Sunday, October 08, 2006

What Jesus Wasn’t, What Jesus Was

One of my favorite conclusions to a book about the historical Jesus:
"Jesus was not a capitalist intoning the values of individualism and free enterprise, nor was he a socialist calling for a bureaucratic state. He was not a militarist who believed the sword can make the world safe for his values, nor was he a pacifist who thought conflict must be avoided at all costs. He was not a champion of women's rights, nor did he promote male power and prerogative as the bastion of civilized values. He was not a racist, hating Gentiles as foreigners, nor was he a world citizen who knew all people to be the same underneath a veneer of cultural difference. He was not a secularist who tried to establish separation of religion and politics, nor was he a fundamentalist who wished to impose a narrow, doctrinaire tradition upon all members of society. He did not intend to be the savior of the world; he intended to be a good Jew, faithfully following the path of conscience inspired by tradition and by the fresh presence of God. Above all else, he was a prophet, in word and deed. Like true prophets of the past, he fearlessly proclaimed God's will as he saw it, letting offense or approval be the result of his message." (R. David Kaylor, Jesus the Prophet: His Vision of the Kingdom on Earth, p 211)


Blogger Rainsborough said...

"He was not a racist, hating Gentiles as foreigners..."

Cannot Mt. 15:21f. be read to suggest that Jesus was, if not a racist, at any rate not favorably disposed toward gentiles? By the criterion of embarrassment (contravention of the gentile mission), it would seem to be an authentic saying.

Blogger Loren Rosson III said...

Or perhaps that he simply had little interest in Gentiles.


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