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  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

Jesus Came to Serve the Creation, Not to be Served. By Dr. Chapman Chen




“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve," says Jesus (Matthew 20:28 ESV). As the last phrase has no object, its understood object is all creation. In fact, He tells us to be the "servant of ALL" (Mark 9:35 NIV). No wonder English theologian Revd. Prof. Andrew Linzey (1995) argues that Jesus wants us to be "the servant species".


The recipients of our Christ-like service must include both animals and humans, because 1. God suffers in all suffering creatures (Psalm 145:9; Exodus 3:7; Isaiah 63:9); 2. Christ always sided with the marginalized (Matthew 25:40; Matthew 10:29; Luke 14:5; Matthew 15:30; Mark 12:44); 3. Jesus died at least partly for animal liberation through his act of cleansing the Temple (Akers 2020:117-119) (Note 1); 4. What Jesus experienced as an individual on the cross represents "incarnation of God’s ubiquitous presence in the psyches of all creatures victimized by predation, injustice, or despair" (Peters 2018), and via His resurrection, all the groaning creatures are offered hope of redemption (Romans 8:22-24).


Note


  1. In emptying the Temple of animals about to be slaughtered for sacrifice, and in calling the Temple-turned-butcher-shop "a den of thieves" (Mark 11:16, Luke 20:46, Matthew 21:12-13 KJV), He debunked the business fraud of animal sacrifice and disrupted the chief priests' and scribes' lucrative revenue stream (Akers 2020: 117-119; Chen 2024), who immediately afterwards conspired to destroy Him (Mark 11:15-18), which eventually led to His arrest, trial and crucifixion.

 

 

References


Akers, Keith (2000). The Lost Religion of Jesus. Lagos: Lantern Books.


Chen, Chapman (2024). "The 'Open Rescue' of Temple Animals by Jesus the Vegan Christ." HKBNews, Mar. 29.  https://www.hkbnews.net/post/the-open-rescue-of-temple-animals-by-jesus-the-vegan-christ-by-dr-chapman-chen


Linzey, Andrew (1995). Animal Theology. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.


Peters, Ted (2018). "Extinction, Natural Evil, and the Cosmic Cross". Journal of Religion and Science, Aug. 29. (https://doi.org/10.1111/zygo.12454 )


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