JESUS WOULD HAVE BEEN INSULTED
Jesus never said ‘Merry Christmas’ or anything like it.
Jesus most likely would have had no idea what was a Christ, even if he knew the Greek word for it. The historical Jesus, if he existed, was not a Christian, but rather, a follower of John the Baptizer and both preached that the time for repentance was at hand. The realm of God was unfolding with opportunities for a change of heart, for a greater awareness, for caring.
Jesus would not have been surprised by a Christmas tree, as the Hebrew Bible has many references to the Tree of Life. A well-known symbol in nearly every culture?
But the Jesus who reportedly said, “I desire mercy not sacrifice” (Mt 9:13) would not have seen himself as a human sacrifice. As a learned Jew, a rabbi, Jesus would have known that Yahweh abhorred human sacrifice (Gen 22:12-13). Jesus would have been perplexed (or insulted) to find himself the center of sects that worship him as a human sacrifice. Such distortion is perhaps the work of Paul.
What would Jesus have said to Paul?
Our Father Abraham learned that Yahweh abhors human sacrifice when Abraham tried to sacrifice Isaac his own child. When will you learn it? You have such a deep contempt for your ‘God-fearer’ followers that you feed them nonsense. You have such disrespect for God that you accuse him of the crime of making a human sacrifice.
As a rabbi, Jesus would have known there is only one God, as Jesus is reported saying, “‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Mk 12:29), where Jesus is referring to Deuteronomy 6:4 (see NRSV, “the Lord is our God, the Lord alone”). The idea that the Almighty could be split into “three persons” would have been unknown to Jesus, an idea that peaked centuries after Jesus. The real Jesus would have been amazed to find himself worshipped as a god, somehow God, but not the Father.
What would Jesus have said to Paul about that?
You make me into a god. These gentle children, the Gentiles, come to you with open hearts, seeking monotheism at the Jewish synagogues. But you feed them something that is a fairy tale, building on their own tradition of a Lady and a dying Lord. No, all are sons and daughters of Abba who is the one and only god.
If you loved your neighbor as yourself, you would know these followers of yours are your neighbors, worthy to receive the truth, and not your deceptions or delusions in return for their donations. Realize that each person you meet is like an extension of your very self, as if you are the vine and they are the branches. Have respect for what is holy.
Paul was practicing deception because as a Pharisee he would have known that Jesus could be neither a god nor a human sacrifice. But perhaps Paul was subject to hallucinations (his visions) and therefore did not have the ability to think clearly. Or maybe Paul, despite claiming to be a Pharisee, was simply ignorant of his own religion.
If there were indeed Jewish Christians before Paul, then likely the only thing he had in common with them was a belief in resurrection. However, the Jewish Christians would have known that Jesus did not have a physical resurrection if the Talpiot tomb is his tomb. They would have known he was buried there. So their belief would have been in a spiritual resurrection. As Jews, they would not have been accusing God of making a human sacrifice and they would not have been setting up a second god, the ‘Son of God.’ They would have known there is only one.
Whoever penned the Gospel books for the Paulists was obviously conflicted on these issues of Jesus being a god and a human sacrifice as there is plenty of ambiguity in the texts. In the quotes above, you can see that the Gospel authors have Jesus hint that he is neither a sacrifice nor a god. Bringing what I just said into sharper focus – if you can read between the lines in the Gospel, the authors are letting you know (if you are Jewish and educated) that the story of Jesus being a human sacrifice is a hoax. There is almost no possibility that any Jew would think that Yahweh was like a demon who needed to be sated with human blood.
Rather the truth is in verses that proclaim that “God is love” (if there is a god), unless your truth is that God is evil.
If Jesus was a god, then he was a big disappointment. He reportedly healed lepers. But only some. He fed thousands. But not the millions and billions who are hungry. Yeah, I know the drill. His mission was to die. Well, we all die and nothing is saved by that. And dying at a young age is a cop-out. He avoided the agony of being old, cancer-ridden, and alone. We’ve been waiting nearly 2,000 years for a second coming. Long overdue.
How pleased would Jesus have been to find out that the Gospel writers said Joseph was not his father. Doesn’t that dishonor both Mary and Joseph, even if true?
How pleased would Jesus have been to read that his family thought “he had gone out of his mind” and they had come to restrain him? (Mk 3:21) I don’t think that was written by any friend of Jesus as it is obviously insulting to him.
As a first-century Jew, Jesus would have been insulted to be called a god, a human sacrifice, a bastard, and crazy. Not likely the first Christians before Paul, who were also Jews, subscribed to these beliefs about Jesus. Instead, they probably loved him. I think we have to take the works of the Paulists as opportunistic and reactionary.
The historical Jesus of Nazareth – a Jew – deserved better than to be defamed and denigrated and used by Paul.
The disciples Jesus chose for himself deserved better than to be portrayed as worshippers of a demon-god who needed a human sacrifice.
And no, Jesus did not say at the Last Supper, “Drink my blood.” Jews don’t drink blood. It is forbidden to them by their religion.
I am just wondering about all the religious fanatics out there who think it is OK for a god to butcher his own son, or alternatively (if the same god, just different persona), violently commit suicide. So violence is OK? Yeah, it is OK with these types. For them, violence solves all their problems. Supposedly. They like the idea that a first century man was tortured to death in order to save them. They think torturing someone is a good idea. They wouldn’t think twice about it. So if God wants to do it, well, that’s fine with them. Especially, if they get saved as a result.
There are a lot of blood-thirsty people out there. They make a god in their own image.
The real historical Jesus, if he existed, was perhaps a political agitator, or perhaps a healer or prophet among his own people. Jesus deserved better than to have his legacy warped by Paul and Paul’s co-workers and followers.
Maybe Paul thought he was justified in making up a new religion because through it, he would be able to save the ‘God-fearers’ (those Pagans seeking monotheism at synagogues) from being circumcised, something Paul seems very opposed to, and rightly so as genital mutilation of children is a great wrong.
But Paul had no right to alter Jesus’ legacy.
I don’t think Paul really cared two cents about Jesus.
“I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” And many other similar verses (https://vinesandbrambles.wordpress.com/the-perfect-sacrifice/).
“Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.
I, I am the Lord,
and besides me there is no savior.”
(Also Isaiah 45:21, Hosea 13:4 – there is no savior but God)
Verses showing Yahweh abhors human sacrifice: see Genesis 22:12-13 and in the Catholic Douay, (one click DRA) Ezechiel 16:20-21, 16:36, 20:26, 20:31, 43:7-9. In 43, the ‘fornications’ are sex rituals between a ‘bride’ and a ‘bridegroom,’ and the ‘kings’ are the males sacrificed. The Gospel author applies the Pagan terms ‘bridegroom’ and ‘king’ to Jesus. Not likely he would have been amused.
Posted December 25, 2016