PART ONE: The Snake
Jesus was political. There is no way around this statement other than to look at the historical facts. And it’s here, during Holy Week that his politics become the threat to a corrupt system that abandoned God’s will and righteousness for its own. His politics were a social politic; what we might call bleeding heart liberal. We might say Jesus upheld not so much the “letter of the laws” but the “spirit of the law.” It must come from the heart of God’s love for all people first and foremost.
We like to believe that we are one such people, and have even gone out on a limb to declare that we are such a nation too. Our countries forefathers made the treacherous journey to begin anew a civilization grounded in biblical law and religious freedom. Many people continue to come to our shores today seeking the same. But as history would demonstrate, there needs to be a balance between “the letter” and “the spirit” of the law. They must work together...for the good of all.
This was the politics of Jesus; do what needs to be done to keep the civic thriving but do so without neglecting or favoring any one group or individual over another. His politics were radical and threatened those in charge, especially Caesar and all who worked for the Roman Emperor. Today, Caesar is alive and well, and Jesus continues to be a threat to him and his politics.
From this point onward I speak my opinion only and seek to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide the observations and interpretations expressed next. I do so because I believe we have a new Caesar in our midst - a man who believes he is the savior of the world and the gospel (good news) comes through him.
PRAYER: Lord God, right now all I need from you is the strength and courage to be less like me and more like you today, so I can see you in your glory tomorrow. Amen.
***Such was the political climate in 1st Century Palestine where the Jewish people built a wall around Jerusalem. The wall, as history tells us, did nothing to protect the people but most likely caused more harm than good. For one, it kept the Jews inside. Around AD 70 Caesar sent his Army to destroy Israel once and for all. The wall was a great barrier that made this hard to do. However, inside the city a civil war of sorts broke out and the Jews were killing each other. There was no way for the innocent to escape because of the wall. It was a catch-22 that led to the final downfall of God’s chosen people. And those political factions, especially the Sadducees, were never heard of again. This was exactly as Jesus had predicted before they killed him. ***