We live in a world where there is no shortage of “hatred.” It’s clear to see that from real life to social media life hatred has made its way into every arena that exists on planet earth. Webster’s Dictionary defines hatred as an “extreme dislike or disgust.”
You know, it’s amazing how much hatred one can have of another person simply because of the differences that person may have. It’s a well known fact that people don’t agree on many issues. For example, people don’t agree on which teams to root for, which political platforms to support, individual life choices, but what is increasingly disturbing is the level of hatred that people have for those who disagree with them. In a recent article I read the author stated that this last Presidential election may have been the nastiest in history. The author stated that what separates this election from others is the level of hatred that both sides have for each other, and he wasn’t speaking about the candidates, but rather the people who support their candidates.
We are now living in a toxic “us against them” culture. If you are with us, we like you, but if you’re not then we not only hate you, but we want to silence or harm you in life. From politics to sports, from race to economics, from culture to concepts there is an increasingly number of people who are not just filled, but rather consumed by hatred for other people! After all, it’s more natural to hate but it’s supernatural to love. Dr. Martin Luther King said it best when he said, “I have decided to stick with love because hate is a burden too heavy to bear.”
Now as bad as the hatred that we see in our culture, the hatred and racism we’ve read about in the 60’s and 70’s, or the racial tension of today pale in comparison to that hatred that existed between the Jews and the Samaritans that we read about in Luke 9:51-56. On the way to Jerusalem and to the cross Jesus was going to go through Samaria. Whenever a popular rabbi was coming to town, he would send some of his followers into town to get things ready, you know make reservations, speaking engagements, dinner plans and the such which Jesus did. However, when the people heard He was going to go to Jerusalem, they would not welcome Him.
Now why is that? Well, there was a history that existed between the Samaritans and the Jews. The Samaritans were a mixed race, part Jew and part Gentile, that grew out of the Assyrian captivity. They had disobeyed God and had intermarried with the Gentiles, so thus they were despised as being worse than a gentile. So intense was the Jewish dislike of the Samaritans that some of the Pharisees actually prayed that no Samaritan would be raised in the resurrection! That’s why the story of the Good Samaritan was so shocking, because the Samaritans were so hated. Sound familiar? Since the Samaritans were not welcomed at the temple in Jerusalem, they had to establish their own temple and rituals. The Jews felt superior and looked down upon the Samaritans so in return the Samaritans reciprocated those feelings of racism of the Jews so that the hatred was mutual. So when Jesus being a Jew was heading toward Jerusalem to worship the Samaritans would not welcome Him.
There was a story a few years ago about a Kansas football player who got upset when he went through the drive-thru of the local Taco Bell and then realized that the Taco Bell employee had left out his chalupa. Now many of us may respond with a complaint, but this young man was so enraged that he took his 6’3 270lbs frame and tried to climb through the 14- by 46-inch drive-through window and got stuck. The frightened manager and employees locked themselves in an office and called the police. The police pulled up to the drive-through and laughed hysterically as they discovered the legs and back end of the football player kicking in midair.
Proverbs 14:17 says, “A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated.” Hatred is not only heavy, but it is totally ignorant. I believe more than ever in our nation that we need a revival of kindness!
This Sunday at South Side we will unpack the subject of “The Heaviness of Hatred.” On-site worship begins at 10:15, and our Children’s Ministry offers children’s classes for all ages. We are continuing to practice social distancing at our services. If you are unable to attend our online services will be available at 3 on Facebook and our website. If you would like to give generously text: 84321 then the word “help” and follow the simple instructions. We would love to have your family worship with us! For more information visit us on our website at: www.southsidewch.com or on Facebook.
South Side Church of Christ