No, what surprises me this time around is how the sayings of Jesus are coming alive. I've heard this from many, many people who have struggled with these decisions. Some have chosen to stand on what the Bible says and in doing so have alienated family members. Others have become fodder for gossip because they are unwilling to compromise their integrity. Still others have proven that they are devious enough to operate in the darkness for political ends (though I don't know if they see themselves in the sayings of Jesus on this count!).
Jesus talks about all these things and much more. He gave his followers advice on how to live as lights in a dark world. His words are not all "be nice to everyone" -- rather, the words of Jesus have a sharp, authentic edge because they are directed to people living in conflict with the culture that surrounds them. These sayings of Jesus are found throughout the gospels. Most recently I've been reading Luke, and here are just a few from Luke's gospel that have caught my eye with new meaning in the last few weeks. Take a look at these passages, for example: