Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

An Upside-Down Reign

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

An Upside-Down Reign

Article excerpt

Proverbs 1:20-33; Psalm 19; James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-38

AT THE CRUX of the "crisis and confirmation" dilemma posed by Bravo, Jesus hears the disciples' confession of who he is--"You are the Messiah"--and must give his correction of what that means: "Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again" (Mark 8:31). Jesus' conflict extends even to his most devoted followers. To his insistence that what awaits him is suffering and certain death, not coronation, Peter "rebukes" Jesus, unable to hear or accept his truth.

Jesus' response to Peter is no less severe. In an essay in Systematic Theology: Perspectives from Liberation Theology, Bravo writes that "Jesus remonstrates him in the harshest words he ever uses against anyone," and in doing so, demonstrates that "Peter's proposal is a temptation for him" Bravo's observation suggests that Jesus still struggles profoundly with the consequences of his choices; by confirming his unwavering commitment to the God of mercy, whose love and loyalty to the poor is good news to the outcast but threatens those in power, Jesus also confirms his violent fate at the hands of the church and the state. …

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