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Reading Obrey Hendricks, Jr.’s book, the Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus’ Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted, is like sitting at the feet of a contemporary griott, and having the story of a hero told in a fashion that makes that hero larger than life. Given that the hero, Jesus Christ, is already larger than life, the story becomes all the more enriching because of the many historical interpretations of today. Hendricks’ portrayal of Jesus’ actions, emotions and intentions are no less than radical as Jesus’ political agenda is analyzed. The meek, mild image of Jesus from our childhood is exchanged for a radical portrayal of a man who fought for justice, defied authority, and challenged the status quo.
Hendricks describes the political climate in which Jesus was born and lived in vivid detail, providing historical support for his contention that today’s King James’ Version of the Bible was interpreted in favor of the whims of a Roman political leader by the name of Constantine. Hendricks speaks out against ministers who embrace Constantine’s transformation of their roles as they accept privileged treatment and exalted status. Hendricks also maintains that the story of an exorcism described in Mark 5:1-10 can actually be interpreted as an allegorical tale, in which the demon-possessed man represents the country of Israel, and the legion which possesses it represents the Roman army. Hendricks states, “So though on one level Mark 5:1-13 is an account of an exorcism, on another level it is a radical political parable in the guise of a healing story, a parable that tells the people of Jesus that it is not God’s displeasure that has bedeviled them, but the misdeeds of those who lord it over them . Additionally, The Politics of Jesus is a clarion call to leaders everywhere to “treat the needs of the people as holy.” It reminds us that the most effective leaders come not to be served, but to serve”. On a scale of one to ten, The Politics of Jesus deserves a ten… plus, for its intelligent and thought provoking insights into the ideal of dedication to the betterment of all mankind.