by HFH Reuvers


Jesus revealed his Father by his action, but also by his doctrine. We never heard something like that before, and nobody needs say anything more. As yet, we thought we could only emancipate at the cost of others. We extolled the noble superman who had to be strong and courageous in the first place. However, every hero goes downhill after some time. We were hoping we could go to Valhalla if we were to fall down in a fight, and take revenge forever. But this our hope was in vain, because Valhalla doesn't exist, or it's hell. In a sense, Jesus Christ inverted our view on the world. God became subservient to us in Christ, and this way He made it possible that He can perfect us in heaven if only we accept His love.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5, 1-12)
In the rest of the Sermon on the Mount we hear how Jesus perfects the Jewish law by putting the Christian Law of neighbourly love in its place.

In the parables, too, Jesus speaks directly to our souls, who are "naturally Christian". In the parable of the merciful Samaritan we learn that our neighbour is the person who helps us when we need help. In the parable of the prodigal son we learn that God is glad when we return to Him, even though we were wandering far away, as a father is glad when his prodigal son returns to him with empty hands after an unsuccessful adventure. Etcetera.
The Gospel is one great lesson in neighbourly love.