Chapter 5 “Criticism and Pathos in Jesus of Nazareth” pp. 81-99
The work of the prophet is not criticism for its own sake but criticism which aims at a goal of breaking down inappropriate authority structures and allowing God’s rule in our community. In the life of Jesus this prophetic work is shown very clearly. By Jesus’ birth as presented in matthew the true king, Jesus, is born in humble circumstances and incurs the wrath of the established kingdom. In Luke’s account he is surrounded by humble people and heralded by angels and prophets. Jesus announces his kingdom which is unlike human kingdoms. It is based on forgiveness. The overturning of the Sabbath calls social order into question. Jesus holds court, or at least meals, with those who are usually shunned. He heals the unclean and casts out demons. He associates with women. he doesn’t resist taxes, though he corrects tax collectors. he considers the temple as a temporary, even expendable fixture. Jesus’ kingdom is built on compassion, particularly shown in his willingness to take the place of sinful men. Rather than a king who takes he is a king who gives. This radically reorients politics to be based on justice and compassion, not power and submission. Jesus introduces a new order.