The King’s Musician – Tactics of Persuasion
The prophets of Israel painted a future of light. They described a world in which war is a forgotten concept (Isaiah 2:4). They talked of a world in which all of mankind enjoys the light of God in brotherhood and love (Isaiah 60:3). The prophets gave us hope for a time in which the knowledge of God covers the world as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9).
The prophets also spoke of God’s musician. They told us about David; the man whose songs draws hearts to God (2 Samuel 23:1). And the prophets told us about David’s descendant; the Messiah, the man who will pick up the tune where David left off (Ezekiel 37:25).
Israel’s hope for the future also illuminates the present. Instead of seeing people steeped in selfishness; Israel sees future servants of God. Instead of reading life as a ride towards chaos and darkness; Israel sees life progressing ever forward towards light and tranquility.
Hope is so powerful. It has the attention of so many people in such a deep way. The magnetism of this hope has drawn people into believing that they themselves are somehow an integral part of this future of light. The office of King’s musician attracts the most attention. Many people have deluded themselves and others into thinking that they are or that they will be that singer of the King.
It is obvious to one and all that the King’s music is still not being played. Yes; David’s songs still resonate and even now they melt hearts towards God. But as long as darkness, war, confusion and hate still reign; David’s descendant is not here.
One of the many aspirants to the coveted title of “Messiah” was one Jesus of Nazareth. The delusion of his messianic career was put to rest as quickly as most others who hoped to change the world. Where Jesus stands apart from the rest of the messianic aspirants is in the propaganda team that his followers put together on the occasion of his failure.
The first thing any failure needs to do is to find someone to blame. The refrain of almost every failed campaign is that it was the “villain” who maliciously and unjustly turned the tables on us.
The problem that Jesus’ propagandists faced was that there was no one to blame but Jesus himself. It would have been bad enough if he did nothing that would make anyone think that he was the Messiah. But he didn’t stop there. Instead of playing the role of the King’s musician; who directs everyone’s attention to the king, Jesus dropped some hints of his pretentions to the throne of the King itself.
The wall of indifference that Jesus had crashed into was the loyalty that Israel had towards God and the understanding that Israel had of the Messianic hope. Israel’s loyalty to God would not allow them to submit to another entity and their understanding of the Messianic hope would not allow them to bestow the title “Messiah” on a man who played not a stitch of David’s music.
It wasn’t so much that Jesus was “rejected”. There was simply nothing to consider.
But Jesus’ propagandists were not daunted. The first thing they did was that they changed the target audience. Instead of talking to the people of Israel, who were God’s witnesses and the bearers of the Messianic hope, the Church Fathers turned to the Gentiles who had less of an understanding of these matters.
While the Gentiles had less of an understanding of the concept of a Jewish Messiah than did the Jews but the Gentiles were still going to ask the Churchmen why the Jews, who should be more knowledgeable about the matter, did not buy the story. How were the masters of persuasion going to deal with this challenge that was bound to arise even from the new audience that they were appealing to?
This is what they did.
They redefined the objective. Instead of a Messiah who is obviously and clearly the King’s musician they invented a new concept of “Messiah” as a mystery man who needs to be discovered and accepted. Once we are dealing with this “new reality” of a Messiah who needs to “prove” himself the persuaders can now claim that the “judgment” was unfairly skewed against him.
Who were the ones that committed this “injustice”? The Jews of-course! This tactic gave the propagandists the villain that they needed and it also discredited the only ones who would see through their charade.
The work of propaganda did not stop there. The Churchmen needed to redirect the conversation. Instead of a conversation about loyalty to God the Churchmen turned the conversation to a host of unrelated issues. They presented the argument between Jesus and those who ignored him as if it was an argument about faith, spirit and humility – all represented by Jesus; versus works, pride, legalism and hypocrisy all represented by his opponents; the Jews.
To recap; the followers of Jesus lied to the Gentile world by telling them that the office of Messiah is a position that is acquired by passing a series of tests. They then claimed that although Jesus had successfully passed these tests, the Jews still misjudged his case and rejected him. In order to direct attention away from the Jewish loyalty to God and to the crown of David the Churchmen spoke on behalf of the Jews and told the world that they rejected Jesus because he didn’t fit in with their legalistic, haughty, and hypocritical belief system.
These propaganda tactics succeeded not only to build Jesus’ following among the people of Europe but they also precipitated the persecution of the Jewish people by the believers of these myths.
To set the record straight I will say that the position of “Messiah” is not attained by winning a contest. The real Messiah will not need a team of propagandists to explain away his failure and to demonize the nation that God appointed as His witnesses.
The real Messiah will simply pick up the song where his ancestor David left off.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal