For the last couple days, I’ve been curious to understand who Jesus was since I know now that he is not the messiah. The picture isn’t pretty, but it was one that I needed to see. Why? Perhaps I wanted some sense of closure to the past eight years of my life.
As I was researching, I remembered the initial charisma that I attributed to Jesus and the compassion with which it seemed he had toward me; the feeling that I mattered to him; that he cared about me and that he could save me from my lost and sinful nature. Today I see that Jesus was just a man who had some good ideas about righteousness and holy living. He was a teacher who maybe thought that he was the Messiah or maybe he imagined that he was just a prophet, or perhaps he thought he was just being a good Jew, like his cousin John the Baptist–we can’t really know because of the overlay the Church put on him over the years. But what I do know is the man Jesus did not think of himself as the god-man and redeemer that the church elevated him to after he died.
Had he not made such a stink with the religious leaders and the politicians in power at the time he might have been written in Jewish history as a great teacher who called his fellow Jews towards a righteous path which infused G-d with joy in every aspect of life. The problem with Jesus was he was unstable. He was elusive. He was unseasoned and exposed. He was a renegade as the prophet Daniel warned about in 11:14, “In those times many shall rise against the king of the south, and the violent among your own people shall lift themselves up in order to fulfill the vision, but they shall fail.”
Yes he was a dynamic speaker. Sure he was very good with people. Yes people felt better being around him and he cared for people but he was also a socialist who rejected the power and authority of those above him, despised those who were more educated than he, and sought to bring the rich down to a lowly place. Jesus had an inferiority complex. Perhaps because he was a mamzer (bastard) as Jewish sources tell us. Or maybe it was because his message was not getting him the following he thought he deserved aside from the am haaretz, the common people, whom he wouldn’t lift a finger to help realize their nationalist goals. The truth is he didn’t have the power to help them anyway. This is why he never publicly declared himself the messiah.
Ultimately, the sad, charismatic, Galilean Jew disappointed the zealots, ticked off the religious leaders, made those in the Roman government nervous, and isolated himself from his own family (who thought he was crazy). He only had the support from his deluded followers who grasped at straws to explain away his failure but had learned enough about religion and charisma to take their message to the Gentiles where a redressed pagan gospel could be proliferated–a gospel that failed miserably on its own Jewish soil.
The foundation of the problems of modern Christianity are explained in the delusion of this rebel. His attitudes and character are still reflected in his followers today. His thoughts became their philosophy. His actions, their dogma. They reject Jewish authority, they discount the Torah, and feel they have replaced Israel as the chosen people. Yet they tear each other apart because they insist on being their own authority just like Jesus.
The Jews were right to reject him then and they are right to fight (and even to die) to reject him now. May I merit to add my voice to theirs and wait for the true messiah as a holy Jew in Israel.
- Torah’s Refining Fires (lehitgayer.com)