Women And Christ
We recognize that it's truly unreasonable to expect women to trust Jesus, nor any other man for that matter, because of all the many centuries of abuse they have put up with from a male dominated world in every country and in every language. It's been like a chain of death century after century their fathers, brothers, neighbors and school mates, boy friends, bosses, husbands, government; and even religious leaders. It never seems to stop.
In this chapter, Joanne and I would like to share Jesus of Nazareth with the ladies in a very special way; just for them. Some of the men are not going to look good in the stories we're going to tell, but it's nobody's fault but their own. We're going to begin with his ancestry because we feel it's important to know something about Jesus' family history to get a better feel for his humanity.
There's a few immoral people in Jesus' family tree.
The first, Judah (Gen 38), tricked into sleeping with his own daughter-in-law, produced one of Jesus' ancestors: Perez. (Judah, by the way, wasn't totally a bad person. He saved his kid brother Joseph's life when the others wanted to kill him.)
Another is a promiscuous woman named Rahab (Josh 2). A really brave woman. She was living in Jericho when Joshua attacked it during the Palestine campaign and helped his scouts escape detection. A Jewish man named Salmon married her after the war; and their son Boaz, who married Ruth, is in Jesus' line. Rahab's name is right out in plain view for the whole world to see in Jesus' genealogy at Matt 1:5.
[ Rahab, as well as the midwives of Exodus 1:15-21, ends the debate about honesty being the best policy. Sometimes lying is necessary; especially when it's done to protect the sanctity of life. ]
The most famous is David (2Sam 11), who ordered his military commander Joab to make sure Bathsheba's husband Uriah was killed in a hard battle so David could have her in marriage and try to fool everyone into thinking their first child was legitimate. Matthew, inspired by God, made sure the world will never forget about Uriah because he's mentioned in Jesus' genealogy at Matt 1:6. One of David's and Bathsheba's sons, Solomon, is Joseph's distant grandfather. Another, Nathan, is Miriam's. So Joseph and Miriam are cousins through David and Bathsheba.
Jesus was not only virgin-conceived but also virgin-born. We know from Matt 1:25 that Joseph waited to have intimacies with his wife until after Jesus' birth. And at Luke 1:34 Miriam was puzzled by the angel's words because she was not sleeping around. And she sure wasn't sleeping with Joseph because we know from Matt 1:24 that he was a righteous man. I'm positive he would not have been inclined to break the engagement if there was any chance the baby was his. How did he know she was expecting? Everybody knew it. According to Matt 1:18, Miriam was already showing even before the angel persuaded Joseph to go through with the marriage.
Not only was Jesus virgin-conceived, and virgin-born; but he was also born out of wedlock.
●Luke 2:4-6a So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
Miriam was pledged to be married to Joseph, but wasn't yet; and she traveled with him to Bethlehem, not because she was his wife, but because she was related to David; and had to go to Bethlehem to register for the tax same as Joseph.
When Jesus' birth was recorded, how do you suppose Joseph felt when he had to declare he was not the biological father? And that's how it went into the temple records for everyone in Israel to see. You can bet Jesus' enemies never let him forget it. At John 8:19 they asked him "Where is your father?" And they rubbed it in again at John 8:41 "We are not illegitimate." All his life Jesus lived under the shadow of Bastard.
●Ps 69:8-13 ...It is for Your sake that I have been reviled, that shame covers my face; I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my kin. My zeal for Your house has been my undoing; the reproaches of those who revile You have fallen upon me. When I wept and fasted, I was reviled for it. I made sackcloth my garment; I became a byword among them. Those who sit in the gate talk about me; I am the taunt of drunkards.
Did Jewish Girls Like Jesus?
●Isa 53:2-3 …he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
I have never seen an artist's concept of Jesus as a homely, unattractive man. I'm not saying there isn't one somewhere, I just haven't seen it myself. But in order for any concept to be true to the Bible, it would have to depict Jesus in a very unflattering light.
Popular men in religion and politics usually have a little something going for them in charisma. But Jesus didn't. His peers actually avoided him, and looked the other way as if they didn't see him so they wouldn't have to say hello or speak unless they had to. Jesus not only knows what it is to be lonely, but he also knows what it is to be unpopular.
He grew up in Nazareth; which was a small town; and in small towns, there are no secrets. Everybody knew that Joseph wasn't Jesus' biological father. They thought (and reasonably so) that Jesus was an illegitimate child. So he had to grow up as a kid with the Hebrew label of mamzer (mam-zare'); which is the Jewish equivalent of the English word bastard. Even as an adult, he was sometimes confronted with it.
●John 8:19 …Then said they unto him, Where is your Father?
Of course they knew he couldn't produce the name of his biological father. Birth records were kept in the Temple in those days so that a Jewish man's genealogy was open to public scrutiny. Jesus' enemies very well knew he was illegitimate and tried to wield it against him.
All in all— his looks, his low popularity, his low income, and his bastardness —Jesus would not be very appealing to the Jewish girls of his day. Although he no doubt could relate to any of them on a level far beyond the sensitivities of the other guys in Nazareth; still, Jesus wasn't really quite the kind of guy that girls like to show off and be proud of; let alone be seen with.
Next we'll begin to show how Jesus related to women, and how that many of them learned it was okay to trust him with their feelings.
The Woman At The Well
At John 4, during a journey from Judaea going to Galilee, Jesus had to pass through Samaria because it was right along the main road. He came to a town named Sychar where there was an ancient source of water and, worn out by the trip, he stopped there to rest. (Jesus of Nazareth was very mortal. He knew what it was to be hungry, thirsty, tired, lonely, and depressed.)
A women came out of town to get water and Jesus asked her for a drink. Jews considered Palestinians below them in those days and she was astonished he spoke to her. Anyway, it turned out Jesus knew she was living with a man, and went through five husbands before shacking up with her current lover.
[A lady engineer at my work has a coffee cup with this quip painted on it: As for my part in the environment; I'm going to stop using men and throwing them away. J ]
The only reason Jesus brought up her love life was so he could prove to her that he was a prophet. A run of the mill holy man wouldn't have known her personal secrets like that. Amazed; she ran off, leaving her water pot, and told the men in town about someone who knew all about her. Very likely some of the men in town dated that lady and figured Jesus must know all about them too. So they all came out to see this man who knew her private life so well.
That women's past held a powerful influence and Jesus, in a tactful way, used it to good advantage to get the men of her town safely into the kingdom of God.
[ The word *Magdalene isn't a legal name; but a descriptive adjective that tells, neither Mary's name, nor her father's name, but where she was from. Mary was a Magdalenian; viz: a woman from Magdala, a place somewhere in Palestine mentioned in Matt 15:39. It's very possible she was a Gentile; no one really knows for sure. The Jews used "Magdala" as a colloquialism to denote a person with twisted or platted hair; especially a woman of loose character. However; to say that term indicates Mary was promiscuous is about as valid as saying everyone from San Francisco is gay. ]
Some say Mary and Jesus were secretly married; but we have never seen a single shred of New Testament evidence to support such an allegation.
