Thursday, September 08, 2005

Infuriating the holiness police

John Frye reminds us that Jesus was viewed as an unholy man by the "'holiness police of his day'":
He had the wrong people eating at his table. He touched lepers and let a disreputable woman touch him in a scandalous sort of public. He "worked" on the Sabbath. He went to unholy places and talked with unholy people. Jesus was a supposedly clean man doing blatantly unclean things. Again, this is according to the first century purity police.

He taugrht unholy people and uttered unholy words. "Destroy this temple and I'll rebuild it in 3 days." He was accused of being a lunatic and demoniac leading the "stupid" people astray. All this is recorded in the four "good news" books.

For these things, Jesus came under constant surveillance. He was a watched man; a marked trouble-maker. Jesus even became the target of numerous murder plots. Even his blog spot was surveilled.

Why? Jesus taught and lived as if holiness were an infectious identity, not a set of good behaviors. He acted as if his Father said, "Be holy, for I am holy" rather than "Do holy things because I do holy things."
Scot McKnight, whose blog pointed me to this post, said it this way: "For Jesus, holiness was not something fragile in need of protection but something powerful in need of liberation." Amen.


Blogger Bethany said...

Love this thought. Thanks for sharing Milton!

9:11 AM, September 09, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

You're quite welcome, Bethany Jo. Thanks again for visiting.

7:56 PM, September 09, 2005  

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