Justice and Charity – excerpt from Christianity Unmasked

The Universal Principles of Justice and Charity

The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3 – 7:27) is perhaps one of the most famous teachings of Christianity. In this Sermon, Jesus presents some basic and beautiful truths. The basic principles of morality, justice and kindness are articulated in this teaching clearly and concisely. But if you step back and look at the literary structure of the book of Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount takes on a different character entirely.

The underlying theme of the book of Matthew (and Christianity as a whole) is the exaltation of Jesus and the emphasis of humanity’s “need” for Jesus. The author of the book of Matthew presents the Sermon on the Mount not so much as a teaching on how to live a moral life but as an argument for the superiority of Jesus. Immediately after the Sermon (Matthew7:28,29) the author tells us how the crowds were amazed at the teaching; not because of the beauty of the truths they contained, but because Jesus spoke with incomparable “authority”. Key segments of the Sermon are introduced with the phrase: “You have heard that it was said to them of old time” and contrasted with “But I (Jesus) say to you”. This literary device accentuates the fictitious notion that Jesus is the originator of these universal truths and that they were unknown to mankind until Jesus uttered them to his audience.

But this is false. These universal principles of justice and charity were planted by the Creator into the heart of every man and woman; they belong to all of us. Every one of us is sensitive to an injustice that we suffer at the hands of another. We are all acutely aware that injustice is wrong and evil when we find ourselves at the receiving end of an injustice. This is the guide that our Creator gave us all to teach us these universal principles. Every civilization has produced individuals who have brought greater clarity to these universal principles through the lives they lived and through the words they uttered. Clarifying and articulating these universal principles is good and Godly; falsely claiming to be the originator of these universal principles is not.

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Thank You

Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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4 Responses to Justice and Charity – excerpt from Christianity Unmasked

  1. Cindy says:

    Many Rabbis present t,here same principles. It is called mussar. It would be a normal thing for Jesus to teach on. There are some things wrong with the NT; however, it is not necessary to present something as wrong when it is not. The structure of Matthew does not support the superiority of Jesus but rather the very morals contained within mussar.Christianity’s own commentaries attest to this. If his superiority is the agenda, those commentaries would so note.

  2. Brother Rabbi, i wish your family and all congregations had a wonderful Sukkot and Shana Tova!
    Matthew records that the universal principle and justice is vividly exercised in the land of Israel in the time of Yeshua, although the kingdom of God has not come fully yet nearly.
    Maybe the crowd hailed Yeshua’s teaching as authoritative because he ACTED what he said and taught as the Acts1:1 says,”The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to DO and teach.”
    We can see the sandwich of the sermon on the Mount. The upper bread and lower bread that enclose the sermon. The lower bread (Mt.7:28-29) asks us what kind of authority Yeshua exercised? and the upper bread (Mt. 4:23-25) gives us the answer.
    Yeshua healed all kinds of wealkness and sickness of those who mourned, who was poor in spirit, and who was thirsty in righteousness, etc. before he preached the sermon on the Mount.
    Yes, brother, although the followers’ behavior for centuries has remained as poor commentary, yet the leader’s behavior must have fueled his own teaching to be authoritative.

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