Quiet Revolutionaries

Reading Hauerwas’ commentary on matthew I found this on Jesus’ criticsm of the Pharisees

…yet it is crucial that Jesus criticisms of the Pharisees and scribes not overlook the challenge of the politics of the observance of the law. The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, their rightful desire to remain holy, was their attmept to be God’s faithful people even when they were in exile or occupied by a foreign power.

Yet too often Israel sought to be faithful in a manner that would not challenge the powers, particularly that of Rome. The Pharisees tried to observe the law without that observance being recognised as subversive to those who ruled them

I am used to understanding Jesus’ criticism of the Pharisees as their legalism and self- righteousness but Hauerwas says yes this is all true but also Jesus condemned them for not being who God called them to be – a radically different people, part of a different kingdom.

Being true followers would have put them radically at odds with empire.

A people who refuse power and violence and the social, economic and political norms are dangerous to the pervasive power structures around them

It seems Jesus condemned them for this and I find myself in the uncomfortable position of recognising myself among them.



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