Morality in the Real World, Continued…

“What Would Jesus Do?”

“Morality” has become a top priority in conservative politics. Many people who promote an ultra-conservative agenda, while claiming to represent Jesus, are pushing the concept of making certain “immoral” activities illegal, even if it means changing the Constitution of the United States to do so.

So, what DID Jesus do?

In John, chapter 8, a group of ultra-conservative religious leaders brought to Jesus a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. In the religious law of the time, adultery was punished by a mandatory sentence of execution by stoning. The religious leaders presented their case to Jesus, with the intent of using His reply as a weapon against Him. Jesus proceeded to ignore the group. As the religious leaders continued to press Jesus for an answer, He turned toward them and said “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8, verse 7, NIV). Jesus then again bent down to ignore them. As the meaning of what Jesus had said started to sink in, the group of religious leaders left one by one, leaving only the accused woman standing there. “Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.'” (John 8, 10-12, NIV)

In John, chapter 4, Jesus and his companions had to walk through Samaria to get back home. The Samaritans worshipped the same God as the Jewish people, however they were not related to the people of Israel; they had been moved there by a foreign conqueror some centuries before. To say that the Samaritans were hated by the people of Israel is a huge understatement; my research indicates they were despised to a degree that anyone who grew up in the United States cannot comprehend. Jesus stopped at a well along the road to rest (in the semi-desert climate, a well became a public necessity), while his companions went ahead to buy food. While Jesus was waiting for them to return, a local Samaritan woman came by to collect some water. Jesus initiated a conversation with her, which violated the customs of the time. Jesus revealed to her that He knew she had been divorced five times, and was currently living with a man she wasn’t married to. After her initial shock, the Samaritan woman came to realize the power of Jesus, and ran to tell her neighbors. The Samaritans convinced Jesus and his companions to stay with them for two days. Imagine the kind of people that you find most repulsive, then imagine staying in their homes – as their friend – for several days!

In both of these cases, and many others, Jesus did not condemn those he met who had moral issues; he politely told them they were wrong, and proceeded to be kind to them. Jesus proved that He could do more good by reaching out to people, than He ever would have done by condemning them.

If Jesus were to visit the United States today, what WOULD He do?

-Artie See

Morality in the Real World, Part One

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