1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
The Heart of the Torah is Love. Jesus tells us that the entire Law and the Prophets hang off of the two basic Laws of Love. We know that God is Love. Trying to balance His Justice and Judgement with His love doesn’t fit at all. Why? Well, 1 Corinthians 13 tells us why. In great detail.
I saw this on Facebook earlier when I started writing my new post on this subject. It bears a quote here.
Jesus and the teachers of the law both quoted a lot of scripture.
The stunning difference was in the lens through which they saw it, the lens that defined it’s purpose and set it’s context.
The Pharisees used the scriptures to condemn, to accuse, to prove guilt. Present-day people are pros at this pastime and propose plenty of proof-text piles to penalize perpetrators.
I’ve done this too often, sad to say.
Jesus came to show that the entire scriptures pointed to Him (Luke 24), the One who came to bring healing, forgiveness, wholeness, restoration, peace and Life.
The Pharisees “weaponized” the scriptures, while Jesus came to disarm them and bring to us an entirely new way of engaging with the world. . . A way informed by His Love, built on the foundation of His Shalom.
Selah. ~ Mo Thomas
Guess what guys? Me too. I’ve been as guilty as a pharisee on this count. And so has almost every believer in my audience. We have thrived upon arguing, debating, condemning, while calling it Love to judge others. We have oft held fast to the idea that Revelation can be taken literally and ignored the fact that to do so is to say that even Jesus abandons the way of Love in the end to go with the human way of Violence, and destruction of the enemies. Even though it would be contradictory to His teachings that we are to Love our enemies too. Prophetic literalism understands the scriptures in contradictory ways. Ways that don’t truly lead to loving people and loving God. Ways that lead us to make up doctrines and poorly exegete passages to justify what our own personal experience is. Not to mention eisegesis. I’ve been that person. And at some point, I dare say almost all of us have been that person. Maybe not all. But most all.
But God.. God Loves us anyways. We twist His Word, we get it wrong. And if you look at the above verses, God ignores it. Keeps no record of it.
Doctrines are knowledge based upon man’s ideas and understanding of the scriptures. They too shall pass away. Where doctrines differ, Love is the correct path. Love is always the correct path. Let God finally have His way here, in and with each one of us, to Love people, as His will has always been.
-The Christian Mystic