Wednesday 21 May 2014

Did Jesus dishonour his parents? and other objections A Response to Sophiee Saguy

This article is responding to some objections to me by Sophiee Saguy and I hope to respond to them adequately.

"Luke 2:48 "His mother said to him, 'Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you?' (Luke 2:48)." -- his own mother states that Jesus mistreated her. Jesus caused his parents a whole day of worrying. His parents returned from Jerusalem, assuming Jesus was with them. In fact, Jesus stayed in Jerusalem without informing his parents. They returned to Jerusalem to look for him. 

Also read Matthew 12:46-50(KJV) – (46) While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. (47) Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. (48) But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? (49) And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! (50) For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. [See also Luke 2:42-50; John 2:3-4.] 

Perhaps because Jesus did not honor his parents, he did not enjoy the 
reward of a long life on earth as promised in the Fifth Commandment."

Jesus was not intending disrespect to his mother in the context. he was interrupted during his teaching by another person and couldn't speak to his mother at the time.

"46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”"

As Jamieson Fausset Brown observes
"47. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee, &c.—Absorbed in the awful warnings He was pouring forth, He felt this to be an unseasonable interruption, fitted to dissipate the impression made upon the large audience—such an interruption as duty to the nearest relatives did not require Him to give way to. But instead of a direct rebuke, He seizes on the incident to convey a sublime lesson, expressed in a style of inimitable condescension."

Matthew Henry in his commentary says:
"12:46-50 Christ's preaching was plain, easy, and familiar, and suited to his hearers. His mother and brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him, when they should have been standing within, desiring to hear him. Frequently, those who are nearest to the means of knowledge and grace are most negligent. We are apt to neglect that which we think we may have any day, forgetting that to-morrow is not ours. We often meet with hinderances in our work from friends about us, and are taken off by care for the things of this life, from the concerns of our souls. Christ was so intent on his work, that no natural or other duty took him from it. Not that, under pretence of religion, we may be disrespectful to parents, or unkind to relations; but the lesser duty must stand by, while the greater is done. Let us cease from men, and cleave to Christ; let us look upon every Christian, in whatever condition of life, as the brother, sister, or mother of the Lord of glory; let us love, respect, and be kind to them, for his sake, and after his example."

Regarding the subject of Luke 2:48, we read:
"41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[f] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."

Jesus was not being disrespectful to his mother, Jesus was too young to begin his ministry, he had to wait until he was 30 before he could be our high priest for our redemption and before he could minister to the people for the purpose the Father gave him. He was saying "Mother, did you not no where I have been, I have been working in my Father's house". He was speaking about his mission to which he had been assigned by the Father in heaven. While Mary didn't understood what Jesus meant, she held the things he said in her heart and thought about them often. He is not treating his mother with disrespect.

His death has absolutely nothing to do with the commandment to honour ones parents.

"let us not forget Matthew 10:34-37(KJV) – (34) Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (35) For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (36) And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. (37) He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. [See also Luke 14:26.]. Here he is telling his followers to disrespect their parents as well."

In the actual context of Matthew 10:34-39 and Luke 12:49-53, Jesus is speaking about a metaphorical sword of division within families that will occur if someone chooses to follow him. He is saying in essence if you don't love me more than your family, don't follow me because by doing so you will have opposition from your family and your friends.

"Here is another example of Jesus sinning. "Honor the face of an elder [zaken] " (Vayikra / Leviticus 19:32). Zaken does not simply mean an old person; for that is the subject of the first half of the verse ("You shall rise before an old person [seiva]"). This is a commandment to respect Torah scholars. Judges and religious leaders are typically called zaken in the Bible (Exodus 24:14, Leviticus 4:15, Numbers 11:25, Deuteronomy 22:16, 25:7). If Jesus did not violate this by calling them "vipers," no one ever did (Matthew 23:13-33)."

Indeed one should respect their leaders and not speak evil. However, one calling out a leader as a hypocrite when it's the truth, is not a sin and is not a violation of the Torah. Furthermore, Isaiah refers to his people as a brood of vipers because of their wickedness, which would include the scribes, judges and religious leaders who were encouraging their people in their idolatry. Calling someone a hypocrite because of the fact they are doing evil in the sight of the Lord is not disrespect to any leader if they are responsible for instructing people in the ways of Ha Shem or God. In the days of the NT, the Pharisees, though not guilty of worshipping statues, were certainly guilty of Avodah Zara or alien worship. They substituted the commands of God for the traditions of men, just as the people in Isaiah 29 did and Jesus quotes this passage to condemn the Pharisees in Matthew 15.

"Jesus insulted a gentile woman by calling her a dog (Matthew 15:22-27). This is hardly befitting righteous and holy people. Whatever his pedagogical purpose, such a designation is inappropriate."

Jesus was actually contrasting the Pharisees attitude towards the Gentiles with his own. The Pharisees at that time did not look on Gentiles with the highest favour and regarded them as inferior. Jesus in fact in the context later blesses the woman for her great faith and grants her request for her daughter to be healed.

"Mark 7:24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre.[g] He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”

30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone."

This is a far cry from Jesus having an inappropriate designation for the Gentile woman. *

* 8th of June 2024 correction. It is important to note that Jesus referred to the Gentile woman as a puppy or a little dog in the Greek, he used the term kynariois. Essentially Jesus was tackling Israel first and the woman had to be patient.

Moreover, her reaction to Jesus’ words show that she was not offended and understood what he was getting at, reasoning the little dogs eat crumbs and Jesus commends her response, healing her daughter. A far cry from Sophiee’s original point.

Hope this addresses the objections.

Answering Judaism.

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