Jesus is a teacher who wants you to unlearn something.
In our bible study tonight at EDCC, we scoured Matthew 5, one of the great teaching chapters, often called the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus gives some amazing wisdom for his followers to chew on. These are the famous verses that inspired people like Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. in their pursuit of nonviolence. These are the teachings that continue to upend our traditional wisdom and challenge us to rethink our way of life. These are great examples of Jesus’ teaching that left such a significant impact upon the world and his followers (for the most part anyway).
From the words of Marcus Borg:
The eye is the lamp of the body… Jesus uses wisdom teaching to invite his hearers to see differently.
To see differently is to be challenged to fundamentally rediscover the world and life. Impasses become possibilities. Death becomes life. Up becomes down. Loss becomes gain. The last become the first. Potential is discovered even in people who are suffering and without hope.
Jesus’ teaching require unlearning, casting aside the habits and limitations that we pattern our lives around, so that something new can take its place. Our traditional wisdom gets replaced or “retraditioned” into an alternative wisdom that is all about living in the light of God’s love and presence. We go from being victims of destructive systems and occupying forces to being co-conspirators in God’s movement for wholeness and healing in a broken and grieved world.
It’s kind of like what Yoda was trying to teach Luke:
Are you willing to unlearn and follow a new Way? Jesus the Teacher gives the invitation. How will you respond?