Christ’s Doctrine Of The Man And Sin -- By: H. J. Flowers
BSac 85:338 (April 1928) p. 160
Christ’s Doctrine Of The Man And Sin
(Continued from January issue.)
But Jesus taught in more homely ways the worth of life. What will be said here will consist largely of quotations, but the cumulative effect ought to be convincing. So much of the teaching of Jesus, while not directly or deliberately bearing upon it, depends upon the belief in the inherent dignity of human life.
(1) His message was a message for sinners. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He made friends of the poor, the outcast, and the lonely. He told those who were weary and heavy laden to come to Him and find rest. Many have said in the face of these facts that Jesus preached a social message and was animated by something like class prejudice. But there is no warrant for this theory either concerning Jesus or the early Church. It is true that we find their sympathy on the side of the poor and ignorant, but the reasons for that are obvious. The rich and the powerful know how to look after themselves. Those who are well have no need of a physician. Then also the rich and the powerful run considerable danger of oppressing others and of losing mental and spiritual balance for themselves, just because they are rich and powerful. Those who have much easily forget that man does not live by bread alone. We do not need the authority of Jesus to convince us that the rich find it hard to enter into the Kingdom of God. Then also the times were times of oppression, and in such times, the oppression works from the top to the bottom. The poor and the ignorant in Israel were considered to be accursed. They had been taught that they were outside the pale of God, and it was almost a sheer necessity for anyone professing to bring a new message from God to show how that message worked out in practical ways. Then also, the message of Jesus was ethical to the core. What He was really determined to show was that external distinc-
BSac 85:338 (April 1928) p. 161
tions of wealth, social position and academic learning were of no interest to God. The love of God went deeper down than that, and was attached to the qualities of the heart. But Jesus did not condemn the rich as such and exclude them from the Kingdom of God, nor did He praise the poor as such and promise them all the blessings of the Kingdom. Had He done so, His message would have been without ethical significance. He had rich people in His company. His teaching went right beyond economic and academic distinctions. He was not working on any narrow economic lines, when He advocated the cause of the poor and the outcast. But He was giving expression to a profound religious conviction. What called forth the help of God was need. What gave admittance into the Kingdom of God was quality ...
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