4. Addicted to God
“Born in Nazareth a masons son, In the glare of Sepphoris
I shall become High in heaven, stoned in hell
I believe in Belial, And the end of days
I believe in Elohim I’m always High in heaven, stoned I hell
I believe in Yohannan, Apocalyptic dread
i believe in Israel Ill always be
High in heaven ,stoned in hell
Hillel the wise I follow his words
And all he is, Like him I am, High in heaven, stoned in hell
I am addicted to my god, I am addicted to my god
I am addicted to my god, I am addicted To my god
I am Rabbi, Follow me, I am Rabbi, Follow me
I am Rabbi, Follow me, I am Rabbi Follow me
All behold The locust eater, All behold The Qumran Baptist
High in heaven, stoned in hell
All behold Cephas and Judas, All behold, Sons of thunder
High in heaven, stoned in hell
I am addicted to my god, I am addicted to my god
I am addicted to my god, I am addicted to my god
I am Rabbi, Follow me, I am Rabbi, Follow me
I am Rabbi, Follow me, I am Rabbi, Follow me
Who is god, I am god , Are you god, But what god
I know god, Its my god, Where is god, Why is god,
A man god, A fish god, A black god, A white god,
A gay god, A sad god, A blind, A dead god.
I raise the dead, Who said so, I heal the sick.
Why do so, Its destiny, Of blasphemy
Are u a Jew, No sir no, Its bad for you, Why sir why.
God hates you all, Circumcised, You must be done.
No one else, Shall be saved, At end of days.
Walk with me, Hasid dreamer, Walk with me, Walking leper
Walk with me, Dancing slut, Walk with me, Drunken filth
Walk with me, My children, Walk with me, My people
Walk with me, In gennesaret, Walk with me, In Jericho
Walk with me, In Capernaum, Walk with me, In Decapolis
Walk with me, In Bethany, Walk with me, In Jerusalem
Walk with me, In Aramathea, Walk with me, In Magdala
Walk with me, In Esrealon, Walk with me, In Nazareth
Walk with me, In Megiddo, Walk with me, In Esrealon
Walk with me, my Sadducees, my Pharisees,
Walk with me, my Essenes, walk with me, my people
My Baptist beheaded, His disciples now my own, To take them with into the languor of death, To me my fate as a piece of raw meat before the dogs of Rome.”
This song is about the early years of Jesus and who he was . He inherited John the Baptist teachings and disciples. He was a Jew who vehemently believed in his Judaic faith. He was a maverick in some ways and his twists on the Jewish scriptures were inherited from John the Baptist. The song skips across many places he frequented, most being I his native Galilee.
Birth and early life From the information I have gathered through various sources I would suspect there is little if anything known about the early years of Jesus.
Only Matthew and Luke have birth narratives, and these are not identical. [The birth narratives are also insertions and therefore entirely fictitious based on such Old Testament prophecies as, Mic.5:2 But, you [Bethlehem] Ephrathah, the least of the clans of Judah, out of you will be born for me the one who is to rule over Israel: his origin goes back to the distant past, to the days of old.
Isa 7:14 the Maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel.
With any person of note, the origins of birth are generally noted after the person has become a figure of distinction. Having being made a demi-god after his death, the intrigue of his early years would have necessitated some form of written explanation.
The Jewish contingent would have not cared where Jesus came from, as he was but an ordinary person with no god-like attributes, at most a prophet of little relevance. He was more known in Galilee than the Judea. It was the evolution of the Christian dogma that when circulating in Rome, at least 50-100 years after the death of Jesus, that a Birth narrative would have surfaced.
So, where does one gather information for a dead mans origins? The obvious answer is his parents or relatives, all of whom would have been dead themselves. So, unless this history is pre-written or some documents having been logged at the time, the information would by process of elimination have to be conspired and fabricated. The Old Testament prophecy [mic 5:2] designates Bethlehem as the place of Birth for the coming messiah, so it is plainly obvious to where to place Jesus at his time of Birth.
Being a realization of prophecy would imply the birth narrative to be a later addition to the life of Jesus. So the whole nativity is utter fabrication. Try telling that to your kids at the school play!
The popular belief that Jesus grew up in Nazareth is also not all it seems, Situated in the unruly province of Galilee, Nazareth was a very small village at the time of Jesus’ time.
Archeological evidence reveals this village to be far from the town described in the gospels. It certainly would not have warranted a Synagogue. The town certainly existed, but it had not reached a notable size until after the time period of Jesus’ life.
The name is familiar enough, mentioned in the New Testament 29 times, as the place Jesus grew up in, and yet, there are no historical records or biblical texts at the time that mention it. Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament, the Talmud [the Jewish law code], early rabbinic literature, nor in the Apocrypha. Nazareth is not included in the list of settlements of the tribes of Zebulon [Joshua 19:10-16]. which mentions twelve towns and six villages in Galilee, and Nazareth is not included in the 45 cities mentioned by the historian Josephus. The name is also missing from the 63 towns of Galilee mentioned in the Talmud.
Nazarethis located between the Jezreel valley and the mountainous regions of Galilee, 60 miles north of Jerusalem and midway between the Mediterranean and the Galilean seas.
At the time of Jesus Nazareth would have been more like a village than a city, isolated from the trade routes of the more hectic Sepphoris. This insignificance was the reason it is not mentioned in the list of settlements or the 63 towns of Galilee. The evidence reveals that at the time of Jesus, Nazareth was a small agricultural settlement populated by a few dozen families. It would be correct to say the people of Judea would have never heard of Nazareth.
The very translation of Nazareth is dubious, with many scholars new agreeing that the Greek words, Nazerenos [mark 1:24], and Nazaraios [Matt 26:71] denote a sect, rather than a place. I doubt very much, Jesus was a member of a sect known as Nazoreans, a Mandean Gnostic group of holy men, of which, John the Baptist was supposedly a member. I am quite convinced Jesus was born in Nazareth. Jesus the Nazorean, A name given to Jesus and his followers by the Jews as a derogatory remark pertaining to his place of birth. [meaning his Galilean accent would have been deemed uneducated and uncouth to the Judeans] The original meaning for Nazareth is still a mystery. In Hebrew the word, Nazir’ –[Nazarite-monk]. Some scholars think the name comes from the Hebrew word, ‘Netzer’ [branch], as prophesized by Isaiah, that a Savior will come from the branches [roots] of King David. What is not is doubt, is that Jesus did come from Galilee. We shall follow the belief that Jesus was born in Nazareth and that his life leading up to his life defining meeting with John the Baptist was in and around his birth place.
Sepphoris is the little known and biblical omitted city that was the capital city of Herod Antipas. The cities non-inclusion in the Gospels, especially as it was a mere 4 miles north from Nazareth, is quite astonishing. Archaeological evidence has shown the city to have been a sophisticated Greco-Roman metropolis where its thirty thousand inhabitants lived relatively peaceful and prosperous lives. Sepphoris was a major city in first century BC, and by 63BC, under the control of Rome, as was all Galilee. Having its foundations on a hill, the city could be seen for miles, and certainly visible from the north of Nazareth from the ridge of the Bet Netofa Valley. Jesus himself must have frequently gazed across the arid landscape and marveled at the cosmopolitan baggage trains eager to show their wares. In Matthew 5:14, it states of ‘A City set on a hill cannot be hid’, a possible reference to Sepphoris.
Following Herod the Greats Death in 4BC, an uprising led by the Galilean, Judah ben Hezekiah, was crushed by the Syrian legate, Quintillius Varus, and the city of Sepphoris was destroyed. Jesus would have been born by this time and living in Nazareth with his family. Herod Antipas, ordered the city to be rebuilt and no doubt workers from the vicinity helped to do this. The Historian, Josephus, described the rebuilt city as the ‘Ornament of Galilee’. We are all familiar with the ‘Jesus the Carpenter’, to quote Matthew 13:55 ‘Is not this the carpenters son? Is not his mother called Mary?’
The Greek word, Tekton, is translated in the broad sense as, Builder of Houses. It can refer to a worker in Wood, or in stone. To confine the meaning to Carpenter is a mis-translation. The original Aramaic, nagger, translates as craftsmen or scholar.
So, Joseph and his son, Jesus were more than just carpenters, they were builders, stone masons and craftsmen. There is no doubt that during the rebuilding of Sepphoris, Joseph would have contributed to its construction, being a mere 4 miles distance away.
Taking Jesus along with him would have thrown the youngster into a cosmopolitan world far different from the relative seclusion of Nazareth. So we must no surmise how Jesus acquired his scholarly knowledge on Judaism and subsequent personal deviations from the orthodox teachings.
Firstly let us list the ways in which Jesus could have acquired such knowledge over many years.
1. Jesus was always hanging around the synagogues, talking to passing rabbis, men of distinction and doctors.
2. Jesus left home at an early age and enlisted into a sect for self enlightenment.
3. Jesus acquired this knowledge from divine providence.
4. Jesus taught himself by reading scripture over and over.
Firstly we can remove divine providence. He may have been wholly devout but his knowledge would have been taught or self taught.The Gospels reveal very little of the life of Jesus from his birth to his meeting with John the Baptist by the river Jordan. The birth narratives we have argued are later insertions by proliferators of the new faith,
Matthew. Has a birth narrative, the slaughter of the innocents, the flight to Egypt. The historical relevance of Herods reign and his successor, Archelus are mentioned.
Mary and Joseph return after Herod is dead, but go to Galilee due to Archelaus.
The story jumps to John the Baptist, and Jesus appears at the river Jordan.
Here we have a 30 year time jump, with only a brief glimpse of Jesus’ childhood, teenage years or adulthood though his twenties being documented.
Mark Mark has no birth narrative, and literally starts with John the Baptist and Jesus at the river Jordan. Here it is mentioned Jesus comes from Nazareth in Galilee.
Luke Luke has a birth narrative, and the following information.
Here Joseph leaves Nazareth to take part in a census, to his place of birth in Bethlehem.
Here Mary gives birth. We can deduce that Jesus grew under his fathers guidance in Nazareth. Each years Joseph journeyed to Jerusalem for the Passover feast. When Jesus was twelve he was at the temple talking to the doctors and asking questions.
John No birth narrative. So how do we reconcile the immense wealth of knowledge Jesus acquired of Judaism, from the sparse information we are given? How did Jesus acquire knowledge equal, if not more than the priests and rabbis of his day? Could such knowledge come from a rugged town, if Nazareth could be called such at that time?
His father certainly possessed none of this knowledge, and to absorb such, one would need to spend literally years to absorb and familiarize ones intellect.
To discover who Jesus was, and what he became we must look at where he was raised and the surroundings of his early years. The population of Galilee was very mixed, as the very name of the country indicated. This province counted among its inhabitants, in the time of Jesus, many who were not Jews (Phoenicians, Syrians, Arabs, and even Greeks).
The house of Joseph doubtless much resembled those poor shops, lighted shop, by the door, serving at once for kitchen, and bedroom, having for furniture a mat, some cushions on the ground, one or two clay pots, and a painted chest. The family, whether it proceeded from one or many marriages, was rather numerous. Jesus had brothers and sisters, of whom he seems to have been the eldest. All have remained obscure, for it appears that the four personages, who were named as his brothers, and among whom one, at least, James,
His sisters were married at Nazareth, and he spent the first years of his youth there. Nazareth was a small town in a hollow, opening broadly at the summit of the group of mountains which close the plain of Esdraelon on the north. The cold there is sharp in winter, and the climate very healthy. The town, like all the small Jewish towns at this period, was a heap of huts built without style, and would exhibit that harsh and poor aspect which villages in Semitic countries now present. The houses, it seems, did not differ much from those cubes of stone, without exterior or interior elegance, which still cover the richest parts of the Lebanon, and which, surrounded with vines and fig-trees, are still very agreeable. The environs, moreover, are charming; and no place in the world was so well adapted for dreams of perfect happiness. Even in our times Nazareth is still a delightful abode, the only place, perhaps, in Palestine in which the mind feels itself relieved from the burden which oppresses it in this unequalled desolation.
The horizon from the town is limited. But if we ascend a little the plateau, swept by a perpetual breeze, which overlooks the highest houses, the prospect is splendid. On the west are seen the fine outlines of Carmel, terminated by an abrupt point, which seems to plunge into the sea. Before us are spread out the double summit which towers above Megiddo; the mountains of the country of Shechem, with their holy places of the patriarchal age; the hills of Gilboa, the small picturesque group to which are attached the graceful or terrible recollections of Shunem and of Endor; and Tabor, with its beautiful rounded form, which antiquity compared to a bosom. Through a depression between the mountains of Shunem and Tabor are seen the valley of the Jordan and the high plains of Peraea, which form a continuous line from the eastern side. On the north the mountains of Safed, in inclining towards the sea, conceal St. Jean d’Acre, but permit the Gulf of Khaifa to be distinguished; Such was the horizon of Jesus. This enchanted circle, cradle of the kingdom of God, was for years his world. Even in his later life he departed but little beyond the familiar limits of his childhood. For yonder, northwards, a glimpse is caught, almost on the flank of Hermon, of Caesarea-Philippi, his furthest point of advance into the Gentile world; and here, southwards, the more somber aspect of these Samaritan hills foreshadows the dreariness of Judea beyond, parched as by a scorching wind of defoliation and death.
He learned to read and to write, doubtless, according to the Eastern method, which consisted in putting in the hands of the child a book, which he repeated in cadence with his little comrades, until he knew it by heart. It is doubtful, however, if he under stood the Hebrew writings in their original tongue. His biographers make him quote them according to the translations in the Aramean tongue; his principles of exegesis, as far as we can judge of them by those of his disciples, much resembled those which were then in vogue, and which form the spirit of the Targums and the Midrashim.
The schoolmaster in the small Jewish towns was the hazzan, or reader in the synagogues. Jesus frequented little the higher schools of the scribes or sopherim (Nazareth had perhaps none of them), and he had none of those titles which confer, in the eyes of the vulgar, the privileges of knowledge. It would, nevertheless, be a great error to imagine that Jesus was what we call ignorant. Scholastic education among us draws a profound distinction, in respect of personal worth, between those who have received and those who have been deprived of it. It was not so in the East, nor, in general, in the good old times. The state of ignorance in which, among us, owing to our isolated and entirely individual life, those remain who have not passed through the schools, was unknown in those societies where moral culture, and especially the general spirit of the age, was transmitted by the perpetual intercourse of man with man. The Arab, who has never had a teacher, is often, nevertheless, a very superior man; for the tent is a kind of school always open, where, from the contact of well-educated men, there is produced a great intellectual and even literary movement. The refinement of manners and the acuteness of the intellect have, in the East, nothing in common with what we call education. It is the men from the schools, on the contrary, who are considered badly trained and pedantic. In this social state ignorance, which among us, condemns a man to an inferior rank, is the condition of great things and of great originality.
It is not probable that Jesus knew Greek. This language was very little spread in Judea beyond the classes who participated in the Government and the towns inhabited by pagans, like Caesarea. The real mother tongue of Jesus was the Syrian dialect mixed with Hebrew, which was then spoken in Palestine. Neither directly nor indirectly. then did any element of Greek culture reach Jesus. He knew nothing beyond Judaism; his mind preserved that free innocence which an extended and varied culture always weakens. In the very bosom of Judaism, he remained a stranger to many efforts often parallel to his own. On the one hand, the asceticism of the Essenes or the Therapeutoe [philosophers], on the other, the fine efforts of religious philosophy put forth by the Jewish school of Alexandria, and of which Philo, his contemporary, was the ingenious interpreter, were unknown to him. The frequent resemblances which we find between him and Philo, those excellent maxims about the love of God, charity, rest in God, which are like an echo between the Gospel and the writings of the illustrious Alexandrian thinker, proceed from the common tendencies which the wants of the time inspired in all elevated minds.
Happily for him, he was also ignorant of the strange scholasticism which was taught at Jerusalem, and which was soon to constitute the Talmud. If some Pharisees had already brought it into Galilee, he did not associate with them, and when, later, he encountered this silly casuistry, in it only inspired him with disgust. We may suppose, however, that the principles of Hillel were not unknown to him. Hillel, fifty years before him, had given utterance to aphorisms very analogous to his own. By his poverty, so meekly endured, by the sweetness of his character, by his opposition to priests and hypocrites, Hillel was the true master of Jesus, if, indeed, it may be permitted to speak of a master in connection with so high an originality as his.
The perusal of the books of the Old Testament made much impression upon him. The canon of the holy books was compose of two principal parts: the Law — that is to say, the Pentateuch — and the Prophets, such as we now possess them. An extensive allegorical exegesis was applied to all these books; and it was sought to draw from them something that was not in them, but which responded to the aspirations of the age. The Law, which represented not the ancient laws of the country, but Utopias, the factitious laws and pious frauds of the time of the pietistic kings, had become, since the nation had ceased to govern itself, an inexhaustible theme of subtle interpretations. As to the Prophets and the Psalms, the popular persuasion was that almost all the somewhat mysterious traits that were in these books had reference to the Messiah, and it was sought to find there the type of him who should realize the hopes of the nation. Jesus participated in the taste which everyone had for these allegorical interpretations. But the true poetry of the Bible, which escaped the puerile exegetists of Jerusalem, was fully revealed to his grand genius. The Law does not appear to have had much charm for him; he thought that he could do something better. But the religious lyrics of the Psalms were in marvelous accordance with his poetic soul; they were, all his life, his food and sustenance. The prophets — Isaiah in particular, and his successor in the record of the time of the captivity — with their brilliant dreams of the future, their impetuous eloquence, and their invectives mingled with enchanting pictures, were his true teachers. He read also. no doubt, many apocryphal works — i.e. writings somewhat modern — the authors of which, for the sake of an authority only granted to very ancient writings, had clothed themselves with the names of prophets and patriarchs, One of these books especially struck him — namely, the book of Daniel. This book, composed by an enthusiastic Jew of the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, under the name of an ancient sage, was the resume of the spirit of those later times. Its author, a true creator of the philosophy of history, had for the first time dared to see in the march of the world and the succession of empires only a purpose subordinate to the destinies of the Jewish people. Jesus was early penetrated by these high hopes. Perhaps, also, he had read the books of Enoch, then revered equally with the holy books, and the other writings of the same class, which kept up so much excitement in the popular imagination. The advent of the Messiah, with his glories and his terrors — the nations falling down one after another, the cataclysm of heaven and earth — were the familiar food of his imagination; and, as these revolutions were reputed near, and a great number of persons sought to calculate the time when they should happen, the supernatural state of things into which such visions transport us appeared to him from the first perfectly natural and simple.
That he had no knowledge of the general state of the world is apparent from each feature of his most authentic discourses. The earth appeared to him still divided into kingdoms warring with one another; he seemed to ignore the “Roman peace,” and the new state of society which its age inaugurated. He had no precise idea of the Roman power; the name of “Caesar” alone reached him. He saw building, in Galilee or its environs, Tiberias, Julias, Diocaesarea, Caesarea, gorgeous works of the Herods, who sought, by these magnificent structures, to prove their admiration for Roman civilization, and their devotion towards the members of the family of Augustus — structures whose names, by a caprice of fate, now serve, though strangely altered, to designate miserable hamlets of Bedouins. He also probably saw Sebaste, a work of Herod the Great, a showy city, whose ruins would lead to the belief that it had been carried there ready made, like a machine which had only to be put up in its place. This ostentatious piece of architecture arrived in Judea by cargoes; these hundreds of columns, all of the same diameter, the ornament of some insipid Rue de Rivoli — these were what he called “the kingdoms of the world and all their glory.” But this luxury of power, this administrative and official art, displeased him. What he loved were his Galilean villages, confused mixtures of huts, of nests and holes cut in the rocks, of wells, of tombs, of fig-trees, and of olives. He always clung close to nature. The courts of kings appeared to him as places where men wear fine clothe. The charming impossibilities, with which his parables abound, when he brings kings and the mighty ones on the stage, prove that he never conceived of aristocratic society but as a young villager who sees the world through the prism of his simplicity.
Still less was he acquainted with the new idea, created by Grecian science, which was the basis of all philosophy, and which modern science has greatly confirmed — to wit, the exclusion of capricious gods, to whom the simple belief of ancient ages attributed the government of the universe, Almost a century before him Lucretius had expressed, in an admirable manner, the unchangeableness of the general system of nature. The negation of miracle — the idea that everything in the world happens by laws in which the personal intervention of superior beings has no share — was universally admitted in the great schools of all the countries which had accepted Grecian science. Perhaps even Babylon and Persia were not strangers to it. Jesus knew nothing of this progress. Although born at a time when the principle of positive science was already proclaimed, he lived entirely in the supernatural. Never, perhaps, had the Jews been more possessed with the thirst for the marvelous. Philo, who lived in a great intellectual center, and who had received a very complete education, possessed only a chimerical and inferior knowledge of science.
Jesus on this point differed in no respect from his companions. He believed in the devil, whom he regarded as a kind of evil genius, and he imagined, like all the world, that nervous maladies were produced by demons who possessed the patient and agitated him. The marvelous was not the exceptional for him; it was his normal state. The notion of the supernatural, with its impossibilities, is coincident with the birth of experimental science. The man who is strange to all ideas of physical laws, who believes that by praying he can change the path of the clouds, arrest disease, and even death, finds nothing extraordinary in miracle, inasmuch as the entire course of things is to him the result of the free will of the Divinity. This intellectual state was constantly that of Jesus. But in his great soul such a belief produced effects quite opposed to those produced on the vulgar. Among the latter the belief in the special action of God led to a foolish credulity, and the deceptions of charlatans. With him it led to a profound idea of the familiar relations of man with God, and an exaggerated belief in the power of man — beautiful errors, which were the secret of his power; for if they were the means of one day showing his deficiencies in the eyes of the physicist and the chemist, they gave him a power over his own age of which no individual had been possessed before his time, or has been since.
His distinctive character very early revealed itself. Legend delights to show him even from his infancy in revolt against paternal authority, and departing from the common way to fulfill his vocation. It is certain, at least, that he cared little for the relations of kinship. His family do not seem to have loved him, and at times he seems to have been hard towards them. Jesus, like all men exclusively preoccupied by an idea, came to think little of the ties of blood. The bond of thought is the only one that natures of this kind recognize. “Behold my mother and my brethren,” said he, in extending his hand towards his disciples; “he who does the will of my Father, he is my brother and my sister.” The simple people did not understand the matter thus, and one day a woman passing near him cried out, “Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which gave thee suck!” But he said, “Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” Soon, in his bold revolt against nature, he went still further, and we shall see him trampling under foot everything that is human — blood, love, and country — and only keeping soul and heart for the idea which presented itself to him as the absolute form of goodness and truth.
Galileeis a region to the north of Judea, and northern most province in Palestine. In the time of Jesus it was a hot bed of disillusioned patriots and revolutionary movements. The mountains of the north were especially infested with cave dwelling bandits and political activists. Rome was in full control of Judea and from 4BC to AD 39 Galilee was ruled by Herod Antipas,
It was a relatively wealthy area, exporting large quantities of olive oil from a rich farming industry, a healthy fishing industry and
There were many Holy men known as Hasidin that appeared from the region. They were healers and miracle-workers, religious wanderers who lived a simple and religiously observant life. The Sea of Galilee is where Jesus spent much of his wanderings. Capernaum, Bethsaida, Tiberias and Gergeas, were all situated around its circumference. Rabbinic sources deploy a rather cynical image of the northern Galilean. He is depicted as a rough and ready type, not in full possession of his mind; a lower class of people compared to the more learned and dignified Judeans.
From the perspective of Jerusalem, Galilee was a province that spoke a slang definition of Aramaic, a dialect that was rife with Hebrew mispronunciations. This linguistic alienation of localized peoples has always born a certain prejudice and racial friction in every nation and every
An example would be of the English ridiculing the Scott’s for their language, their seemingly simplistic lives and overall cultural differences. Both English and Scott’s sharing the same island, yet speaking localized forms of the same language, and this is no disrespect to the Scott’s, as they more than likely feel the same. So you can imagine the setting: a wandering Holy man from Scotland, appearing in London in the middle ages, declaring his own slant on the established religion, casting a shadow over English law and basically creating unease with the local populace.
