Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Jesus Confronting the Prejudice

Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.” They argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?” —they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

These are the moments with Jesus that I enjoy.   I delight in Jesus facing off with the authorities, getting back in their faces and standing up to their attempts to lay a trap for him by using superior reasoning and logic to lock them up in their own box.   This business involving the accusation, "By what authority are you doing these things?"  to me is very much like what some of us in the gay community have encountered when we mix ourselves into the Christian community.

It's a "Who do you think you are?!"  or a "Where do you get off asserting that you have a place here?!"    Jesus has thrown over tables and cursed fig trees.  And the Temple authorities are some kind of pissed and concerned that this non-conformist is nothing but trouble.  Big trouble!

Sometimes, I have felt that I am viewed as a threat or some kind of trouble. Gay people, and I would venture a guess that anyone who is a minority in a majority church setting, have found ourselves standing accused by some in the congregation who don't want us there. We are viewed as sinners, or at least in the minds of a few, sinners beyond redemption unless we "repent" of our sexual orientation or our relationships.   It's a tough place to be.  However,  being grounded in our faith, we are able to do as Christ did: confound our adversaries through the strength gathered in us because of our faith.  When we know that we are "of God", we don't have to prove it to anyone.    

We are only a few days from Friday.   Who or what is demanding you justify your relationship with God?  Who or what is trying to shove you off your path to be with Christ?


JenniferSH said...

Hi Susan - I enjoy reading your posts here. So often you inspire prayerful consideration in me. Your writings are nice reminder of how I am so thankful that you are a member of the faith community at our church. You make such a contribution to the ministries there (and full disclosure: I think you are the BEST lector). You are such a blessing to so many! I know it happens but I just can't imagine why any Christian would want to keep one of God's own children away. Sheesh! May all Christians walk the road to Jesus in the days ahead, and may no one block our path.

Jenn Hoesing

SCG said...

And to your comment, Jenn, I say, "Amen!!"