One thing about Yeshua in his context, and it is still true two thousand years later in our own, is that he challenges conventional thinking. He makes the comfortable uncomfortable and encourages the uneasy and overlooked people. He disavows greatness as most people would think of it and comes down harshly on his disciples when they talk about using their intimacy with him as a means to glorify themselves. He speaks with biting censure to the religious and powerful but is shockingly lenient in relating to sinners and outcasts. He proclaims a soon end to mighty religious structures and is at the same time profoundly respectful of what those structures represent.
For some people Yeshua was disconcerting. He didn’t respect the things that surely were respectable. He criticized the uncriticizable.
For other people Yeshua was an irresistible hope in a hard and weary time of life. Crowds followed him. People walked miles and set aside important work to be with him.
Yeshua said the kingdom of God was at hand, nearby, ready to be revealed. Life was about to be turned upside down. Much that was straight would be bent and much that was crooked would be straightened. The unexpected would happen and not so much the expected. Values would be turned on their heads and new values emerge. Family and kinship structures would change. Ideas of power would be transcended by a greater reality. Suffering would end. The self-assured had reason to fear but the downtrodden could see hopes realized. Kingship was not going to be like that in Rome. The kingdom was something new and different, challenging every paradigm.
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