Je­sus’s mo­tives

The Weekend Australian - - COMMENTARY -

In com­par­ing the ac­tions of Je­sus in the tem­ple to ter­ror­ism, He­len Dale ig­nores his teach­ing (“Not only will I not shut up, I’ve writ­ten a book about Je­sus”, 7/10). Je­sus de­nounced vi­o­lence in any form. His ac­tions in the tem­ple were in ac­cor­dance with his life. Je­sus urged his fol­low­ers to re­nounce vi­o­lence. He said God wants mercy, not sac­ri­fice. This truth was un­palat­able. No one wanted to be­lieve it was hu­mans, not gods, who hate and who kill. No one wanted to hear that an­i­mal sac­ri­fice was a ves­tige of the hu­man need to sac­ri­fice oth­ers. No amount of rewrit­ing the gospels will erad­i­cate this rev­e­la­tion. The cru­ci­fix­ion is a last­ing sym­bol of the con­se­quences of hu­man be­hav­iour. It is an im­age of the in­grained ten­dency in ev­ery per­son to scape­goat oth­ers.

Je­sus was not ex­e­cuted be­cause he started a riot. Pi­late found no case against him. He was ex­e­cuted to re­veal the re­al­ity of hu­man na­ture — our need for an en­emy — and to per­suade us to re­nounce this need. Brigitte Dwyer, Nor­wood SA

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