If Jesus was married to MM, his behavior during those dying moments on the cross was very un-husbandly. He appointed one of his disciples to look after his mother while he was gone, but appointed no one to look after MM, who was standing right there beside his mother at the time. Doesn't the Bible teach that married people are one flesh? Then what kind of a husband doesn't provide for his wife in the event of his death? If Jesus were a husband, then I would expect nothing less from him in that regard than he expects from me.
●Eph 5:28-29 …So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
●Eph 5:33 …Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself;
●1Tim 5:8 …But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Just think how cruel and selfish it would have been for Jesus to marry a girl that he knew would be widowed in short order, and would never bear his children because Isaiah predicted that Messiah would leave behind no posterity (Isa 53:8).
The New Testament doesn't tell a whole lot about Mary Magdalene: her age, looks, height or girth. She could very easily have been just another frumpy looking middle aged woman who could use some make-up and a new pair of glasses; nobody really knows. But Jesus was kind to her just the same. And she could relate to him, that's what counted. She's listed at Luke 8:2 as a woman Jesus healed of evil spirits and illness.
We know from Mark 16:9 Jesus appeared to her first after his resurrection, even before any of the apostles. At John 20:11 she was upset and weeping at the sepulcher when Jesus came up from behind and asked her why she was crying and who she was looking for. She mistook him for the caretaker until he said her name, "Mary." He must have said it in a very familiar way because she instantly recognized him. I don't know what Jesus looked like when he came back from the dead, but when he departed, his face was all but gone.
●Isa 52:14 . .Many were amazed when they saw him— beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely tell he was human.
The text is worded at John 20:17 in the KJV that Jesus said "Touch me not." But that doesn't really say it right; because wording like that makes it look like Jesus was untouchable, and wanted to scrape MM off. No, he wasn't forbidding her to make physical contact with him, but rather, to cling. Here's some other versions that help bring that out.
●Jesus said to her; Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God. (Catholic NAB)
●Jesus said; Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God. (NIV)
●Jesus said to her; Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren, and say to them I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God. (NAS)
●Don't cling to me; Jesus said; for I haven't yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, my God and your God. (NLT)
It's all too obvious what took place. Mary was clutching Jesus with the full intent of never letting him out of her sight for even one second ever again. People who've never really loved another human being don't understand things like that; but I have no doubt that kids who've lost their daddies understand perfectly.
Objection: But if Mary M had touched Jesus, wouldn't that defile him so he couldn't enter the temple in Heaven?
It would be forty more days before Jesus was taken up to his Father (Acts 1:3); during which time he not only permitted human contact; but actually encouraged it (e.g. Matt 28:5-9, Luke 24:36-43, John 20:26-27). If human contact defiled Jesus after his resurrection, then his permitting and encouraging people to make physical contact with him would have been self defeating.
The Woman Caught In Adultery
This next lady is very famous. At John 8:4 his enemies brought to him a woman who they said was caught red handed right during an act of adultery. The woman's accusers didn't bring her lover though, just her. Cliff worked in a boatyard in San Diego back in the seventies with a married man who cheated on his wife constantly; even buying jewelry out of the household money for his girlfriends. He had two little kids too. So Cliff asked him one day if he would mind if his wife found herself a lover. No. He said he would kill her if she ever did that. That's probably why Jesus' enemies didn't bring that woman's lover because they thought adultery was okay for the men; but wrong for women.
The proper procedure would have been to take the woman to the Sanhedrin and proceed against her there; not take her to a nobody like Jesus. The Sanhedrin was the supreme council and tribunal of the Jews during postexilic times headed by a High Priest and having religious, civil, and criminal jurisdiction. Jesus was not among them. He was just an itinerant country-boy preacher.
The men didn't bring the woman to Jesus for justice. No, they brought her to him to see if he agreed with the stipulations in Moses' Law for adultery. They wanted to see what he would *say* not what he would do (John 8:5). Jesus' opponents were forever trying to catch him teaching people to disobey Moses' Law; but they never succeeded.
It was an obvious trap; but backfired on those chauvinists. Jesus stooped down and wrote something on the ground and then said that one among themselves who was without sin should throw the first stone at her. Well you can probably guess what he was writing on the ground the names of lady friends whom they themselves obviously preferred to keep secret because all of them left without saying any more about it.
Jesus wasn't actually in a position to give anyone permission to stone anybody for anything. He was neither a cop, nor a district attorney, nor a judge in Israel. His response was in reference to the Law Of God where it is required that the witnesses be the first to stone people (e.g. Deut 13:10).
According to Moses' laws, adultery is a death offense for both parties, not just the women.
●Lev 20:10 If a man commits adultery with a married woman, committing adultery with another mans wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.
However, the accused must first be proven guilty by the testimony of a minimum of not less than two witnesses. In court, it's not what you say that counts; it's what you can prove. And that woman's accusers had no case; ergo: case dismissed.
●Deut 19:15 …A single witness may not validate against a person any guilt or blame for any offense that may be committed; a case can be valid only on the testimony of two witnesses or more.
Question: But Jesus surely must have known she was worthy of death. Why would he let her go unless he were anti-death penalty?
Like I said, Jesus was neither a cop, nor a prosecuting attorney, nor a judge. He had no legal right to detain that lady against her will. In America, a citizen action of that type would be tantamount to the felony crime of false imprisonment; which is equal to kidnapping; viz: he didn't *let* her go; she was free to go about her own business and there was nothing he could do about it. And since Jesus wasn't a valid witness to her alleged crime of adultery, he couldn't file a complaint against her either.
The New Testament Greek word for mercy— e.g. Matt 5:7 —is eleeo (el-eh-eh'-o); which means compassion. Merciful people aren't lawless people: they're kind hearted, long suffering, patient, charitable, benign, harmless, affable, helpful, sensitive, and thoughtful. According to that definition, Jesus was *merciful* to that lady and protected her from a terrible miscarriage of justice which would have probably resulted in her death.
Jesus doesn't oppose stoning for adultery. Not at all. God forbid that any Jewish man would oppose the Law Of God as received by Moses engraved on stone tablets carved by the very finger of God! No, Jesus was just a stickler for correct due process. It needs to re-emphasized from time to time that Jesus wasn't a Christian. No, the New Testament's Jesus was a Jew whose religion— that he practiced and that he believed in —was Old Testament Judaism. Don't ever forget that.
What I find interesting in the narrative is that the woman herself never once either denied nor affirmed committing adultery. No, she said nothing; either nay nor yea; and I believe that's because in that day, and in that male dominated culture, she figured; "What the hell's the use of trying to defend myself. This clannish bunch of male bigots won't listen to me anyway so why bother?"
The Common Woman
Jesus really had a way of rubbing the male religious elite the wrong way. But they usually brought it on themselves.
