Original Research - Special Collection: Eben Scheffler Festschrift

Matthean Jesus and forgiveness in light of national healing, peace and reconciliation in Zimbabwe, 2008–2017

Sheila W. Chamburuka, Ernest van Eck
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 3 | a5237 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i3.5237 | © 2019 Ernest van Eck, Sheila Wimbei Chamburuka | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 August 2018 | Published: 25 July 2019

About the author(s)

Sheila W. Chamburuka, Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Ernest van Eck, Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

The history of Zimbabwe is characterised by a series of challenges, which, at different turning points, manifested themselves through violent conflicts, since its independence in 1980. Faced with the challenges associated with violence, socio-political, economic and religious conflicts, civil unrest and polarisation of the Zimbabwean society from 2008 to 2017, this article discusses the relevance and applicability of Jesus’ ethics with special focus on the Matthean Jesus and forgiveness in a bid to bring national healing, peace and reconciliation. The article stresses that the application of Matthean Jesus’ ethics is vital for the Zimbabwean society because it paves way for peace, healing and reconciliation. Among other factors, the Matthean Jesus’ ethics call for victims of political violence to unconditionally extend forgiveness to their offenders as demonstrated by the Matthean Jesus who forgave mankind’s sins through his sacrificial death on the cross. Over and above that, there should be an honest implementation of justice and truth telling by the Zimbabwean government through willingness and commitment to institute the rule of law and cab all forms of lawlessness. Moreover, it is imperative that there should be a formation of an independent truth, justice and reconciliation commission to deal with truth telling, acknowledgement of past wrongs, and restorative and transitional justice issues in Zimbabwe.

Keywords

Zimbabwe; Reconciliation; Forgiveness; Healing; Peace; Matthean Jesus; Ethics

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