In giving his followers the command to love their enemies Jesus was demonstrating a true advance in the way people should get alone. The size of the advance can be seen if you go back to the story of Cain and Abel. After Cain slew his brother Abel God punished Cain by making him “ a restless wanderer on the face of the earth.”
If you remember, Cain’s objection to that was “anyone may kill me on sight.” What a picture of humanity then that gives us! People were so hostile to anyone not a family member that when they came on a stranger the only safe thing to do was to kill him before he killed them.
How did God solve Cain’s problem? You remember, don’t you? He put a mark on Cain’s head. God said the mark told strangers that if they killed Cain God would avenge his death by killing seven of theirs. God’s statement there tells us of a time when everyone was marked with a tribal tattoo that warned strangers that this person’s death would be dearly avenged.
We still have a long way to go, but to some degree this American melting pot of ours is working. We love and admire our Filipino nurses and our Indian doctors. Some of us even love our black president.
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