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Who Could Blame Him?

Who could blame him for being angry?

Here’s Jesus – a perfect person with a perfect perspective on the world, a perfect relationship with his Father, and a perfect understanding of justice and righteousness (how things should be). Jesus walks this earth for roughly three decades and sees all kinds of brokenness around him.

He notices things that others don’t. He cringes at things others see as normal. He recognizes that his mission will, at once, fix everything, but leave so much undone. He looks at his city and weeps. He faces their leaders and shakes his head. He withdraws to a quiet place to be alone with God because what he’s witnessing is almost too much to bear.

How could we have gotten to this point? How can we be so self-destructive? How can we not see the contributions each of us make to the oppression of minorities, the degradation of women, the sullying of God’s good name?

Death would have been a welcome relief if not for the fact that, for him, it was only temporary. If only he could have walked away from the devastation–moved on with his life, divorced from the heartbreaking reality of the human experiment gone terribly wrong. But he couldn’t do that. He wouldn’t do that.

These were his people. His world. His love.

He refused to stand by and watch it all fall apart. He had to act. When words failed, he stepped into the pain, the torment, the torture. He became a symbol of peace waged in the midst of violence and fear, a provocateur of illicit, scandalous grace, and in a world oh so dark, he was a light. He was the light.

When politicians prey on the uneducated, and people of power abuse the poor and powerless – when the worst of their offenses flash across our newsfeed–only then do we get a glimpse of what Jesus must have felt every single day. And like Jesus, we must respond with action.

There’s no time for giving up. Only time to act. Sure, we must weep with those who mourn. We must withdraw to our quiet place to summon the strength that only God can provide in our time of weakness. Then, we must rush back to the city and stand with those whose voice is so often drowned out by the shouts of the masses.

Modern day Samaritans, they are expendable in the eyes of many. But they matter. They matter to us because they matter to God. They matter to God because they are his children–children he laid down his life to protect, who now lie in pools of blood on the streets of our cities.

Who could blame him for being angry?

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