Advocacy, Part 2 of Loving What Jesus Taught

Advocacy, Part 2 of Loving What Jesus Taught May 10, 2023

We find a different nuance in the synoptic gospels. The early Jesus community was comprised of those on the undersides and margins of their society who were in deep need of advocacy or justice socially, politically, and economically. This is the context in which I understand the work of the Spirit and advocacy to bear the most life-giving fruit. The synoptics characterize the Spirit as an Advocate between humans in matters of justice. For the original audiences of the synoptics, “advocate” would have called to mind actual legal proceedings that elites in Judea and also from the larger Roman society initated against Jesus’ followers:

Welcome Readers! Please subscribe to Social Jesus Here.

(Read this series from its beginning here.)

“When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 13:11)

“When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matthew 10:19-20)

“So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.” (Luke 21:14-15)

“When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 12:11-12)

A representation of the Divine that places God against us with us in need of an Advocate before God ignores this context, the social context in which these passages were originally written. 

Lastly, in this week’s reading we see an important if-then statement: If you love Jesus, then follow his teachings. 

We’ll explore this, next.

(Read Part 3)

About Herb Montgomery
Herb Montgomery, director of Renewed Heart Ministries, is an author and adult religious re-educator helping Christians explore the intersection of their faith with love, compassion, action, and societal justice. You can read more about the author here.

Browse Our Archives