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April 02, 2007


Bill Van Workum

I found your summary of the book "The Last Week" to be very interesting. While I have not read the book, it does seem a lttle strange to me that the authors felt as though Jesus stressed both a personal as well as a political transformation. I would fully agree with the personal transformation aspect. However, I question the political transformation part of it. The basic issue with the Jews at the time was that they were looking for a political king to come and help defend themselves against aggessive nations and kings. However, Jesus' actions and words showed that he was not their political "savior." The fact that Jesus was not a their politicial savior was also one of the reasons that the Jews chose Barabbas to be set free by Pilate.

Wayne Goulet

Thanks for your comment Bill. I appreciate your time in responding. You are right that Jesus was not asking for political transformation in the sense that his fellow Jews had hoped. His sense of political transformation was a non-violent stand against oppression of the poor, the hungry, the disabled. His message against the dominant powers was that they were not God and the world was not theirs. He was trying to teach a way to realize the kindgom of God in an active, not passive way such as Martin Luther King and Ghandi attempted. It's not about overthrowing, but transforming the dominant powers. Borg and Crossan would also question that Jesus fellow Jews would have asked for Barabbas had they not been stirred up to do so by the temple authorities who, far from being disappointed in Jesus' ability to bring political revolution (they had a nice thing going with Rome) were jealous of Jesus and felt threatened by him.

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