Jesus and Judgment

by Andrew Forrest

I appreciate what Stanley Hauerwas has to say about the seven woes that Jesus pronounces on the teachers of the law and the Pharisees:

“The series of woes that Jesus directs at the scribes and Pharisees make for difficult reading in light of the Christian condemnation and persecution of the Jews. That these characterizations of the scribes and Pharisees have unfairly been used to condemn all Jews as well as Judaism is a sign of Christian failure and sin. But the sin is not that Christians thought it necessary to make judgments informed by those forms of life that Jesus’s condemns, but that we have failed to apply those judgments to ourselves. We cannot forget that Jesus condemns the scribes and Pharisees from a position of weakness. He has no power to act against those he condemns. Christians betray Jesus when they make judgments–like those Jesus makes against the scribes and Pharisees–from positions of power that transform those judgments into violent and murderous actions rather than attempts to call ourselves and our brothers and sisters to a better life.”

Stanley Hauerwas, Matthew


Today’s Scripture:

Matthew 23:13-36


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