If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I’ve recently gotten into The Walking Dead, which means I’m binge watching the first six seasons right now. As of the writing of this post, I’ve just begun season 4. But as I binged my way through season 3 on Friday and Saturday, one episode really struck me—Suicide King. In the previous episode, The Governor tosses Merel and Daryl into the fighting ring. Through fear mongering he motivates the townsfolk to scream out that the two should be killed—especially Daryl.
When Suicide King opens, Merel has a choice to make. And I believe he chooses correctly, beginning his character arc descent. But what struck me more than Merel saving his brother over his own neck, was how easily controlled and led to hatred the townspeople were.
My question is: Have those that are screaming “kill him” committed atrocities just as bad as they are accusing Daryl of? Even if the atrocity is deliberate ignorance?
This scene distinctly reminds me of one from the Bible,
Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman,“Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” ~ John 8:1-11 NLT
In this example, the Governor is the “rule monger” that uses fear to stir the people to acts of hatred. But Jesus approaches sins a different way. He calls us to love, grace, mercy, and repentance. He calls us not to judge, but to serve and help and love as we want to be loved.
All this to say, we must be aware of what we allow to stir our hearts to action—love or fear (which leads to hatred). And whom we allow to stir our hearts. For me and my household, we’ve chosen Jesus as our leader.