Posts Tagged ‘Sermon on the Mount’

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

Monday, July 19th, 2010 by JEL

When we were developing the cover for What He Said, we knew that we wanted to include Jesus’ blessings from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. Among these, 5:9 was always a favorite:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”

Peacemakers. Not peacewatchers or peaceenjoyers. Makers. Active participants who work toward peace. In the middle of a conflict, working toward peace is a difficult task fraught with peril. And Jesus bestowed a special blessing on those who at least try.

Which makes this article very hard to read.

“Last month’s 6-3 Supreme Court decision in the case of Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project found that humanitarian groups can be judged guilty of aiding and abetting terrorism merely by holding peaceful dialog and engaging in political discussions with proscribed organizations. Those convicted may be sentenced to up 15 years in prison.”

Please read the whole thing.

An Eye for an Eye – Then and Now

Monday, April 12th, 2010 by JEL

The Rev. Howard Bess, in this article, talks about forgetting about retribution and revenge. And argues that what Jesus preached at the end of the Sermon on the Mount was going completely against the grain of what anyone—including God—practiced or believed at the time (or now). Here’s what Jesus said:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, don’t resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.” — Matthew 5:38-39

Jesus believed in forgiveness, not in sin as a debt to be repaid. Bess titles his article, “How Christianity Lost Jesus” and feels that the western world in this century has embraced “an eye for an eye” in utter rejection of what Christ taught. How did it happen? Read the article and see his description of how Paul’s theology trumped Jesus’ teachings. Bess closes with:

“There is no evidence that the practice of ‘eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ ever produced an honorable result, made people more whole with lives that are more satisfying, or produced a society that is good for all.”