"CHRIST IN context" by Fr Tissa Balasuriya (June 7), is not true to its title. "Jesus in context" would be more faithful to the text.
We are told, that even Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do men say I am?" But then like Bacon's Pilate in his essay on 'Truth' Fr Tissa's Jesus does not wait for an answer.
Matthew on the contrary portrays Jesus not only as waiting for and listening to all the answers but also as asking a further question to which Peter gives the answer and gets the imprimatur. If the words 'Christ' and `Christology' as used in the article conform to Peter's confession, why cut the story short even at the risk of making Jesus appear a cynic like Pilate, I wonder. A subtle but clear intent to leave out the kernel of the story in order to let us feed on the husk and swallow his indoctrination is the charge against the author, as he could not recount the whole incident without discrediting his
discovery that the Latin American answer is as good as any.
As Jesus was not prepared to accept any and every answer, this new one stands rejected like all the others reported by Matthew save Peter's, because for these rediscoverers of (Latin) America Jesus is not what Simon Peter and good old Christopher Columbus confessed, "the Christ, the Son of the living God".
Jesus is not the Christ. He is just plain Jesus, a man reputed to have stood up against oppression to be crucified on Pilate's orders. He is hailed as Liberator by the proponents of this new discovery of his message, not as having any part in the line of efficient causality for saving man, individually or as the human collective, but only as motivator or model in the line of exemplary causality.
Fr .1 A Karunaharar Catholic Church,
Chavakcheri, Sri Lanka