Tag Archives: Matthew 5:43-45

Dangerous Love

Stephen Cottrell reminds us that the second place where scorpions are mentioned in the gospels is in  Luke 10:17-19

The Return of the Seventy-Two

17 When the seventy-two followers returned, they were excited and said, “Lord, even the demons obeyed when we spoke in your name!”

18 Jesus told them:

I saw Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19 I have given you the power to trample on snakes and scorpions and to defeat the power of your enemy Satan. Nothing can harm you.

Ah, so I wasn’t so wrong in my first assessment of the picture!

Jesus does not subdue the scorpion, but loves it.  For Jesus that means he has accepted God’s will, he can hold the thing that might kill him.  Cottrell suggests that the scorpion and the daisies are the two sides of one coin.  The ability to love one must include that ability to love the other (p60).  Powerful stuff!


43 You have heard people say, “Love your neighbors and hate your enemies.” 44 But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you. 45 Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong.

Am I more picky in who and what I choose to love?  Do I only want the nice parts of life, without accepting the harder parts?  Am I selective with my love?  Loving only the easy to love, and not the dangerous?

By Wingchi Poon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

These thoughts are reflecting on Spencer’s painting The Scorpion (seen here at the bottom of the second page).

This year for Lent, I am reading Christ in the Wilderness by Bishop Stephen Cottrell, published by SPCK, reflecting on Stanley Spencer’s paintings of that title.

I’m not necessarily going to blog every day on it, just when something leaps out at me – and they will be thoughts rather than full blog posts