Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bonhoffer, 1937. Chapter 9, “The Brother”

Chapter 9, “The Brother”

Now Bonhoeffer comments on Matthew 5:21-26, Jesus’ words about hatred, anger, and murder. Once again he states (Loc. 1786) that Jesus’ disciples can fulfill the law because they trust it as Christ’s word. The law Jesus restates here is about murder. Bonhoeffer rightly says that Jesus expands the definition of our “brother” to include all those with whom we have contact. He views anger as an attack, regardless of the provocation (Loc. 1802). This hinders our worship, says Bonhoeffer, because it prevents us from seeking God rightly. At least at this point, Bonhoeffer speaks as though worship is our performance for God, not God’s act of giving us grace. The only way we can worship God is by being reconciled with our brother. It is this serving of our brother (Loc. 1838) that denies ourself, takes up the cross, and allows us to “find the fulfillment of the law.”

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