This morning Jesus raises the bar, calling us to more, fine-tuning the Law to fever pitch. There is to be no name-calling; we’re not allowed to call anyone a blockhead (that’s what raqa means after all). That kind of language, any hurtful words, are out of the question in the Kingdom. Jesus the Word reminds us, that tiny as they are, words can be deadly, even murderous. We know it, we’ve all felt it. And so Jesus invites us to love, as God loves.
But as Jesus calibrates and ups the ante on discipleship, we may wonder, “Who can measure up?” We are trapped, wonderfully trapped; it is impossible for us, but not for God. We will have to lose our footing and fall backwards into his mercy. Christ Jesus mercies us into loving, as we have been loved.