[FROM THE ARCHIVE: 5/31/2019]

We continue our exploration of the theme, “The Nobility Inside” which is such good medicine for a time when fascism is on the rise at home and abroad because it addresses the foundational issue: self-hatred, according to psychologist Erich Fromm.

The Hebrew Scriptures speak of royal personhood being a sign of the messianic times. For example, Psalm 2 sings: “You are my son, today I have begotten you.” Psalm 110 also celebrates this passing on of the divine royal kingship.  In Israel the king is responsible above all for justice and therefore survival of the community.

King David, Russian icon from 18th century. Wikimedia Commons.

Christians believe that such a royal person occurred in the person of Jesus who is with the people and calls for both love and justice.  Above all, he calls people to the kingdom/queendom of God; that is, he invites all peoples to be royal persons.  He calls them to their dignity as images of God—a theology of human dignity and royal personhood.

The Yahwist author and Jesus call people to two things in reminding them of their royal personhood: First, their dignity.  Next, their responsibility. A royal person has dignity, a nobility, that proves a starting point for their release from captivity. By reclining with them at table Jesus made the dispossessed feel “clean and acceptable,” in God’s eyes. As Albert Nolan observes, Jesus offers the poor “the full recognition of their dignity as human beings,” and it is by this power that the poor become empowered. “He gave them a sense of dignity and released them from their captivity.” The Good News that Jesus brings is News that all are considered royal persons by God, all have rights, all have divine dignity. He is sensitive to the pain that the oppressed undergo but insists that no one can rob them of their divine and royal dignity.

DIGNITY (Rethinking Poverty) A short documentary by Nate Sheppard.

All of Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom represents a crescendo in the Jewish teaching of royal personhood. This teaching includes the assurance that Yahweh would make the anawim (those without a voice) a royal people.

But with the dignity of all persons—who are all royal persons—comes responsibility: The responsibility for justice-making and preserving creation. On the part of the poor, this means being actively involved in asserting one’s dignity and therefore one’s rights, and of letting go of internalized oppression created by negative self-images that others may have handed on. On the part of those who are comfortable, this means letting go of privilege and siding with the afflicted. This challenge of Jesus is put forth in many parts of the gospels.

Adapted from: Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, pp. 98-100

Helen Kenick, “Toward a Biblical Basis for Creation Theology,” in Matthew Fox, Western Spirituality: Historical Roots, Ecumenical Routes, 27-75.

Banner image: “The unveiling of the new Torah display at Trinity International University” in Chicago. Photo by Taylor Flowe on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

In prayerful meditation, sit with the following questions: what are the insights that they open within you?

  • Have you had issues with “self-esteem”?  How does knowing you are of “royal personhood” assist your healing?
  • How is your nobility or royal personhood inspiring you to contribute to the struggles for eco, gender, racial, economic justice today?

Recommended Reading

Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality

In this book Matthew Fox lays out a whole new direction for Christianity—a direction that is in fact very ancient and very grounded in Jewish thinking (the fact that Jesus was a Jew is often neglected by Christian theology). Here Fox lays out the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality, the Vias Positiva, Negativa, Creativa and Transformativa in an extended and deeply developed way.

Fox’s spirituality weds the healing and liberation found in North American Creation Spirituality and in South American Liberation Theology. Creation Spirituality challenges readers of every religious and political persuasion to unite in a new vision through which we learn to honor the earth and the people who inhabit it as the gift of a good and just Creator.

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

4 thoughts on “Scripture on “The Nobility Inside””

  1. Avatar

    My Faith is openness to my True Heart Self/Image of God SACRAMENTALLY PRESENT with-in, through, and among Us in ALL Ongoing Creation and the Divine Creative LOVING FLOW of Diverse WHOLENESS~ONENESS…

  2. Avatar

    Relationships with others…
    As a female mystic, I take extremely seriously the responsibility I feel I’ve been given, to share the nuances and beauty of the Mysticism that I, by grace, experienced firsthand and then learned about through long study. I was grateful to be invited to share it in this forum’s discussion section, over 2 years ago.

    And because there’s so little information about this specific type of mysticism, the official mysticism of the Bible, available, especially to people who, like me, deeply want spiritual information but don’t have spare money to buy lots of books or pay for access to scholastic online sources, I felt it was essential that I give as much mystical information as I could, here on this forum where mysticism is FREE to all people. So over the last 2 years,, in these commentary sections, I’ve touched upon many essential and frequently misunderstood aspects of Mysticism.
    That is the love and duty of my heart.

    I also speak out strong;y for the empowerment, equal status and recognition of females in authentic Mystical religions, rather than our roles being forever confined to a subordinate servitude to males and our voices being muffled into powerless obscurity and/or appropriated by males as conveniently “anonymous” sources of “their” inspiration (and empowerment)
    Women are fully equal, in body and soul, to males. That’s what Jesus said. That’s what the Mystical message of the Bible said. That’s authentic Mysticism.

  3. Avatar

    Throughout my life, I’ve struggled with self-esteem. Learning to distinguish and discern truth from lies I believed to be true about myself was a turning point in the journey of my healing. The teachings of St. Ignatius taught by a wonderful Jesuit priest, named Father Tim Gallagher helped me unravel the entanglements of negative self talk that had oppressed and suppressed my ability to hear that small still voice within, and the many ways in which Spirit is speaking to my heart, mind and Soul. I have also combined this with sacred journaling and the expressive arts, through soul collage and other mixed mediums. I’ve also woven together Jungian concepts, Indigenious teachings, and Creation Spiritually into a sacred pathway that I try to walk in the beauty of daily.

    It’s been a long journey of healing and also gathering the fragments of what I thought I had lost, as well as discovering and birthing the new; however, I am now in the sacred space of claiming the nobility and dignity of all that I AM and all that I AM becoming, with a new found sense of actually ENJOYING this unfolding, evolving emergence of LOVE blossoming within my relationships with self, others, all of creation, life and the living essence and presence of Spirit within all!

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: