The Action – Part 1 of 2

Sir Isaac Newton was a well-known mathematician, physicist and theologian. In his many contributions to science, his third law of motion seems to get the most airtime. The law states “when one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body” or as Newton himself reworded it: “to every action there is always opposed an equal reaction[1]“. The growing unrest and racial struggles in the United States have manifested this ‘law’ quite well, and with all the actions that minority groups have been experiencing lately, the reactions have been quite evident.

So we are here. This is now. We have seen and heard of the different actions that have sparked many reactions, but are these reactions grounded in The Bible, in emotion, in politics or something else? As a Christian, what is your duty in the face of injustice? Let’s start with what Christ taught and how He dealt with other people groups by looking at a few examples of his actions first:

Action 1: The Woman At The Well — In John 4, we are introduced to a tired Jesus who stopped in a city called Sychar that was in Samaria. This was eye-opening because the Jews and the Samaritans had a very strained relationship, so it was interesting that Jesus and His Apostles would pass through Samaritan territory. Samaritans claim to be related to Jews, but Jews did not accept them as such. Because of this, the two groups split and became bitter enemies. When Jesus was left alone at a well as his apostles when to get food, he encounters a Samaritan woman who came to get water. What happened next was truly remarkable…

Action 2: The Good Samaritan — One of the most popular parables of Jesus is the one about the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37. As we had mentioned earlier, the Jews and the Samaritans were enemies. In this story, Jesus speaks about a man (perhaps a Jew) who got attacked on his way from Jerusalem to Jericho, and left on the street to die; but several prominent people pass on that same way and do nothing to help him. It wasn’t until a Samaritan man passed that way that the story took an unexpected turn….

Action 3: The Contagious — Leprosy was one of the most dreaded diseases to get in ancient times. It could possibly be equated with COVID-19 to some extent. In Matthew 8:1-4, Jesus is approached by a man with leprosy. It was a fearful thing to be approached by one with this disease because it was contagious and many had to quarantine themselves and also move to a leper colony if they became afflicted, but in this case (and other instances), Jesus did the unthinkable…

Join us next week to find out the ‘reactions’ to these actions. We will see how Jesus reacted to situations where he had to deal with hated minority groups and the sick/contagious. In a future blog, we will then look at how we should be reacting to others in society and the sick and contagious.

Stay tuned…

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