Archive for September, 2008

When Ideals Meet Reality

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Today’s Scripture: Luke 22:63-65 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Tyler Connoley):

We’ve spent the summer studying the words and acts of Jesus as presented in the Gospel of Luke. There were times when Jesus said things that seemed too hard to put into practice.

In Chapter Six, Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also” (6:27). In the same chapter, Jesus said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.”

Now, Jesus has been betrayed by his friends: Judas handed him over to the authorities; Peter denied he even knew him. And Jesus is being beaten and mocked by the soldiers to whom he was given. If ever there was a time for Jesus to rethink his position on loving one’s enemies, this would be it.

This is the point when many of us would give up our ideals and come out swinging. We would justify hatred in the face of real-world injuries. “Those were nice, idealistic words,” we would think, “but this is not an ideal situation.”

But Jesus doesn’t do that. Luke implies that Jesus said nothing as the soldiers mocked and beat him. They asked, “Prophecy! Who struck you?” And Jesus turned the other cheek.

Over the next few days, we’ll look at the rest of Jesus’ trial, and we’ll see if he really believed what he taught. The hours of his trial were more than an examination of him as a potential rabble-rouser and criminal. They were a test of his faith in the things he taught. This is where the ideal world met reality.

Thought for the day: If Jesus could turn the other cheek while the soldiers mocked and beat him, do you think you can turn the other cheek in your everyday life?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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