That Jesus appealed to the Queen of Sheba—whom he likely envisioned as a black African woman—to rebuke the rising tide of racism, nationalism, and violence in his generation has powerful ramifications for followers of Jesus today.
We cannot become followers of Jesus without gaining a profound sense that we are outsiders and newcomers, searching for a friendly face among strangers. We belong with Jesus not by right, but by invitation only.
Hanukkah is the celebration of the inalienable right of every human being to worship according to her or his own conscience. Hanukkah commemorates the resilience of the human spirit in the face of tyranny.
Would Jesus’ attitude toward Jewish customs, social interactions, and religious outlook have been perceived by his peers as wildly liberal, or staunchly conservative, or somewhere in the middle?