Although some athletes take taunting to extremes, it can be an effective strategy. It can throw an opponent of his or her game. Challenging authority is a form of taunting with the same effect. I love the scene in the movie Gandhi where they “walked to the sea and made salt.” Gandhi was challenging authority in a peaceful but effective way.
Jesus’s entrance in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday not only fulfilled prophecy, it also was a strategy meant to provoke and challenge. His entrance into the city to the cries of Hosanna was an “in your face” message to Rome, Herod, and the scribes and pharisees. Christ got their attention and forced them to deal with a poor carpenter from Galilee. He didn’t have a rabbinical degree or the authority of wealth or power, and normally the best strategy would be to ignore him. But Jesus knew how to provoke and challenge with the best. He knew how to get their attention and he did, and he forced them to play his game, not theirs.
What do you think? I think I wouldn’t want to play a game of hoops with Christ!