Jesus’ Scary Authority

“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” (Matthew 7:28-29) Every time Jesus opened his mouth people reacted. This crowd was stunned by an inherent “authority,” which had nothing to do with the …

The Extra Mile

“If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” (Matthew 5:41) Roman law entitled its soldiers to force any Jew into carrying his heavy military gear for a mile. Imagine how that made the Jews feel, being treated with all the respect of a pack mule. It wasn’t just the physical strain …

The Bully’s Backhand

Backhand a friend (just pretend!) in slow motion. Notice that their natural reaction to being backhanded on the right cheek is that their face recoils to their left. So when Jesus says, “Turn the other cheek,” he seems to be saying, turn your face back toward your attacker and look him in the eye. Don’t …

Unlimited Love

Limited-love people limit their love to people who love them. They draw a boundary around their own kind. The boundary typically contains people of similar race, socioeconomics, or culture. The line drawn around their love spawns a spirit of superiority over those outside the line. The white landlord who rents only to people born with …

Jesus is Political

It’s a mistake to portray Jesus as an apolitical preacher with nothing to say to his socially prejudiced and politically charged context. In fact, he was and is deeply political, but on his own terms with his own political priorities that fit no one particular party. Nevertheless, it could be said that his disruptive politics …