jesus

Just a short thought on Jesus and “the crowd”. And that is this – Jesus was almost always against the crowd. As Soren Kierkegaard says, “The crowd is untruth.” Kierkegaard goes on to tell us, “The crowd is indeed untruth. Christ was crucified because he would have nothing to do with the crowd.” When the crowd shouted their Hosannas and brought the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday, Jesus wept because he knew their violent ways would eventually lead to their destruction – “As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”” ‭Luke‬ ‭19:37-44‬ ‭ESV‬‬. And of course within the week some in that same crowd would a part of a different crowd, the crowd shouting for the release of the violent revolutionary Barrabas while calling for Christ to be crucified.

christ_on_the_mount_of_olives_by_giovanni
Look at the this scene right after the feeding of the 5000. “So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.” John‬ ‭6:13-15‬ ‭ESV‬‬. This crowd had seen enough, they knew that He was indeed Messiah by the miracle they had just witnessed and experienced. They were ready to take on all comers and make Him their King – by force. But Jesus would have none of this, He had already dealt with this temptation out in the wilderness before He started His ministry. He would be crowned king, but he would not take His crown through violence. He would not take His crown by killing. He would take His crown by being killed.

the-crowd
The crowd feels good. The crowd feels right. The crowd can bring together those who had always been on opposite sides of all the battles if only it can find that scapegoat, the one it can send all of its anger and rage into. Just as the crowd did with Jesus at Golgotha, and Pilate and Herod became friends after being lifelong enemies, because they had come together to put that rage into the great scapegoat, Jesus of Nazareth. “And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.” Luke‬ ‭23:11-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬.

file_passionmovie_crowd
Putting all their anger and rage, all their sins, into Jesus was a cathartic experience for Herod, Pilate, and the crowd. It felt right to them. It brought them together. They thought that in killing Jesus, they were doing God’s work. “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭11:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬. Imagine that…in committing the crime of deicide, the murder of God, they thought themselves doing God’s work.
Because…”The crowd is untruth.”  

angry-crowd

“So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.”

‭‭John‬ ‭6:13-15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/jhn.6.13-15.esv

John Lewis

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17 thoughts on “Jesus and The Crowd

  1. Mark 6:34

    I will grant you that Jesus is not always “for” the crowd (as in on the same page with). I definitely agree that the HOSANNA crowd and the 5000 fed (as in John’s version) had violent agendas that Jesus did not share. The scoffers at the cross demonstrate that either his friendly crowds went into hiding and were switched with an opposition crowd OR (as is likely) the fickle mobs turned on him. Certainly Mark 14:50 has got to be one of the most sad and disappointing passages in the whole Bible.

    However, My boy and I have been studying Mark again recently (writing a 13 week study for youth groups) and it seems to us that Jesus is most friendly with his crowds and not anyone else. In the temple, the officials wont answer his question, though they try to trap him in his statements because the fear the MOB that seems to love Jesus. And Jesus seems to use this to his advantage in that moment. because when he tells the parable of the vineyard and tenants, “They” the officials “Know he speaks the parable against them.” (A sermon preached to pick on a particular segment!).

    Actually, we were really struck with how rude Jesus is. He is a hard guy to be friends with IN MARK. Eventually he picks on his own disciples too. But the Pharisees cant even ask a question without getting his scorn. He is NOT POLITE. He picks fights, scolds, and turns a cold shoulder when asked for a sign. People are afraid of him all over the place. But the crowds… the crowds seem to have his favor. They lay the sick in the marketplace for him to pass by and maybe just maybe they can touch the hem of his garment!

    We notice that the disciples are called disciples except for when he sends 12 out to preach. Then in that scene, and only that scene, they are called Apostles (greek for “one sent”) and referred to as the 12 only once or twice other than that. Most other refs to the disciples do not distinguish them from the crowds. There are more than 12 disciples, but the line between what constitutes the disciples beyond the 12 and the crowds is blurred IF there is one.

    Anyway, I see what you are saying with your post, and I think you have a valid point, but I think it is a point made valid on a passage-by-passage basis and is not valid across the board.

    But perhaps I am mistaken too.

