When people are bleeding and at blame
Imagine one day you witness an accident. The person who caused the accident is clearly injured but conscious. There are other victims of the accident as well, including damage to some nearby property. The person who caused the accident is clearly in the wrong, and will face legal consequences. But he also needs medical attention. What do you do? This is a fairly weak analogy, but I hope you see some parallels. According to theology, all people are legally guilty before God. But we’re also injured. Not only have we injured ourselves, we have also done great damage to the entire world. We also have massive legal issues before God. Is it right to focus on the legal issues? Paul does in Romans – not exclusively, but it’s where he starts. Perhaps surprisingly, Jesus did as well. But guess who he did it with? The religious establishment – those who were so confident in their driving that they denied that the accident was a problem. Jesus hammered them, the proud religious people of his day. But to those he found who were bleeding, Jesus reacted very differently. He didn’t deal only with their legal issues. In essence, he didn’t just hand them a lawyer’s card saying he could deal with their charges. Instead, he showed compassion and friendship. He cared that they were bleeding. It’s not that he didn’t care about their legal issues. It’s just that he also realized that they were injured as well. He cared about their health. He cared about restoring them to who they were supposed to be. I don’t know if this metaphor makes sense. Maybe. If it does, though, I think it might have implications for how we care about people. We won’t just hand a “get out of jail” card to bleeding people. There’s more.