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The Politics of Jesus 1: Introduction

The Politics of Jesus 1: Introduction

Traditional kingship (with absolute power, hoards of wealth, and power over the weak) has nothing to do with Jesus; it’s something Jesus rejected.   Traditional kings demand allegiance and servitude, but Jesus offers liberation—from suffering, sickness and death, exclusion, persecution, and sin. Jesus is a “king” who serves the “least of these” and who finally receives torture and execution to bring freedom to others. As we see in the Gospels, Christ’s kingship is inconsistent with traditional structures of power. And for…

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American Jesus

American Jesus

Matthew 5:38-45 American Exceptional Version 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, do not merely resist an evildoer. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek (or is even thinking about striking you on the right cheek), strike them down. Strike down their families. Strike down their villages. Strike down their nation, so that even their descendants live in fear. 40 If…

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Jesus Hates Islamophobia

Jesus Hates Islamophobia

Every time a Muslim refugee or Muslim citizen commit a violent crime in this country, it gets fed through the right wing media machine. Then hundreds of people, most of them professing Christians, leave hateful comments filled with revenge fantasies and violent rhetoric. Read the comments section of any major media article that even mentions Islam and you’ll see what I mean. I have three things to say about this phenomenon. 1) This is called confirmation bias. One tends to find what…

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Jesus Broke the Law

Jesus Broke the Law

Often, when talking to someone about the radical implications of the way of Jesus, my conversation partner will say something to the effect of “Jesus said ‘Love thy neighbor’ but he also was very careful not to break the law.” In other words: “Yes, I’d love to show hospitality to an undocumented person, but they are here illegally” or “Yes, I’d love to protest at the bank the same way Jesus cleansed the temple, but it is against the law.”…

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May the Heavens be Torn

May the Heavens be Torn

The Baptism of Jesus is a serious deal to the Gospel writers. And for Mark it is one of three events where a voice speaks from heaven declaring Jesus to be the beloved Son with whom God is well pleased. Mark loads it with meaning, putting upon Elijah imagery evocative of Malachi, Isaiah, and Elijah. The baptism in the Jordan is reminiscent of the crossing of the Red Sea by Moses and the entering of the Promised Land by Joshua….

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