The meal table is a political site, where new manners, communities, and values are cultivated. In his radical teaching concerning proper conduct at feasts, Jesus unsettles prevailing social politics and calls us to transform our behavior to correspond to the inbreaking order of his kingdom.
Jesus’ description of the scribes and the Pharisees in Matthew 23 provides us with an illustration of the corrupting effects of hierarchical power structures. Given the pervasive and entrenched character of such structures, escaping their perverse dynamics is easier said than done. Nevertheless, we are not left without means of resistance, perhaps the first of which are actions and words through which we make the unseen visible.
By Richard Beck