There is an excellent article by Lisa Miller of The Washington Post offering a reflection and commentary on this question. I think that she and those she spoke with for the piece articulate well many of the central elements of Jesus’s ministry and proclamation of the Kingdom of God. His relationships and behavior revealed God’s compassionate love for and solidarity with the voiceless, marginalized and poor of our world. I think Jesus would indeed be a fan of the Occupy Wall Street movement.  Here’s a preview of Miller’s piece:

Born with little means into a first-century world, the historical Jesus might feel right at home with the very aspects of the occupation that so many 21st-century observers consider gross: the tents, the damp sleeping bags, the communal kitchen. Jesus would have sympathy, I think, with the campers’ efforts to keep a small space sanitary in the absence of modern plumbing…

The Jesus of history would love them all. What Jesus really said, and what he meant, are the subjects of culture’s greatest controversies, but one thing is sure. Jesus gave preferential treatment to society’s outcasts. Lepers, tax collectors, prostitutes — all would attain heaven before the ordained elites. Jesus believed that God was about to right the world’s wrongs with a great upheaval — soon — and at that time, a radical reversal of the social order would occur. As he says in the gospels, the meek will inherit the earth.

Jesus would have sympathy, too, with the occupiers’ first complaint: that in America, the poorest have too little and the richest too much. In first-century Judea, a powerful ruling class held nearly all the wealth and most people lived at subsistence levels.

Visit The Washington Post to read the rest…

Photo: AFP

6 Comments

  1. Dan,
    A timely well stated observation. I totally agree with you that the poorest have too little and the richest have too much. “When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn? The answer my friend is written in the wind” The anger, unrest, frustration of politics over people is out there. Those in power better listen because it is not going to go away until something is done about jobs, the economy and poverty.
    Peace,
    Bill

  2. Well, I thought it might be possible to remain silent on this, but alas I find myself at odds, especially given today’s readings.

    My challenge with the article is not necessarily the “solidarity” with which the “elites” seem to be using the truly poor and disenfranchised, but the lack of authentic good. The reality is, at least IMHO, that there is not a completely altruistic motive amongst the group. Additionally, if one is to “Love God with your whole heart” while “loving your neighbor as yourself”; then how exactly does wasting tax dollars on security — disrupting and “occupying” — fit into putting your trust into God’s Divine Hands. Are not the “occupiers” fighting over the same idol-god (money and power) as those whom they accuse, (justifiably so, yes)?

    And, furthermore, I actually find it repulsive to “use” the Christ in such a manner. These “learned” individuals, claim to believe what the Christ would do, while at the same time use the term “historical Jesus.” For that, I find little credence or credibility in what they are attempting to say. This perhaps is the greater challenge. How is it possible to use the teachings and philosophy of a great teacher, yet insinuate that they only “existed” based on history?

    While I believe that the Son of Man would identify with the truly poor and outcast, he would also accept the “moneychangers”. I also find it repugnant to compare the current capitalists to that of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The Jewish hierarchy of Jesus’ time, for whatever their flaws of the day, did not reject God, which many of our leftist “elites” have done. Even worse, they have twisted Gospel to “fit” their chosen lifestyles, instead of attempting to fit their lives into that of the Gospel and the entire Word. Heresy!!!

    These occupiers are not concerned about the taking care of the widows and orphans, but making the system “fair” – forcing a government controlled charity. Is there not a greater reward (of course not being the ultimate goal), by giving freely? This is it not part of freedom as being created Imago Dei.

    IMHO, as I stated in the last post regarding this topic, https://datinggod.org/2011/10/16/it-doesnt-belong-to-us-money-power-and-jesus/#comments, I cannot support this “occupation” and agree with several comments of the article.

  3. I wanted to share this excerpt from a ‘gospel to life’ reflection…

    …”Some have asked, ‘Would Jesus show up at an ‘Occupy’ rally? The answer is yes and no. He certainly wouldn’t show up wearing a white robe and a crown of thorns holding a placard. In reality these stunts are tasteless caricatures of the gospel message, even if well meaning. More importantly they fail to recognize the true presence of Christ in the marginalized and wounded souls who are present in the crowd and are carrying the cross of Christ; in their stress of unemployment, their foreclosure notices, and their fear of illness with no health insurance. They are scorned, for their laziness, their bad hygiene and irreverence; but so too were the lepers that Jesus encountered on the outskirts – and healed, despite their ingratitude.”

    The full post is here: http://tau-cross.blogspot.com/2011/10/occupy-movement-gospel-to-life.html

    Peace and all good.

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