The methods Jesus used in resolving conflicts and those taught in the Old Testament seem to be at variance. The Jewish traditions defined the resolution of conflicts in terms of equal reciprocity, i. e. an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. It clearly frowned on escalating the conflict with more severe measures than was originally meted out.
Before writing this message I took a tour through the Old Testament to see if there was any form of encouragement or command requiring a person to forgive his offender. Although there were abundant references of God’s forgiveness of man, the only time forgiveness was specifically mentioned between persons was when Jacob pleaded with Joseph that he forgive his brothers. There are illustrations of forgiveness such as Esau and his apparent forgiveness of Jacob. I have had to conclude that forgiveness of others is primarily New Testament principle linked totally to and enabled by the redemptive work of the cross. Continue reading “Resolving Conflicts”