At Luke 7:36, Jesus was invited to a Pharisee's home for dinner. Those kinds of dinners were often very public, sort of like a courtyard cafe. So passersby could actually mingle with the guests. A woman came in, and staying behind him, washed his feet with tears and used her own hair for a towel to dry them. Then, after kissing his feet, she put some perfume on them.
Please don't be fooled into thinking her actions were a deed of piety or of self abasement designed to earn brownie points; like a trip to Mecca or something. Let me show you what was going on and you'll understand why she did it.
It was a custom of hospitality in that day to scrub your guests feet, and give them a kiss and a scent when they arrived. In our day, we take their coats, the women hug, we shake the men's hands, and then usually offer everybody a refreshment. Well, while that woman was watching the dinner, she noticed Jesus' sandaled feet were still dirty and guessed right away what happened. Simon, the host, hadn't even extended common courtesy to Jesus. She knew very well the kind of man Jesus was so she started fawning over him, crushed that anyone would treat him like that.
Well Jesus used her example to kick that Pharisee right in the very place where he thought he was such hot stuff. He pointed out that Simon hadn't provided water for his feet, but this woman was washing them with her own tears and drying them with every woman's pride, her hair. And Simon didn't give him the customary kiss, but there she was down there on the floor kissing his feet. Simon had neglected to offer him perfume too, but she even had some of that.
The stuck-up host erroneously figured that if Jesus really was a prophet, he wouldn't let that woman touch him because of her reputation. But that woman, who Simon the elite religious leader thought was so cheap, was more civilized than him. Ouch! You know he felt that.
We know from Luke 7:47 she felt affection for Jesus because he absolved her life and didn't hold it against her; something the Pharisee just couldn't do because he had a superiority complex. Simon could never allow her to be equal with himself.
The Widow Woman
At Luke 7:12, as he was coming into a city, Jesus encountered a funeral procession. A man was carried out who had been the only son of a mother whose husband was dead. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion, and told her not to cry. After making the pall bearers hold up and stand still, he told the dead man to get up; and then brought him to his mom.
Jesus took note of her sorrow. There was no welfare or Medicare system in that day. If a woman's husband died, and her relatives didn't help out, she was in a bad way. Besides, it's not fun for widows. Loneliness has a way of breaking their spirit. That woman's son was important to her if only for those reasons. And besides, (normal) moms don't want their children to die. Jesus could easily sympathize with her because his own mom was facing the same future.
In the last moments, already nailed on the cross, he assigned John to take care of his mom after he was gone. The New Testament doesn't say what became of Miriam's husband Joseph. He's totally out of the picture by crucifixion week and never once said to have a part in Jesus' three year ministry.
Jesus; Strong Yet A Good Man
If I could chose the one man I prefer to be in life it would be Ben Hur; no contest. He has the strength and virtue of a man's man, yet he's kind and protective with all his friends and especially his mom and sister. The real Jesus is a man's man like Charlton Heston's Ben Hur. He's not some deluded nut who started a commune in South America and poisoned all his followers, or castrated himself and committed suicide to rendezvous with an alien space ship hiding behind a comet. Jesus is a man with the guts to live with his shameful family history, and submit himself to ridicule and brutalities without whining about it.
Those New Testament stories we shared with you about Jesus reveal that he's strong, yet sensitive, sympathetic to our problems. Since he's not just one more arrogant male who thinks women are stupid, it is safe for women to trust him with their feelings and with their future.
Jesus is a big road block to eternal bliss for some women because of his gender. My own mother is a case in point. Her animosity towards men is so strong that she easily prefers going to Hell rather than let a male best her in any way; even little male children. Her attitude has nothing to do with right and wrong, nor with sense nor with sensibility, nor with good judgment nor with bad judgment. With her, it's simply a matter of either winning or losing. Hell is a very high price to pay for victory, but in my mother's mind it would be worth it so long as she held her ground and never gave in. But my mother's resolve has trapped her in a no-win dilemma. No matter where she goes in the afterlife, it will be the result of a male's decision. She can't win on this.
If mother pleads with Jesus for an acquittal, she will lose to a male. But if she holds out, that same male, in his capacity as humanity's final judge (Acts 10:42), will openly confront her with the way she lived her life and the way she raised her kids. Jesus will expose her darkest secrets (with me standing by to hear it all), and then subject her to terrible eternal suffering; so that in the end it will be a male who sends mother to Hell and completely destroys any hopes she had for a better future.
Lorena Bobbitt; et al
In most States, (I honestly can't think of an exception) assault with a deadly weapon is a felony crime punishable by serving time in State prison. If the perpetrator draws blood with the weapon, the crime becomes attempted murder; which is even worse; and the Bible's God encourages States to punish felons to the fullest extent of the law. (Rom 13:1-5, 1Pet 2:13-15)
Lorena Bobbitt made news in 1993 by mutilating her husband's privates with a carving knife while he was asleep. She was later acquitted by reason of insanity.
Lorena's conduct was excusable under law because of her mental state; but there are perfectly rational, sane women out and about who would be overjoyed with ecstasy to mutilate a man's privates. I really have to wonder what the hell is going on inside those women's heads to make them hate men badly enough to mutilate them. Their passion is no less twisted than a pervert's desire to slice off a woman's nipples, puncture her uterus, and crush her clitoris with pliers.
Anyway, my point is that Heaven is a place of peace and safety. Women whose imaginations are laced with wicked thoughts; having hearts infected with a brutal desire to mutilate men, simply can't go there. Dangerous women would be uncomfortable in Heaven anyway because everybody there is affable; and they would never fit in. Those kinds of women desperately need to undergo a heart transplant as per the second births Jesus spoke of in John 3:3-8.
●Ezk 36:24-28 . .And I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit into you: I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a tender heart; and I will put My spirit into you. Thus I will cause you to follow My laws and faithfully to observe My rules.
Their Future Sans a Second Birth
●Rev 20:11-15 . .Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the Dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The Dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the Dead that were in it, and death and haides gave up the Dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and haides were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
The lake of fire is a "second death" so that if a piece of work like, say, Beyonce Knowles is among the Dead, she will have to lose her gorgeous face and figure yet one more time via a horribly disfiguring mode of death akin to burning at the stake. The lake of fire will be a terrible heartbreak for the beautiful people.
In fire and ice, the first parts of the human body to be effected are the extremities: ears, nose, toes, fingers, and lips. And in the case of women, extremities would include their breasts. You twisted, man-hating women out there in cyberspace should be thinking about that. Existing in the lake of fire is going to be bad enough all by itself alone; but it's the getting into the lake that will be the worst part. The first thing to go will be your hair, and then extremities. Your bosom is soft and vulnerable; and will not survive total immersion in a reservoir of liquid flame; and guess which gender will be responsible for your loss?
●Acts 17:31 . .For God has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man He has appointed, and He proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.
