Tuesday, January 9, 2018

"Jesus as Critic of Hypocrisy Then and Now", by Edward Simmons on January 5, 2018


..."The standard Jesus used to evaluate religious leadership was simple: look at their actions. How can we tell legitimate spokesmen for God from the false? “You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16; Luke 6: 44). How can we tell which religious leaders truly love God? They imitate the actions of the Samaritan who, not thinking of his convenience or righteousness or the worthiness of the victim, went out of the way to help someone in need. They do not side with the wealthy and prosperous against the needy, or celebrate their success by living in affluent enclaves; rather, they live among common people compassionately and non-judgmentally as they shun lives of extraordinary privilege.
Loving God, according to Jesus, is best seen when people are treated as neighbors to be loved without judgment or compulsion. Such behavior recognizes the sovereignty of God now and looks forward to fuller realization of justice in the future.
The message and example of Jesus are clear for our time and for all time. The challenge for disciples then and now is to: “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:37)"

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