As insignificant a troublesome Scott would seem to history, his escapades resulting in his public execution would melt into the everyday judicial killings of the age. Of course the Middle Ages is a time in history where a semi-civilized west would not be a ripe environment for a new religion to be taken seriously.
But take this allegory of the Scott who spoke a new form of belief in God, plant him in the tumultuous religious fervour of first century Palestine. Let his words reach out into the surrounding multi deity confusion, and maybe, just maybe his new message would take a deeper meaning, albeit one not of his original making. So, we now look upon Jesus the Galilean as a stranger in Jerusalem, his dialect instantly making him an outsider. His message as we know was well publicized in Galilee,.
John the Baptist
Among the numerous holy men who roamed the lands of Palestine during the first half of the first century AD, there was one who preceded Jesus and captivated as much interest. John preached that the Kingdom of God was at hand, and like Jesus attracted large crowds. Some thought him to be the Messiah although his death proved otherwise.
The story of the dance of Salome before King Herod who was fearful of John is well known. He granted the dancer anything she wished and she demanded the Head of John the Baptist. Jesus would have learned most of his radical views form John, and after he was executed would have adopted his disciples. The Gospels tell us that Jesus and John were cousins. We expect to find a family resemblance among relatives. Not surprisingly, then, they were “look-alikes” in many respects. Both were at home in the wilderness, the venue of extraordinary temptation and trial and testing, Both preached out-of doors when they began their public ministry. Both gave their disciples a characteristic prayer. John gave his followers a prayer that outwardly identified them as his disciples and inwardly welded them to each other. Both summoned people to repent. John insisted that the sole purpose of his mission was to point away from himself to his younger cousin, Jesus. Jesus, for his part, never uttered one negative word about John. Jesus even endorsed John’s ministry by submitting to baptism at John’s hand. Indeed Jesus said, “Among those born of women (that is, of all the people in the world), there is none greater than John.” So its is clear Jesus was heavily influenced by John and was probably under his wing so to speak for many years, maybe even from his teens.
The two were different though in their characteristics. Think of John’s appearance. He wore a camel-hide wrap-around, and it stank as only camels can stink. (Jesus, by contrast, wore a robe fine enough that soldiers gambled for it.) Then there was John’s diet: wild honey. How many bee stings did he have to endure to procure the honey? No doubt he had been stung so many times he was impervious, bees being now no more bothersome than fruit flies. And the locusts? There’s lots of protein in grasshoppers, since small creatures like grasshoppers are the most efficient in converting grain protein into animal protein. Grasshoppers are good to eat, as long as you don’t mind crunching their long legs and occasionally getting them stuck in your teeth. John was anything but effete, anything but dainty, anything but a reed shaken by the wind. John’s habitat was noteworthy. The wilderness, everywhere in scripture, is the symbol for a radical break with the posturing and the pretence, the falsehoods and phoniness of the big city and its inherent corruption. We mustn’t forget John’s single mindedness. Because his camel-hide loincloth lacked pockets, John’s one-and-only sermon he kept in his head and his heart. It was a simple sermon. The judgment of God is so close at hand that even now you can feel God’s fiery breath scorching you and withering everything about you that can’t stand the conflagration. And in the face of this judgment, thundered John, there are three things that cozy, comfortable people think they can take refuge in when there is no refuge; namely, parentage, piety and prestige.
Might John have been deranged? His enemies said he was crazy. But the same people who said John was crazy said Jesus was an alcoholic. Certainly John was crude. Jesus admitted as much when he told those whom John had shocked, “What did you expect to see? A reed shaken by the wind? A feeble fellow smelling of perfume?” John lacked the polish of the cocktail crowd. But he was sane. The crucial difference between John and Jesus was this. John could only point to the kingdom of God , the all-determining reality that was to heal a creation disfigured by the Fall. Jesus, on the other hand, didn’t point to it: he brought it inasmuch as he was the new creation, fraught with cosmic significance, the one in whom all things are restored. John’s ministry prepared people for a coming kingdom that the king would bring with him. Jesus’ ministry gathered people into that kingdom. It’s not that Jesus contradicted John. Rather, Jesus effected within people what John could only hold out for them. Because the ministry of Jesus gathered up the ministry of John, nothing about John was lost. At the same time, the ministry of Jesus contained so much more than John’s — as John himself gladly admitted. In other words, the ministry of Jesus was the ministry of John plus all that was unique to our Lord. Jesus had learned from John and added his own world view.
Jesus, like John, spoke to the defiant self-righteous who not only disdained entering the kingdom themselves but also, whether deliberately or left-handedly, impeded others from entering it; Jesus spoke to these people in a vocabulary that would take the varnish off a door. Jesus, however, also had his heart broken over people who were like sheep without a shepherd. Because John’s message was the penultimate word of judgement, the mood surrounding John was as stark, spare, ascetic as John’s word: he drank no wine and he ate survival rations. Jesus maintained wealthy followers and was always in good company and never lacked a room or a meal if needed. It is clear that Jesus was a good man; his demeanour reveals a decent loving person who really cared for the people around him. But was he the Messiah, the living redeemer of God?
The Jewish Messiah
In Judaism, the Messiah [Anointed one] is at its base meaning, referred to any Future king who’s blood is rooted to David. The Messiah is literally an anointed king, a deliverer, a redeemer.
The Jews awaited a Messiah to free them from bondage and restore the kingdom of David and bring about the Messianic age. In Jesus’ time, when the yoke of Roman rule seemed to bring about the total annihilation of the la Isaiah no, a Messianic figure was all the more relevant. There are numerous references to this Messiah on the Jewish Torah, Simon Ben Kokhba led a revolt against the Romans and was regarded as the anointed king [Messiah], by his followers. A.D. 132.
After the revolt had failed he was denounced as a false Messiah.
Many of the requirements of the Messiah are listed in the Old Testament book of Isaiah.
Some of these requirements are as follows,
Isaiah 2:4 Once he is King, leaders of other nations will look to him for guidance
Isaiah 11:1 He will be descended from King David
Isaiah 10:11 He will include and attract people from all cultures and nations
Isaiah 51:11 The Jewish people will experience eternal joy and gladness
Isaiah 52:7 He will be a messenger of peace
Isaiah 51:13 53:5 Nations will end up recognizing the wrongs they did Israel
The Jewish view of Jesus
All Jewish denominations reject the status of Jesus being the Son of God, a party of the trinity or a prophet.] Jesus is rarely mentioned in Judaism and if anything his existence was believed to have been 130 years before the date Christians cite him to have lived.
