Monday, Feb 19, 2018. Life is given by God, the creator. He is the one to give life and to take life. He is the beginning and the end. It is not up to humans to take life - except for very special circumstances. Honoring life, keeping life, that is one of the basic commands we hear in the biblical books. But it is not just murder we need to talk about, Jesus talks about more …
Honoring Life …
First, let us go back to the 10 commandments, which are written for example in Exodus 20 (2nd book of Moses). Here, we read:
13 You shall not kill [murder].
We are told not to kill. The word used here refers to killing in the sense of murder. Killing animals, killing for defense and other types of killing is not included. We are to honor life, and it is God's foremost interest to have humans live together in peace.
Why do humans kill? Why are we killing each other? Why does murder happen? It all seems easy in cases where we do not have conflicts. But humans have conflicts on many layers of their life. We are different, we have different talents, different character, different preferences. Also, we have different ideas about how we want to carry out things. Sometimes we have conflicts about ressources. We might have conflicts about acknowledgements. We might have conflicts about power and control of things. Just look around, and you will see many conflicts even in very peaceful societies.
About Hatred and Murder …
Jesus, in his sermon on the mount, is confirming the commandments. But he is doing much more. He is talking about the focal point of all the commandments. He talks about their purpose and inner core. It is not just murder which God wants to avoid. It is starting with antipathy, going to disrespect and to contempt and to hatred.
All this is not in God's interest. God is a God of love, of truth, of wisdom. Do not kill, he says. Do not murder. Do not disrespect. Do not hate, but love. Come to me and let me change you. In my presence you learn to love in the middle of conflict.
Love in the middle of conflict is not easy at all. There is the danger to move into complete ignorance and dishonesty, when you pretend to have good feelings where you do not have them. You are told to love, not to play love. You are told to be changed, not to pretend to be what you are not. Here, do not kill is a deep and very challenging commandment. It is a commandment which will change all your life when you take it serious in the sense of Jesus. It will lead you to the Lord, to ask him, to pray to him, to let him come into your heart and your mind … and then experience unbelievable wisdom and joy! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts