A Heart Broken Open: Jesus-styled Activism
Jesus's call in the Sermon on the Mount, to shame the oppressor through non-violent action, was a creative response to Roman rule: 'If someone strikes you on the right cheek turn to him the other also.' Just as creative were his healings and his approach to the elitism of the temple, challenging the religious hierarchy of his time. These actions, aimed at political and religious authorities, were matched by a call to a way of life that was deeply challenging for individuals facing an oppressive and barbaric foreign power, whether they were rich or poor, powerful or powerless within the local social structure.
It was this triple challenge—firstly, to Roman authority, secondly, to religious authority and thirdly, to the prevailing popular culture—that led to his crucifixion.
Ray Gaston, A Heart Broken Open, p. 48