Contemplating Jesus

TOO DIFFICULT

Posted on by Lucinda M. Vardey

Throughout history many religious teachers, including rabbis who shared the Jewish-ness of Jesus, have suggested that much of Jesus’ teachings represent moral precepts too difficult to be realistically practiced.  The most obvious of these is in the non-violent, non retributive position of turning the other cheek, but what else could be considered too difficult?

1) Jesus’ directives require a personal commitment to growth and change.  His is a call to be aware of the movement of the spirit, not to be so entrenched within traditional practice to lose touch with evolving destiny.   (The wind blows where it chooses....”.John 3:8))

2)  Priority to God alone demands a follower to leave everything , including, in some cases,  the security of one’s family and the retaining of familiar rituals.  (“Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” Matthew 12:48,   “…let the dead bury the dead.” Matthew 8:22).

3) A state of faith which can move mountains, breeds a complete, trusting reliance on Divine Providence and a healthy hope in God’s will for each person.

(“If you have faith the size of this mustard seed…” Matthew 17:21).

4) The necessity for unity of the people of God requires breaking down barriers of belonging, including religious distinction, to enable the formation of one, undivided, human family.  (“…so that they may be one as we are one.” John 17.22).

5) To be like children and carry an innocence of wonder and learning and openness to truth, to be spontaneous, to enjoy life, to explore nature.    (“..unless you change and become like children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew l8:3).

6)  To be perfect as God is perfect (Matthew 5:48) —  merciful, renewing and loving for the sake of Love alone.  (“…those who love me will be loved by my Father.”  John 14:21).

7)  To spread love and relieve the suffering of others.  (“I give you a new commandment: that you love one another.” John 13.34).

8)  To be selfless in word and deed.  (“Those who love their life lose it.”  John 12:25)

What Jesus acknowledges is that things that last are neither born from a breezy approach or a rigid position.  Jesus’ vision and purpose was to provide a map to living in peace with all necessities provided for.   Peace is difficult in an environment founded on competition and winning rewards.  Peace is difficult within a worrying, grasping and obsessed mind.  Peace is difficult when material possessions are valued over the treasures of the soul.   Jesus knew that peace was the reward of faith.  After he rose from the dead and appeared to the apostles in a locked room, his salutation was “Peace be with you.”  (John 20: 19).  His peace is our peace to share and spread to others.  It’s not easy to attain, but it is too difficult to ignore.

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