In the end, it will be the sweet little gentle baby Jesus who casts malicious women into Hell and permanently ruins any chances they might have had for happiness in the future. For all eternity, condemned man-haters will grind their teeth with hot tears and white-knuckled fury that they ultimately lost out on everything because of one lone male's obsessive control over their lives; and I have no doubt whatsoever they will entertain years of happy-thoughts dreaming of mutilating Christ's privates should they ever get their hands on him.
Women's Roles In Church
We would prefer to focus upon a woman's character first; rather than upon her role in church; because if a woman is a bad person to begin with, then she's not going to be very effective in looking out for Jesus' best interests in a church.
Would it surprise you to learn there are actually Christian women who prefer Hell to Heaven? Sure: and why wouldn't they? No one has to exercise self control in Hell. People are free to follow their passions. The damned can behave any old way they want to; and they can say any old thing they want to.
Women in Hell are free to be callous and thoughtless, with no consequences— they're free to be promiscuous, free to gossip, free to lust, free to hate, free to be hostile, free to hate God, free to hate Jesus, free to hate the Bible, free to be selfish, free to be rude, free to hold grudges, free to chafe, free to be sarcastic, free to ridicule, free to be self centered, free to pout, free to cuss, free to be insolent, free to demean their husbands, free to use innuendoes, free to make thoughtless remarks and ugly suggestions, free to utter purple epithets, free to tell off-color jokes, free to be biased, free to be bigoted, free to be opinionated, free to be clannish, free to lie, free to be pretentious, free to be two-faced, free to be immature, free to be hypocrites, free to cheat, free to steal, and free to murder. So you can see that women in Hell enjoy quite a few liberties.
We just watched a very entertaining movie recently called: Saved! You know who our favorite character was in that movie? It was the Jewish bad girl played by Eva Amurri who befriended Macauly Culkin. You know why we liked the bad girl? Because the bad girl was real and up front. I find that very appealing (she was cute too); and it doesn't matter to me if that kind of a girl smokes, drinks, cusses, drives fast, sleeps around, wears outrageous clothing, gets weird hair cuts, impales her face with body jewelry, and listens to AC/DC and Puff Daddy on full volume with bass boost. Eva Amurri's character was likeable because she was fun to be around; whereas the goody-goody girls were impossible primarily because they thought way too highly of themselves and were infected with unbearable superiority complexes.
●Matt 5:3 …Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
●Matt 5:4 …Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
●Matt 5:9 …Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
When I see a Christian woman with a superiority complex behaving in an assertive, confrontational manner; I see a woman who isn't poor in spirit: no; she's failed to achieve meekness, and totally lacking in peacemaking skills. Therefore, those kinds of women will not inherit the kingdom of heaven, nor possess the Earth, nor be called the children of God. They will go to Hell because Hell is the only kind of environment where they can feel truly at home since Heaven is a place of peace. I'm sure you'll agree that assertive, confrontational women would never be happy in a place of peace because they couldn't be themselves there.
●Matt 5:7 …Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Mercy implies a readiness of mind to smooth things over— to be kind, patient, tolerant, agreeable, affable, long-suffering, accommodating, and generous. Women who are mean-spirited, competitive, defensive, infected with a spirit of rivalry; and quick to chafe and hurt others; will fail to obtain mercy; no, they have already failed to obtain mercy because they simply don't know how to turn the other cheek. If you dare to point out their faults, they show no remorse nor any willingness to compromise at all; no, au contraire, rather than turn the other cheek; they are quick to retaliate and point out the faults of their accusers instead of humbly enduring criticism and working things out.
You see; if a female candidate for church responsibility fails to exhibit the elementary Christian social skills spelled out in just those four beatitudes, then she will not be in the kingdom, nor obtain mercy, nor possess the earth, nor be called a child of God. And since she's not a child of God, then she shouldn't be permitted to shepherd the children of God.
Question: But doesn't the Bible say that a woman has to become a mother, and that her children have to be pious in order for her to be saved?
(chuckle) No, it doesn't. Let's take a look at the passage that's bothering you.
●1Tim 2:11-15 …A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing— if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.
Child bearing has nothing at all to do with a woman's rescue from the wrath of God via Jesus' crucifixion. All that passage in 1Tim 2:11-15 is saying is that it isn't necessary for women to trade their natural role as mothers for that of preachers and/or missionaries in order to benefit from providence. The word "saved" in that passage doesn't necessarily imply the overall plan of redemption, but can also mean support and protection.
The antecedent to the pronoun *they* in the last phrase of 1Tim 2:11-15 is not a mother's children; no, it's the mothers themselves. I have no idea where people get the idea that a mother is saved only if her children continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.
It's extremely important to never lose sight of the fact that rescue from the wrath of God is a gratuity; not a reward (Eph 2:4-9). Webster's defines a gift as a gratuity. Thus if a mother's rescue from the wrath of God depended upon her success at raising pious children, then the gift wouldn't be a gratuity at all; but rather something to be earned. Attempting to pay for a gift deeply insults the spirits of friendship, love, and good will.
Some Christians strongly object to discussions of human sexuality in a Bible study. They feel it mixes the holy with the erotic and has no place in true spirituality. That attitude is quite remarkable considering that the God of Christian Bibles created the bodies of men and women in the very first chapter: and having looked back upon His handiwork, pronounced it all not just good— no; not just good —but *very good. So that Eve herself, and Adam too, were "very good" pieces of work.
●Gen 2:25 …And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
That was the condition of Adam and his wife right from the factory. They were created innocent as babes, and completely free of any inhibitions whatsoever. That all changed when they ate a fruit that God had specifically forbidden them to eat.
●Gen 2:16-17...And the Lord God commanded the man; "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
●Gen 3:6-7 ...And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. The eyes of them both were opened, and they perceived themselves naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
The very first effect of eating the fruit was an opening of the eyes. Intellectuals might think that was a good thing; but an opening of the eyes doesn't necessarily mean you get smarter. In this case, people actually became dumber because their own eye-opening altered their perspective of themselves and changed their self image for the worse.
The Hebrew word for *aprons is either chagowr (khag-ore') or chagor (khag-ore'); both mean: a belt for the waist (sometimes translated girdle).
Eve apparently remained topless at first; but they both made loin cloths to cover their pelvic regions because they became painfully self conscious about their sexuality. Right then and there was the birth of propriety and man-made codes of decency.
●Gen 3:11 …And He said; "Who told thee that thou wast naked?"
Since it wasn't God who taught them standards of decency, and there were no other human beings around but themselves; their sense of decency had to come from themselves; from their own sin-made guilt complexes.
●Gen 3:22 …And The Lord God said; "Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil"
That is so interesting because it means that even if little kids were stranded on a desert island away from any adult supervision whatsoever, it would only be a matter of time until they became sensitive about their bodies. It's now self-instilled in fallen Man to feel dirty minded about his own sexuality; and to feel self conscious and embarrassed naked in public. It is very rare indeed to find human cultures where complete frontal nudity is acceptable.
