Is Jesus’ message only for the Jews?
Article originally published on MissionKaali.org
When Christians tell you they have good news, that all who accept Jesus will be saved and will go to heaven, they do not tell you the full truth. Here is a short video explanation of what Christians will not tell you:
The bible old testament is formed by what is known as the Jewish Torah and the books of various so-called prophets of the Israelites, aka the Jewish people. It is understood that this god yahweh first made a covenant with Abraham, who the Jewish people trace their ancestry back to:
[…] the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty[a]; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” (Genesis 17:1-2)
The Jews still maintain to this day they are the chosen people. However, Christians argue that they are now the chosen people of yahweh. They will cite certain verses, such as Hebrews 8:8-9 :
But God found fault with the people and said ‘The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord’.
These verses and verses from other books (mainly books written by Paul) of the bible new testament were used to justify rampant anti-semitism in Europe until the 20th century , when Christians wanted to distance themselves from the horrors of the holocaust.
However, other books of the bible new testament contradict what Paul taught when he took the message of Jesus to gentiles (non-Jews). More than one bible verse actually say only the chosen tribes (the Jews) will go to heaven. For example, Revelations 7:1-8:
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel [Jacob, grandson of Abraham]. From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000, from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000, from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000
In fact, Jesus intended not to preach to the gentiles. When he started his ministry, supposedly he told his 12 disciples:
Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. (Matthew 10:5)
It was only years later that Christianity was spread among the gentiles of Greece, Rome, northern Africa, Asia Minor (Turkey), and the rest of the Middle East. It is also around this time that the books that make up the gospels were written, and the narrative became that Christians were now the new chosen people of yahweh.
Another curious story of Jesus’ disregard for the gentiles comes from Matthew 15:22-28. A woman from another tribe called the Samaritans wanted Jesus to heal her daughter who suffered from some ailment.
Lord Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly”. Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him ‘Send her away, for she keeps crying after us’. He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel’. The woman came and knelt before him. ‘Lord Help me!’ She said. He replied ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs’. ‘Yes it is Lord’ she said, ‘Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table’. (Matthew 15:22-28)
This is how little Jesus thought of gentiles, non-Jews. It was only when Jesus’ followers were rejected by the larger Jewish community that they decided to take the message of Jesus to non-Jews. In the early days, the first Christian missionaries used a combination of fraud, narrative changes, and second and third hand accounts of Jesus’ ministry to convert gentiles. These are reasons why the tone of the gospels changed to be more favorable towards the gentiles
Christian missionaries and pastors have to answer this discrepancy. How do they reconcile the contradicting intentions? Who is Jesus’ message for? Jews or gentiles? We will never get a straight answer from them. And if they cite verses from the Pauline books of the bible new testament, then point out that these were verses used to justify horrors against the Jewish people, which Christians have had a difficult time acknowledging.
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