CL: How do you think Jesus would respond to…
a woman accusing him of something he didn’t do?
Fusco: We live in a day and age where when an accusation is made, it’s either absolutely believed by some people, or the attack against the accuser is so vicious that you almost victimize somebody again if they were victimized in the first place…I don’t think Jesus would have a problem with saying “these allegations are not true about me” [when faced with false allegations], but meeting injustice with further injustice is the farthest thing from the way of Jesus as we see it in the Bible.
someone who has abused others?
Fusco: Jesus died in their place. That’s the glory and the challenge of the Gospel. That every single human being needs forgiveness…When someone is the purveyor of sexual abuse, exploiting power, there is a level of severity to that that is higher than if someone just has an impure thought that they don’t act on….I don’t want to morally equate these things. But Jesus died in their place, understanding that what they did was sin, it’s morally reprehensible, it creates spiritual dynamics that are insurmountable, so he died in their place. But he also asks each one of us to repent of those things.
No one can judge another person’s heart, but when I see these cases of people coming out saying “I have done that,” that is the first step toward forgiveness: Confession. It doesn’t change the impact these things have in the real world—people lose their jobs, reputations, people have been hurt—but when we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That’s the challenge of the Gospel in this culture…That doesn’t mean we give them their job back, that doesn’t mean we put people back in situations to abuse people again, but it does mean that Jesus has already shown what he would do by going to the cross in the place of all sinners.
a woman who has been abused and potentially silenced?
Fusco: The woman who was caught in adultery in John chapter 8 is a great example because Jesus was her advocate. Jesus protected her. Jesus spoke out on her behalf. When everybody was against her, Jesus was there for her. Jesus’ advocacy for her was him reminding everybody of who they are. I believe that Jesus, all through the Scriptures, was the great advocate of those who are marginalized. He’s always choosing those who culture would push away…Jesus always sides with the truth because he is the truth. “I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the father except by me.” John 14:6 Jesus always sides with the truth, no matter who’s telling it or how it’s being received. So I think Jesus is the great advocate, the voice for the voiceless.