Saturday, November 15, 2014

Integrating God's Intensified Ethic and God's Love: Jesus vs. the Pharisees

The Pharisees, they looked at Jesus, they could not get their theological imaginations around the notion that Jesus could both actively intensify God's ethical demand in our lives on the one hand, and on the other hand reach out aggressively in love to the biggest violators of that intensified ethic. They concluded if Jesus is reaching out aggressively in love to the violators of that ethic that he must not be stressing the ethic. Because they're stressing the ethic and they want to have nothing to do with the violators. But Jesus is aggressively reaching out in love, fraternizing, inviting himself into their homes, eating with them, preaching the kingdom of God, focusing his ministry mostly on them, for the very express purpose of recovering them for the kingdom. Where others didn't care that they were drowning, Jesus cared. And he reached out aggressively in love to bring them. 

The Pharisees couldn't put those two together. How can you love and at the same time follow God's intensified ethic? Jesus said those two go together beautifully. Because it's precisely because of God's intensified ethic people are put at risk if they don't obey it. And we want as many people as possible to inherit God's kingdom. So we ought to integrate those two in the church and not try to separate them. 

2 comments:

underground pewster said...

Amen.

Kirk Skeptic said...

A great place to start would be within the walls of our churches, enlarging our circles of hesed so that God will be glorified and the world left to wonder.