“Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
An ancient axiom of Jesus, aka Luke 14:11
When an authority is an oppressor, God looks for those who will replace the evil authority. Ideally, God looks for a person who is oppressed to take over the authority position. God looks among the vulnerable for those who support justice. The vulnerable are those who will stand with the weak and poor, for they are weak and poor. God looks also for the oppressed who are innocent, or at least seeking repentance. Those who both support true authority and have been hurt by authority. These are God’s leaders.41
Jesus uses the term “humbled” for those who are oppressed. These could be oppressed by their own decision and be intentionally poor, such as his disciples. Or they could be poor because of others’ oppression.42 Jesus uses the term “raised” to speak of being placed into a position of authority. The ultimate humiliation is being murdered. The ultimate raising is the resurrection from the dead. God looks not only among the living, but among the martyred for those who would do justice.43
The final utopia is when the dead are raised in order to accomplish justice on earth.
41. I Samuel 2:1-9; Luke 1:46-55; Luke 6:20-26; James 1:9-11; 2:5.
42. Mark 10: 28-30; Luke 14:7-11; Luke 12:21-34; Matthew 5:11-12; 10:24-39; John 15:18-16:
43. Matthew 19:27-29; Romans 8:17; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; Daniel 12:1-3, 13; Mark 12:25-27; Philippians 2:5-11.