Motivations – Jeremiah 2:11
From the very inception of Christianity, Christians found it necessary to engage in the psychoanalysis of those who reject their claims. John’s Jesus gets the ball rolling in chapter 3 verses 19 thru 21 “And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil. For everyone that does evil hates the light and does not come to the light lest his works be reproved. But he that does truth comes to the light so that his works may be made manifest that they have been wrought by God.”
John’s Jesus outdoes himself a few chapters later (8:44) where he explains that the Jews are children of the devil and it is this inherited evil nature that prevents them from loving the child of God (i.e. himself).
Throughout history, Christians have kept up the “study” of the Jewish “motivation” to reject Jesus. Even in today’s age of open communication, Christian theologians, apologists and clergymen offer their opinions into the Jewish motivation for their rejection of Jesus. These include the argument that it is the persecution of the Church that prevents Jews from “seeing the light”. The argument that postulates that the Jews are stricken with a special “spiritual blindness” is also quite popular. Others Christians move closer to John’s Jesus with theories that vilify the Jews, with a specific focus on the spiritual leadership of the Jewish people. These apologists argue that the spiritual leadership of the Jewish people rejected Jesus because their power-base as leaders would be threatened with the acceptance of Jesus. They take this accusation one step further with the slander that the spiritual leadership of the Jewish people consciously changed the synagogue liturgy and their commentaries of the Bible in order to sustain their rejection of Jesus.
Needless to say, the past 2000 years of history do not reflect positively on this Christians study of Jewish “motivation”. The upshot of this study was death and suffering for millions of people.
Let us step back and ask some basic questions. If you are going to pass judgment on someone’s motivations for taking a specific decision, most people would acknowledge that you must consider the following factors before rendering your verdict.
- You must be aware of the meaning and implications of the decision from the standpoint of the person you are judging.
- You must understand all of the arguments presented to justify the decision from the perspective of the person you are judging.
- In light of the injunction; “do unto others as you would have done unto yourself” – you should ask yourself; – How do I feel when people psychoanalyze my motivations?
If you are a Christian and you have already delivered your verdict as to why the Jewish people reject the man you consider to be divine – I will ask you the following questions.
- Do you realize the implications of the decision from the standpoint of a Jew? Do you realize that if Jesus was not who you believe he was, then the veneration that he demands is idolatrous? Do you realize that the heart of the Jew’s covenant with God demands that the Jew reject any worship that is not validated by the Sinai revelation? Do you realize that the relationship that the Jew shares with God does not allow for the veneration that Christianity demands for Jesus?
- Can you articulate the Jewish arguments that justify the decision to reject Jesus? Do you realize that there are several hundred passages in the Scriptures that you acknowledge to be God’s word that demand that the Jew reject the claims made about Jesus? Do you realize that the very same system that was used to validate the prophets of the Jewish Scripture clearly and unequivocally INVALIDATE the claims for Jesus?
- Did you ever ask yourself how it feels to be psychoanalyzed? Did you ever stop and consider the historical record of the psychoanalysis that you are engaging in?
In the book of Jeremiah (2:11), God pays a backhanded compliment to idol-worshipers who maintain loyalty to their idol. The prophet makes it clear that it is the quality of loyalty that keeps the respective idolatrous nations in line with their own deities. Is it so difficult for the Church to acknowledge that Israel’s rejection of Jesus is rooted in the same quality of loyalty? Is it so difficult to fathom that a nation that was called into a special relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth will not give her heart to an inhabitant of God’s earth?
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal