A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE ABOUT JESUS
I don't like the term "Judeo-Christian". It implies that both words mean the same. Jews, Christians, and Muslims do claim the same God, but each of the three are quite differerent in the way they carry out their religions.
Jesus was a Jew, but he brought new meaning to the Old Testament Laws and Prophets.
Jesus said: "Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them." - Matthew 5:17
In the Old Testament it was "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," but Jesus said:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you..."
Jesus continued, " For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?"
In the Old Testament (Leviticus 19) we find: "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD."
The Old Testament required love of neighbor, but Jesus fulfilled the law by teaching us to love our enemy.
Jesus simplified the law, not just the Ten Commandents but all the rules of Leviticus, as well, when he said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” - Matthew 22
We may have a personal individual enemy, and Jesus tells us to love that person. We may have groups of enemies - religious, ideological, political, national. Jesus tells us to love them, too. That includes Muslims, Hindu; Pro-Life, Pro-Choice; Republican, Democrat; China, India. Yes, it includes Al-Qaeda, too.
Don't be confused; follow Jesus.
For further information, follow the link below. Bible Gateway is very useful, but it carries commercial advertising. Just treat them as you would other commercials.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said:
"Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. Quoting Martin Luther: 'The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been spared?'"
William A. Ricks
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