Archive for April, 2012

A Korea movie, “Secret sunshine,” (Directed by Chang-Dong Lee, who was the Minister of Culture in Korea, this movie won the best actress award in Cannes Film Festival 2007),
shows us a relationship between the responsibility for others and absolute faith to God. After her husband’s death, Sine goes to his hometown to live there with her son. She opens a piano institution. One day, her son is kidnapped and dies. One of the neighbors delivers God’s good news to her, so that she attends Sunday worship service, believes in God, and becomes a Christian. As time goes by, she wants to forgive the killer, so she goes to the prison to forgive him. She delivers God’s good news to him, but she finds that he also believes in God there. He says, “I am very happy to believe in God, because God already forgave me. So I pray every morning and evening. I also pray for you and will pray for you in my life.” In this case, most Christians usually must be happy and praise God because they also believe in God who changes the killer. However, she is shocked because God already forgave him before she did. She cannot understand it. She asks how God could forgive him without her permission or forgiveness, because it was her son who died.
However, is her response also proper? We must also ask with regard to the dead son: “Who really died?” It was the son, not the mother, who died. If so, is it appropriate for the mother to forgive before the dead son forgives the killer? Does she really have authority to forgive the murderer? Who has that authority? The son really has the authority to forgive the murderer, but he died. In this case who can have authority? Does God alone not have that authority? Since Jesus dies all human beings’ death including her son’s death itself, God can have the authority of forgiveness. To that extent, then, is the dead son only her son? Is he not also God’s son? If the son is also God’s child and she does not have the real right to forgive the killer, then is God’s forgiveness not possible?


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“If you are the Son of God…”

1) Satan: Jesus, “If you are the Son of God… throw yourself down…. [Angels] will lift you up.” (Matthew 4)
2) People: Jesus, “save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God.” (Matthew 27)

Jesus must be the Son of God. Then, why? Why did Jesus not show his power? People think that if God wants Jesus, God will rescue him. (Matthew 27:43). But, why not? Does this mean that God does not want? We need to think about God’s power in a different way: “the self-limiting God.” Christ crucified on the cross shows us this self-limiting God who might be not only “a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 1:23) but also unacceptable petty weakness to even many Christians. However, this message of the cross in the self-limiting God is not foolishness but “the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

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1) When Jesus talked about his suffering, death, and resurrection, Peter showed his strong will “Never”: “This shall never happen to you.” (Matthew 16)
2) After serving the last supper, Jesus told a kind of his disciples’ betrayal. But Peter showed his strong will, “Never.” (Matthew 26)

We see Peter’s two “Never.” The first “Never” became “a stumbling block” to Jesus. Peter’s will interrupted Jesus’ will, not thinking the things of God.

The second “Never” lost its confidence, when he disowned Jesus three times. Exactly speaking, when he disowned Jesus first time, “Never” already disappeared. The other two times were just justification of his negation.

The true faith should never be expressed by “Never,” without denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and following Jesus in our life.

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A woman and Judas

1) When Jesus was with Simon the Leper, a woman came to Jesus and poured on him very expensive perfume.
2) “Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.”

We can meet two characters, a woman and Judas, from Matthew 26. Whereas the woman gave Jesus her own most valuable thing, Judas tried to hand Jesus over to the chief priests. A life that can voluntarily give everything to others is better than a life that stealthily tries to find out the weakness and faults of people. An anonymous woman is in any sense more august than one of Jesus’ disciples we know his name. While the one is positive and future-oriented, the other is negative and past-oriented.

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