In the beginning, Adam and his wife were created butt naked (Gen 2:25). And they met with the voice of The Lord God openly butt naked because they had no sense of propriety nor any inclination whatsoever to clothe themselves until after they ate the forbidden fruit (Gen 3:7). Immediately after eating the forbidden fruit, they covered up their pelvic regions because both of them became self conscious about their sexuality. That self consciousness was not given them on the day of their creation, no, it is an abnormality they developed later; a warped psychological condition brought on by their own choices. A sense of public decency didn't come from God. No, codes of public decency are man-made and culturally oriented.
● Gen 3:21 ...The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
Did God make the first couple a suit of leather clothing because He couldn't stand the sight of their naked bodies? Absolutely not! God didn't force them put something on because from the day of their creation up until the day of their trespass, God hadn't said a word about frontal nudity (Gen 3:11). So it should be quite obvious that frontal nudity per se doesn't offend God. No, it doesn't; in fact, you won't find any commandments forbidding frontal nudity per se. There are commandments forbidding nudity under special circumstances e.g. certain sexual situations (Lev 18:6-19), and laws for the Aaronic priests as they officiate in their duties (Ex 20:6, Ex 28:42); but there are no Divine laws regulating frontal nudity per se.
All around the world, every day and night, millions of couples strip naked and have sex. Do you think the Bible's God is offended by that? You really think to yourself that the one who created naked human beings; and who created sex, is offended by naked sex? Haw-Haw-Haw; please, don't make me laugh. When people are doing the very thing that God designed them to do, I should hardly think He's offended by it. So then, where did Man's feelings about indecent exposure originate?
Those feelings originated with himself; and that is very interesting. To this day, Man has a sense of public decency. Let me tell you something about Man's sense of public decency. You might think it's civilized; but no; au contraire; it is actually rock-solid evidence that Man is, by nature, a sinful being because a sense of public decency is a man-made sense resulting from eating the forbidden fruit; ergo: if you have a phobia about indecent exposure, it's only because you are just as guilty of eating that fruit as if you were there in person and did it yourself— for by means of one human's fall, all humans became fallen (Rom 5:12, Rom 5:18-19).
God made clothing for them after their fall, not before it (Gen 3:21). Due to changes in their self image caused from eating the forbidden fruit; the first couple was no longer comfortable in the buff around either God or themselves, He taught them how to make durable clothing because from then on, the human race was going to need it; not only for associating amongst themselves; but mostly for associating with God. Don't miss that. God taught sinful Man how to make durable clothing so they wouldn't have to hide in the bushes in order to continue associating with Him. Can you just imagine attending church on Sunday morning butt naked? Neither can I, and I think attendance numbers would drop off dramatically if frontal nudity were to suddenly become a mandatory dress code for church. There's a symbolism in that.
●Rev 3:18 ...I counsel you to buy from me... white clothing to wear, so the shame of your nakedness doesn't appear.
I don't believe the white clothing Jesus offers for sale, is for covering nakedness; no, but rather for removing people's felt shame associated with nudity.
The New Testament Greek word for *shame is aischune (ahee-skhoo'-nay); which means: disgrace. But where did the felt disgrace of nudity come from? Did it come from absolutes of decency and propriety? No, those feelings of shame and disgrace are actually side effects of the forbidden fruit (Gen 3:7).
The "white clothes" Jesus offers for sale aren't actually for the purposes of propriety; but rather, for restoring the innocence that the first couple lost via the fruit. And the clothes aren't literal garments; no, those white clothes are the righteousness of Christ (Gal 3:26-27): a sinless, un-fallen nature similar to the innocent pre-fallen nature of the first couple before they ate the fruit.
When they associated with God butt naked prior to their fall, Adam and his wife were as innocent as babes; and neither one of them felt any of the current guilt associated with indecent exposure, nor did they feel self conscious, nor did they feel dirty minded about their own sexuality; so that nudity for them was no different than for us wearing clothing. So then; when people stand butt naked before Christ in the future (and they will) and they feel self conscious while in the nude; then know that their future is grim indeed because they will be in the grips of Man's sinful fallen nature instead of in the grips of Jesus' sinless un-fallen nature— because without a sinless un-fallen nature, no one is going to either see God nor live with God in His own world (Matt 22:9-14).
The Super Sanctimonious
Some Christians actually think that women's sex appeal to men is somehow an inappropriate topic in a Bible discussion. Where do they think men got their interest in women? Or where do they think women got their interest in men? Out of a cereal box? No, it came with them on the day they were created. Woman's sex appeal to men, and men's sex appeal to women, is not only normal, but vitally necessary to the survival of the race; and should never be construed as a dirty, erotic topic in a Bible study. There is something very psychologically wrong with a Bible student who construes libido and sex appeal as dirty things of evil.
Many Christians' problems with sex and the human body aren't rooted in religion; no, au contraire, they're actually rooted in their psyche; and they deftly use righteous indignation as a smoke screen to hide their psyche from public scrutiny. I know, because I did that too, for a good many years.
And I loved my righteous indignation because it gave me the appearance of an above-average piety. But it was a cloak, hiding my sensual feelings and fantasies. I have no doubt that many super sanctimonious Christians are struggling with inner conflicts and psyche problems, and I'm sure they are desperate to keep them from coming out; even to the point of lying through their teeth, not just to their fellow man; but even lying to God; which is a huge mistake because according to the Bible, one cannot experience satisfactory fellowship with God when they're dishonest about themselves.
●1 John 1:5-7 ...This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
Right here might be a good place to recommend Dr. James Dobson, a well known and well respected Christian child psychologist and family counselor. He's also the host of a daily radio program called Focus On The Family. Why recommend Dr. Dobson? Because he's very good at helping people crippled with psyche problems related to love and family life. Dobson is a good place to start for some people on the road to a better quality of life.
The Bible is a gritty book. It gets right down where the human race lives and moves and has its being. The Bible makes no effort to soft pedal sex, nor to soft pedal a woman's sex appeal. Nobody who reads Genesis can miss the inspired author's references to Sarah's sex appeal, nor Rebecca's, nor Rachel's; nor can they miss the references to those women sleeping with their husbands. Bible authors extol women's charms with passion, not with reticence.
●Prov 5:18-19 …Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving doe, a graceful deer. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.
●Song 4:1-7 …How beautiful you are, my beloved, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are like doves. Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats frisking down the slopes of Gilead. Your teeth are as white as sheep, newly shorn and washed. They are perfectly matched; not one is missing. Your lips are like a ribbon of scarlet. Oh, how beautiful your mouth! Your cheeks behind your veil are like pomegranate halves— lovely and delicious. Your neck is as stately as the tower of David, jeweled with the shields of a thousand heroes. Your breasts are like twin fawns of a gazelle, feeding among the lilies. Before the dawn comes and the shadows flee away, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense. You are so beautiful, my beloved, so perfect in every part.
Those two Bible passages we quoted, from Proverbs and Song, praised several female body parts, including their boobs. I'm curious. Why is it okay for the Bible to discuss sensual love, but not okay for Christians to discuss it?
Christians who object to discussions of human sexuality typically do so because they're 1) self conscious, and 2) it offends their sense of propriety, and 3) they cannot openly discuss human sexuality for the very same reason that Adam and his wife donned fig leaves— they feel that human sexuality is naughty and indecent.
There is something very spiritually wrong with a Bible student who construes libido and human sexuality as naughty things of evil that belong only in pornographic movies and literature.
(We're not recommending everybody go back to nudity. (chuckle) No; far from it. All we're doing is examining one of the results of Man's fall.)
Did Jesus Like Girls?
Objection: To ask whether or not Jesus liked girls is irrelevant because he wasn't even a real human being. You can't make a male from just a female's gamete; there isn't enough chromosomes. And another thing, if he were truly Miriam's offspring, then his blood would contain pathogens; and thus be unsuitable to sacrifice for the sins of the world (1Pet 1:18-20).
If God can manufacture a human being from scratch (Gen 2:7), then it shouldn't be too difficult for Him to manufacture a human being from a substance that's already human (Gen 2:21-23). By manufacturing Eve from Adam's body, she became genetically related to him because Adam was, in reality, her biological father. And in her case, though there was neither a male gamete nor a female gamete involved; there was at least a another human being's substance involved; viz: God used a male's substance to manufacture a female's substance; so your objection is groundless.
The Bible clearly, conclusively, and without ambiguity says Jesus was made of a woman.
●Gal 4:4 …But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman
And it clearly, conclusively, and without ambiguity says that Jesus became a baby by conception.
●Luke 1:31 …And, behold, you will conceive in thy womb
Conception implies a fertilized female egg. Now whether the conception takes place in vitro or in nature, makes no difference. But the one essential ingredient for a true conception is a female gamete. Exactly how God fertilized Mary's egg without a male's contribution is not said. We only know it was a miracle performed by God's spirit (Luke 1:35).
Any theory about Jesus' conception that removes Miriam as Jesus' biological mother, relegating her instead to the role of a surrogate mother, effectively discredits the angel's statement that David is Jesus' father.
●Luke 1:32-33 …The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.
If Jesus were not Mary's genetic offspring, then he would not be related to David by blood; ergo: he would be disqualified from being a candidate for David's throne because the salient essential qualification for Davidic royalty is that a Jewish male has to be genetically related to David.
Something else. It is possible to become a *Jew by conversion. But it is impossible to become a Hebrew by conversion. That is a racial distinction that can only be acquired by genetic heritage. If Jesus was an implant, then he would have no racial distinction; viz: he wouldn't be a Hebrew; he would in fact be a special creation— a creation apart from the Adamic family of human life —and therefore he would be disqualified from dying for the sins of his fellow men because a special creation has no fellows. But the Bible clearly, conclusively, and without ambiguity, says Jesus descended not from a specially created implant; but from a male Hebrew human being named Judah.
●Heb 7:14 …For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah
The word *evident means Jesus' genetic relationship to Judah can be substantiated with evidence. So that anybody who doesn't believe the Bible records, that Jesus genetically descended from Judah, is willfully ignoring the evidence; and hasn't even got past the front door of the Gospel yet. Mary's role as Jesus' biological mother is ground floor; it's entry level kindergarten stuff, it's the front door to the Gospel: so if somebody can't even get that right, they might just as well hang it up as far as the more advanced concepts of the Gospel are concerned.
A Real Man
Jesus was a man of amazing self control, who never committed a single sin in his entire life (John 8:29, 2Cor 5:21, Heb 4:15, 1Pet 2:22). If Jesus had an interest in any one particular woman, he never let on; nor did the gospel authors. We're not saying that an interest in girls is sinful. (God forbid!) No; all we're saying is that Jesus didn't mess around out of wedlock.
Any comprehensive discussion about Jesus' interest in girls is going to have to go all the way back to Genesis— to the sinless, pre fallen Adams.
God blessed the sinless, pre fallen Adams with fertility (Gen 1:28). So, then, since Jesus descends from Adam (Luke 3:38, Heb 7:14, Matt 1:1, Luke 1:32); he was blessed with fertility right along with the rest of the Adams family; ergo: his reproductive organs functioned just as normally as Adam's, and just like every other normal, virile man's reproductive organs. Although Isaiah 53:8 predicted Jesus would have no children, it doesn't mean he wouldn't have liked a family of his own.
Question: How did Jesus cope with semen build-up?
Wet dreams (nocturnal emissions) are difficult to discuss because of so many Christians' misunderstanding of Matt 5:27-28, and of their lack of knowledge of the legitimate purpose of wet dreams. Matt 5:27-28 doesn't condemn erotic fantasies per se, no, it condemns pre meditated adultery— which quite naturally implicates conspiracy to commit adultery —and adultery is a sin committed with married people; not with single people. That's an important difference, and one you should never forget.
However, erotic dreams aren't essential. Nocturnal emissions and/or spontaneous emissions, can happen any time when a man's body isn't absorbing stored and/or dead sperm cells fast enough to maintain a balance between the old going out and the new coming in. A man's body never stops producing sperm cells and seminal fluids, and he has a limited storage capacity; so the excess has to be drained off from time to time either by being sexually active (not an option for Jesus) or by nocturnal emissions and/or spontaneous emissions.
Question: Did Adam have wet dreams?
By "wet dreams" I assume you mean erotic fantasies. Not at first. Adam lived before Eve was formed. He had never seen a woman, nor even had a clue there was such a creature, nor even what one might look like until Eve showed up. So he couldn't possibly fantasize about women at first. But like I said above, wet dreams occur even without erotic fantasies in the form of spontaneous emissions; so even before Eve showed up, Adam's body was already regulating it's sperm capacity without her influence.
Objection: According to Jesus at Matt 5:27-28, it's a sin for men to look upon a woman with sexual desire. If perchance Jesus had a normal libido; how could he possibly comply with his own teachings?
●Matt 5:27-29 ...You have heard that it was said to those of old; "You shall not commit adultery." But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Matt 5:27-29 doesn't condemn erotic fantasies per se, no, it condemns pre meditated adultery— which quite naturally implicates conspiracy to commit adultery —and adultery is a sin committed with married people; not with single people. That's a big difference; and one you should always keep in mind.
The teaching there is not about the so-called evils of sexual desire, but about scheming to sleep with a married woman. For a man to even have a plan like that in his head is the same as having already implemented it. But as far as we know, it's okay for men to drool over married women all they want as long as they don't start scheming on one with the intention of actually taking her to bed.
Objection: You approve of drooling; when the commandments forbid coveting another man's wife.
