- I’m not a historian. I admit it. The worst grade I ever receive in school was in history (Sophomore history in High School, c. 1981), and while I appreciate the need to understand any historical artifact in the context of the events which produced it, I am simply not a historian. That’s an essential point only in the fact that it indicates the limits of the commentator.
- Jesus was certainly in the line of David. He was human. In that, He was “Jewish” – He was part of a Jewish family, lived in a Jewish town, went to Synagogue and Temple, etc.
- I reject the idea that this “Jewishness” was a conforming constraint on the mind of Jesus. By way of metaphor, it is one thing to say that a broken clock is right twice a day, and another to say that someone is required to base all time-telling off the objective reference of the broken clock. Jesus certainly agreed with the Pharisees on some matters (cf. Mt 23:3a), but His view of God was not the same as their view and could not be a result of conforming to their teaching.
- Jesus’ human mind was a sinless human mind. In that, His mind did not go through the process we go through to receive truth about God. That is to say, Jesus’ teachings did not “develop”. There was never a time, for example, that Jesus would have thought some other commandments were more important that the two Great Commandments; Jesus never consider the Corban rule debatable. While it may be said that as Jesus grew from the infant in the manger to the man on the Cross His human knowledge grew, it cannot be said that at any time in that process His incomplete knowledge contained a sinful/heretical error about God.
- This sinlessness does not diminish the humanity of Christ, but is itself an over-riding conforming constraint on the mind of Christ. On the balance, it is far more important to consider and apply the sinless truth of Christ’s mind than it is to consider or apply the “Jewishness” of Christ’s mind.
- True “Jewishness” is the faith of the remnant, not the genetic relationship of any person to Abraham.
- The Pharisees did not possess the faith of the remnant; Mt 23 and Acts 7 assert clearly that those who stoned the prophets and killed those sent by God are the hard-hearted, not the ones who have a heart for God – and those described in these passages are the Pharisees and their followers.
- Jesus is plainly the object of faith for the remnant.
- When Jesus speaks to the faithful or about the faithful, He cannot be speaking out of a false context toward some kind of synthetic or syncretic goal of finding truth. He must be speaking as the object of faith, not as a student formed by Pharisaic teaching.
- Apparent historical contexts cannot trump the person of Christ as the object of faith. That is to say, without regard to what others at the time of Christ might have said or done, their actions are not the standard by which we should judge or interpret Christ: we must understand all things by the standard of Christ.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
For those of you not subscribed to the Reformed Baptist Discussion list, I have opened a can of worms there regarding the matter of the “Jewish Jesus”. While I am trying to maintain a discussion on the topic, I think I have failed to make my essential points perfectly clear.
Labels: Log in My Eye