User Tools

Site Tools


did_jesus_fulfill_the_law

Did Jesus Fulfill the Law?

note: we probably need to re-organize this and turn each section into it's own article, it's getting quite long. FIXME

It is a concession of Christianity that in order for Jesus to have been the messiah and to have died for our sins, he would have had to keep the law perfectly – to “fulfill the torah”:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.Matthew 5:17

To the point, if it could be shown that Jesus did not, in fact “fulfill the law,” he could not have been a messiah. Interestingly enough he would also have been a false prophet under Jewish Law anyways (x. Deu 13:1, Deu 18:21) and you would have been forbidden from following him.

Therefore it must be examined, did in fact Jesus keep the law perfectly?

Let us examine three key areas.

Did Jesus Break the Sabbath?

You may wish to begin with Did Jesus Lie which discusses a fundamental issue with one instance of Jesus' ministry as portrayed in the Gospels.

add some commentary here, maybe rewrite or summarize

FIXME

Laws of Love and Brotherhood

We submit that Jesus broke the laws of Love and Brotherhood; specifically

comment/expand this section maybe

FIXME

Unfulfilled Messianic Prophecies

One aspect in how Jesus would have had to fulfill the Jewish law is in the sense where he would have had to fulfill every Messianic prophecy – in order to be – the Messiah. Yet we see that there are several cases where there are Unfufilled Messianic prophecies.

merge-in from did jesus lie?

Also, if Jesus made some statement which contradicted himself, or the Old Testament, or any other facet of Christian Doctrine, such as issuing a prophecy that never came true or accidentally overstepping the bounds of the Torah (or not fulfilling the Torah) then we would say that he lied in the sense that if we say he claimed to be the Messiah (or even only that he laid claim to it by his actions, rightfully or not, intended or not) – then he would have impeached himself from making such a claim.

A common defense I have heard (to some of what I am about to present) is that since Jesus would be presumed to be God, then he would have the authorization to make a change to God's word. This is not a logical claim. First, we reject it because it is a highly visible failure of the test of who is and is not from God – a test which God gave us specifically to test the viability of any such prophet or Messiah. Secondly, because of why it would fail the test – as we take the axiom that God is perfect, would not lie to us about his plan, and that he can predict the future (he created time and exists outside of it's bounds). It is not logical to assume he would make one statement and then later contradict himself in such a manner. Therefore we can only conclude that Jesus is not God in such a case, which would then amount to a lie (since Jesus claimed or laid claim to it).

Did Jesus Break the Laws of Tithing?

If Jesus broke the laws of tithing

  • By not doing them as prescribed
  • By preventing other people from doing them (either by force or by placing a stumbling block)
  • By speaking out against them (diminishing the torah)
  • Or in various other severe ways

…then he would surely be guilty of breaking those laws.

We then turn to the case of “Jesus Cleanses the Temple” and submit that during this event Jesus broke the law. Not the law of the scribes – God's law in the bible. First, let us read the Christian account in all four gospels:

Jesus Cleanses the Temple
12 And Jesus entered the temple of God and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you make it a den of robbers.”

14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant; 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,

‘Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings
thou hast brought perfect praise’?”

17 And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.Matthew 21:12-17 (RSV)

Jesus Cleanses the Temple
15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons; 16 and he would not allow any one to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he taught, and said to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”

18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and sought a way to destroy him; for they feared him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching. 19 And when evening came they went out of the city.Mark 11:15-19

Jesus Cleanses the Temple
45 And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.”

47 And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people sought to destroy him; 48 but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people hung upon his words.Luke 19:45-48

Jesus Cleanses the Temple
13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; you shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for thy house will consume me.”

18 The Jews then said to him, “What sign have you to show us for doing this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he spoke of the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.John 2:13-22

Issues

How did Jesus break the law?

One. It's the Law.

First, it has to be a Law or he wouldn't have been able to break it.

Regulations concerning Tithes

22 “You shall tithe all the yield of your seed, which comes forth from the field year by year. 23 And before the Lord your God, in the place which he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstlings of your herd and flock; that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. 24 And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to bring the tithe, when the Lord your God blesses you, because the place is too far from you, which the Lord your God chooses, to set his name there, 25 then you shall turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses, 26 and spend the money for whatever you desire, oxen, or sheep, or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves; and you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.Deuteronomy 14:22-26 (RSV)

Deuteronomy 14 states that if a Jew lived outside of Jerusalem, he would have to take money from his own local currency, go to Jerusalem, change it into the local currency (because people would be coming from many different places) and buy a sacrifice or tithe according to the law in that place (“go to the place… and spend the money…”).

This is what Jesus was angry about; the pigeon sellers and money changers. However, given that this practice was essentially commanded by God and was in place for centuries, and no other prophet spoke against it, we may question why Jesus was so upset. Weren't the Jews just keeping the Law as commanded in Deuteronomy 14? In Modern days we think of 'money changers' and 'pidgeon sellers' as if it was some sort of carnival fair. But the reality is these booths were set up in order to comply with the Law. As such, Jesus should not have overturned those tables.

Two; The House of Prayer.

It is written above “you shall turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses, 26 and spend the money for whatever you desire, oxen, or sheep, or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves; and you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.” However in Mark 11:17 (for example) Jesus responds “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers’ den.” in this Jesus is referring to the following passages:

Even those I will bring to My holy mountain
And make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar;
For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”Isaiah 56:7 (NASB)

11 Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your sight? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” declares the Lord.Jeremiah 7:11 (NASB)

The issue here is, again, the people are in fact commanded in Deuteronomy to be Joyful; to buy meat and wine and celebrate in the temple. So given the way Jesus is taking the passage, we are still not sure what precisely the issue is. However, interestingly enough Isaiah 56:7 has nothing to do with what Jesus is saying. Look again:

6 “And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, every one who keeps the sabbath, and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.Isaiah 56:6-7

First, the actual verse in Isaiah is about Foreigners converting to Judaism. If they keep the commandments, then God will make them joyful in his temple – presumably via the celebrations described in Deuteronomy 14. God himself chose that place for the pidgeon sellers and money changers and the drinkers and revelers! (“25 then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose.” Deu. 14).

Second, Jeremiah 7 has absolutely nothing to do with money-changers or any kind of businessmen at all, even if one makes the case that they are dishonest businessmen. It's about idolatry – baal worship. Read it for yourself:

8 “Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. 9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Ba′al, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? 11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, says the Lord. 12 Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these things, says the Lord, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, 14 therefore I will do to the house which is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of E′phraim.Jeremiah 7:8-15 (RSV)

The Sign of Jonah

Jesus compounds his sin by lying to the Jews/Pharisees who questioned him; In John 2:18 Jesus gives “The Jews” the Sign of Jonah.

18 The Jews then said to him, “What sign have you to show us for doing this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he spoke of the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.John 2:18-22

However, despite telling them he would give them a sign, he did not do this; he would have had to appear to those Jews whom he said he was giving a sign in order to have kept his word in saying he would give them a sign. He did not; further, they did not understand what Jesus meant; only later, did Jesus' apostles understand what he meant. This means Jesus didn't really tell the truth to the Jews who asked him for a sign at that time.

Not making sense

A minor issue, but noted.

In contrast to what we read in John, in Matthew Jesus says something that seems to amount to non-sense:

14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant; 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,

‘Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings
thou hast brought perfect praise’?”

17 And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.Matthew 21:14-17 (RSV)

Here, Jesus is quoting Psalm 8, but it doesn't make sense.

8 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth! Thou whose glory above the heavens is chanted 2 by the mouth of babes and infants, thou hast founded a bulwark because of thy foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.Psalm 8:1-2

We have to look hard and find the following wording in the Darby Bible: “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou established praise because of thine adversaries, to still the enemy and the avenger.” and in the Douay-Rheims Bible, “Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings thou hast perfected praise, because of thy enemies, that thou mayst destroy the enemy and the avenger.”

However, none of the above three readings makes any sense at all, it seems a non-sequitur, completely out of phase with the rest of the story.

In their shock, at hearing Jesus' words, Jesus must have appeared like someone who was out of his gourd to the High Priests and Pharisees in the temple.

Psalm 69

Further to the above is the quote from Psalm 69, which also does not really make sense other than when totally ripped out of context:

6 Lord, the Lord Almighty, may those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me; God of Israel, may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me.
7 For I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face.
8 I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children;\\ 9 for zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
10 When I weep and fast, I must endure scorn;
11 when I put on sackcloth, people make sport of me.
12 Those who sit at the gate mock me, and I am the song of the drunkards.Psalm 69:6-12 (NIV)

This is a prayer regarding patience and endurance; but despite the apostles remembering this verse, none of what was said to Justify Jesus' actions really applies to what happened. Also, even if someone had memorized or remembered this verse given it's meaning in context it is difficult to think that someone would have thought this was about Jesus. This sounds more like someone was scouring Psalms for something that sounded like Jesus and picked the middle section of a sentence out of context. I mean, isn't that exactly what happened in the story?

Why did the Pharisees want to arrest Jesus?

The second part of this story is that Jesus got into a lot of trouble when he did this. As stated above, the reason why seemed to be obvious, but to phrase it in terms of the verses Jesus is said to have quoted, he would have appeared to be a heretic; the verses he was quoting did not mean what they appeared to mean at all.

Essentially, Jesus was twisting the scriptures and accusing people who were keeping the Law (Deu. 14, Isa. 56) of Baal-worship-class Idolatry (Jer. 7). This is why the Priests and scribes in the temple were astonished at Jesus's teaching and wanted to stone him. It's because he was claiming the scriptures meant something they did not mean in order to support his violence in the temple.

Adding to or Diminishing the Torah

What if Jesus was correct?

If Jesus was correct in his actions here given everything we have read from scripture, we must ask the honest question of why no prophet ever spoke against these practices, and indeed why God commanded them in Deuteronomy 14.

But the real issue is, he wasn't correct. This practice came directly out of the Torah and by refusing to let people carry anything in the temple or go on with their celebration and making Joy, Jesus was diminishing from God's commandment, and by using a hodgepodge of verses out of context to support his actions he was adding meaning to the Torah where none existed. These are all serious concerns; and yet, here we read Jesus' own words and actions in the Bible, in black and white before our eyes.

Finally, even if we take the prophet's words Jesus was quoting at face value, no prophet may abrogate Torah commands in that fashion. Thus we are left with the unenviable conclusion that Jesus must have broken the torah at several times during this story.

More Information about this story

A Christian Response

One Christian I spoke to pointed out that Ezekiel 8:7 mentions that the priests of the temple were committing idolatry, and therefore Jesus was right to speak out against them in general – i.e. that this might have had nothing to do with money changers and pidgeon sellers per-se but rather was a general indictment of the priests and the idolatry in the temple itself. This kind of makes sense given Jesus' accusation of idol worship by proxy of Jeremiah 7:11.

Several problems with this theory arise such as it being about Northern Israel, not Judah (v.17) and of course the destruction of the temple Ezekiel prophesied was regarding the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians and the subsequent Babylonian exile. The fact is, Ezekiel simply wasn't talking about the temple in the times of Jesus; he was talking about the well-known idolatry in Northern Israel more than 500 years earlier. “The types are there,” responds this Christian – but I am going to have to disagree. Here's the timeline (source)

  • 592 BC Ezekiel's First Temple Vision Ezekiel 8 - 19
  • 588 BC Siege of Jerusalem Begins 2 Kings 25
  • 586 BC The Fall of Jerusalem 2 Kings 25, Jeremiah 52
  • 585 BC Ezekiel Explains Jerusalem's Fall Ezekiel 33:21
  • 585 BC Ezekiel Foresees Reproof and Restoration Ezekiel 34 - 36
  • 537 BC The Proclamation of Cyrus Ezra 1
  • 537 BC The Exiles Return Ezra 2
  • 520 BC Temple Work Resumed by Darius' Decree Ezra 6
  • 515 BC Completion and Dedication of the (Second!) Temple Ezra 6:16
  • 457 BC Ezra's reforms Ezra 9
  • 444 BC Nehemiah Abolishes Debt and Bondage Nehemiah 5
  • 444 BC Israelites Fast and Repent Nehemiah 9
  • 444 BC Israelites Seal the Covenant Nehemiah 10
  • 444 BC People Settle in Jerusalem Nehemiah 11, 12
  • 432 BC Nehemiah Restores Laws Nehemiah 13
  • 430 BC The Word of the LORD by Malachi Malachi 1 - 4

As you can see, what Ezekiel spoke of regarding Northern Israel in Ezekiel 8 has nothing to do with the temple in Jesus' time.

Pressing the Dishonesty Issue

The response seems to be to press the issue of disonesty and corruption of the priest-hood and money changers. Either the priests were somehow corrupt, or the money-changers were somehow being dishonest and cheating the people. I think this is unlikely for several reasons. First, Jesus himself said that the Pharisees were at the seat of Moses and you must do all that they tell you. But beyond this, the priests had very little to do with God's commandment to the citizens in Deuteronomy 14. Again, Jesus actively prevented them from completing their end of the Law not just by upturning the tables but by preventing people from carrying their purchases through that area of the temple.

Second is the issue of the money changers. Being a temple money changer would be excellent business as people were coming to that one place from all over – it would have been like having a booth in an airport. There would have been no need for them to cheat anyone as they already would have had the best location in Jerusalem. Secondly, there are harsh prohibitions under the law against using false weights and measures. It would have been more than an outrage if someone was caught doing something so brazen in open court in the temple; they would have at the minimum lost their license to operate as a money changer anywhere nearby. The risk would have been far to great for the reward. But even beyond this, Jesus does not condemn them for dishonesty; only that they are trading.

“Take these things away; you shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” – John 2:16

With this, Jesus indicts them for being there in the first place; not for being dishonest.

They be thieves

  • t: The other issue is I don't think that really matters.
  • t: The commandment in Deuteronomy 14 is to all Jews
  • t: If priests are being dishonest or if money changers are being dishonest they can go to another money changer or just not talk to the priests
  • t: They are to pay respects and tithes to their local priests.
  • r: what about deu 14 is not for all ppl
  • t: jesus was indicting them for being there in the first place and prevented people from completing their business there
  • t: I mean it is for all people; the regulation of tithing
  • t: For when you are to give a tithe
  • r: i havent heard of ppl eating owls, bats, eagles, hawks
  • t: Well me neither, I think it was mainly sheep and oxen, maybe pidgeons for sacrifices
  • r: the plan of salvation the levitical law reveals is for all ppl
  • r: !kjv isa 56:6
  • r: Isa56:6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; (KJV)
  • r: there has only been and still only one way
  • t: Sure so how was Jesus keeping the law by preventing people from changing money to buy sheep and pidgeons in the court of the gentiles?
  • t: It seems as if he was breaking it. What am I missing?
  • t: Was his reaction just a general indictment of the priesthood, and if so, what did that have to do with people who were commanded to go there and do that?
  • r: the logic of the bible book of hebrews teaches the faith of Jesus that the Chrisitan is to have in Him …. it also explains the roll of the high priest in the levitcal law, and how the sacrifice point to Jesus
  • r: i think if Jesus call the ppl thieves, they be thieves

Jesus and the False Signs

As a hammerfall blow, we will close this particular article for now with a strong statement; even if all of the above could somehow be explained, we doubt the following could be explained.

Jesus certainly broke the torah by refusing to give a Sign as mandated by God and instead by – on multiple occasions – attempting to give a sign as expressly forbidden by God.

It is a matter of Law that a statement by God on how the Jewish people are to interact with other people becomes Law itself.

Therefore we question the reason why Jesus rejected giving a sign as mandated by God, and why he instead attempted (on multiple occasions!) to give a sign as expressly forbidden!

The Law on Testing Prophets

What does the Law say you need to do to test a prophet?

1. No Prophet may ever claim to be God. If a prophet was God he would need to be recognized as such by all Jewish people. This is shown in Deuteronomy 4:10-20, Deuteronomy 13:1-5, and other places.

2. Prophets shall be tested by the people to determine if they are authentic. Deuteronomy 18:20-22.

For the sake of convenience let us just combine these two as one for now, because in many of the Christian scriptures we see a dual approach; to use the Christian scriptures to show that Jesus is God, and also that he fulfilled the law according to Prophets.

A1. Did Jesus Claim to be God?

The answer here seems to be no. This may be surprising to many Christians. However, in any capacity if Jesus did claim to be God he would have obviously broken the Torah. Instead, in every passage which Christians use to show Jesus is God, it turns out to mean the exact opposite.

  • Christians use John 10:30 to say Jesus claimed to be God. But Jesus spends the rest of that section explaining why he's not God (like the Judges, merely a 'Son of God' – a vessel of the Lord's service – i.e. a messiah).
  • Christians use John 8:48-59 to say that Jesus claimed to be God. This is however a stunning error; Jesus had just explained to them how he was not God. However I don't have the explaination for this on hand and will have to search for it later FIXME it is something to do with quoting the hebrew in greek and then taking a different meaning of the greek words in translation into english. Jesus may have been quoting a psalm.

fix-me notes

The issue at hand is the phrase “I am” in verse 58. The Jehovah's Witnesses have “translated” the Greek present tense (“I am”) into the English perfect tense (“I have been”) which is more consistent with their theological position that Jesus is not God in flesh. In the Greek, the words are “ego eimi.” Literally, this is “I am.” “Ego eimi” is the present active indicative first person singular (I am) and not the perfect active indicative first person singular (I have been). It would seem that the natural and correct translation into the English is “I am,” but the NWT does not translate this into the present tense. Why? I am firmly convinced it is because translating John 8:58 as “I am” would be too close to God identifying Himself as the “I am” in Exodus 3:14. Therefore, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has opted for a different rendering.

  "And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" (Exodus 3:14).

But the issue is not settled so easily. Does the Bible ever legitimately translate the present tense 'ego eimi' into the English perfect tense “I have been”? Yes, it does. In John 14:8-9 it says, “Philip said to Him, 'Lord show us the Father, and it is enough for us.' 9Jesus said to him, 'Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, 'Show us the Father?'” Where Jesus says, “I have been” is in the Greek present tense, 'ego eimi'. Literally, again, this is “I am.” Here we have an example of the Greek present tense being translated into the English perfect tense. This is the very same thing the Watchtower organization claims is legitimate in John 8:58. Why is this translated into “I have been?” Quite simply because if we did not do this, then the English would say, “I am with you so long . . . ” That is awkward in the English, so translators translate it as “Have I been so long with you . . . ” It is legitimate to do this in some instances where it is warranted in order to make the English more readable and clear. But is it necessary to do this in John 8:58? I don't believe so unless your underlying presupposition is that Jesus is not God in flesh.

sub-conclusion

So let me try and explain it this way. We aren't interested in a proof where Jesus claims to be God because it would instantly invalidate him from being God. Instead we are confident enough to simply ignore this issue and deal with A2, which conclusively counters these claims even as a separate issue.

A2. Jesus and the Prophet Test.

We see that in every case Jesus was asked to provide a sign according to the Torah, he blatantly refuses to do so:

The Sign of Mana in the Desert

30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”John 6 (RSV)

Here, the people ask Jesus for a sign and he does not give them one; he merely restates the miracle of the mana in the desert. Further, the implication of this passage is that they should have believed him because of the miracles he had done (ex. John 6:26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.”) And, later in John 6, Jesus tries to ask them if they would believe his teaching if he showed them yet another miracle (John 6:62).

This is not a good start; Jesus does not give a proper sign as required by the Torah, but instead asks people (twice) to believe in him merely because of the miracles he does. This is an inversion of the Torah law!

Jesus and the Nonsensical Signs

Jesus gives signs that make no sense (and are miracle-based anyway).

Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple Courts

12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.

19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples[c] went out of the city.

20 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”

22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly[d] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:12-14,19-25

In the above, Jesus makes an issue of cursing a Fig tree which was out of season (v. 13., “..because it was not the season for figs.”). This makes no sense. The tree was never supposed to have produced fruit at that time. The irony of this sign is driven home by v.25. “25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Jesus essentially cursed a fig tree which did nothing wrong, how the moreso then is this supposed to show that we must forgive people who do in fact cause us wrong?

But the real problem with this passage is that Jesus gives what amounts to a false prophecy in v. 23, 24. It is certainly not true that God will grant you every prayer merely because you are faithful. There are issues with this passage. But again this is part of a series of signs and prophecies which together show a consistant pattern; Jesus ultimately breaks the Torah by refusing to give proper signs and instead requiring belief in miracles.

Jesus and the Dying Child

In John 4:46-52 Jesus notes that the man will not believe unless he performs a miracle; he then heals his sick and dying child. The man later confirms the child was healed at the same time Jesus said he would live. In this passage Jesus is basically asking him to believe because he performed a miracle, which is against the Torah.

Jesus and the Sign of Jonah

Jesus Refuses to give a Sign (Sign of Jonah)

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nin′eveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.Matthew 12:38-42 (RSV)

It is strange that Jesus speaks against the Torah here, and diminishes it, and acts against it (all thus breaking the Torah). Instead, he says he will give the sign of Jonah. So you may be wondering why this section is about Jesus refusing to give a sign. That's because he does refuse – as he never appears to those scribes and Pharisees, the “Sign of Jonah” is a broken promise – and not a sign at all. A sign was never given. How could they be evil and adulterous for requesting a Sign as required by the Torah in multiple places?

Jesus refuses to give a Sign (after the Feeding of the Four Thousand)

In a separate instance Jesus again refuses to give a sign, as required by the Torah.

11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven, to test him. 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.” 13 And he left them, and getting into the boat again he departed to the other side.Mark 8:11-13 (RSV)

Jesus Requires Belief in Miracles

Jesus did many miracles. For now let us just assume this is a given without mentioning any specific miracle;

  • “And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people” (Matthew 4:23).
  • “And wherever he entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and entreating him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured” (Mark 6:56).
  • “And all the multitude were trying to touch him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all” (Luke 6:19).
  • “Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book” (John 20:30).

However, the reason Jesus performed these miracles is because this is the means by which he intended to garner belief. This is the problem. All such claims via miracle are invalid due to them being expressly denied as proof in Deuteronomy 13; instead the requirement is of prophecy (in Deuteronomy 18).

  • The Miracles Were Of A Sufficient Variety
  • The Miracles Covered All Possible Areas Of Authority (including authority over life and death)
    • Jesus Is The Lord Of Nature (ex. Matthew 8:25-27)
    • He Is Lord Of The Supernatural Realm (ex. Matthew 8:29)
    • Jesus Had Authority Over The Forgiveness Of Sins (ex. Matthew 9:1-8)
    • Jesus Had Authority Over The Natural And The Supernatural At The Same Time (Matthew 9:32-34)
  • Jesus Healed Incurable Disease
  • Jesus Healed From A Distance
  • The Miracles Were Done Publicly
  • They Were Done In A Strategic Location
  • They Were Performed Before Large Crowds
  • There Was No Special Time Of Day When They Were Done
  • They Were Performed Before Gentiles
  • They Were Done Without Props
  • The Miracles Were Done With Restraint
  • Jesus Did Only Beneficial Miracles
  • They Were Not Done For His Own Advantage
  • They Met Real Needs
  • They Are In Contrast To The Miracles In Apocryphal Gospels
  • They Were Done With Great Ease
  • They Were Recorded By Eyewitnesses
  • The Reaction To His Miracles Is Exactly What We Would Expect
  • The Disciples Were The First Unbelievers Of The Resurrection
  • They Had Never Seen This Sort Of Thing Before
  • The Miracles Of Jesus Were Never Denied
  • Everyone Was Aware Of His Miracles
  • All Early Reports Of Jesus Agree That He Performed Miracles

Is that a sufficient list of rationale?

The problem is that none of these claims mean anything if ultimately the vehicle used to prove Jesus' authority was a miracle! In fact some of the above, such as Jesus' miracles being different from the kind given in the Old Testament, are actually disproofs of his authority, not proofs! And even so, many other such claims above are false. For example not all of Jesus' miracles were beneficial; he cursed a fig tree for no reason.

So did Jesus require belief in miracles? The definitive answer is yes:

  • “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing.” –John 2:23
  • “…Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” –John 4:48 (ESV)
  • “…though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.” –John 10:37-38 (KJV)
  • “Believe me … or else believe on account of the works themselves.” –John 14:11 (ESV)
  • “…Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” –John 6:26
  • “Jesus performed many other signs…but these are written that you may believe…” –John 20:30-31 (NIV)

Thus, Jesus broke the torah prohibition on requiring miracles alone for proof (Deuteronomy 13) and for refusing to give a proper sign on at least three different occasions (Deuteronomy 18).

False Prophecy of the Destruction of the Temple

Matthew 24:1-2

See: the_second_temple_will_be_destroyed

FIXME

these sections need to be merged into their own article and reorganized here.

False Prophecy of "This Generation"

<bockquote>29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; 30 then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; 31 and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. The Lesson of the Fig Tree

32 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.Matthew 24:29-34 (RSV)</blockquote>

This prophecy can never come true because it did not come true during the life of the apostles.

did_jesus_fulfill_the_law.txt · Last modified: 2018/03/17 14:45 by serena