I’ve been slowly reading through N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, Christian Origins and the Question of God, Vol. 2. Alluding to Matthew 26:52, he make a point that needs to be heard more often. Here’s the quote (which is sort of long):
“Jesus denounced, as no better than pagans, no only those who compromised with Caesar by playing his power-games, but also those who compromised with him by thinking to defeat him with his own weapons. Those who take the sword will perish by the sword. Here is the doubly radical twist in Jesus’ telling of the kingdom-story, which marks him out from his Jewish theological, eschatological, and political context even while it insists that he is only comprehensible within it. His kingdom-announcement, like all truly Jewish kingdom-announcements, came as the message of the one true God, the God of Israel, in opposition to pagan power, pagan gods, and pagan politics. But, unlike the other kingdom-announcers of his time from Judas the Galilean to Simeon ben Kosiba, Jesus declared that the way to the kingdom was the way of peace, the way of love, the way of the cross” (p. 595).
What do you think?
I especially love that last line and it bears repeating in bold letters: “…Jesus declared that the way to the kingdom was the way of peace, the way of love, the way of the cross.”