Friday, January 17, 2020

The ways of Caesar or the way of the cross?

Another thread is the employment of concepts and imagery that were also at home in the praises offered to the Roman emperor in association with the Roman imperial ideology. The portrayal of Christ as the one before whom every knee will bow (Philippians), as the one who has the supremacy in all things (Colossians), and as the one who has divine origins, who enlightens humanity with his presence, and who is a gracious benefactor (John) can arguably be seen as encroaching on the kinds of accolades and honors offered to the emperor. In addition, the explicit mention of the cross (in Philippians and Colossians) and the notion of the rejection of Jesus by the world (John) prevent worshipers of Christ from ignoring the historical fact of the ways in which the powers of the world refused to recognize Christ. The implications are both that Christ is greater than Caesar and that those who follow Christ should not be surprised to find themselves at odds with the prevailing forces in their day.—Matthew Gordley, New Testament Christological Hymns, p. 221

<idle musing>
And I would add, if you find that isn't true, you had better examine your theology. Perhaps (probably is more likely) you have compromised the cross and embraced the world instead.

Let those who have ears. . .
</idle musing>

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