Articles from the July 1997 Unification News

uViews by Tyler Hendricks

"It is neither wise nor prudent to follow the Messiah"

We learn important lessons from the Bible. The Old Testament teaches that "every man is wise in his own eyes." Jesus commented that the wise and the prudent could not receive the kingdom of God. (Luke 10:21) This was spoken after his 70 followers had returned from their tour of Israel's towns. Jesus had told them to "heal the sick, and say to them, 'the kingdom of God has come near to you.,'" (Luke 10:9)

The disciples returned proclaiming that they were able to subjugate demons, but apparently this was not what Jesus really wanted. He told them to rejoice not at their power over the enemy, but "rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven." (v. 20) He then rejoiced himself, praising God even in the midst of his own difficulties, praying, "I thank You that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight." (v. 21)

He then was tested by a wise and prudent man, a "certain lawyer," who asked him a wise and prudent question, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" (v. 25) Jesus gave the absolute and absolutely simple answer, to live for the sake of God and others (v. 27). This was not enough for the lawyer, who wanted to justify himself. Let's be clear, now, Jesus; I just want to make sure about whom you are saying I should love, "who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied with the well-known parable of the Good Samaritan, in which he taught, or warned, that the "babe," the Samaritan, was going to inherit eternal life, and the "wise and prudent," the priest and Levite, would not.

The chapter ends with the story of Mary and Martha, in which the sister who made herself worried and troubled (read: "wise and prudent") based upon her external view of Jesus, was shamed before the sister who simply sat at his feet and heard his word. Note that Martha actually reproached Jesus for his indulgence of her sister (v. 40).

Let us draw a lesson. God is now dispensing His blessing of marriage freely upon all who will receive it. Blessed couples are visiting homes across America and around the world with this good news, God's free gift of family salvation. In North America, it is the "babes," the "Samaritans" who are humbly receiving it. I am sorry and miserable to observe that the chosen ones, the white descendants of the Christian world, are failing to choose the good part.

My experience yesterday in Portland, Oregon, is illustrative. I spent an hour in an apartment complex. The whites, the "Yanquis," were rude and arrogant. One abruptly asked, as he opened the door, "what d'ya want?" "I'm a volunteer with the Family Federation for World Peace, . . ." "Ya selling something?" "No, I here to give you something. This is an outreach for married couples. Are you married?" "That's none of your business. Get outta here." Slam.

The other white person (I could tell by her voice) wouldn't even open the door. "What is it?" she said. "I'm a volunteer with the Family Federation for World Peace." "I don't want any."

On the other hand, there were Hispanics in the complex. They were friendly. They listened and took me seriously. Three were married couples, and they all participated in the Blessing. Uneducated people? I suppose so. Poor? I think so. Babes? The "babes" understood Jesus. Marginal? The Samaritans were the marginal people of Israel.

These Hispanics, these Vietnamese, these Hmongs, these Ukrainians, these Filipinos, these Russians in America: they are not the movers and shakers. But they have open hearts. Sure, maybe it is because they are poor, maybe they have nothing to lose. You could say that, seeking to justify as the lawyer did in front of Jesus. It was those who had nothing to lose, perhaps, who stuck with Jesus when he went about as one whom the polite society deemed offensive, blasphemous, claiming to be king, pretending to forgive sin.

We overflow with joy for the literal millions of families around the world who are receiving the free gift of the blessing as children. We cry with sadness for those at ease in Zion, those invited to the marriage feast, who may be distracted with much serving, or seeking more explanations than we can give or they can understand.

As I meet couples and invite them to the wedding banquet, Jesus' words, "the kingdom of God has come close to you" keep running through my mind. Someday, my white, influential, wise and prudent friends, the kingdom of God may knock on your door. As Paul and Linda McCartney sang many years ago, "Somebody's knockin' at the door. Somebody's ringin' the bell. Do me a favor. Open the door. Let'em in." Don't be, as Bob Dylan sang, among those who "have many contacts/among the lumberjacks/to get you facts when someone attacks your imagination," hoping to get by with a check to a tax-deductable charity organization.

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