Jesus takes the implicit subtexts of mercy and makes them his explicit primary text.
It’s amazing just how angry some people can become if you try to take away their religion of revenge…
as soon as Jesus made it clear that he was closing the book on vengeance, that he would not endorse the idea of divine retribution on Israel’s enemies, the crowd turned viciously against Jesus.
Until we are captivated by the radical mercy of God extended to all, we will cling to the texts of vengeance as cherished texts
If we long for vengeance to come upon those we identify as vilified others, Jesus passes through our midst and goes away. The spirit of Christ is the holy spirit — the spirit of advocacy. The unholy spirit is the spirit of accusation — the spirit of the satan. The spirit of Christ is absent from us when we vilify and scapegoat others.
Blaming a scapegoat is the satanic way of achieving unity.
It’s emotionally cathartic and highly effective in achieving temporary unity within a community. It’s also satanic.
I could talk about how covenant membership in the body of Messiah is determined, not by ethnicity, circumcision, and Torah observance, but by faith, baptism, and obedience to Jesus as Messiah.
love alone is the Jesus way. According to our Lord, the biblical test case for love of God is love of neighbor, and the biblical test case for love of neighbor is love of enemy.