Sunday, May 21, 2006

Politics of Jesus 4: Tell Me You Did Not Just Say That

In light of the paradigm of divine deliverance established in Israel's story and expected in the time of Jesus, Yoder makes the case that his kingdom-proclamation "was unacceptable to most of his hearers not because they thought it could not happen but because they feared it might, and that it would bring down judgment on them (85)."

Those words are thought-provoking, and I'm inclined to wonder, 'if we listened to Jesus' words for a prolonged period of time, would we have a similar reaction?' In Israel's case, they held a cherished status as God's special people, and it seems like that functioned as a 'do as we please' card, condoning an overturning of the Romans 'by whatever means necessary.'

While churches in America are in a very different situation, in many ways closer to the Romans than the Israelites, I could see a similar reaction, both in the call to an allegiance which overrides others which we hold dear, and in the status reversal that Jesus consistently preaches. In many ways, white male Americans, of which I am one, are at the top of the food chain, and the thought of leveling that out or reversing it altogether is pretty unnerving, if not downright irritating, particularly in light of the Cold War rhetoric we against anything that reeks of communism.

That's the sort of message that gets somebody killed.

No comments: