Is the Biblical Jesus Such a Great Person?

 

by

 

Bassam Zawadi

 

 

It's typical of Christians. Many of them boast with pride about the Biblical Jesus' character thinking that anyone who reads about him would be so amazed by the beautiful character of this man that they will immediately submit to the Gospels at once. Well this only works for people who allow their emotions take over their intellect. I have read the Gospels and as a so-called 'God Incarnate', I don't find the Biblical Jesus to be impressive at all. As for a human Prophet, I think I can rank the Biblical Jesus 'Average' and as for an ordinary man, I would have to admit that he is a great man, but nothing more.

 

 

Let me give some reasons as to why I am not as impressed by the Biblical Jesus as Christians would want me to.

 

- The Biblical Jesus Wasn't a Great Example of How To Talk To One's Mother

- The Biblical Jesus Didn't Know How To Preach Properly

- The Biblical Jesus Told his Disciples to Take a Donkey and Colt Without the Owner's Permission

- The Biblical Jesus Didn't Make it a Sin To Call Non Christians 'Fools'

- The Biblical Jesus Was a Curse

- The Biblical Jesus Accused God of Abandoning Him

- The Biblical Jesus Showed Unwillingness To Do His Mission

- The Biblical Jesus Referred To The Gentiles As 'Dogs'

- The Biblical Jesus Refused to Heal a Sick Child Until His Mother Pressured Him

- The Biblical Jesus Taught Us to Love Satan

- The Biblical Jesus' Unfair Law of Divorce

- The Biblical Jesus Purposely Goes Out To Be Tempted By The Devil

- The Biblical Jesus Didn't Let One Disciple To Attend His Father's Funeral Or The Other To Bid His Family Farewell

- The Biblical Jesus Prioritized Himself Over the Poor

- The Biblical Jesus Didn't Offer Practical Solutions to The World's Problems

 

 

 

The Biblical Jesus Wasn't a Great Example of How To Talk To One's Mother

 

 

The Biblical Jesus is not a very good role model to follow when it comes to knowing how to speak to your mother. Let us observe how the Biblical Jesus spoke to his mother...

 

John 2:3-4

3When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine." 4"Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come."

 

This is definitely not an appropriate way to speak to your mother. "Why do you involve me?" How can a respectable role model say such a thing to his mother?

 

Donald Arthur (D. A.) Carson says.

The form of address, gynai ('Dear Woman'), though thoroughly courteous, is not normally an endearing term, nor the form of address preffered by a son addressing a much loved mother. (D.A. Carson, The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel According to John, Commentary on John 2:1-11, p. 170)

 

One might argue back that Jesus' statement to his mother was not rude. However, as D.A. Carson indirectly admits, Jesus could (and should if he is the perfect example to follow) have chosen his words better when speaking to his mother.

In another passage, the Biblical Jesus says....

 

Matthew 12:47-49

47Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you."[a]

    48He replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" 49Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers.

 

New Testament scholar Craig L. Blomberg says in his commentary.

 

 

Jesus does not directly address his family but does implicitly rebuke them. They deserve no preferential treatment. Human kinship does not take priority over spiritual kinship, and Jesus is busy ministering to crowds that include his spiritual family. On calling disciples his brothers, cf. Heb 2:11; also cf. Matthew 28:10. The 'will of God', as through out Matthew, means obedience to God's commands by following Jesus. Matthew does say what Mary thought of her unusual son at this point in his career, but the most natural reading of Mark 3:21 would include her among those who thought he was 'out of his mind'. His brothers are singularly umimpressed and in no way yet his supporters (cf. John 7:1-5). Given the strong family ties in ancient Palestine, Jesus' attitude here would have proved as shocking as in 8:22 and 10:37. (Craig L. Blomberg, The New American Commentary, Commentary on Matthew 12:48-50, pp. 208-209, added emphasis is mine)

 

 

It appears that even Jesus' mother and disciples had a problem with his attitude (to the extent that they thought he was out of his mind!).

 

 

 

The Biblical Jesus Didn't Know How To Preach Properly

 

Jesus wasn't a good preacher...

 

Matthew 23:33

33"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?

Luke 11:40

40You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?

Matthew 16:23 

23Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

 

 

What type of perfect role model is this to follow? He went around insulting people while he preached, while at the same time he told his followers to show love to their enemies? He even went so far as calling one of his disciples "Satan"!! Why couldn't Jesus be more patient and hold his tongue?