Yes, the commandments forbid *coveting another man's wife; and they forbid *coveting another man's goods; in fact, *coveting anything and everything that is another man's (Ex 20:17). But does that mean I can't look across the street at my neighbor's Mercedes and drool over it, turning green with envy? Or that I can't gape at his buxom young wife, undressing her with my eyes, and having erotic fantasies about her? No, covetousness doesn't imply that at all. Covetousness implies forming a plan in my head to take that man's buxom young wife, and his Mercedes, away from him rather than getting my own.
Objection: The Bible says envy is wrong (Gal 5:21)
The New Testament Greek word for envy at Gal 5:21 is phthonos (fthon'-os). That same Greek word is used to identify the motivation behind the Jewish leaders wanting Jesus dead (Matt 27:18) .
The kind of envy Paul is talking about at Gal 5:21 is an ugly kind of envy; the very same kind of envy you'll find in the story of Cain's motivation for slaying his kid brother (1John 3:12). The good kind of envy is happy for its neighbor's blessings and wants some for itself (e.g. 1Cor 12:31, 1Cor 14:39) . The bad kind is bitter and resentful; and would like nothing better than to see its neighbor lose his blessings.
Roman Catholicism's influence on Christianity has had the effect of making Jesus' teachings far more strict than they really are. It's teachings about human sexuality are abnormal, contrary to nature, and contrary to the Creator's design.
Objection: Had it ever occurred to you that Jesus didn't have a problem with that semen imbalance you were talking about?
Every normal, mature male, especially those who aren't sexually active, will eventually experience an imbalance. This uniquely male characteristic has little to do with psychology, or with libido; but is a totally normal function of male plumbing. I learned that in Biology when I was but a sophomore in high school, and you can learn more about it yourself online if you wish.
Objection: You are obscene and nasty!
No so. I am simply being rational and objective: qualities that Romanism sorely lacks in its fantasized concepts of the so-called holy family.
Outsiders have been led to believe that Christians have an abnormal leader; a man who isn't truly a man, but some sort of plastic replicant with no feelings for women at all. Well… I don't believe the New Testament's Jesus was like that. I believe he was a Jewish man of amazing self control who could appreciate women as well as the next Jewish guy, but without letting his libido get the best of him. So if you're a woman reading this; don't even think of attempting to manipulate Jesus with the size of your breasts and the shape of your legs. He might enjoy the view, but he'll never let it overwhelm his better judgment.
I'm going to state something right here, and right now, as clearly and without ambiguity as I possibly can; that I hate Catholicism's Joseph, I hate Catholicism's Mary, and I hate Catholicism's Jesus. Don't get me wrong on this. I don't hate the New Testament's Joseph, nor the New Testament's Mary, nor the New Testament's Jesus. It's Romanism's varieties that I hate because Catholicism's Joseph, Mary, and Jesus are fantasized concepts— abnormal, pseudo human beings who can neither identify with, relate to, nor sympathize with, the rest of us. But my Jesus, the New Testament's Jesus, can do all. He can identify with me, he can relate to me, and he can sympathize with me as a man in every way.
●Heb 4:15-16 …For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are— yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Jesus was tempted in every aspect that I'm tempted. His secret to successfully coping with temptation? Full dependence upon the providence of God.
●1Cor 10:12-13 …But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.
●Heb 5:7-9 …While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could deliver him out of death. And God heard his prayers because of his reverence for God. So even though Jesus was God's Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest,
I couldn't trust a High Priest who has no idea what it's like to go through life as a real man. No, I just couldn't bond with somebody like that. I won't try to speak for real women in this respect, but if I were a real woman; I couldn't share my innermost thoughts and feelings with a High Priest who harbored Catholicism's low regard for the feminine mystique.
One advantage Jesus had going for him in the area of erotic stimulation was the culture of his own day. Women were far more modest in public back then, and nobody wore even so much as a swim suit at the beach, let alone a bikini, or a string or a thong. There were no movies with women writhing in bed with men; nor television, magazine, newspaper, or billboard advertisements of scantily clad sexy women. Even decent, disciplined men; the kind of men who would never dream of leafing through the pages of Maxim, Penthouse, Hustler, or Playboy, are today subjected to a constant barrage of unsolicited sexual visuals everywhere they go and barely allowed a moment's respite; so it shouldn't surprise anybody that their passions and imaginations run so wild.
Question: Would Jesus have been disqualified to be the "savior" had he been married?
Isaiah 53:8 predicted that Messiah would leave behind no posterity. If Jesus had married, and slept with a woman; he would've risked fathering a child and thus fall outside the prediction. Even if a Jewish man practiced whatever birth control methods were available in that day, and fathered no children before his death, he would still have posterity because ancient Jewish culture required a childless Jewish man's nearest available male kin to marry his widow. Their first male child would be considered as the deceased man's heir; with a legal right to inherit the dead man's estate (Deut 25:5-10). That custom is at the very core of the book of Ruth.
Objection: But Jesus came back from the dead; so none of his male kin would have been forced to marry his widow.
Quid pro quo: I now have a question for you. Since the alive Jesus left the earth 40 days after his resurrection, and didn't come back, would his childless wife be trapped in single wifehood the rest of her life, or would she be free to remarry as if she were a widow? What if she were a young woman in her early 20's with practically her whole adult life ahead of her?
Give up? According to Rom 6:1-3, death dissolves the marriage bond. The ex husband has only to die; there's no stipulation that he has to stay dead in order for the Law to go into effect.
Question: What defines death?
According to the Bible, death is defined as the spirit leaving the body.
●Luke 23:46 …And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
●Jas 2:26 …For as the body without the spirit is dead
So clinical death doesn't count. Life has to be beyond the point of no return.
Objection: The bulk of Jewish exegesis explains that Isa 53 isn't a prophecy of the Messiah; but rather, as speaking of the nation of Israel collectively.
Philip (himself a Jew) interpreted Isa 53 as the basis for Jesus' sufferings; not for Israel's sufferings (Acts 8:26-35). For more discussion on this matter, please Click Here
Question: Is sex, which was created by God, somehow sinful, and unworthy of Jesus?
No it isn't.
[ Actually, the Bible teaches that Jewish men and women both contaminate each other by sex; and it temporarily renders males unsuitable to partake of holy things (e.g. Ex 19:15, Lev 15:16-18, 1Sam 21:4). ]
But it's important to remember that Jesus was a special case. God's word came to this earth with only one primary purpose in mind; and it wasn't to get laid, or married and have a family, nor to build a home and make a life for himself. No, his purpose was single-minded: it was to die young, and to give his life as a ransom for all (Matt 20:28, 1Tim 2:6).
Webster's defines ransom as: a consideration paid or demanded for the release of someone or something from captivity. The New Testament Greek word for *ransom is apolutrosis (which means to ransom in full), and is usually translated *redeem or *redemption.
●Eph 1:7 …In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions,
Objection: Jesus is often addressed as Rabbi in the New Testament. It is interesting to note that no Jew or Samaritan would have recognized an unmarried man as Rabbi. Within the social context of Jesus' ministry, his being addressed as Rabbi reinforces the probability of his being married.
