This week we sample some of the teachings of Jesus from the gospels. In a way, these teachings present a grand irony. On one hand, the teachings of Jesus could be considered some of the least controversial teachings in all of history. World leaders from nearly every religion and culture have acknowledged Jesus as a great teacher and these statements as “wisdom worth living.”
At the same time, these teachings are extremely controversial. They were controversial not only in the culture in which Jesus lived (the religious leaders of the day sought to murder Jesus on more than one occasion) but also in each of us individually. I find my spirit in great controversy when I’m told to “love my enemy,” “endure suffering,” and “turn the other cheek.” As a result these teachings are often exalted but seldom adhered to and herein lies the irony.
As you read this week, make special note of those teachings you find particularly difficult. What prevents us from seeking to fully live into Jesus’ teaching?
This could be a great discussion if we can allow ourselves to be a bit vulnerable. As for me, one of the reasons it’s difficult to obey is I wonder whether I can really trust God. If I “love my enemy,” “endure suffering,” and “turn the other cheek, etc” I leave myself open to be wounded and I’m not sure I trust God with that. If I’m really being honest, the only person I fully trust to protect my rights is myself…..yet I’m incapable of protecting myself fully and so this is an act of futility.