Presentation on theme: "Jesus and the Reign of God: A Challenge to church and society. Liverpool, Jan 15 th, 2012."— Presentation transcript:
Jesus and the Reign of God: A Challenge to church and society. Liverpool, Jan 15 th, 2012.
Palestinian life under the Roman Empire The context of Jesus life and teaching
The Roman Empire
Galilean Fishing Industry
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.
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
Sepphoris and Tiberius
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
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
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
The filthy Rich and the dirt Poor Lk 16:19-13
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)
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.
The Whistleblower and the Talents Math 25/Lk 19
The Unjust Judge and the Widow
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
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
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!