Forgiveness

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Forgiveness – 12 December 2007

Can you imagine how extreme Jesus’ teachings about forgiveness must have seemed to His listeners? In Matthew 5:38, Jesus quoted the passage from Exodus 21:24: "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' "

Then He continued with: "But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also." (Matthew 5:38-45)*

The ultimate proof that Jesus “walked the walk” is found in Luke 23:33 and following* which contains a description of the crucifixion of Christ and describes the horrible public humiliation He endured. Yet, through all of this torture, Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

We have seen animals forgive others in such a simple way, but very few people. That speaks volumes about the hardness of humans. Is it any wonder that Ecclesiastes 9:3 says: “Furthermore, the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil, and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives.”? If you doubt that this applies in this day and age, just acquaint yourself with the huge, powerful farmed animal industries that are spreading throughout the world; and also visit http://www.all-creatures.org/anex/index.html

*References:

Matthew 5:38-45
38 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'
39 "But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 "And if anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.
41 "And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two.
42 "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.'
44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you
45 in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."
~New American Standard Bible

Luke 23:33-38
33 And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.
34 But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
35 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, "He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One."
36 And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine,
37 and saying, "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!"
38 Now there was also an inscription above Him, "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS."
~New American Standard Bible
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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