Something unique happens in the Matthew reading: Jesus tells us that kindness to other people is the way of life. We cannot hurt others without suffering the consequences. Is this Biblical? That is, can we find it in the Old Testament?
I’m glad you asked. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws. NIV
How do we love God? By obeying him. What does he ask us to do?
Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
You shall not murder.
And you shall not commit adultery.
And you shall not steal. And you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s. Deut. 5:16-21 ESV
Jesus said, “Love the other person so much that, not only do you not kill him, you do not even say anything bad about him.” Be sure you understand; Jesus criticized the Pharisees, but only by pointing out where they were wrong.
As a follower of the Messiah, I expect to criticize any President who attacks people unjustly, including President Trump for making fun of individual reporters, lumping thousands of Mexican-Americans into the murder-rapist category, and calling for a ban on immigration based on religion.
I believe, in this context, that many American Christians have forgotten the message of Jesus. He did not come to be a political leader. Jesus ignored governments. He did not even bother to criticize the priests of the Temple for their corruption.
Jesus was and is all about personal relationships. Love God by loving your brothers and sisters. Heal the sick, visit those in prison, feed the hungry, care for those who cannot take care of themselves. Those are things the government should do as well, but that does not absolve us of our duty to obey God’s commands to Love.
Be righteous and do good.