Monday, January 12, 2015

Jesus' Plain Talk and Our Willing-Yes!

I'm preparing a series entitled Plain Talk, based on Jesus' Sermon on the Plain in Luke 6. In this sermon, Jesus plainly says, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."

In research for the series I came across the following video that shows a Christian man loving his enemy. Gary Ridgeway, known as the Green River Killer, confessed to murdering at least 48 women near the Green River in the Pacific northwest.

At his sentencing on December 18, 2003, various family members of the murdered women spoke with trembling, angry voices as victims' relatives "damned him and mocked him." But then the emotionless Gary Ridgeway broke down when an old man, the father of one of those murdered by Ridgeway, walked to the front of the room and actually did what Jesus said. Watch this short video.
How would the world and our lives be different if we always did what Jesus plainly said?


Bob Cleveland said...

Mr. Rule would appear to have laid hold of both eternal, and abundant, life.

Aussie John said...


Thank you for this article!

Bob is so right! He reveals the truth that he is dead to sin and alive to Christ!

We love to quote Paul in Ephesians 2:8-9, but ignore what he wrote leading up to that passage.

Paul was either spouting pie in the sky, or a present reality!

Shari England said...

Oh my! Put a lump in my throat. I've been meditating, or I like to say "marinating" on and in Matt. 22:39 (or Luke 10:27) this past week--The Great Commandment. It got me one morning as Jesus described the second commandment as being "like the first". But when we truly love God with our whole heart, mind, body and strength, loving others should come naturally, for love is from God. We should not need to even have a "second commandment", for it dwells within the first.

Christiane said...

A very moving post, WADE. Thank you so much for showing that video of Mr. Rule.

It reminds me of the way the Amish at Nickel Mines embraced the wife and family of the murderer of their children. They came to the man's funeral and stood by his wife and children. They took food to the family and sat with them.

The music in your video is a theme played in the film 'The Hiding Place' and I recall the words of Corrie ten Boom, this:
"And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more
than on our goodness that the
world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”

Pege' said...

Wade, One of my children in love said to me today..." Mom you taught me a lot about doctrine and Bible knowledge...but I find that I did not learn to love people as Jesus would have me. I got prideful because I knew a lot but I did not love". It was hard to hear, but the truth. I could not teach what I did not know myself. Thanks for the reminder.

Victorious said...

I've watched the movie about Gary Ridgeway a number of times. I rarely watch a movie more than once, but I found it so hard to believe someone was so cold, disengaged, and calculating as this man was. I so admired the investigator who showed much compassion for the families of the victims and stayed with the case for about 20 yrs. for their sake.

I believe that forgiveness is a decision rather than a feeling. We so often think we need to feel forgiving, but I know from experience that the feeling will most often follow the decision. The anger hopefully will dissipate with time following the decision to forgive as instructed by Jesus. Forgiveness, after all, benefits our physical, mental, and spiritual health.

I also think we need to remember (in my opinion) that forgiveness does not preclude punishment for the crime.

It's possible Gary Ridgeway repented. :)

Victorious said...

I want to add that sometimes the individual we need to forgive has passed away. That confirms (for me) that while that individual may not experience our forgiveness, we are released from the bondage of hate, anger, self-pity? and unforgiveness.

And sometimes the person we need to forgive may be unaware that they have hurt us. When the Holy Spirit reveals that person, we can forgive them regardless of how much time has passed and even without their knowledge.

Gordon said...

The Holy Spirit convicts and convinces us of our sin, and then leads us to accept by faith the promise of His forgiveness(John 16:8). I find we then become more forgiving toward those who have sinned against us; we are less inclined to demand our pound of flesh in requital.

Forgiveness is a gracious manifestation of God's mercy towards us. It is an attribute of God himself, and Jesus commends those who would act in a similar manner.

Portia reminds us in the M of V Act 4:1, that such mercy is twice blessed; it blesses him that gives and him who takes. On the other hand, should JUSTICE be our plea and demand, none of us will see salvation in the Day of Judgement .

Lord, be merciful to me a sinner, and make me to be like Jesus!

Wade Burleson said...


What a powerful, transparent, authentic, helpful comment. Wow! Only a Spirit-filled person could write something like you did. Thanks, Lord, for what you are doing in Peggy.

All - wonderful comments! Thanks for sharing!

Christiane said...

Gordon, I was very moved by your comment. It makes sense to me because it parallels what Our Lord did when He came to the scene of the stoning of the fallen woman, and bent down to write in the sand . . . when the men read what He wrote, they put down their stones and walked away
. . . Our Lord is very good at holding up a mirror . . . He helps us see that within ourselves which is in need of His healing . . . and then He helps us put down our stones

Wade Burleson said...

Gordon, I agree with Christiane! Well said!

Curious Thinker said...

Although I didn't watch the video it sounds like a moving story. I think it takes real courage and strength to forgive someone who did what this man had done especially to a family member. I don't condemn those who are angry towards this man, as such brutal actions will take time for anyoneto get over and forgive. Forgiveness is nota simple task, it can take a long time to really forgive someone even years.