Reading Large Chunks of Scripture
At first glance this chunk came seem like reactionary, and violently polarizing rhetoric. But then I remembered the context. Jesus is near the end. He sees the writing on the wall, the irritation among the people by his insistence to speak truth to the powers, to challenge the status quo, to invite all to a deeper way of living, a wider vision of inclusive community, a radicalized monotheistic dependence on the living God. If anything he's realistic, consistently honest with those that follow him and call him master.
Discipleship has a cost. You can't skip Good Friday on the journey from the jubilant crowd celebration of Palm Sunday to the empty tomb of Easter morning. What does it cost us to follow? What are we not willing to pay, or what are the easy ways that we're taking to try to get out of the challenges that authentic, integrative following of Jesus in all aspects of our lives might imply and lead to? Today is Maundy Thursday. The Maundy comes from the Latin verb "mandatum" or "to command." It recalls the teaching of Jesus as the last supper he shared with his closest friends, "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another." John 13:34 In the end following Jesus is challenging for it's a radical, counter-cultural invitation to serve others, not just those that we love, or who can help us get ahead. It's about loving our neighbor as ourselves, loving as God first loves us - even to the least of those around us and even to those that seem to be our enemies.