Yesterday, as I observed all the back and forth online over the issue of gun control, I tried to imagine being among the crowds where Jesus was teaching.
First, I thought about what it would have been like to be standing in the crowd waiting to see what Jesus said society should do with an adulterous woman who clearly broke the law.
Second, I thought about what it would have been like listening to the Good Samaritan story and Jesus’ definition of a neighbor.
I’m thinking my initial response to both these situations as I processed his answers would have been…
mouth hanging open in disbelief and muttering something like…whoa, who is this guy??
Jesus had this way of taking issues people had strong viewpoints and opinions on and turning the arguments on their heads with his shocking responses. I can only imagine that if gun control had been a hot topic in his day, he would have done the same thing.
Each side would have presented their viewpoints and arguments. Each side would have brought a list of statistics and talking points to prove why their side was the right side and Jesus, like he does with every issue where we are adamant that WE are right and THEY are wrong, would have shocked (or maybe frustrated/angered) both sides with his response.
Neither side would have walked away validated. Instead, each side would have walked away with a more accurate picture of what love looks like.
I love this Anne Lamott quote, “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
I think we could also say that we can safely assume we’ve created God in our own image if we think God would vote the same way we do or take the same stance on current issues as we do.