Friday, 2 August 2013
Who was Jesus talking to?
Matt 15:24 says "...I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Oh, OK, that's interesting!
So Jesus apparently, was just on earth for the Jews. Hmmm...
That means that every thing he did and spoke was just for the Jews and doesn't apply to us!! That really is heresy! I mean, to think that all the stuff recorded in the gospels was only relevant to the Jews is kind of disturbing - especially if we've been living by the "what would Jesus do?" mindset.
But the implications are even more disturbing if we really think it through. Jesus only spoke to Jews in relation to the old covenant setup (his odd interaction with gentiles was only in terms of their faith in God). He talked about the law, its bondage, the death it brings etc, in relation to the Jews. The gentiles had no idea about any of that stuff, so his words would have been meaningless to them anyway.
Paul was a Jew, who brought a different revelation than Jesus did. Sure, there's some commonality, but Paul was trying to communicate to gentiles through his Jewish paradigm. He struggled! He knew in his heart the extravagant inclusiveness of God's love and acceptance of ALL mankind, but he constantly had to wrestle with the Jews and his own cultural mindset. You can clearly see the battles he fought with himself and the original Jewish followers of Jesus.
Soooo, I'm a gentile. And most of us probably are as well. In fact, even if you are of Jewish heritage, the old covenant is long gone, so you may as well be a gentile! That means that the words of Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John aren't relevant to me - I can ignore them?? Well, yes, I guess that's true. I can ignore them, in the sense that they have no bearing on my relationship with God.
I can, however, get a lot better sense of God's nature and relationship with us from Paul. But even then, he struggled with the full implications of the gospel because of his Jewish heritage.
This only leaves us with one reliable option - the only option that Jesus gave us all just before he was killed. He said the Holy Spirit was going to come for everyone and he was going to be the source of all comfort and truth.
That's rather unnerving really, because it means we don't have a book of instructions to follow, only some intangible wafty spirit thing. Unless that spirit is far more real, and far more intrinsically part of us than we ever imagined!
Just imagine if we really are ONE with God right now! Just imagine if God really IS love and that love is already intrinsically part of who we are. Imagine if all we have to do is act on that reality!
We would do well to remember that what Jesus did was established "before the foundations of the world", which implies a heck of a lot more than what he presented to the Jews.
Scary stuff indeed!!