An exposition of Jesus’ life meant for young and old, to clarify the deeper meaning of the Messiah.
In the previous part; Part 4, we have extensively discussed about ‘forgiveness’ of our neighbor, especially what Jesus taught us about this and how Jesus acted.
NKJV (Psalm 118: 22) 22 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone.
Jesus disciples must always be willing to forgive and are not of this world, but what does that mean? In John chapter 17 Jesus expresses a fervent prayer towards his heavenly Father concerning his disciples:
NKJV (John 17: 14-17) 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
In Jesus days, the spiritual leaders had love of money, the Sadducees came from the Jewish aristocracy, the landowners and rich merchants, the other spiritual leaders, the Pharisees, were covetous. (Luke 16:14).
Materialism or love of money was also in those days very common among the leaders.
ESV (Isaiah 9:16) 16 for those who guide this people have been leading them astray, and those who are guided by them are swallowed up.
Theme: The theme of this writing will be about Jesus teaching concerning humility, goodness, mercy, and justice.
First, a brief description of communism and socialism
Throughout history, many have seen the great injustice of exploitation of people.
The German Karl Marx saw the primeval communism as the way of life from the period that people lived by hunting.
The idea of a classless society, however, was originated in ancient Greece. Lycurgus created around 800 BC. a classless society in Sparta in which all free men were equal, had equal wealth and in which belongings and women and children were shared.
Plato pleaded for a form of society that had many common with the later communism.
From this writing, however, it will turn out that Christianity has little or nothing in common with communism or Marxist socialism.
Communism is once meant as a classless form of society with an economic system based on the common ownership of the means of production.
Socialism is a form of society based on equality, social justice and solidarity.
Often it is said that socialism is conceived as a counterpart of capitalism.
Communism has many socialist interfaces, but ultimately, communism is a political system and socialism is an economic system.
Socialism, a toned-down form of communism, is the redistribution of wealth from the strong to the weak, eliminating the middle class, the connecting element of the economy. Christianity is contrary to the principles of Marxist socialism.
Karl Marx, the founder of communism, was an atheist.
A famous statement from him was: ‘Religion is opium for the people.’
Marx reasoned that man had created religion himself as a means of displacing his life, now it had become so unbearable.
With communism also came the communist freedom fighters.
But the freedom fighters of communism passed the line of killing and torturing adversaries, because they were also in basic atheists and had no message to the commandment of Jesus:
NKJV (Matthew 26: 51-52) 51 And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. 52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
The true freedom that Christians strive to, is a spiritual freedom:
NKJV (John 8:31-32) 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
That communism had its ink black sides, was evident from the many dead.
Stéphane Courtois, a French historian and university professor, estimates in his book ‘Le Livre noir du communisme (1997); The Black Book of Communism ” of the total number of deaths that fell in the 20th century by Communism on +/- 94 million, including:
- +/- 65 million in the People’s Republic of China
- +/- 20 million in the former Soviet Union
- +/- 2 million in Cambodia
- +/- 2 million in North Korea
In the first half of the 20th century, the “Frankfurter Schule”, a German sociological and philosophical flow arose, that was concerned with the society critical, neomarxistic, critical theory. This concerns sciences such as sociology, psychology and philosophy.
Sociology is the study of social relations between people.
When Hitler came to power, they had to flee from Germany and eventually ended up in the US, and supported the field of study of sociology at Columbia University in New York.
From there, their work area spread across numerous universities in the USA.
The critical theory can be seen as a continuation of Marxism, by criticizing on everything at alleged oppression, discrimination or exploitation, rightly or wrongly.
According to the work of Wilhelm Reich (of the Frankfurter Schule) psychological problems mainly stem from sexual oppression and sexual liberation can cure many people.
Starting from 1960, the sexual revolution emerged in response to opposing Western civilization and freeing from sexual oppression.
‘Make love not war’ comes directly from the Frankfurter Schule.
In the traces of the Frankfurter Schule came the Flower-Power period, the massive sex orgies, communes and hippies. The foundations of the Christian way of life were hereby ignored:
NKJV (Matthew 19: 5-6) 5…… Therefore, a man will leave his father and mother and adhere to his wife, and those two shall be one flesh 6 so that they are no longer two, but one meat? So, what God has merged does not let man divorce.
With this, Jesus made a quote from Genesis 2:24 concerning the first people Adam and Eve.
Christianity is – unlike communism and socialism – based on righteousness and mercy.
Righteousness to be honest, not giving less than someone deserves and to use fair amounts:
NKJV (Matthew 6: 33-34) 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Mercifulness to let your heart speak when someone needs help:
NKJV (Matthew 6:21) 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
NKJV (Matthew 12:35) 35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
Jesus encourages us, that we are not be guided by what the world considers as meaningful, about ‘wanting to be important’:
NKJV (Luke 22: 24-27) 24 Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.
NKJV (Mark 9: 33-36) 33……. “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. 35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”
In Matthew 17: 1-2 it is described that Peter, James and his brother John were allowed to see the transfiguration of Jesus. It is possibly for this reason that James and his brother John felt themselves more important than the others and asked for a special position:
NKJV (Mark 10: 35-41) 35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him, saying, Master, we wish you to do for us whatever we ask. 36 And he said to them, What do you want me to do for you? 37 And they said unto him, Give us that we may sit, the one to thy right hand, and the other to thy left hand, in thy glory. 38 But Jesus said to them, You do not know what you ask. Can you drink the drinking cup that I drink and be baptized with the baptism? 39 And they said unto him, We can do that. But Jesus said to them, The drinking cup I drink will drink you, and with the baptism with which I am baptized you will be baptized 40 but sitting on my right hand and on my left hand is not for me to give ; but it will be given to them for whom it is intended. 41 And when the ten others heard this, they began to blame James and John very much.
Again Jesus corrects James and John as well as the others about ‘being important’:
NKJV (Mark 10: 42-43) 42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.
Peter also writes about ‘wanting to be important’ in respect to the Christian community:
NKJV (1 Peter 5: 5) 5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
Jesus tells a parable about a Pharisee – self-considered to be righteous – and a repentant tax collector:
NKJV (Luke 18: 10-14) 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men–extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
During a meal with a Pharisee, Jesus tells a parable about humility:
NKJV (Luke 14: 7-11) 7 So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: 8 “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; 9 and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. 11 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Our Lord gives one last time education about humility:
NKJV (John 13: 2-5, 12-15) 2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded……. 12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
Being good and doing good:
God is good and gives to those who ask him in prayer:
NKJV (Mark 10: 17-22) 17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” 18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ” 20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” 21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” 22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
NKJV (Luke 11: 9-13) 9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Jesus as an example of doing good:
NKJV (Acts 10: 37-38) 37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
Jesus disciples are also asked to do good:
NKJV (Luke 12: 32-34) 32 Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
NKJV (Matthew 5: 43-48) 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 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, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Jesus disciples are the salt of the earth and the light of the world:
NKJV (Matthew 5: 13-16) 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Mary’s good choice:
NKJV (Luke 10: 38-42) 38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Whoever is doing good will receive his reward:
NKJV (Matthew 10: 40-42) 40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
NKJV (John 5: 28-30) 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. 30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
The good and the bad man:
NKJV (Matthew 12: 33-37) 33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
The parables of the infertile Christians:
NKJV (Luke 13: 6-9) 6 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’ “
NKJV (John 15: 1-8) 1 I am the true vine and my father is the vineyard owner. 2 He takes away every rank that carries no fruit in me. and every vine bearing fruit cleanseth him, that it beareth more fruit. 3 You are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Stay in me, and I in you. As the rank can not bear fruit of itself, if it does not stay in the vine, you too, if you do not stay in Me. 5 I am the vine, you the rankings; whoever abideth in me, and I in him that beareth much fruit: for without me thou shalt do nothing. 6 If any man abide not in me, he shall be cast out like the trumpet, and defrosted, and gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they shall be burned. 7 If you stay in Me and keep My words in you, ask what you want and it will be a part of you. 8 In this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and are my disciples.
Then Jesus says something remarkable and does not mention ‘doing good’, but it is about hating:
NKJV (Luke 14:26) 26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
But we also know that Jesus commanded to be good to our neighbor and to love them:
NKJV (Matthew 19:19) 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “
For the word ‘hating’ in the Scripture above, quoted from Luke 14:26, Jesus meant the significance of ‘to have less love’ or ‘to have less for’. In Luke 14:26 filled in, it states:
(Luke 14:26) 26 “If anyone comes to Me and does ‘not love less’ or ‘not have less for’ his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
Jesus explains what we need to do to be good Christians:
NKJV (Luke 3: 10-14) 10 So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?” 11 He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.” 12 Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than what is appointed for you.” 14 Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”
Do good to those who cannot give back:
NKJV (Luke 14: 12-14) 12 Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. 14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
Jesus emphasized on different occasions, to let always speak our heart (our spiritual Christian heart) to be merciful.
The Special Sermon on the Mount:
NKJV (Matthew 5: 1-12) 1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Do not give gifts of mercifulness with the intention to be seen by the people:
NKJV (Matthew 6: 1-4) 1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
According to Jesus, God finds mercy for sinners more important than sacrifices:
NKJV (Matthew 9: 10-13) 10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Be merciful as our Heavenly Father is merciful:
NKJV (Luke 6: 35-36) 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
The merciful rich man and the beggar Lazarus:
NKJV (Luke 16: 19-25) 19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.
The merciful Samaritan:
After King Solomon’s death, the Jewish nation was split into two kingdoms, the southern 2 tribes kingdom of Judah and the northern 10 tribes kingdom of Israel. The temple was situated in the southern kingdom of Judah in Jerusalem and also the Levitic priests served there.
Samaria, the city, was the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel. It was also the name for the area or the surrounding country.
After the Assyrian siege of the city of Samaria, many inhabitants were deported from the land of Samaria, and again later, new inhabitants from other countries were sent to the cities of Samaria.
These new residents brought their own religion and their own gods with them:
NKJV (2 Kings 17:24) 24 Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities.
The Samaritans had relations with the new inhabitants. Thereafter, they were not accepted by the Jews of the kingdom of Judah because they did not regard the “mixed” Samaritans as true Jews and also they did not follow the pure Jewish faith in their opinion.
Traditionally, the Samaritan religious Scriptures consisted only of the five books of Moses, and only in their own revised text, known as the Samaritan Pentateuch.
Also, Jesus did not regard the Samaritans as pure Jews:
NKJV (Matthew 10: 5-6) 5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
The shortest route from Jerusalem (Judea) to the province of Galilee ran right through Samaria.
When Jesus asked, to give Him a drink to a Samaritan woman from Sichar, she responded in astonishment:
NKJV (John 4: 9) 9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
Although the Jews despised the Samaritans, Jesus did not do that. Jesus began giving personal teaching to the Samaritan woman about the living water and whoever drinks of this water will thirst again. (John 4: 1-30)
The contemptuous attitude of the Jews regarding the Samaritans gave Jesus the opportunity to teach about unconditional goodness or mercifulness:
NKJV (Luke 10: 29-37) 29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” 37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
We can sin by negligence of mercy when we have not done what could reasonably be expected of us:
NKJV (Matthew 25: 31-41) 31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ 41 Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels….
In the first Christian congregations, it was normal to be merciful to widows, orphans and poor:
NKJV (Acts 6: 1) 1 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
NKJV (Romans 15:26) 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.
NKJV (1 Timothy 5:16) 16 If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.
It testifies of mercy, if we are merciful for the poor:
NKJV (Proverbs 19:17) 17 He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given.
Justice – living according to the Divine criterion
God is righteous:
NKJV (John 17:25) 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.
Justice also turns out of what someone says:
NKJV (Matthew 12: 36-37) 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
In any case, we must be more righteous than the spiritual leaders in Jesus’ days:
NKJV (Matthew 23: 27-28) 27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
NKJV (Matthew 5:20) 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
Anyone who is righteous in small things is also righteous in big matters:
NKJV (Luke 16: 10-12) 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?
Jesus brings divorce between righteous and unrighteous, even within a family:
NKJV (Luke 12: 49-53) 49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. 52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. 53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
Christians are required to be righteous and merciful and do good works:
NKJV (Matthew 5:16) 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
But what does Scripture then say how we deal with this world, where we are not part of:
NKJV (1 Peter 2:11) 11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, ….
God is a God of order:
NKJV (Romans 13: 1-2) 1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
Jesus said it once this way:
NKJV (Matthew 22: 20-21) 20 And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” 21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Jesus never took a political stand, as he might have done against the Roman dominance.
Christians in this world are therefore (also in political terms) not unequally yoked together with unbelievers:
NKJV (2 Corinthians 6: 14,17) 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? ….. 17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”
Till here this part about humility, goodness, mercy, and justice. In the next part – Jesus the promised Messiah Part 6 – we will continue with Jesus important education about the promised Kingdom.