Matthew 8:20, Was Jesus a Simple Peasant?
And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
//We have in our heads an image of Jesus as a penniless wanderer, a poor peasant from an obscure rural farming town. But over and over, as I studied for my book about John’s Gospel, I found this simple image contradicted. Instead, in John’s Gospel, Jesus surrounds himself mostly with aristocracy (the royal steward, Mary and Martha and Lazarus, Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus). Must we dispense with the penniless label?
Tradition and the book of Revelation tell us that St. John was banished to the Isle of Patmos by the Romans. For this to be so, John would have to be of high social status, and one wonders if John’s money and influence (or that of his mother, who accompanied Jesus’ entourage) didn’t help provide the small-town Jesus with connections above his caste.
Moreover, the image we have of “simple fishermen” for Jesus’ followers fits no better with John’s Gospel. Jesus doesn’t call them away from their nets in Galilee, he lures them away from John the Baptist. With the exception of the final chapter of John (which many scholars consider an add-on), the Fourth Gospel gives no indication that these men are fishermen.
The River of Life
The Way It Happened
|Revelation: A love story gone awry.||The Gospel: A love story set aright.|
What really happened 2,000 years ago? How did a persecuted minority of end-time believers known as Christians, with their dreams of Armageddon and a conquering Messiah named Jesus, evolve into the largest religion in the world? Author Lee Harmon explores the period in which the New Testament was written in his books about John's Gospel and Revelation.
(Bloggers: you may be eligible for a free review copy! Just contact us.)
The God Show
- Book review: The River of Life
- God of Fire: The Hope Reformation
- The Weight of a Feather: and Other Stories
- Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense
- Book review: You Don’t Understand the Bible Because You Are Christian
- Book review: The Way of Serenity
- Book review: The Beckoning
- Book review: The Two Faces of Christianity
- Book review: The Book of Revelation and the Coming Judgment
- Book review: True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense Of Our Complex World
- Book review: The Bible Tells Me So
- Book review: That Old Devil Called God Again
- Book review: Calvin for Armchair Theologians
- Book review: Wine and the Word
- Book review: postChristian
- Book review: The Eucharist
- Book review: The Synoptic Problem
- Book review: Lost Christianities
- Come Out of Her My People
- Book review: The Bible Tells Me So
- Book review: We Make the Road by Walking
- Book review: Lincoln’s Bishop
- Book review: Becoming the Son
- Book review: The Beautiful Scientist
- Book review: Healing Marks
- Book review: Make Christmas Real
- Book review: Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most
- Book review: Jewish Christianity Reconsidered
- Book review: Disciples: How Jewish Christianity Shaped Jesus and Shattered the Church
- Book review: Blueprint for Theocracy: The Christian Right’s Vision for America
- Matthew 23:33, The Authoritarian God
- Luke 6:20, The First to Enjoy the Kingdom
- Matthew 5:39, Matthew’s Unique Jesus
- Galatians 4:30, Cast aside the Law
- 1 Corinthians 12:27, The Body of Christ
- Matthew 24:34, The Liberal’s Bible
- Mark 1:1 The Messianic Secret
- Mark 3:32-33, The House Church
- Acts 14:14, Paul the Apostle
- Matthew 3:2, Was Jesus a Disciple of John the Baptist?
- John 13:4-5, The Suffering Servant
- Deuteronomy 18:21, How To Know When God Is Speaking
- Exodus 20:4-5, One Calf Or Two? Part II of II
- Exodus 32:4, One Calf Or Two? Part I of II
- Matthew 25:33, What’s Wrong With Goats?
- Genesis 6:14, What Is An Ark?
- Genesis 29:26, Jacob Gets His Just Desserts
- Matthew 28:19-20, The REAL Great Commission
- Matthew 5:13, Doing Good: The Meaning of Christianity, Part II of II
- Matthew 25:33, Doing Good: The Meaning of Christianity, Part I of II
- Luke 17:34-35, The Fate of the Raptured
- Genesis 9:4, God Allows Eating Meat, Part II of II
- Genesis 1:29, God Allows Eating Meat, Part I of II
- Genesis 25:25, The Red and Hairy Edomites
- Genesis 2:7, Rain Brings Forth Life, Part II of II
- Genesis 2:5-6, Rain Brings Forth Life, Part I of II
- Revelation 20:4, The Thousand Year Reign
- Mark 9:24, Pascal’s Wager
- Judges 21:20-21, The Tribe of Benjamin Is Rescued!
- Job 1:4-5 Why Job Ignored His Friends
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