Sunday 28 October 2018

Three Texts: What do they mean? Response to Sophiee Saguy

There were three texts brought to me by Sophiee Saguy in a brief conversation had on Rabbi Eli Cohen's Facebook page. I want to take a look at the texts and see what they say. Are they statements of evil excused by Christians or something else?

Matthew 23:33 You snakes, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?

Jesus' words were a condemnation of the Pharisees. It was their responsiblity to lead the people of Israel in the right direction to worship God, but they not doing so. In fact, their efforts (not all Pharisees to clarify) were in vain and they were not leading the people properly. There is more to say about the context of Matthew 23 which can be found here:

Matthew 10:34 Think not that I have come to send peace to the world. I come not to send peace, but the sword.

Here is what Jesus said for the full context said:
"34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36     a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[c]

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

In the actual context of Matthew 10:34-39 and (same applies to 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.

Even your co-workers in work or those who claim Jesus' name but don't obey him will also come after an individual should they continue their faith in Jesus.

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life. But he who does not believe in the Son shall not see life, but shall suffer the everlasting wrath of God.

Let us take a look:
"John 3:31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God[i] gives the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them."
The statement itself isn't evil, but a warning. That those who refuse the follow Jesus and believe in his testimony, whether they be Jew or Gentile, will not have eternal life.

None of the statements of the New Testament above are evil, nor excused as such.

Answering Judaism.

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