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      1. That’s fine, John, no rush. Just came back from looking at ch 8 again, and noticed that v 34 actually pairs the crowds with the disciples. Still a fuzzy line there, but at least the author seems to have a distinction in his mind.

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    1. Even in John…I think chapter 7, we see Jesus somewhat rudely insulting the crowd coming to gather and follow him, leading his own disciples to wonder, and I’m paraphrasing here, “These sayings are hard!! Just who, then can be saved! Who can be your follower!” I also may be a couple of chapters off.

      Jesus certainly had crowds following him, bringing their sick to be healed, listening to him and following him, to the point that they would seemingly choose hearing him speak over even filling their own bellies. (Both of the miracle feedings, right?).

      But most (not all) of his miracle work and healing was done one on one. Even in the crowd….he could sense the individual sinner touching him, he could feel the power rushing out of himself. Even when he fed the multitudes….as soon as they turned into a crowd, he left their midst. Jesus crowd is really, always, just a little flock. He is the shepherd. We are the sheep. I suppose by crowd I mean angry crowd….because Jesus is never on the side of an angry crowd. He fed the multitudes, preached yo the masses, but doesn’t participate in their crowd mentality. You’re not wrong…but I think we are just defining “crowd” differently. Certainly Jesus was not always against what we would define as a crowd. 5000 men plus women and children would qualify as a crowd in my book. But…Jesus doesn’t tend a crowd just his little flock. Even if his little flock numbers 2 billion. As soon as any part of that crowd begins to adopt a crowd mentality and think they will use their numbers for force….Jesus vanishes from their midst.

      I would have to go re read mark to get the feel God what you are saying, but I do know that marks gospel is nothing if not abrupt. Jesus was certainly not always subtle in his approach…but he also has “sympathy” for the crowd, even after having just heard God news of John’s death, when he’d rather be all alone, he uses the moment to show his mastery of time, matter and space and bring manna from heaven in the form of bread and fish.

      Is the line between all disciples and the 12 blurred only in mark? Or all in all? Aren’t they specifically delineated in Luke and Matthew?

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      1. John,

        Thanx for this response.

        I am no scholar, I cannot speak to Matthew, Luke, and John with nearly the confidence I have in Mark. (And I am still learning from Mark, so I sometimes see new things, change my mind etc even there.) But I have read Mark over and over and over, studied books and commentaries etc. Developed my own theories and so forth on Mark. I am clear the Matt writes for Jews, (but I say Mark does too, and I know that is bucking the scholarly consensus.) I know Luke has extra special attention and care for the poor and the Holy Spirit. I know that John most deeply resonates with Genesis and New Creation. I know a lot of deep tidbits about the others, but Mark is where I live.

        Okay, enough of my resume, that is not why I comment here. I just want to show you that I work hard to come to conclusions based on evidence. That does not make me right, necessarily, but it means I generally have reasons for my comments and speculations and conclusions.

        I think those crowds get a bit blended with the disciples, at least in Mark. However, upon closer reading last night in the second half of the book, I did not get that sense as strongly as I thought before. Nevertheless, the line did seem blurred to me at some points. But then I never really considered the question until I read your post.

        In Mark’s Jesus, I see a revolutionary. He does not unpack a sermon on the mount that tells me to love my enemies in Mark. And in fact, I see Jesus get very sharp with his cutting wit with anyone he opposes – especially Pharisees, Scribes, Sadducees and leading priests. He TENDS to be very gracious with the crowds, his disciples, and the twelve, however over time they all come in for a sharp review or two. However the Pharisees, Scribes, and friends never get a break from Jesus. He is pretty well HOT with them all through.

        These crowds seem to come from EVERYWHERE, and they start coming early on. They seem to come for the healing, really. And the picture in my mind is of at least 5000 following him on a regular basis. But he is this revolutionary type… a quasi- outlaw. I think of Robin Hood, Billy the Kid, maybe even Jesse James only of a more revolutionary kind. These folk heroes take from the rich, give to the poor, run from the laws, and have hideouts in “secluded places” and so forth. When they enter villages, some, if not all, the locals there keep their mouths shut, maybe even hide the outlaw – aiding and abetting! They could get into trouble associating with these revolutionaries.

