Counter reactive: Matthew 38-48

In These verses Jesus is not making up these instructions, because he says “You have heard it is said”. The disciples are then assumed to be good Jews and have heard the readings in the books of Exodus 21, Leviticus 24, Deuteronomy 19. These are instructions they are use to and have been living by. Revenge, taking what is not yours, violence, even been oppressed by the ruler of the day seems to be normal.

Jesus is encouraging the disciples to resist the temptation to act according to the rules that keep us separate from each other, through love, understanding, and counter reactive actions.

We could read this as a distant and far off instruction meant for then and not now. Yet over the centuries since then, these words have been used by peaceful protest leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, and even Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela’s actions prevented a civil war. Jesus’ instructions are not merely surfacetrue, they have depth to them: reminds us that God loves us all; change comes through our actions; our actions make us good disciples of our heavenly Father growing the kingdom of God.

We are all called to live as brothers and sisters in Christ in a world that is not all about ‘me’, rather in a world that is all about ‘us’. Fight fire with water, love unconditionally.