Don't Politicize Jesus!
This treatise was written in response to a posting on Facebook.
A number of politically motivated statements were made with the excuse or claim that Jesus would fit into their particular political paradigm. It’s apparent the person who wrote it NEVER read the Bible and only went by what he or she thought it said and what Jesus said and did. Only one or two innocuous statements are true / accurate, namely He was a Middle Eastern Jew, was not an American and similar. The rest of their claims were completely false and rather absurd. We will examine them one by one.
Hung around with lepers, hookers and crooks
Was not American
Never spoke English
Never mentioned Abortion or Birth Control
Never called the poor lazy
Never justified torture.
Never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes
Never asked a Leper for a copay
Was long haired-brown skinned and homeless
Middle Eastern Jew
Let's unpack this point by point
The first claim made is Jesus was a "Radical"
No, Jesus was not “radical”. What He taught was a return to the teachings / instructions of what is commonly called the “Old Testament”. Exactly the same message ALL of the prophets of the Bible taught. What He spoke against was the man made laws (Heb. takenote) which the Temple leadership (made up of Sadducees and Pharisees) had instituted. He also spoke directly against their hypocrisy, of their vain puffing up in front of people to look pious. He (Jesus) taught Torah, the Written Law and was opposed to the whimsical Oral Law and traditions that those leaders made up and imposed on the people. If returning to the original instructions (torah) of the Bible is “radical” then yes, He is radical. And He is calling everyone of us to be just as radical!
The next claim made was Jesus was "Non-Violent"
Go and read your Bible again. Look at the part where He took up a whip and in an act of anger and violence chased the money changers out of the Temple.
Then He made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the Temple, both the sheep and oxen. He dumped out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those selling doves, He said, “Get these things out of here! Stop making My Father’s house a market place!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written, “Zeal for your House will consume Me!” (John 2:15-17 TLV)
Read again of how when He returns He will personally tread the winepress, becoming stained with the blood of His enemies and all those countries / nations who stood against His people and His land ~Israel~.
“Who is this coming from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah? This One splendid in His apparel, pressing forward in His great might?” “It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 “Why is Your apparel so red, and Your garments like one who treads in a wine press?” 3 “I have trodden the winepress alone—from the peoples, no man was with Me. I trod them in My anger, and trampled them in My wrath. Their lifeblood spattered My garments, so I stained all My robes. 4 For a day of vengeance was in My heart, and My year of redemption has come. 5 I looked, but there was no one to help. I was amazed, but no one was assisting. So My own arm won victory for Me, and My wrath upheld Me. 6 So I trod down the peoples in My anger, and made them drunk in My wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.” (Isaiah 63:1-6 TLV)
That Jesus was a Revolutionary
As explained with the concept of “Radical”, if returning to the original and true teachings of the Scriptures
is “revolutionary” then that is what He is. However, bear in mind He did not advocate revolution, which is what the Judeans wanted at that time; a deliverance from Roman rule (and oppression). So no He was not a
“Revolutionary”. This is where He said “those who live by the sword die by the sword”, He was against a direct "violent revolution” at that time. His revolution at that time was one of a spiritual revolution. A call to return to a state of Godliness and away from worldliness.
He “hung around with lepers”
No, He did not “hang” with Lepers, He cured them. That is not “hanging” with.
Or the other statement, He “hung around with “Hookers”
No, He did not “hang” with hookers, He told them to repent and “sin no more”. They followed Him! They
followed Him because of the forgiveness he gave them, the absolution of their past sins and their desire to turn
away from their previous ways, "turn over a new leaf" as the saying goes.
The Torah scholars and Pharisees bring in a woman who had been caught in adultery. After putting her in the middle, 4 they say to Yeshua, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of committing adultery. 5 In the Torah, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?” 6 Now they were saying this to trap Him, so that they would have grounds to accuse Him. But Yeshua knelt down and started writing in the dirt with His finger. 7 When they kept asking Him, He stood up and said, “The sinless one among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Then He knelt down again and continued writing on the ground. 9 Now when they heard, they began to leave, one by one, the oldest ones first, until Yeshua was left alone with the woman in the middle.
When confronted with the situation with the adulteress it was not her accusation that He was focused on but the method she was being accused and tried. By the rules in the Torah she needed to be confronted by two accusing witnesses as well as the other offending party. Adultery is a two person crime / sin. They, the accusers, knew the law, they tried to trick Jesus into making an illegal or illegitimate decision. He then wrote in the sand, twice. What was He writing? He was referencing the prophet Jeremiah.
Adonai, You are the hope of Israel! All who forsake You will be ashamed. Those who depart from You will be written in the dirt, for they have forsaken Adonai, the fountain of living waters. (Jeremiah 17:13 TLV)
Those who were leading the persecution of the "adulteress" were being charged by Jesus for having abandoned
God and His Torah, thus Jesus was inscribing their names in the dust. They recognized what He was doing and it
completely disarmed them, neutralizing their trick. The conversation with the adulteress then had Jesus ask her
where were her accusers, and since there were none, there was no crime, but Jesus knowing her heart and the
nature of the crime in question, told her to "sin no more". He was not condoning anything, but was calling all to confront their sinfulness and to repent.
He “hung around with “Crooks”
He was executed with “crooks”, at no time in the Bible does it state He ever “hung” with crooks as companions. Those who followed Him were those referred to as, sinners, and tax collectors. A sinner can cover a lot of transgressions. He did not "hang" with them other than when He hung on the Cross. As the Bible says:
"And he was numbered with the transgressors".
Jesus wasn’t American
This is one of the most absurd comments I've heard. No, He wasn't an American, nor was He African, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, NativeAmerican, Russian, European et al. He was a Middle Eastern Jewish man and would have resembled any one from the Levant region, i.e. Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen etc.
Never spoke English
Another absurd statement, of course He didn't speak English, but would obviously be capable of it if it were spoken at that time as in the Gift of Tongues. Keep in mind also that neither was the Bible written in English, it was written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. He would have spoken the lingua franca of the area, which would have been all three of those languages.
Jesus was "Anti-wealth"
No, He was not “anti-“ wealth, but anti greed, hording, selfishness. The Scriptures do not condemn wealth. Read again about Jesus’ parable about the talents, how some who are given and are able to increase it, are rewarded with that from those who could not have increase from proper financial management. If you squandered your gifts, it was taken from you and given to those who did not. To those who are given much, much is expected,so if you are blessed with wealth, you are required to manage it properly which included helping others. Thatdoesn't mean squandering it by simply giving it all away thus becoming poor and unable to help others.
I'm not sure where that idea is coming from. Nowhere in the Bible does it say the Messiah is anti-death penalty. If this is referring to the moment He stopped the adulteress from being stoned to death, you are misinterpreting what took place. According to the Torah as stated previously, to be executed one must have actual witnesses and there cannot be only one side of the equation for adultery. Where was the man? No, this was a kangaroo court and was an attempt to trick Jesus into defying not only Scriptures but the Roman government which had sole authority to execute anyone. Study your Bible and history a bit better. Remember again, He taught Torah and it speaks of using the Death Penalty. He was anti-false accusations, and anti pseudo justice as described previously
No, He was not against public prayer. He advocated prayer, always pray, public, private, corporate. He regularly prayed in such ways. The best prayer was personal and private, but if you are in public there was nothing He said which would imply public prayer was bad or wrong. You weren’t to show off, feigning solemnity and religiosity to look “pious”, which was the intent of His comment about praying in secret. The public praying for the sake of looking pious was His rebuking of the Pharisees for doing so. The list references the quote below. It's focus is clearly on deliberatly trying to look religious, faithful, pious.
“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Amen, I tell you, they have their reward in full! 6 But you, when you pray, go into your inner room; and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret. (Mt 6:5-6 TLV)
Now note, in contrast His instruction to not hide your faith.
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt should lose its flavor, how shall it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on a lampstand so it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (MT5:13-14 TLV)
He was clearly not trying to teach not to pray in public, but not to do so just to appear as religious
Jesus was "Never anti-gay"
Well, here is a tricky one as it garners so much emotion from so many today.
If you believe Jesus IS the Son of God, that human part of the Trinity, that as Jesus said “If you have seen me you have seen the Father”, then Jesus is - God With US - “Emmanuel”. So, if such is the case, He is the one who gave the Torah and inspiration for the Bible to Moses and the rest of the writers.
That means, where Scriptures speak against Homosexuality (which occurs in a number of places), then He was Anti-Gay just as He was anti-fornication, anti-incest, anti-beastiality, anti unclean, anti temptation, anti-immorality. As for a direct comment by Jesus on human relationships: “He created them male and female and for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife....”.
All of these are equally bad, homosexuality was no worse than theft, adultery, fornication, murder, cheating one another and so on; all were equally sinful, equally wrong and equally garnered the same Divine justice. All these are wrong in God’s eyes, and thereby so too Jesus (if you have seen Me you have seen the Father). This absurd claim that Jesus was not "anti-gay" is strictly a result of one's opinion and a vain attempt to make God into man's image.
Jesus never mentioned abortion or birth control
Never mentioned? Try “abomination of desolation”. He warned that when that reaches Jerusalem and theTemple, the End has come. Abomination of Desolation was the sacrificing of the babies to the god Molok. That continues today with abortion as the children are sacrificed for convenience of the “parents”.
When Moses was born, they were killing the Israelite children.
When Jesus was a child, Herod sought to kill all the children. If people would actually read the Bible, they would see and learn how the gift of a child is the GREATEST of blessings from God.
Birth control today is to make it ok for unwed couples to just do what they want sexually. That is against the Bible and what Jesus taught. Once again: “He created them male and female and for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife....” Any sex outside of marriage is Biblically wrong and marriage is veryclearly clarified in the Bible.
Never called poor lazy
No, He didn’t not directly, but He did rebuke the lazy, warning they would become poor. Poor being lazy may be due to a cause and effect.
“For it is like a man about to go on a journey. He called his own servants and handed over his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey.
16 “Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them and gained five more. 17 In the same way, the one with two gained two more. 18 But the one who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 “Now after a long time, the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received the five talents came up and brought another five talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed me five talents. Look, I’ve gained five more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful with a little, so I’ll put you in charge of much. Enter into your master’s joy!’ 22 “The one who had received the two talents also came up and said, ‘Master, you handed me two talents. Look, I’ve gained two more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful with a little, so I’ll put you in charge of much. Enter into your master’s joy!’
24 “Then the one who had received the one talent also came up and said, ‘Master, I knew that you are a hard man, reaping where you didn’t sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. 25 So I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’
26 “But his master responded, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! You knew that I reap where I didn’t sow and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you should have brought my money to the brokers, and when I came I would have received it back with interest. 28 Therefore take the talent away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29 For to the one who has, more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance. But from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 30 Throw the worthless servant out, into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Matthew 25:14-30 TLV)
and scriptures do so in a number of places.
“A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.” Proverbs 19:24
“The desire of the lazy man kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.” Proverbs 21:25
“The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion out there! If I go outside, I might be killed!” Proverbs 22:13
“Laziness leads to a sagging roof; idleness leads to a leaky house.” Ecclesiastes 10:18
You lazy people, you should watch what the ants do and learn from them. Ants have no ruler, no boss, and no leader. But in the summer, ants gather all of their food and save it. So when winter comes, there is plenty to eat. You lazy people, how long are you going to lie there? When will you get up? Proverbs 6:6-9
Lazy hands bring poverty, but hard-working hands lead to wealth. Whoever harvests during summer acts wisely, but the son who sleeps during harvest is disgraceful. Proverbs 10:4-5
The appetite of the sluggard craves but gets nothing, but the desire of the diligent will be abundantly satisfied. Proverbs 13:4
The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt. Proverbs 12:27
Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave. Proverbs 12:24
“All brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23
If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat! Proverbs 20:13
Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty. Proverbs 21:5
Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work. Proverbs 21:25
The slacker does not plow during planting season; at harvest time he looks, and there is nothing. Proverbs 20:4
Laziness throws one into a deep sleep, and an idle person will go hungry.
If anyone does not take care of his own relatives, especially his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8 Proverbs 19:15
He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. Ephesians 4:28
For even when we were with you, we would give you this order: if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that some among you are behaving irresponsibly—not busy, but busybodies. 12 Now such people we command and urge in the Lord Messiah Yeshua to work in a quiet demeanor, so they may eat their own bread. 2 Thess 3:10
God does not see rich and poor differently as people do. That’s man’s point of view and comes from envy, “coveting” hence breaking the 10th Commandment. So lazy is lazy, rich or poor. The Scriptures do say to NOT reward laziness. Quite the opposite as seen.
Another bizarre statement made was (especially if you don't know what you're talking about!)
"Never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes"
If you read the Bible you will learn that the taxation He did support was the way the Torah wrote it. Everyone
paid the same, 10% (hence the word “tithe”).
The Bible clearly states God does not favor the rich OR poor, all are the same in His eyes. All paid EQUALLY, the same percentage, 10. If you make $100,000, you pay $10,000, if you make $10, you pay $1. All are thus equal, just as God says, He does not see the rich or poor differently as mankind does, through the filters of greed and envy. His statement of “Render unto Caesar” was in response to a trick the Pharisees were trying to play on Him about paying taxes to the government. If you don’t, they will come after you. But the only taxation He would approve was that laid out in the Bible. His answer was to neutralize their vain attempt to get Him in trouble with the Roman government.
One last point, Nazarene is not a national identity. He would have been considered a Jew. Just as someone from California would be referred to as an American. Only internally would they be referred to as a Californian.
Never asked a leper for copay
He never asked anyone for pay, lepers or otherwise. He came as a servant. This is another of those bizarre statements made. They did keep money on them, Judas was the one who kept the purse of money they had. The Scriptures do say to pay a worker their just payment. A doctor is no less a worker than any other occupation. So, they do deserve their just and due payment. An argument can be made about the size or amount of that payment but that has nothing to do with Jesus or the Bible.
Was long haired and brown skinned homeless
His hair; stop picturing Jesus as the movies do; His hair was long but not “hippie” long; enough for one “grab” of the hand, beyond that it was improper for men (unless they had taken the Nazarite Vows) to have long hair. Jesus taught the Bible, the Old Testament as the New would not be written for another several decades. He lived according to those tenants.
Brown skinned? He would look exactly like any Arab / Israelite of middle eastern descent. As for being "Homeless", he returned home several times to Nazareth to visit His mother. He made mention though that the Messiah had no"home".
No, absolutely not, He was not a “community organizer”. He was faulted for being a community disorganizer. The powers at the time, namely the Sanhedrin saw His presence as threatening their power.
Consider Matthew 10:34 and Jesus' own words.
“Don’t suppose that I have come to bring peace to the Land. It is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword! For I have come to seta man against his father,a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, so that a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.
These are hardly the teachings of a "community organizer / unifier".
If this goes back to that same moment the adulteress was being charged and potentially stoned, His response dealt with their approach to Biblical justice. They were claiming she violated the Torah, but they themselves were doing the same thing with the methods they were attempting to use. He was pointing to their hypocrisy.
Slut shaming, He didn’t shame but told the adulteress to stop her adultery, “go and sin no more”. So He was against immoral sex (inclusive of homosexuality). Only sex within marriage was permitted and marriage was only between a man and woman. That’s the Bible, that’s what Jesus taught whether one likes it or agrees with it or not, that’s what He taught. The adulteress was shamed by her actions when she realized her sinfulness; shame thus came from theconviction of her soul.
There was a woman unclean from a blood disease, she being unclean reached out and grabbed the fringes of his garment (the Tzitzit). She was immediately healed. Jesus turned to her and said to her "it was not right to take the bread of the children and throw it to the dogs". This was not a friendly response and clearly is a shaming comment.
He had no problem telling someone were evil, compared to snakes and serpents, destined for damnation, or to completely change their lifestyle for His message.
Exactly, a Middle Eastern Jew who lived, breathed, practiced Torah. He was a Jew who came to teach Jews HOW to be Jewish. He did not come to start a new variant of pagan religions with all their immorality and unbiblical practices (which pervades modern Christianity). Both Jesus and Paul taught the meaning and purpose of God's Instructions the "Torah".
The biggest take away from all this is, if you are going to use the Bible and Jesus to support your political views, make sure you are accurately quoting and understanding the Bible and what Jesus taught. It is more than clear the writer of that Facebook meme has never read the Bible and has no clue what Jesus actually said and taught, or where it all stems from.
Read the Bible. Jesus taught the Torah, saying His was ways were easy. They were without all the nuanced man-made rules and regulations. They were without all the compromising ideas which politics create in one's mind.
As Augustine stated:
If you believe what you like in the Gospels and not what you don't like. It's not the Gospels you believe, but yourself.
So, don't make God in your image.
Abraham Lincoln was asked who's side God was on, the North or the South. His reply was, that wasn't important, it was whether or not we were on God's side.
Is it about your desires or God's?