The Jewish belief system does not entertain a dualist [God and Son] or the trinity [Father, son and holy spirit] as this is tantamount top polytheism [many gods] Judaism is profusely a monotheistic faith and therefore cannot sustain the Christian adoption of their religion and subsequent adaptations to its belief system. Deuteronomy 6:2 clearly states, “Hear Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.”
Fundamentally, Judaism believes that God, as the creator of time, space, and matter, is beyond all reason, and cannot be born or die, or have a son. Judaism teaches that it is heretical for any man to claim to be God, part of God, or the literal son of God. The Jerusalem Talmud 2:1 states: “if a man claims to be God, he is a liar.” Jesus lived while The Second Temple was standing, and not while the Jews were exiled. He never reigned as King, and there was no subsequent era of peace or great knowledge. Rather than being redeemed, the Jews were subsequently exiled from Israel. These discrepancies were noted by Jewish scholars who were contemporaries of Jesus, as later pointed out by Nahmanides, who in 1263 observed that Jesus was rejected as the Messiah by the rabbis of his time A further point to remember is the numerous Old Testament prophecies relating to the coming messiah that Jesus supposedly fulfilled. Was this intentional of coincidental, or divinely instigated?
The Messiah in Old Testament Prophecy
The Old Testament is littered prophetic glimpses of a Messiah. The fact Jesus fulfilled these quotes is not necessarily conformation he was the Messiah
Although he may have acted out many of the quotes in life I would suggest others were inscribed into the New Testament books by later writers in their zest to authenticate the credentials of the new deified Jesus. To understand the way the Old Testament prophecies have been used in this way is explained below.
The original Old Testament Prophecy is in Italics followed by its New Testament realization.
Gen.49:10The scepter shall not pass from Judah, nor the mace from between his feet, until he come to whom it belongs, to whom people shall render obedience.
Matt 1:2-16; Luke 3:23-33. In Matt and Luke the Genealogy of Jesus is listed and reveals he is descended directly from Abraham and the tribe of Judah.
Mic.5:2 But, you [Bethlehem] Ephrathah, the least of the clans of Judah, out of you will be born for me the one who is to rule over Israel: his origin goes back to the distant past, to the days of old.
Luke 2:4-11; John 7:42 Here we find the birthplace of Jesus and conformation of his ancestry.
Isa 7:14 the Maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel.
Matt 1:18-23; Luke 1:30-35 Here we find an apparent prophecy of the Virgin birth.
Ps 41:9 even my closest and most trusted friend, who shared my table, rebels against me.
109:6 find someone to frame the charge; let him be tried and found guilty.
Matt 26:47-50 John 13:18, 26-30 Applied to Judas betraying Jesus.
Zech 11:12 And they weighed out my wages; thirty shekels of silver.
Matt. 26:15; 27:3-10 A reference to the thirty pieces of silverJudas Iscariot received forBetrayingJesus.
Zech 9:9 See now, your king comes to you; he is victorious, he is triumphant, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Matt 21:1-9; Mark 11:7-11 When Jesus entered Jerusalem he sat on a donkey and a colt.
Isa 53:8 By force and by law he was taken
Matt 26:57-68; 27:1,2, 11-26 The arrest of Jesus.
Isa 53:7 Harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly, he never opened his mouth, like a lamb that is led to the slaughter house, like a sheep that is dumb before its shearers never opening its mouth.
Matt 27:12-14 Before Pilate Jesus is silent.
Isa 50:6 I offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who tore at my beard; I did not cover my face against the insult and spittle.
Mic 5:1 with a rod they strike on the cheek.
Matt 26:67; 27:26, 30 John 19:3 Referring to the Roman guards who spat in the face of Jesus and hit him with their fists.
Isa 53:14 his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness.
Ps 69:21 They gave me poison to eat instead, when I was thirsty they gave me vinegar to drink.
Matt 27:35; John 19:23, 24 Jesus was offered wine to drink mixed with gall, which he tasted but refused to drink..
Ps. 22:16 they divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothes.
Matt 27:35; John 19:23,24 After the Crucifixion the Roman Guards cast lost for his clothes.
Ps 22:1 My God, My God, why have you deserted me?
Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34 In reference to the words Jesus cried out on the cross.
Ps 34:20 taking care of every bone, Yahweh will not let one be broken.
Ex 12:46 nor must you break any bone of it.
John 19:33, 36 A reference to the bones of Jesus remaining intact after the Crucifixion. It was customary to break the legs of the victims to hates death.
Isa 53:5 Yet he was pieced though for our thoughts, crushed for our sins.
Zech 12:10 They will look on the one whom they have pieced.
Matt 20:8 John 19:34, 37 A reference to the spear thrust Jesus received on the cross.
Isa 53: 11, 12 His souls anguish over he shall see the light and be content. But his sufferings shall my servant justify many, taking their faults for himself.
Matt 20:28; John 1:29 Jesus died to save our sins.
Isa 53:9 They gave him a grave with the wicked, a tomb with the rich.
Matt 27:57-60; John 19:38-42 A reference to the tomb of Joseph of Aramathea Jesus was laid in.
Jonah 2:1 Joanah remained in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.
Matt 12:39, 40; 16:21; 17:23; 27:64 After three days and three nights Jesus was raised from the dead.
The above prophecies relate to all things Hebrew, and if you read the specified texts you will find these prophetic lines entwine within a vast tapestry of Hebrew thought.
God and the prophesied Messiah is wholly Jewish and the uncircumcised outside world known as gentiles are second rate citizens to the chosen race. If you can embrace the Bible and accept this God of Jews then only faith will bind you to his side. Jesus who laid claim [or the early Christian writers claimed for him] to this Messianic dream is largely ignored by the Jews and the Koran maintains him to be a prophet only.
I cannot accept that an all-knowing creator would get involved in prophetic visions of his future son riding on a donkey and a colt at the same time. Or Jesus and his resurrection after three days and nights would be prophesized in a tale of a man swallowed by a whale! If we look at the prophetic words listed above it is not inconceivable that a man could construct situations to duplicate them. If I said the coming messiah would be wearing a flaming crown whilst riding a bike, to fulfill my prophecy would not be difficult, given he who is to come only has to set himself on fire whilst riding a bike.
