Would Jesus Cancel Class for the Inauguration?

What do you think? Would Jesus cancel class for the Inauguration?

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • RJS

    No, he’d tell a relevant parable.

  • Anna K.

    I must say, considering Jesus’ peripatetic travels and his habit of allowing others repeatedly to interrupt his plans with their personal needs, I have a hard time picturing the Lord keeping to a schedule; unless it was to a dinner invitation.

  • Anna K.

    P.S. You could pray on it, but I think you should cancel the class.

  • :mic

    seriously!?!

  • http://stormface Colin

    Jesus would invite his class to the local bar to watch it.

  • Chris E

    No, Jesus would bring a TV into the class and show the inauguration there. The disciples might not have been trusted to watch it on their own.

  • Chris E

    Honestly, I am Obamaed out! Back off, give the man some space. Too many people are putting too many things on his shoulders. Let’s treat him like ‘just’ POTUS #44 and see how that works.

  • Eric

    You expect students to show up if you don’t cancel? You seem like you would be a great prof, but are you going to outdraw the most anticipated speech of the (admittedly young) millenium?

  • Tom

    A trick question! Jesus, in his infinite wisdom, would never SCHEDULE class coinciding with the Obama inaguration!

  • http://getrad2.blogspot.com RonMcK

    More important question. Would America cancel an inauguration for the Parousia?

  • John333

    No
    The Father would cancel the parousia for the inauguration.
    The saviour is already here.

  • Yadah

    Jesus probably would have it live streaming so everyone in class could see it together.

  • Rick

    I tend to agree with RJS #1 on this. He would use the hype as a teaching tool, perhaps on the issues of where power really is, where our hope should really be focused, and the dangers of idolatry.

  • RJS

    Rick,
    I think proper understanding of power and hope may be the focus of teaching. Certainly this was an important focus of the teaching of Jesus during his life.
    But there is another issue here as well – given the history of our western world, the history of racism in the US, and the racism that has reached its fingers into our theology and our church – the appropriate parable might be quite different.

  • http://krusekronicle.typepad.com Michael W. Kruse

    “Would Jesus cancel class for the Inauguration?”
    Jesus says in Luke 4:18 that he was set to proclaim release for the captives. Need I say more?

  • http://pettus.wordpress.com/ Rusty

    I think Jesus would listen to the inauguration with his disciples and then give some commentary on how his kingdom in not of this world in a parable riddled with riddles. The they would be talking and trying to understand what he was talking about until they finally gave up and asked.

  • Karl

    He might tell a parable related to spending $150 Million on an inauguration party during a recession/depression – or at any time for that matter.
    Not a huge deal to me, but I wonder if those who made a big deal about the lavish $70 Million spent on the Bush inauguration are equally outraged now?
    I don’t know what Jesus would do himself, but I think Jesus would smile on a professor who cancelled class.

  • Rick

    RJS #14-
    “But there is another issue here as well – given the history of our western world, the history of racism in the US, and the racism that has reached its fingers into our theology and our church – the appropriate parable might be quite different.”
    If only that was the message that was being communicated through this event. Unfortunately, the overall theme has gone well beyond that.
    However, you may be right, Jesus may have focused on just that positive aspect.

  • ron

    He would stream it to his classroom, simultaneously creating all the extra band width needed for this internets crunch time, turn some water into wine, and offer it to all — even the naysayers — with admonitions to be thankful and enjoy the moment.

  • Tom Grosh IV

    ‘No.’ Jesus never canceled class. He taught 24/7 in a wholistic manner and if politics came up or happened to be ‘in the area,’ I’d assume that he’d discuss it in relationship to the Kingdom of God and possibly even provide some challenging next steps or sense of direction. As you know, we even have some recorded conversations in the Gospels regarding politics.
    But let us not loose track of the fact that our Lord and Savior ‘moved into the neighborhood’ with a specific mission in a particular culture/place/time which varies significantly from ours, including the form of government and the lack of mass technology. The question of what a Christ-follower and his community of faith might do today as citizen(s)/resident(s) of the United States of America is a different one altogether. Off the top of my head, if I were a present day professor in the United States, I’d probably mention the occurrence and pray as I opened class (e.g., Natural Sciences), bring in the TV to stimulate conversation (e.g., Communications), go to a local community event (or organize one as a special project, e.g., Political Science). If school was canceled that there was a live feed for the campus, I’d be present to pray/chat/debrief.
    “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” — John 18:35-37 (New International Version)

  • http://mysticallimpet.blogspot.com Travis Greene

    Who knows?
    Should you?
    Yes. With all due respect, nobody is likely to remember what you would teach in this specific class session in 25 years. Or 5. They will probably always remember Obama’s inauguration. On the opposite end of the spectrum, class was cancelled on 9/11. Sometimes you just have to watch the history happen.

  • http://bobbyorr.wordpress.com MatthewS

    If Jesus were a teacher with a regular class schedule, I believe he would teach with the well-being of his students in mind; that his goal would be their long-term growth and benefit. He would respond to the event in the best way for the class he had – whether that meant talking about the inauguration that day, watching it in class, or letting the students have the time off.
    But, knowing all hearts, and knowing that the students probably wouldn’t pay much attention anyway, he would probably cancel :-)

  • Iris Alantiel

    No need. He’d have already worked the live televised feed into the class curriculum.

  • Your Name

    Would Jesus cancel class. Probably not. James and John, sure. Peter? Ahhh, more than likely. Philip, no there is an order and schedule to adhere to. Matthew (aka Levi)? Heck yes, there is party to be had.

  • http://wondersforoyarsa.blogspot.com Wonders for Oyarsa

    Scot, I think the scripture is pretty clear on this issue. I’m quoting from memory, so I may not be word-for-word accurate here, but there are some key texts that should put all debate to rest:
    As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Heads of State have the Capital Building, and the crowds have the Washington Mall, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and attend the inauguration.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to inaugurate their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those leaving to attend the inauguration.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
    And again:
    Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own President-Elect Obama, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. … So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
    And again:
    Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands or inaugurations, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
    Thankfully Scot, you aren’t Jesus, and loyalty to your class doesn’t actually trump all other loyalties, so I think you can rest easy about any decision to cancel class.

  • Corey Jeffrey

    Is this question asked with the possible belief that it is a sin to cancel class in the first place? I understand that work and toil has its heavenly place, but I think day by day absence counts won’t hold a candle to the other factors that add up to the afterlife ^_^

  • Frank Theron

    I would like to add to Wonders for Oyarsa and Corey… I believe that in 2009 Jesus would not be found at the great temples of our time, mass rallies or presidential inaugurations…. rather attending to all the broken people needing healing, raising people from the dead and expanding the eternal Kingdom of God!

  • Your Name

    Well all I know is that God is in control of everything I truly believe so whether you were able to be within that crowd of people or not for that 20th day of Jan. His plan for this President had already been laid out so his will had already been done.


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