Well, I’m not real pleased with where my thoughts have led me. Thinking about Jesus and what it means to be his follower, at the same time, has not left me feeling so kindly toward Jesus or myself. Jesus wants us to love our enemies, bless those who curse us, share our stuff and ourselves with others, forgive others, be a blessing to others, turn the other cheek, and . . . well, he just never quits.
Were Jesus and his chroniclers around today, his teachings and expectations would surely be different—different as in more fitting to our time. Surely, the things he said to a poor people in ancient Palestine have nothing really to say to us. He would understand that without the things we have today, we just can’t make it . . . and not even Jesus could love some of the people with whom we have to deal.
Surely those extremely liberal scholars are right and not all this stuff in the Gospels really comes from Jesus. Jesus, who loves me and saves me and wants the best for me, really wouldn’t expect me to sacrifice. After all, he has already paid the price, made the ultimate sacrifice. I’ve been bought with a price and the rest of life is free. Hallelujah and Amen!
Listen up. Do not read Matthew 5-7. It will mess with your mind. There is just no way that Jesus could or would have said all that is written in those chapters. Matthew must have been writing an April Fool’s gospel.
On the other hand, if Jesus really said what Matthew said he said, we “got trouble, my friends, right here, I say trouble, right here in river city.” When there is trouble, there are a couple of options. One can take actions to end the trouble, or one can get rid of the troublemaker. The latter is easier.
Oh, I’m not ready to get rid of Jesus. I need a savior. Let’s just do some helpful editing of Matthew’s Gospel—cut out and burn chapters 5-7. It’s the only sane thing to do.