What was Jesus' Main Ethical Ground?
According to my perspective, Jesus' ethical ground was that of interdependence, whereby, individuals are no longer expected to talk or consider their “self”, in individual perspectives but by considering themselves as “members of one another”. Consequently, each members should share each other’s sorrows and joys. This aspect was articulated by Jesus during the sermon on the mountain when he said that “Individuals should love their enemies and overcome evil with good”. In this respect, individuals are expected to return love for hate and strive to be good for their enemies. This principle was demonstrated by Jesus when he denied his self and died to save the life of other human beings. Jesus also reiterated this principle in his response to a young man who had inquired from him on what he needs to do in order to inherit the kingdom of God. In his response, Jesus told him “If you want to be perfect, sell all you have, give it to the poor and come follow me”.
Dr. Martin Luther King lived up to Jesus ethic of showing love on others by advocating for an end to segregation. King led a very vocal movement in many parts of the country and which received support from various quarters including the whites themselves. However, King’s movements were so unique in the sense that it was based on the principle of non-violence. The non-violence actions of King’s churches were quite successful in challenging the life and behavior of the whites in America. This is especially where discrimination was rife. The adherence of the principle of non-violence by King to his opponents was also unique in the sense that he had witnessed and experienced the violence and injustices perpetuated against his black counterparts. Other men could use the same strategy in dealing with such vices. In fact, we are informed that like other Africans, “King had gone through the restrictions that kept him out of white schools, public parks, swimming pools, restaurants, theatres and so on”. However, King chose to follow Jesus principle of “doing good to those who persecute you”.