The identity of Jesus Christ in our age of Global Cities has been one that a lot of people have been struggling to define. Readings of the sayings of the historical Jesus even show that He himself knew that people had struggles with his identity. In Mark 8:27-28 he asked his disciples, “Who do people say I am?” They answered him, “Some say, John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others one of the prophets.” After these many answers he then asked, his disciples, “But who do you say I am?” (Mark 8:29). Today one could ask a similar question like, ‘is Jesus a king in the palace who is just waiting to be worshipped or is he a man who loves and advocates for the “least” of our global cities and the world at large?’ In this essay as I attempt to define Jesus’ identity in our age of global cities, arguing that Jesus is a King who loves the “least.”
In this age of technology, many cities are serving as global cities and in it all, I see a Jesus Christ that is advocating for social and economic justice and equality. Theologically and socially as we look at this topic of Jesus being a King who loves the “least,” I know we live in a world where kings are well-to-do, revered, empowered to rule over and dictate to people. In kings’ palaces and board rooms of CEO’s of great companies in our Global Cities, there is corruption of all sorts and people are only concerned about selves. But I see Jesus as a different type of King or CEO: one who identifies with the poor, honors the humble and grants justice to the oppressed and outcasts. One who has experienced what it means to be counted as fatherless and homeless. In Luke 8:1-8, Jesus told his disciples a parable about their need to pray all the time and never give up. He said, “In a city there was a judge who didn’t fear God or respect people. In that city there was also a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ For a while the judge refused. But later, he told himself, ‘I don’t fear God or respect people, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice. Otherwise, she will keep coming and wear me out.’” Then the Lord added, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge says. Won’t God grant his chosen people justice when they cry out to him day and night? Is he slow to help them? I tell you, he will give them justice quickly. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (ISV). Jesus is a King who loves the “least” and loves to see them vindicated.
In our global cities today everybody is fending for self, struggling to make ends meet even if it requires oppressing or cheating others in order to get what they want; it is a world of survival of the fittest; but Jesus is concerned about the economics of the poor and the suffering. Historically and in this day and age, one may wonder why
one race, class or group is suffering under another. Could it be that God does not have the power to liberate them or He is just not willing to do so? This question of why the innocent suffer is not new to us today; it is raised in the bible too, but I want to tell you that God care. He wants to liberate the oppressed, He is looking to you and me to help liberate them. This is why Jesus said, as long as you did it for the least of these, you have done it for me. In Matthew 25:34-46 the bible says, “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who have been blessed by my Father! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, because I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you welcomed me. I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then the righteous will say to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you something to eat, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or see you naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’
The king will answer them, ‘I tell all of you with certainty, since you did it for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me, you who are accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels! Here’s why: I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t welcome me. I was naked, and you didn’t clothe me. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or as a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and didn’t help you?’ Then he will say to them, ‘I tell all of you with certainty, since you didn’t do it for one of the least important of these, you didn’t do it for me.’ These people will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.” This scripture shows how much Jesus cares about the “least” and why you and I should care about them too. I hope you get the picture. Jesus is a King who loves the “least.”