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What Would Jesus Occupy?

It is missing the point of Jesus to invoke him in an argument (or a protest) about the Marxist concept of "economic justice." That crudely self-referential human concept is about what others have and what others have done. It postulates that changing those things will improve conditions for "society." But the life of Jesus, who never sought to change a single material fact of the society he encountered on earth, is about the relationship of each one of us with the Father. If we seek first the kingdom of God, Jesus said, all the rest will be given to us as well (Mt. 6:33).

Jesus was a revolutionary, but not against the temporal authorities of the day or the distribution of goods in society. His revolution was against the resentful measuring tape of the unrepentant human heart. As long as we want to focus on how the schemes of others have gone awry, we are operating in our own power and in our own names. If we truly want to be doing what Jesus would do, we must seek our entitlements from the right source, and cease thinking in terms of "occupation" altogether. Jesus did not say nothing would change. His message is that we will change, one by one: not through occupation but by invitation.

10/16/2011 4:00:00 AM