 

Jesus even got a bit physical at times...

 

John 2:15

13When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!"

 

What authority did Jesus have to do such a thing? This story seems to teach us that vigilantism is okay at times.

Jesus also had a problem trying to communicate his teachings clearly. See this article.

 

The Biblical Jesus Told his Disciples to Take a Donkey and Colt Without the Owner's Permission

 

 

Matthew 21:1-3

1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."

 

I don't think that Jesus' orders were ethical at this point. You must ask the owner for permission to borrow something from him or at least buy it or rent it from him. Some will argue that Jesus needed the donkey to fulfill a prophecy. But why would God want Jesus to commit a sin in order to fulfill a prophecy?

 

The Biblical Jesus Didn't Make it a Sin To Call Non Christians 'Fools'

 

Jesus made it clear that one cannot call his brother (spiritual brother) a fool...

 

 

Matthew 5:22

 

22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

 

 

Brother in the above verse does not mean 'brother in humanity'. Because if it did then Jesus would be a hypocrite for he would have broken his own command.

 

Matthew 23:17

 

17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?

 

 

So it seems that Jesus made it a big deal for one to call his Christian brother a fool, while we don't see the same warning or condemnation if one were to do it with a non-Christian.

 

 

The Biblical Jesus Was a Curse

 

 

The Bible says that Jesus became a curse...

 

Galatians 3:13

13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."

Now that's not a nice thing to be, now is it?

 

 

The Biblical Jesus Accused God of Abandoning Him

 

 

Jesus allegedly said on the cross...

 

 

Matthew 27:46

 

46About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"- which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

 

 

How can a righteous Prophet speak to his Lord in such a way? How can he accuse God of forsaking him, especially when God has promised to not forsake those who truly seek him (Psalm 9:10) and are faithful (Psalm 37:28)?

  

 

The Biblical Jesus Showed Unwillingness To Do His Mission

 

 

The following verses show that Jesus was not willing to fulfill his mission...

 

 

Matthew 26:39

 

'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken away from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will'

 

Matthew 26:42

 

He went away a second time and prayed, 'My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done'

 

Mark 14:36

 

"'Abba, Father,' he said, 'everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will"

 

Luke 22:41-42

 

'Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done'

 

 

This shows that Jesus kept complaining to the Father; asking him to end the mission. Why would Jesus continue doing such a thing if he supposedly knew that his crucifixion should and was bound to happen? If he was a perfect role model, shouldn't he have been motivated to do God's will instead of being all depressed and hesitant about it?

 

 

The Biblical Jesus Referred To The Gentiles As 'Dogs'

 

 

The Biblical Jesus said...

 

 
Matthew 15:26

 

26He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."

 

 

The Jews used to use the word 'dogs' as a derogatory term in order to refer to the Gentiles. Christians argue back that Jesus only used this term because it was common language back at that time and so the woman would have known what Jesus was speaking about.

This is a pathetic excuse. Jesus should have come and abolished this silly practice of referring to Gentiles as 'dogs'. If he wanted to communicate to the lady regarding Gentiles, he could have simply said 'Gentiles' and she would have understood. He didn't have that to use that term and continue allowing this silly and offensive practice to continue.

 

 

The Biblical Jesus Refused to Heal a Sick Child Until His Mother Pressured Him

 

 
 
The following incident is related to the story above...

 

 

Matthew 15:22-28

 

22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."

    23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."

    24He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."

    25The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.

    26He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."

    27"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."

    28Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

I would expect that a 'God incarnate' person who is ultimately merciful wouldn't think twice before helping a sick child, especially since he has the power to do so.

 

 

The Biblical Jesus Taught Us to Love Satan

 

 

Jesus taught us to love our enemies...

 

 

Matthew 5:44-45

 

44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

 

Satan happens to be our enemy...
1 Peter 5:8 

8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

 

 

Therefore, according to Jesus we should love Satan.

 

 

 

The Biblical Jesus' Unfair Law of Divorce

 

 

 

Jesus talked about divorce...

 

 

Matthew 5:32

But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 19:9

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."

 

Truly this is an illogical law. Divorce is ONLY allowed if the other spouse cheats on the other? What if we are married and find out that we can't bear each other's attitude? Does this mean that we are forced to stay married to those we cannot be compatible with?

