Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jesus vs. Jupiter

While writers of the New Testament call Jesus the Son of God, Jesus certainly was no Son of Jupiter. Jesus did not set up a coercive political or religious organization with himself at the top. Instead, he remained both politically and religiously marginal. Even when a well-fed crowd wanted to crown him king, he ran away (John 6:15).

Jesus did not take the political divisions of his day very seriously. Amongst his closest associates he included Matthew: a tax collector collaborating with the occupying ruler. At the same time, he also included Simon: a zealot pressing for armed rebellion against that same occupying ruler (Luke 6:14-16).

When he was asked a politically-charged question about whether to pay taxes, Jesus neutralized it. He told us not to confuse Jupiter with Abba or the god who takes with the god who gives always (Mark 12:13-17).

Jesus didn’t even take the political rulers of his day seriously. When arrested on false charges, he refused to grant legitimacy to either the ruling religious council or the local Roman leader. When these local political rulers then condemned Jesus to death, Jesus chose not to combat them with the legions of angels at his command. Instead, he chose to die in their place and on their behalf—and not only theirs, but on behalf of everyone, everywhere, always.

Our world always pressures us, through bribes, threats, and deception, to devote ourselves to Jupiter the god of politics. But there is another different god. This is the one very odd god who freely in love devotes himself to us. Our privilege each day is to say thanks!

Copyright © 2014 by Steven Farsaci. All rights reserved.