The Secret Message of Jesus
"An American-born pastor was being
interviewed on British television. ... 'Jesus talked about peace and
reconciliation, turning the other cheek, walking the second mile,
that sort of thing. How do you reconcile that with your war?' The
pastor hesitated a moment and then replied, "Well, the
teachings of Jesus are personal. They have nothing to do with
politics and foreign policy." When I heard this story, a chill
crept up my neck as I remembered saying similar things myself many
years ago. ... I've become convinced that although Jesus' message was
personal, it was not private. I've been convinced that it has
everything to do with public matters in general and politics in
particular - including economics and aid, personal empowerment and
choice, foreign policy and war.
"The fact is, Jesus called his message good
news, itself a public term that evoked the political
announcements of the Roman emperors. ... I've become convinced that
if the good news of Jesus were carried in a newspaper today,
it wouldn't be hidden in the religion section (although it would no
doubt cause a ruckus there). It would be a major story in every
"In my religious upbringing I was not taught
the public and political dimensions of Jesus' message - only the
personal, private dimensions. Yes, Jesus loved me and wanted me to
be good to my little brother and obedient to my parents. But Jesus'
idea that God loves my nation's enemies, and so our foreign policies
would reflect that love - that idea never crossed my mind. At some
point, though, I began to get a hint that I was missing something.
At that same moment, I think I began to catch a faint scent of the
secret message of Jesus.
The Secret Message of Jesus,
Brian D. McLaren, Thomas Nelson, 2006, p. 9-11.