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Jesus and Religious Outsiders

December 26, 2021 | by

Sometimes insiders are too invested in what they believe to see when something new is happening. We might need the perspective of an outsider to see what is truly going on. This is especially true with Jesus and Religious Outsiders. Israel’s leaders, Herod and the priests, should be able to identify the Messiah, but don’t. Instead, religious outsiders (pagan astrologers) clearly perceive that Jesus is God’s promised king. Why is this?

Herod and the priests have too much at stake. The system gives them power, and so they need to defend it. The Magi, as outsiders, had no stake in not seeing Jesus as a king.

If we’re not careful, we can be just like Herod. We can invest ourselves in something in a system that isn’t God’s. When we do, we’ll find it easy to deceive ourselves in order to protect our interests. This means that we need to hold our views humbly. We can listen to the views of outsiders, like those from other faith traditions, or cultures.

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Questions for Reflection

  1. Do I enjoy positions of privilege or power? How would I feel if God asked me to give them up?
  2. Who do I listen to (people I talk to or books that I read)? Do they tell me what I believe, or do I listen to people I disagree with?

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