Jesus continually redefined roles. He challenged expectations.
In class, we discussed four different types of resistance that have been found where the weak are able to confront the powerful. The two extremes are public lobbying/confrontation and bitter grumbling. In the middle are everyday resistance and symbolic resistance. Symbolic resistance is like burning a flag. Everyday resistance is simpler. It involves things like telling a story that breaks from expectations and reinterprets how one should view the world. It shakes up commonly held beliefs about who has favor and who doesn’t.
Although the last two tactics are called resistance, they’re actually healthy ways to challenge expectations – to push back against the status quo. They’re also the things that made Jesus’ ministry unique.
Today, we see a lot of people pushing for public confrontation. We see even more grumbling to their friends and family about the things that are wrong with the world. But there is a small minority who are “pushing back” on the things they disagree with in strategic ways.
Challenging assumptions can be difficult. But it can also be tremendously effective.