I would suggest Jesus made use of the Old Testament to his advantage and being a Rabbi he would have known how to do this. What he never manipulated [if he manipulated anything] was certainly added to his legacy by the early gospel writers.
The events leading up to the crucifixion and after were no doubt later interpolations to the facts. Even his birthplace is in doubt if you take away any references to Old Testament prophecies. So how much do we truly know about Jesus? Either we know virtually everything as documented in the Bible or we know hardly anything. Only sparse facts about Jesus would remain, but what is fact and what is fabrication?
We must also remember whilst all these events were unfurled, it was only to a Jewish audience and any far reaching consequences would have not been considered.
These consequences are of Roman origin and of Christian construction.
The Mission of Jesus
It sounds very Christian, that Missionary word, but to all intent and purposes, Jesus was on a mission. He wanted to preach to his country folk the coming kingdom of God and he did this for the most part in Galilee. He also kept away from the large cities and concentrated his preaching/ healing to the towns and villages. Here is a brief history of his life and times. Jesus, was about 30 years old (Lk 3:23) travels from his home-town of Nazareth in Galilee. At the River Jordan, possibly near Bethany-across-the-Jordan, he is baptised by John the Baptist (Mt 3:13; Mk 1:9) He goes in to the Judean Desert or wilderness to face the devil’s temptation (Mt 4:1; Mk 1:12; Lk 4:1) Here he fasts for 40 days and nights and no doubt hallucinates this experience. At the River Jordan near Bethany-across-the-Jordan, or Bethabara (Jn 1:28), and according to John’s Gospel, Jesus calls his first five disciples (Jn 1:35). These include Philip, Andrew, and Simon Peter all from Bethsaida in Galilee (Jn 1:44)
Jesus returns north to Galilee with his disciples (Jn 1:43), and at a wedding in Cana, changes the water into wine – his first recorded miracle (Jn 2:1) He continues on to Capernaum, on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee with his mother, brothers and disciples, and stays there a short time (Jn 2:12)
He travels south to Jerusalem for the Passover – the first one mentioned in the Gospels (Jn 2:13). There he drives the money-changers from the Temple for the first time (Jn 2:14). He also meets the Pharisee, Nicodemus (Jn 3:1) Jesus leaves for the countryside of Judea where his disciples baptise believers (Jn 3:22)
Jesus and his disciples continue northwards from Judea (Jn 4:3), passing through the territory of Samaria (Jn 4:4). Near Sychar, Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well (Jn 4:5). Many Samaritans believe in him (Jn 4:39), after which he continues on to Galilee (Jn 4:43) [He reaches Galilee (Mt 4:12; Mk 1:14; Lk 4:14; Jn 4:45), and back in Cana heals the official’s son who lays sick in Capernaum (Jn 4:46)
Jesus returns to his home-town of Nazareth, and preaches in the synagogue (Lk 4:16). He is rejected for the first time (Lk 4:28] [Jesus moves to Capernaum (Mt 4:13; Mk 1:21; Lk 4:31). According to the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus call his first disciples – perhaps only now to full-time service (Mt 4:18; Mk 1:16; Lk 5:1). In Capernaum he heals the madman in the synagogue (Mk 1:23; Lk 4:33) and Peter’s mother-in-law of her fever (Mt 8:14; Mk 1:29; Lk 4:38) Jesus travels throughout Galilee, preaching and healing (Mt 4:23; Mk 1:39), including the leper (Mt 8:2; Mk 1:40; Lk 5:12).
Returning to Capernaum (Mk 2:1) a paralysed man is healed (Mt 9:2; Mk 2:3; Lk 5:18) and Jesus calls Matthew (or Levi) the tax-collector to be a disciple (Mt 9:9; Mk 2:14; Lk 5:27)
Jesus travels from Galilee south to Jerusalem for a Jewish festival – possibly the Second Passover identified in the Gospels (Jn 5:1). At the Pool of Bethesda he heals the crippled man (Jn 5:2) [Returning north to Galilee, Jesus heals the man with the shrivelled hand (Mt 12:9; Mk 3:1; Lk 6:6) and many others (Mt 12:15; Mk 3:7)
On a hillside in Galilee, probably near Capernaum, he selects his twelve apostles (Mt 10:1; Mk 3:13; Lk 6:12) and delivers the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:1). In Luke’s report Jesus comes down from a hillside to give the Sermon (Lk 6:20) [ Back in Capernaum, (Mt 8:5; Lk 7:1) Jesus heals the Roman centurion’s servant (Mt 8:5; Lk 7:2)
Jesus continues preaching and healing in Galilee, and in Nain brings the widow’s son back to life (Lk 7:11) Accompanied by the twelve apostles and some of his women helpers, Jesus continues his second Galilee tour (Lk 8:1)
He sails across the Sea of Galilee (Mt 8:18; Mk 4:35; Lk 8:22) and calms a storm (Mt 8:24; Mk 4:37; Lk 8:23). Landing in the region of the Gerasenes (Mk 5:1; Lk 8:26) or Gadarenes (Mt 8:28) in Gentile Decapolis – the Ten Towns or Cities, Jesus heals the madman in the story of the Gadarene Swine (Mt 8:28; Mk 5:2; Lk 8:27)
[Sailing back across the Sea of Galilee (Mk 5:21) Jesus lands at “his own town” of Capernaum (Mt 9:1). Here he raises Jairus’ daughter.
Jesus travels from Capernaum to “his own native town” of Nazareth (Mk 6:1) In Nazareth, he is rejected for a second time (Mt 13:54; Mk 6:1) He continues through Galilee (Mt 13:58; Mk 6:6) and sends out the twelve apostles to preach the Gospel (Mt 10:5; Mk 6:7; Lk 9:1)
The Twelve return to Capernaum from their mission (Mk 6:30, Luke 9:10) From Capernaum, they go off by boat with Jesus to a quiet place (Mk 6:32) near Bethsaida (Lk 9:0). Here he feeds the 5,000 (Mt 14:14; Mk 6:33; Lk 9:11; Jn 6:5)
[The disciples return across the Sea of Galilee (Mt 14:22; Mk 6:45), Jesus walking on the water oin them (Mt 14:25; Mk 6:48; Jn 6:19). They land near the Plain of Gennesaret and Jesus heals many people there (Mt 14:34; Mk 6:53).
