Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jesus as peaceful protester...

I am slowly but surely reading The Last Week. It's interesting and enlightening but I'm forcing myself to slow down, take it all in so I'm still early in the week. The authors pose the theory that when Jesus entered Jerusalem on palm Sunday that he did so as a form of protest. His humble entrance on a meager donkey as opposed the grand and pompous entrance Pilate was making on the other side of the city. Pilate's entrance showcased his power, glory and wealth. Jesus' entrance showcased his humility and the kingdom of God.

They support this theory with the verses in the ninth chapter of Mark when Jesus instructs his disciples to go get the foal (donkey) that is tied up inside the city. This points not to divine insight of where the foal would be but instead to a planned demonstration. The authors don't make the direct comparison but I kept having visions of Gandhi while reading. A peaceful man who understood that love and compassion are the answer not war and hate. A man who knows that embracing peace isn't the same thing as giving up. Much like the people of India had toiled under British oppression the Jewish people had lived under the oppression of Rome for centuries and it was time to put an end to that.

I like this idea of Jesus in this role and I feel myself coming to a greater understanding of Jesus the man. Part of me is ready to accept this view; after all in this new role he is still a man I admire greatly and whose teachings I gladly study and follow. But I feel his place as savior slipping. I find myself simultaneously believing he was special but not all that special. Special because he was enlightened but not so much because he's not the only to ever do so. So, why choose him as guru over any other enlightened person out there.

I think the simple answer is because I do. We all have to find the guru to guide us whom we feel most connected with and I do feel that connection. However I don't know yet if this is a knee-jerk reaction to change that I should let go of or if it's my instincts telling me not to let go. I need time to sort that one out. So, I'm still seeking.

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