Exploring Jesus’ experience, interpretation, and enactment of weakness, understanding weakness as both human condition and virtue, this book offers a new portrait of Jesus who is weak and strong, and empowered to bring God’s rule, replete with mercy, in the here and now. Arguing against the grain of tradition that the strong Jesus identifies with the weak, this book demonstrates that it is the weak Jesus who identifies with the weak. The paradoxical truth with Jesus is: “Because he is weak, he is strong.” In the end, Jesus dies a death of paradox that reveals both his ultimate weakness that demands divine justice, and his unyielding spirit of love for the world and truth of God.
In Messiah in Weakness, Dr. Kim presents the intriguing and engaging contextualized proposition that Jesus of Nazareth embodied both weakness and strength. Expanding the conceptualization of weakness, Kim convincingly demonstrates how Jesus, through his ministry of teaching and healing and his suffering/crucifixion, enacted weakness, advocating for the weak. Reading through the decolonizing lens of weakness, Kim guides readers through a path paved with history of interpretation, adept literary analysis, contextual theology, and cultural and contemporary relevance. --Mitzi Smith, Ashland Theological Seminary
A timely intervention of public biblical interpretation. Yung Suk Kim's interpretation of Jesus provides a much-needed intervention in our current cultural moment. A society determined to assert its power naturally seeks a Jesus who affirms its striving -- Kim names such theologies idolatrous and demonstrates how Jesus brought transformation out of his own weakness. Acknowledging that we are all weak, he reasons, we can live in solidarity with the rest of humanity. --Greg Carey, Lancaster Theological Seminary
What is weakness (astheneia)?
Was Jesus weak? Or did he simply identity with the weak?
- How did Jesus see God and the world?
- How can we explain Jesus' death in view of this lens of weakness?
- Can we see God and world from the perspective of weakness?
- Can we also read biblical characters through this lens of weakness?
- How should we see ourselves?