From Gennesaret they make their way back to Capernaum (Jn 6:24) and Jesus teaches about the Bread of Life (Jn 6:26) Jesus retires from Galilee to the region of Tyre and Sidon in Syrian-Phoenicia (Mt 15:21; Mk 7:24) where he heals the daughter of the Gentile Syrophoenician woman (Mt 15:22; Mk 7:25).
He leaves Syrian-Phoenicia via Sidon for Galilee (Mt 15:29) but travels through the Decapolis (Mk 7:31). In the Decapolis he heals the deaf and mute man (Mk 7:32) and feeds the 4,000 (Mt 15:32; Mk 8:1) Reaching the Sea of Galilee, he crosses by boat to the Magadan/Dalmanutha region (Mt 15:39; Mk 8:10). There the Pharisees and Sadducees ask for a sign from heaven (Mt 16:1; Mk 8:11)
Continuing on to Bethsaida, a blind man is healed (Mk 8:22) Jesus now travels from Galilee, north to Caesarea Philippi in Iturea and Trachonitis, where Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ (Mt 16:13; Mk 8:27)
Continuing on from Caesarea Philippi possibly further north towards Mount Hermon, three of the disciples see Jesus Transfigured in the presence of Elijah and Moses (Mt 17:1; Mk 9:2; Lk 9:28). On his return, Jesus heals the boy with epilepsy (Mt 17:14; Mk 9:14; Lk 9:37).
Other traditions place the Transfiguration to the south, on Mount Tabor. The epileptic boy would then have been healed in the Galileearea
In Galilee (Mt 17:22; Mk 9:30), in Capernaum (Mk 9:33), Jesus pays the Temple Tax with a fish! (Mt 17:24). Then to avoid the dangers in Judea, he remains in Galilee (Jn 7:1)
Jesus leaves Capernaum and Galilee for the last earthly time (Mt 19:1; Mk 10:1) and heads for Jerusalem (Lk 9:51; Jn 7:10). Travelling by Samaria, he heals the ten lepers (Lk 17:11) but is rejected in a Samaritan village (Lk 9:52)
Arriving in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles in the Autumn of c AD29 (Jn 7:10), Jesus forgives the woman caught in adultery (Jn 8:2) and heals the blind man who is taken before the Sanhedrin (Jn 9:1)
During his travels in Judea, Jesus visits Martha and Mary in Bethany (Lk 10:38), returning to Jerusalem for “Hanukkah”, the Feast of Dedication in December c AD29 (Jn 10:22)
Jesus withdraws to Bethany-across-the-Jordan (or Bethabara), and into the province of Perea, and stays for a while (Jn 10:40)
Following the death of Lazarus, Jesus returns to Bethany near Jerusalem, and raises him (Lazarus) from the dead (Jn 11:1).
Because of threats to his life, Jesus withdraws to Ephraim to the north of Jerusalem (Jn 11:54)
He then crosses the River Jordan and works in Perea (Mt 19:1; Mk 10:1). There he blesses the little children (Mt 19:13, Mk 10:13; Lk 18:15) and speaks to the rich young man (Mt 19:16; Mk 10:17; Lk 18:18)
Jesus now travels towards Jerusalem for the last time (Mt 20:17; Mk 10:32; Lk 18:31). Passing through Jericho he heals one (or two) blind men (Mt 20:29; Mk 10:46; Lk 18:35) and converts Zacchaeus the tax collector (Lk 19:1).
[Reaching Bethany (Jn 12:1) the home of Lazarus, Mary and Martha, Jesus is anointed by Mary either now (Jn 12:2), or later (Mt 26:6; Mk 14:3) after his triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Mt 21:1; Mk 11:1; Lk 19:29; Jn 12:12)
[During the Easter week, Jesus returns to Jerusalem each day after staying overnight in Bethany on the Mount of Olives (Mt 21:17-18; Mk 11:11-12;19; Lk 21:37). As much of Jesus’ three year ministry took place in the Galilee area,.
The sermon on the Mount
This is one of the more famous of Jesus’ sermons and it is a beautifully written and ethically embracing piece. I have no problem with its words and they are more than likely very close to what he would have said. The text is taken from the Gospel of Matthew and it is printed below in its entirety. You do not have to read it, but to understand this mortal teacher of old, I would suggest you do. There is a rich vein of peace and purity here…
1And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.2Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.12Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.15Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
17“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.18For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.19Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
21“You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’22But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, “Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, “You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.23Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,24leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.25Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.
26Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
27“You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery.’
28But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.29If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
31“Furthermore it has been said, “Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’32But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
33“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’34But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne;35nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.36Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black.37But let your “Yes’ be “Yes,’ and your “No,’ “No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
38“You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.40If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.41And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.42Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
43“You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.46For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?47And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?48Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
1“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.2Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.3But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,4that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
5“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.6But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.9In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. for ever and ever. Amen
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. 14“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.15But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.17But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,18so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.23But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
25“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?26Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;29and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.30Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31“Therefore do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?’ or “What shall we drink?’ or “What shall we wear?’32For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.2For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.3And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
4Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?5Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.8For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.9Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?10Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?11If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!12Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.14Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.16You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?17Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
21“Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.22Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’23And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
24“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:25and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:27and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
28And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,29for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Conclusion You do not have to be a bible bashing Christian to appreciate the Sermon in its context. It was especially for his Galilean audience and was never meant for out side gentile consumption. This reveals the gentle fervently Judaic wisdom of a man who seems to be wise and peaceful. Jesus was deeply religious and his conviction took him to his death, as such convictions have taken many a fine person to his premature demise over the centuries. This sermon conveys this conviction and his love of God. It was his God and of his people.
There is more than a religious message here. There is a moral and ethical code to which no other man in history has spoken of so diligently. The words weaved in this sermon are as good as any to live ones life by, unless you are a viciously idiotic human being who enjoys bullying or torturing animals. Decency does not exist in religious communities. Decency is part of all of us.