‘When Asked What Bible Verse Has Influenced Him, Trump Points to Teachings That Jesus Rejected’
Amazingly, the above headline is not satire. I doubt that even The Onion could make this stuff up anymore. When asked which Bible verse influences him the most, Trump’s unequipped calculation of what his ‘Christian supporters’ would warrant was unfortunate enough to settle on and refer to something from the era of Law that Jesus specifically* renounced.
Jesus was a radical man – countercultural, even. His message of salvation to all men, women and children was built on love and His walk on earth manifested this at every stage. As explanations of Jesus’ renunciation* of the ‘eye for an eye’ passage express, it struck “at the very core of human selfishness, summoning us to value others above ourselves in concrete and consistent ways”.
This renunciation was one of many demonstrations of Jesus’ values, being and purpose – all of which He wants us to emulate. It was also a big deal given the context He spoke it in. Such manifestations of Jesus’ values led to that final and ultimate display of unselfish love: suffocating on a cross to take the sins of a fallen world upon Himself, that we may have a new covenant with our perfect, holy Maker.
Jesus’ way of doing things scorned, and still scorns, the world’s pride and honour structures and is a feasible way of living only to those with eyes of faith.
Religion and Old Testament Law says we need to avenge, but the beauty of Jesus is that we can qualify justice with mercy; we do not avenge for honour anymore.
We can only turn the other cheek and pray.
* “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:38-45