Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Judas kiss

Sarah, the Caffeinated Priest, has a wonderful observation at her blog (emphasis mine):
in doing my homework for palm sunday and good friday, i discovered something that's turning over and over in my head. we're in the garden and judas arrives and kisses jesus. the guard pulls his sword and jesus tells him to put his sword away. then he asks "have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though i were a bandit?" the word bandit, or sometimes translated, robber, in its greek origins is actually "terrorist."

it is, when we are honest, impossible to look at the story of jesus of nazareth and not see the political life at work. he was a revolutionary, a problem for the government. had this been going on today, bush would be after him, calling him a terrorist, the very man he claims as savior. i think we must remember that all the great movements share a justice component and a spiritual one as well. martin luther king jr. led the civil rights movement that way. we could make lists for days.

what makes the biblical story different, what makes jesus different, is that the victory comes not from strength, not from taking armies into countries with guns, but by saying "put away your sword." the victory comes in the form of what the world sees as weakness.

What a great, provocative observation! Of course, whose tables would Jesus be overturning in the temple if he were in America today?

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