to be this kind of person. I'm getting ready, Lord willing, to have a conversation with a certain person who might be considered an enemy. May God help me to love them sincerely, and to allow His grace to permeate our conversation.

You always provide just exactly the right type of food for thought exactly when I need it, Fred! Thanks and God bless you, Brother! :)

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
That is a good example of loving our enemies. That's why we love Him, but oh to love like Him, that is the test of our spiritual life. Especially if they threaten all that we love. What a God, what a mercy!
God bless,

Hi Mel,
I pray you will hear with distinct clarity the loving words Christ would speak through you, be they ever so difficult.
God bless your efforts,

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