Taking Jesus Seriously

by Bishop Todd Hunter

Self-will and peace, like dogs and squirrels, are natural enemies. Willfulness wins, and peace loses.

This is the case because continually insisting on your own way, and making sure you get it, requires force—a force that often comes in the shape of mistreating others. Peace cannot survive in that kind of environment.

To consistently seek peace, we need a new imagination for human interaction. Sadly, millions of American Christians are content to learn what to think and how to do life from cable television, talk radio and social media, rather than the life of Jesus and the people he produced as reflected in the Bible.

Jesus is not just the path to heaven—though he is that. He is the teacher for our real day-to-day lives. He teaches us to sort out our inner lives—heart, soul, will, thoughts, emotions—and our social selves, our interactions with the least, last, left out and marginalized.

Our Lord and Teacher, our model for humanity as God intended, said this: Come follow me…put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble…for the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

To begin our journey to justice and peace, we must first take Jesus seriously in all the aspects of our lives.

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