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Dependency and Wonder

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发表于 2019-11-11 05:13:39 来自手机 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
The gathered crowd was buzzing with a mix of excitement and skepticism. The enthusiastic ones were still talking about the incredible number of healings they had just seen performed. So many people had been healed that the crowd was clamoring just to touch the Nazarene carpenter who had made it all happen.  What would He do next? Could He be the long-awaited Messiah, sent by God to deliver His chosen people from the iron grip of the Romans? There hadn’t been this level of excitement in Israel since John the Baptist’s first sermons by the river Jordan. [br][br][br]The skeptics were a little calmer in their assessment. The healings were nice, but perhaps the crowd had just given into emotionalism. After all, they had seen a lot of so-called messiahs come and go, and nothing had ever changed. The Romans still ruled. What did this Man have that those other failed deliverers didn’t? Did Israel need another John the Baptist, stirring up outrageous hopes of freedom and victory that were sure to be dashed? [br][br][br]In the midst of it all, Jesus Christ climbed a small hill and began to speak. This Sermon on the Mount, as history would call it, was a world-changing moment. Luke 6:27-36 chronicles Jesus’ words: [br][br][br]"But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. [br][br][br]Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. [br][br][br]But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful."[br][br][br]Jesus’ message that day, 2,000 years ago, can be boiled down into a simple phrase: “Love those who are incapable of loving you.” It was an odd thing for a deliverer to preach. Be the first to love, the first to bless, the first to give. Give to anyone who asks. Give as a way of life. [br][br][br]Jesus wasn’t concerned with earthly empires or people’s perspectives of what a Messiah should look like. He was on a mission to deliver a statement about the nature of God and the nature of His Kingdom. [br][br][br]Nothing has changed since that Sermon on the Mount. Jesus still deliberately and mischievously takes all of our fears of being used, abused, and taken for granted, and makes us a promise: “Love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High.” [br][br]
Agwuna Samuel Sopuluchukwu
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