        Of course there are key differences. Jesus is not taking anything from the rich, nor is he killing anyone. But he is making a bid to be King of the Jews, which is viewed as seditious. He is either really from God or committing treason (And as far as Herod and the Herodians are concerned – either way he is committing treason.) The Pharisees will want to size him up. Most Pharisees are in favor of a Messiah of God, and would probably really LIKE to be so blessed as to endorse the real thing if they can find him. But Messiahs are a dime a dozen and all of them (every last one except ONE) are false. Odds are good that any given Pharisee will not be endorsing these candidates running around committing treason. On the contrary, they are very likely to discredit the false ones. (However, in the last Revolt under bar Kochba Rabbi Akiba did endorse bar Kochba!)

        Anyway, I am not telling all this to get into the Pharisees and friends really, but to draw from the idea of revolutionary more clearly so I can say something about these crowds. The thing that makes Jesus different from Robin Hood and friends is that he does not take from the rich or kill etc… But another thing that makes him very unique is the healings. The proclamations are fairly standard, but the healings are not. And as you can imagine, sick people will flock to a healer! But when that healer has all the earmarks of a revolutionary making a bid to be king, those masses of formerly sick people start to look and feel, both to those on the outside looking in and very likely to those on the inside as well, as an ARMY. (And this fits with Ezekiel 37’s picture of the dead coming to life (bone connecting to bone etc) and finally standing before God as an exceedingly great ARMY).

        I think these crowds begin to take on that view of themselves. However, I think the authorities in Jerusalem don’t see them as a real lethal threat. I think they see them as a serious menace. If the mob riots, they may not be able to take over the temple and the palace, but they would draw the ire of Rome. And then the legions would be dispatched to Jerusalem and the Passover would get shut down! Neither the priests, the Sadducees, the Pharisees, the Scribes – nobody wants that! But Jesus is flirting with exactly that. And he is playing a game of chicken with the ruling classes on just that point.

        By the time Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, the mob is becoming more that kind of menace. Not powerful enough to take over, but definitely powerful enough to draw Rome into the mix and shut down the festivals. And Jesus withstands all the attempts to discredit him IN FRONT OF HIS OWN MOB/ARMY in the temple with questions of taxation, resurrection-marriage, and so forth. He even goes back to preaching at least one parable – the vineyard and the tenants- and this time the outsiders understand it – at least they understand that he is preaching it against them.

        John’s version of the feeding of the 5000 mentions women and children in addition to the men, which tempers this ARMY picture a bit. Mark lists only the men, and pictures Jesus sitting this army on the green grass in companies of 50’s and Platoons of 100’s. However, even John ends that passage saying they intended to make him King by force! (Thus, the crowds of newly healed people are starting to see themselves in militia lenses.)

        So, back to Mark, in the temple, the authorities on at least 2 occasions fear the mob and thus seek to seize Jesus by stealth. And Jesus knows full well that the mob sees themselves as a holy ARMY, that the priests see them as a mob capable of destabilizing the peace at least, and so he uses this feature to his advantage, so I think. He tells a parable AGAINST the priests and leaders! He can get away with it because they fear his friends. He throws tables in the temple because those crowds were shouting HOSANNA and he knew that set this stage for him to play his role on. He publically paraded the powers and principalities and made them bend to his will! Thus everyone was his pawn, including the Pharisees, the Chief Priests, the Sadducees, the mob, Herod, Pilate, and even Rome’s legions. (I think this is what St Paul is talking about in Colossians 2:15 and then even got these witless sinful humans and their idols to crown him KING OF THE JEWS!)

        All that said, I kinda lost your point in the post. Something like we are not supposed to go along with the crowd??? That Jesus was against them?

        I am sure that in some instances that is quite clearly the case, but in others, I am not so sure. Either way the thought needs further unpacking, I think. Perhaps a sense of paradox.