Why does the woman become an adulteress if she is divorced by her husband? He is the one, who initiated the divorce, so why does she become an adulteress?

 

It's an illogical law indeed.

 

 

The Biblical Jesus Purposely Goes Out To Be Tempted By The Devil

 

 

When one reads the story of Jesus' temptation in Matthew Chapter 4 you will see that this could have a negative influence on a person. For the story shows that Jesus purposely went out seeking the devil and put himself in a tight situation in which the devil was trying to tempt him.

 

This could influence people to purposely go out to bad places (e.g. parties, bars) and challenge themselves not to commit sin there so that they may 'overcome' and 'defeat' the devil. This is putting oneself in danger. I believe the Biblical Jesus is being a bad role model here. Instead of going to sinful places in order to “defeat” the devil, he should teach us to avoid the devil as much as possible and if we are to ever encounter him, we should resist him. We aren’t to go out on purpose to seek the devil and then try to resist him.

 

 

The Biblical Jesus Didn't Let One Disciple To Attend His Father's Funeral Or The Other To Bid His Family Farewell

 

 

Following is a conversation that Jesus had with his disciples...

 

 

Luke 9:59-62

 

59He said to another man, "Follow me."
      But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."

    60Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

    61 Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."

    62Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

 

This is a very insensitive thing to do. Look at the cold-hearted reply Jesus gave to that man, "Let the dead bury their own dead"! We are talking about a man's father here! How can Jesus reply back to him in such an insensitive way regarding a man's dead father?

Also, Jesus didn't allow another man to return to his family and bid them farewell. Imagine the pain and worry that this family went through when they weren't informed about the man's whereabouts.

 

Jesus did not even allow these people to take a break for around an hour to attend to very urgent family issues. He showed no open mindedness or mercy to these people. He did not bother trying to understand their current situation.

 

Truly, I am very unimpressed.

 

The Biblical Jesus Prioritized Himself Over the Poor

We read...

Mark 14:3-8

    3While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

    4Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, "Why this waste of perfume? 5It could have been sold for more than a year's wages[a] and the money given to the poor." And they rebuked her harshly.

    6"Leave her alone," said Jesus. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.

Indeed this is very strange. The people who rebuked the woman were right. How can she break a whole jar of very expensive perfume just in order to apply it on Jesus' body? She could have sold it and gave much money to the poor as her critics rightfully argued.

 

Instead of agreeing with them, Jesus defended the woman and said that she was correct in doing so. He said that they will have several chances to help the poor later on, but since Jesus was staying temporarily with them he should be taken as a priority and basically be pampered with expensive perfume applied on him to prepare himself for his burial.

I am very unimpressed with the Biblical Jesus' attitude here.

 

 

The Biblical Jesus Didn't Offer Practical Solutions to The World's Problems

 

One advantage that I definitely find in Islam over Christianity is that Islam offers practical solutions to problems. (e.g. Hajj and standing close in prayer to destroy racism, Islamic Sharia law to deal with criminals, etc.) However, I don't see this in Christianity. I feel that the teachings found in Christianity are too idealistic and are only practical in a utopia.

 

For instance, Jesus tells a man to sell everything he owns and give it to the poor. (Luke 12:33)

 

This is going a bit too far. Sure, we must be generous, but it is illogical to sell EVERYTHING you have and give it to the poor. If you end up following this faulty advice, you will end up like that poor person that you were trying to help.

 

Jesus said that if someone steals from you, don't try to get it back. (Luke 6:30) and he also said that if someone hits you, invite them to do it again. (Matthew 5:39).

Again this is illogical. We should stand up for ourselves and not let criminals take advantage over our character.

Someone may argue back that Jesus is not being literal in these verses. I will accept this for the sake of argument. However, my main problem is that Jesus keeps saying to us to be good yet he gives us no practical ways on how to do so.

For instance, Jesus condemns fornication and adultery yet he offers no practical ways for us to avoid it (Islam offers several ways e.g. instituting a modest dress code for women or prohibiting free mixing between different genders, etc.).

I can give several examples, but I think the readers have understood what I am trying to say.

 

 

Conclusion

 

There is really nothing that impressive about the character of the Biblical Jesus once he is scrutinized under the microscope. I believe Christians should stop bragging about him for there is seriously nothing that much to boast about.

 

 

 

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