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Jesus and the Reign of God: A Challenge to church and society. Liverpool, Jan 15 th, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Jesus and the Reign of God: A Challenge to church and society. Liverpool, Jan 15 th, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Jesus and the Reign of God: A Challenge to church and society. Liverpool, Jan 15 th, 2012.

2 Palestinian life under the Roman Empire The context of Jesus life and teaching

3 The Roman Empire

4 The Land

5 Galilee

6 Galilean Fishing Industry

7 Economic Effects of Roman Occupation  Taxes: Direct 25% of produce, indirect 5% from customs, tolls and VAT! 5% from customs, tolls and VAT!  Role of Tax-collectors Mk. 2:13; Lk 19: 1-10 Mk. 2:13; Lk 19: 1-10  Plus Temple Taxes, Priest’s Tithe and 2 nd Tithe for Jerusalem. Cf Josephus, Antiquities 17, 8,4; 17, 11, 04. Cf Josephus, Antiquities 17, 8,4; 17, 11, 04.

8 Roman control through Debt and Patronage  Latifundia the creation of large estates with resident Stewards and absentee Landlords cf. Good and Bad Stewards in Lk 12:42; 16:1-9 and greedy landowners Lk 12:  Emergence of new landless day- labourers. Cf. parable of workers in the vinyard Mth 20: 1-15

9 Sepphoris and Tiberius

10 The Jewish Leadership  Herod Antipas in Galilee  The Sanhedrin in Jerusalem  The people are “sheep without shepherds” Jn 10:11-13  Solidarity with the masses is the only true power. Cf the tradition of the Prophets Jer 2;50, 5:17; Is 56:11 – “greedy dogs!”; Ez 34:3; Psalm 53

11 Jesus developing practice  Critique of the Temple – centre of sacrifice and redemption, ideological control, bank and marketplace. A challenge to the temple was a challenge to massive religious and political vested interests.  Parable of the Good Samaritan Lk 10:29-37  The curses on the rich Lk 6;24-26

12 Parables of the Alternative Kingdom  To groups  to provoke,  raise awareness.  the starting point of a process  not the end.  To see the point was to see the world differently

13 The filthy Rich and the dirt Poor Lk 16:19-13

14 Jesus reversal of the Great Tradition  Either something is wrong here or something is wrong in paradise  Abraham who the elite had used as the symbol of their class and who in a certain sense legitimated their rule (Lk 3:7-9) in Jesus story restores true kinship and hospitality to the destitute.(Lk13:28-29)

15 Workers in the Vineyard : Solidarity Lost and Oppression revealed. Mth 20:1-16  experience of the people  a renewed perspective, “the kingdom of God”,  subjects of their own history  to provoke collective reflection, discussion and debate,  starting from the conflicted reality we find ourselves in.  

16 The Whistleblower and the Talents Math 25/Lk 19

17 The Unjust Judge and the Widow

18 Characteristics of the Reign of Abba  Jesus God is  Free from convention  Free for sharing – shared table  Free for the new, for potential  God’s Kingdom is:  Shared joy  Inclusive table fellowship  Shalom of creation  Limitless giving  Generosity expressed in Lk 15 open banquet& lost sheep; Mth 20 the unemployed workers who all get paid

19 Logic of the kingdom  A movement of communion starting from the poor. Lk 6: 38 “give and there will be gifts for you, a full measure, pressed into your lap; because the amount you measure out, is the amount you will be given back.”  A particular exercise of authority: enabling power at the service of the masses. A basic equality based on justice and compassion

20 The Big Society  It is always a risk when the community of the kingdom of God finds common cause with a political great plan.  When you sup with the devil you need a long spoon!  When you sup with the devil you need a long spoon!

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