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        1. I might have lost myself in the post. I’m not sure I totally agree or disagree with your point of Jesus using the crowd following him to his advantage. I don’t see him as a Robin Hood type, but his ideas are clearly revolutionary. In Mark 10, we do see Jesus leading many along the road to Jerusalem, and the crowd following him is in awe, nervous with anticipation. They certainly thought they were going to Jerusalem and Jesus would be crowned king of the Jews. And they were right, just no where near the way they were expecting. They expected resistance, they expected conflict, they expected some might even lose their lives. The only one they were convinced would not lose his life was JESUS.

          I think this relates to the point I’m TRYING to make. The crowds come to Jesus, clearly, because of the healing. They spread his fame because of his healing, people are coming far and wide, the legend is growing. Then there is his teaching. He teaches on his own authority. We know that some of the Pharisees and Sanhedrin themselves are convinced (see Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea). We know Jesus made his triumphal entry..but not on Pilates great war horse, not on a donkey, but the foal of a donkey. Certainly not the grand entrance expected of someone expecting to be crowned king. We also know the rest of the story, the prophetic scene in the temple, taking the time to make a rope before driving the sheep and cattle out of the temple – which sealed his fate. Every step taken knowing he was heading to the cross. Knowing he wasn’t going to lead his flock into a physical battle. Knowing he was going to fail . Knowing he was never joining with the crowd in a riot and a violent storming of the city. Weeping over the city because he knew they did not understand, they weren’t accepting his teaching (as we still don’t).and would use their mob mentality ultimately to their own destruction.

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        2. Also read John 8, Jesus told the crowd they wanted to kill him, then proceeded to challenge and provoke them until they indeed tried to kill him. Not Pharisees or Sadducees, but wannabe disciples.

          Not buying you’re not a scholar bro, you are quite the Jesus scholar 🙂

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  2. What’s your problem with the Robin Hood analogy? Specifically.

    I understand it is not a one to one matching example of typology, but I explained that and noted the differences. You just reject it but make no case. I am sure I could research a better example, but you are a smart guy. I think you can see the point well enough. If not, I would like to know why.

    Robin is viewed as an outlaw by the authorities, but a folk hero by the peasants. -Match.
    Robin has a following that recognizes he is at odds with authorities. -Match.
    If Robin entered a peasant village, the village would guard the secret. -Match.

    I understand that other features are not a match, but these would be among those that are… NO?

    I would enhance your comment on the donkey…

    No, not a war horse entrance, but it is a fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy which the peasant hordes obviously see as a big deal. The same crowds who coming of the road toward Jerusalem are fearful (an indication they expect a fight). As I pointed out before, they have Ezekiel 37 telling them they are God’s ARMY of the formerly dead. (You made no response to that.)

    But this is quibbling really.

    What is this argument? What prize do I win?

    I think your point was that Jesus was against this crowd. How do you mean? What “lesson” and I supposed to take from that? Was Jesus against or for his 12? How about Peter? Should I not want to be with the 12 or with Peter?

    This crowd is fickle. Not sure it is the same crowd that one day waves palm branches and a few days later shouts “Crucify Him”, but it may well be. That is fickle!

    The 12 are fickle too! They all swear allegiance, but one betrays him, another denies him 3 times (precious little difference in those two) and they all forsake him and flee when the shepherd is struck. Only the women watching him die from a distance and running to the tomb Sunday morning seem to have the truest position vis-à-vis Jesus, and that is found only in 3 of the gospels and is challenged in those too. But Jesus seems to have used all these groups despite their ficklenesses.

    I don’t believe you really argue against any of this. But somehow you don’t agree with it either?

    I don’t understand. Where’s the rub?

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    1. “”Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32 ESV. Seems to have been spoken to one of the crowds following Jesus in a greater discourse. This is what I mean when Jesus saw his followers as his little flock, not the angry crowd. However Jesus followers saw themselves, however we to this day see ourselves, He sees us as his little flock. He is the shepherd, we are his sheep. He does not see or refer to himself as a general leading forces into battle, but he is aware that his followers probably do. Just as we do to this day.

