…when it comes to scripture; there will always be disagreement – especially if we are looking for objective truth. But again, this was not Jesus’ goal; neither should it be our own. For the purpose of our spiritual growth and development, all we can look for is how scripture is reflecting or revealing our own truth. Case in point, the scripture passage below can be taken any number of ways, depending on our point of view, or on the agenda of one who is interpreting this passage for us. Let’s start with a single line:
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him.”
For some, this passage points to exclusivity. God will ONLY love those who keep Jesus’ word. For others this passage speaks of reward and punishment. IF we keep Jesus’ word (what word exactly are we to keep?), God will love us, implying that if we do not keep Jesus’ word, God will no longer love us. This one tiny line from John’s gospel has been used for two millennia to establish so-called Christian privilege and to justify persecution, condemnation and even the wholesale slaughter of “non-believers.” Is this really what Jesus meant in these words? If we believe that Jesus’ overriding message was of Love and of a Divine parent who loves without condition, then no, Jesus could not have meant these words to privilege anyone or to deny anyone of the unconditional and unmerited love of God. But human beings, through their limited perspective chose otherwise.
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