Monday, 21 January 2013
The key is, when we reach Jerusalem, to treat the religious authorities with love and understanding.
"'Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.'" Luke 6:27b,28 (NRSV)
Jesus criticized the religious authorities but was prepared to talk with Joseph of Arimathea 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 own 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 privilege.
Fear of divine punishment.
Fear of God.
If we understand that, like us, they are a product of their heredity and experience, we may be able to defuse the situation.
To talk about fear is the key.
There are only two things in the world - love and fear.
As fear diminishes love grows.
What stops us loving is fear.
Fear is hard and cold (like stone).
Love is warm and soft (like flesh).
Fear makes us violent, makes us attack.
Love makes us fearless.
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love." 1 John 4:18 (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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