      Mark chapter 10, you know it well. Jesus and his little flock on the road to Jerusalem for the Passover. Jesus Himself on the way to his own crucifixion. “And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”” Mark‬ ‭10:32-34‬ ‭ESV‬‬. They were amazed, and some were afraid. They thought they were going to crown Jesus king. They knew it would not come without a fight. Peter thought the battle was beginning in the garden when Jesus was placed under arrest, but Jesus was having none of that, remember? His followers were right, Jesus was heading to be crowned king. But not in the way they thought. Not in the way of us vs them violence. Jesus us the messiah who would rather be killed than to kill, even to become king. He refused to join with THE CROWD in another violent battle. In Luke He weeps for the crowd in Jerusalem, because they were simply not going to avoid the bloody confrontation that would lead nearly to their destruction. This is what I mean when I say Jesus was not “with the crowds”. This is what Kierkegaard means when he says “the crowd is untruth.” The bloody, demonic, SATANIC spirit that overcomes the crowd, leading us to find a scapegoat to kill. Crowds may flick to Jesus, he may feed and heal the masses. But he is never “with” the crowd. In mark chapter 10, it paints a picture of Jesus being out front, with crowds following. But over and over again, whenever crowds get angry, they are either angry AT JESUS, or he immediately leaves them to their anger. And – where does Jesus appear to be making a bid to be made king? Maybe I missed something, but every step if the way, he seems painfully aware that his life would end in a prophets death. I know what the crowds thought…but when did Jesus make that claim? Besides at the end, in front of Pilate, when he points out that Pilate has said so.

      Many of the people, especially those whom Jesus healed, could not wait to run out and tell what Jesus had done for them. Jesus is the one who repeatedly told those he healed, as well as the spirits he healed them of, to keep it quiet. They couldn’t wait to tell people about Jesus. One notable exception would be the man by the tombs possessed by demons. He wanted to follow Jesus, but Jesus sent back to the decapolis to tell what God had done for him.

      As for the Robin Hood analogy – and not just Robin Hood, but Billy the Kid and Jesse James. Jesus as quasi-outlaw? So in your view, not the sinless son of God, but a quasi-outlaw comparable to fantasy characters who steal (maybe more, depending on the movie) from the rich, and some of the more famous murderous thugs of our violent western storytelling lore. How about Al Capone, John Gotti, Pablo Escobar? Maybe Rayful Edmonds right here in Washington DC back in the eighties. Robin is viewed as an outlaw by the authorities, but a folk hero by the peasants. -Match.
      Robin has a following that recognizes he is at odds with authorities. -Match.
      If Robin entered a peasant village, the village would guard the secret. -Match. All these “outlaws” match your description of Robin Hood, no? Would you compare Jesus to them as well. If not, why not? I’m sure those guys did some nice “charity work” to justify themselves. Many of them probably put cash in the plate and took communion themselves.

      I really didn’t put much thought into it before, but upon further review, no, I really don’t like the Robin Hood analogy.

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      1. Okay, this is getting quite cumbersome. But I will try to answer you again.

        I will grant you that Jesus sees the crowds as a flock (on some occasions). You went outside Mark for that, but even Mark has Jesus view them as sheep without a shepherd in 6:34. This observation is made right between the story of Herod beheading John and the feeding of the 5000. This observation is quite complex really. On the one hand, Jesus is viewing these people as a flock of sheep – mild and meek… no? But they are without a shepherd.

        Is he not their shepherd? Of course he is. So how are they without a shepherd? Because they have Herod for a king! Herod is no shepherd, he would actually let himself get pushed around by some corrupt women – even betting himself boxed into killing a prophet of God. When Jesus sees these people as sheep without a shepherd, it is a slam on Herod, and when they (they see themselves as an army, as does Mark who lists only the men and paints the picture of platoons and companies)… when they see Jesus view them as sheep without a shepherd, they see him setting himself up as that shepherd! Which he is! But in Israel, the crowds all know that King Saul had been the people’s choice for king but David, the shepherd, had been God’s choice to be king. Any true King of the Jews would also be shepherd.

        This in no way negates the army aspect. David, the original shepherd/king led armies of God’s sheep into many victorious battles. To be a flock of sheep does not say they are not also God’s army. It says God uses flocks of sheep as armies for his battles… a most unlikely army, but in the hands of God… well… Just look at bible history.

        Here’s the funny part, for me at least, Mark keeps referring to this crowd (at least the core followers of Jesus among them) as “disciples” instead of warriors. The term warrior or soldier is not used. St Paul will describe his brethren as fellow soldiers (Phil 2:25/II Tim 2:3)…. these people are God’s sheep, NO???

        And as I have pointed out repeatedly, Ezekiel 37 depicts God raising an exceedingly great army! I think the crowds viewed themselves just like that. I think they had a mistaken idea of how that works, but I think despite that mistake, they were right.

        As for Jesus not being “with the crowds”, you surely mean that in some qualified sense. He certainly was with them all over the place. I think the only thing they were missing was the idea that he would die purposefully on a cross and therein would be his real battle and battle plan. Otherwise they were with him as much as possible, and he with them as often as he needed to be with them. I would even say that he actually uses them along with their agenda when he preaches parables in the temple. Mark 12 depicts Jesus preaching a sermon against the temple officials just a scene or two after throwing tables. He is now exacerbating the angst of those officials who are afraid to arrest him because of the mob. In fact, I believe Jesus lingers at Gethsemane specifically SO THAT they CAN seize him while no mob is around. By that time, he is done using them and their mob mentality.

        As for Robin Hood. I have repeatedly pointed out how there are points of contact between Jesus and Robin and friends. I also pointed out there are points of departure. He is not a one-to-one match with these guys across the board. But he is LIKE them in some important ways. And yes, I would include Gotti and others right along with Robin. Of course ONLY up to the points where they match, not in their sins, not in their murders… not in those aspects. But in the aspects where the crowds related to Robin, Gotti, Billy, etc… Yes, very much. I think these crowds hold Jesus in a similar way.

        While I am on that point, let me say one MORE time that I am sure I could use better examples. But these guys click with American imagination better than a lot of others. There is a starkness there that needs to be grasped. The fact that you seem to have trouble with it surprises me, but lets me know that you are seeing what I am saying, you just don’t like it. That means you are close!

        I often describe Jesus in revolutionary language. I fully recognize that there are limits to how far that language can go to actually depict Jesus. Therefore I sometimes call Jesus a REVOLUTIONARY revolutionary – this opposed to Judas Iscariot who was a revolutionary’s revolutionary. Brendon Reisenan (I think that was his name) was a real scholar about 100 years ago who tried to say that Jesus was a real revolutionary. His analysis got a lot of traction with the facts all over the place, but ultimately failed. (Others, more recently, have tried to depict Jesus as a sage (see Witherington)). In the final analysis, Jesus is really a prophet… and more than a prophet. But that is a category of character we Americans have only shallow imagination for. And revolt and sage both go a long way in describing Jesus even though they have limits.

        Nevertheless, as far as I can see, Jesus’s relation with the crowds and disciples seems to have been that of a revolutionary. And after his resurrection I think the same relation carries forward but in a turned-inside-out fashion. Nevertheless, we can be and at soldiers for Christ even today. We too have joined Ezekiels army.

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        1. Fair enough. I still don’t like the analogy to Robin Hood, but at least you’re honest enough to see that is the same as Gotti etc etc. i think you’re getting yourself a little carried away in the revolutionary theme of Christ, which I happen to agree with on many, if not most, points, when you are talking about the politics and teaching of Jesus. But the thing about Jesus that is THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY is his bringing a new foundation to the world based on love and forgiveness rather than hate, bitterness, and vengeance. Because to this day, we love, we understand, be BELIEVE in hate, bitterness and revenge. We DONT so much believe in turning the other cheek and loving enemies, which is how guys like Jesse James, John Gotti, and Al Capone can become “folk heroes” at all. Actually, these would be much better compared to the two “thieves” on crosses with Jesus, most likely they were exactly the Robin Hood type of revolutionary which you compare Jesus to. Because Rome didn’t waste the time to crucify common thieves, only those who were truly revolutionaries received that treatment as the example for all. That why the one thief says to the other that they knew what they were getting into, being revolutionaries and all, but Jesus had done nothing at all.

          Jesus as the REVOLUTIONARY revolutionary…I can get behind that one.

          Sorry it’s getting cumbersome…but you kind of insisted I respond to certain parts of your comments, and seemed insulted that I didn’t go more in depth on your Robin Hood analogy. Which I still don’t like. If your theology of Jesus leads you to compare Him to murderous thugs, then defend that comparison by acknowledging that means he’s also like the most murderous thugs of our day, who fully believed in using fear and violence as a means to get WHATEVER they wanted, and in response to any perceived threat or insult, then at the very least you are using very poor comparisons. Doesn’t go very well with “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

          I’ll go re read Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones. I wrote about that quite a while ago, I’m sure it wasn’t very good, but I’m still a work in progress anyway. And yes, we are a part of heavens armies, spreading the love of Christ and forgiveness of God through all parts of our world.

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          1. Not insulted. Let me be clear on that.

            And I actually very much appreciate that you take both me and this dialog seriously enough to engage and wrestle. No insult in that.

            I find it difficult to discuss mostly because I like and share your view on a lot of what you say. There are some points where I cant see the difference and wonder why we are insisting there is one. Perhaps I was unclear. Perhaps you were…. Perhaps both. And as I have stated since the start, I could be wrong. I am not infallible. But I really must be challenged on the merits of the case in order to determine that.

            I am clear that you don’t like the Robin Hood analogy. Fine. Liking or not liking is not the same as rejecting my case by rejecting the analogy out of hand. I want to see what of it is the rub. If it is that you don’t like it, that says something different than that I made some bad connection.

            To my mind, the analogy works – in so far as it does – not that Robin Hood = Jesus, but that they have some important similarities. I didn’t realize that Robin was a murderer. I thought he took from the rich and gave to the poor and that was the extent of his “crimes”, and as I originally pointed out, even that goes beyond what Jesus does. That is one of the places where they are different… one of the limitations of the analogy rather than it’s matching point. But Jesus, Robin, Gotti and all the others had a relationship with their followers that gets very, VERY similar in my view – including the expectations the crowds had for Jesus.

            In my mind, the main limitation has more to do with how neither Robin, Billy, Gotti or any of those guys were leaders of revolution. Robin seems closest, but I think he just was a charitable bandit really.

            But except for all the angst in making my point(s) here, these observations go way beyond my interest in any of those guys. I am much more interested in Jesus and his relation to the crowds. I think they were like an army, and I think that was by God’s design and suited God’s purposes.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. All good brother. We don’t have to agree on every point. I think we both see Jesus as much more than just our “ticket to heaven”. In fact, maybe we would both say out loud that Jesus is Lord! And be willing to follow as such. Not just go about life as if we never met him, expecting to ride Jesus One when we die.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. True.

                I am not against you. Very much for you. And no… it has already become clear that we don’t see everything the same. I have known that for a while. I am mindful that it is not necessary that we do. But I am also mindful that you are a thoughtful Christian as am I. I am eager to dig in with you. You very much have my respect. I hope that is not in doubt. No. I am not insulted. Just realized that I failed to “like” your comments. That seems to be good etiquette that I failed to do. (I juggled babies and other responsibilities as I write here most of the time… part of the trouble with getting cumbersome is that I will have to drop this and come back in 20 minutes or 2 hours or tomorrow… etc…)

                I guess we have exhausted our views on this one. Probably find more on another… But I wont be too eager too soon. I have a number of irons in a number of fires here in recent days that I wish I could share with you. I would like your input on some of it, largely because I know you will not give in just to be polite. And I really don’t have a need to heckle your blog.

                I am not going away though…. As long as you are here being public, I will most likely be part of your public.

                Blessings….

                X

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Hey bro…why don’t we just email. No worries on not “liking” comments. This is not FB…I will usually “like” comments, not necessarily because I like it….but as a busy guy with many irons in different fires….it is the best way for me to at least “acknowledge” when I am running and gunning and can’t stop to respond.

                  Thanks X

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Sounds good. But I don’t publish my email address. Will share it one on one, but I don’t need to make it that easy to track me down by my real name. Send me yours??? I will be happy to continue in private…

                    KIT

                    X

                    Liked by 1 person

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