Are you quite sure that Jesus had sufficient educational credits to merit the title of an ordained Jewish Rabbi? We don't think so. Those kinds of Jewish religious leaders are typically well educated; and it was commonly known that Jesus wasn't.
●John 7:14-15 …Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. The Jews were amazed and asked, "How did this man get such learning without having studied?"
Objection: However, given the context that Rabbi's were not single men in that time period; one has to honestly wonder
There's no reason to believe that Jesus was actually an ordained Jewish Rabbi. The New Testament Greek word translated *rabbi is rhabbi (hrab-bee'); which just simply means: my master. We think you're making a mistake by trying to read a narrow interpretation into a word that has pretty broad application. Rhabbi can apply to ordained Jewish Rabbis, university Professors, auto shop teachers, Karate instructors, and even to a backwoods Sunday school teacher who has no formal education whatsoever.
●John 20:16 …She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means teacher).
Rhabboni is aramaic, and means essentially the same as thing as the Greek word rhabbi. Both just simply mean that the person being addressed by those titles is an instructor or a group leader. And without additional information, you can't really deduce anything more from those words other than that an instructor is the leader of group of people willing to listen to him.
Objection: What one good reason would there be that Jesus didn't take a bride by 21?
You're fishing; and have already lost sight of the very reason God's word came into the world to begin with. Jesus was fully aware that he was leaving the planet at an early age. God's word didn't come into the world to make a life for himself, nor to taste sensual pleasures. He came to give his life a ransom for every sinner who ever lived; including you.
●Matt 20:28 …Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
●1Tim 2:5-6 …For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all
Objection: The truth is nobody really knows whether he was married or not.
You obviously can't handle the truth; and are deliberately brushing aside everything we just told you. However, even if Jesus had been married, it wasn't to Mary Magdalena. When she and her friends went looking for him on resurrection morning and couldn't find him, she returned and told the others that someone had taken the body of "the" Lord out of the tomb; instead of saying someone had taken the body of her husband. Later, when the "gardener" found her weeping, she told him someone had taken her Lord away; instead of saying someone had taken her husband away.
When Mary finally did see Jesus (in private), she called him neither by name, nor by a term of endearment like honey or sweetheart, nor did she hug and kiss him like married couples would surely do under those kinds of circumstances; but instead, she called him Rabboni; which is hardly an endearing term for husbands and wives to call each other. When Mary and her friends got back to the others with the news that Jesus was alive; she said she saw "the Lord" instead of saying she saw her husband.
Objection: Mary of Magdalene as the Jewish wife of a Jewish man would most certainly have addressed him as "lord" and as "master".
Even when they were alone together, in private, as they were in the cemetery? But Mary was a Magdalenian; viz: a citizen of the city mentioned in Matt 15:39. According to Webster's, Magdala was an ancient city in northern Palestine on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee north of Tiberias. It's very possible she was a Gentile; no one really knows for sure.
Objection: She didn't hug Jesus because he told her not to (John 20:17).
The New Testament Greek word for *touch in John 20:17 is haptomai; which means: to attach oneself to. Ms. Magdalena eventually did attach herself to Jesus (Matt 28:1-9). Ankle-clinging is a strange behavior for a wife; wouldn't you have to agree? Don't you think it would be a very strange marital relationship between two people who supposedly loved each other deeply, where a woman couldn't hug her beloved spouse after receiving him back from crucifixion? We don't mean to pry; but it seems to us you are either frigid, or someone who's trapped in a very cold relationship. Or it could be that no one has ever loved you; and thus you would quite naturally fail to understand the feelings that normal couples experience for each other.
Objection: Mary would have reported to the chief disciples that "the Lord has risen" because he was the lord of the movement.
You're assuming all Jewish wives of that day regarded their husbands as officials rather than as friends and lovers. Many Jewish marriages in that day were arranged; and so we could believe that the wives in those situations wouldn't feel particularly bonded to their spouses. But a marriage between Mary Magdalene and Jesus? No. They met during his ministry, when Jesus himself personally cured her of demons and health problems (Luke 8:1-3). That kind of an experience bonds people with far more power and devotion than an arranged union.
When Jesus was dying on the cross, he delegated the responsibility for his mother's care to one of his followers (John 19:26-27). Don't you think he would have done the same for a beloved spouse; especially when Mary Magdalene was standing right next to his mom at the same time? (John 19:25) But there is no record of that kind of loving care for Mary Magdalena; just for his mom.
We're curious about something. Why do people like you so badly want Jesus married, and why are you so obsessed with it? You know; celibacy isn't rare among men, nor among women either; even among those that are non-religious. I was celibate myself until 36 years old. That was three years longer than Jesus even lived down here.
We're not saying Jesus didn't need a woman, nor wouldn't have liked to have a woman of his own, nor that he wouldn't have liked a family of his own. It's just that the circumstances of his life required some heavy sacrifices.
Objection: The context of Palestinian sociological structures leaves this question wide-open.
The "question" is neither a question, nor is it wide-open for those of us who believe the Bible record is true, and who understand Jesus' origin and the purpose of his life.
●John 1:1-4 …In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
●Matt 20:28 …Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.
●John 3:14-19 …Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
Objection: You must have played hooky the week your Biology class studied genetics or you would know that it's impossible for a post-fallen Adamic women to engender a pre-fallen Adamic man.
Under normal circumstances, it would be absolutely impossible for that to happen. But with God, miracles are state of the art. Try to imagine just how difficult it would be to turn off all magnetism, shut off gravitation, take away electricity, make the Earth stop spinning to the east and start it spinning to the west, and to extinguish every and all forms of light in the universe. That's the scope of genuine miracles. They are unnatural occurrences that simply cannot be produced in nature by any of the known laws of either physics or genetics.
●Isa 53:1-2a …Who has believed our message? And upon whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground;
The word for "tender shoot" is from yowneq (yo-nake') and means: a sucker; hence, a twig (of a tree felled and sprouting).
One year, we hired a contractor to remove a troublesome Ash tree in our backyard. It's just a gray, rotting stump now but in spite of that, it's actually sprouting some new growth around its edges and trying to make a come-back. Those fresh shoots are what Isaiah likened to Messiah. Our tree fell to the chain saws; and the trunk and crown are dead and gone. But there's still some hope left in its roots. From those roots, a whole new tree is trying to grow.
Our stump has the advantage of Oregon's rich soil and abundant rainfall. But the stump in Isaiah's message has neither. Messiah is likened to fresh new growth from a dead, chopped down tree in an arid wasteland. There is just no way a man of Messiah's quality could ever be produced by a chopped-down race of sinful beings unless God intervened with a miracle; which can be defined as: a phenomenon contrary to nature.
●Luke 1:30-35 …And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Miriam; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end."
…And Miriam said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God."
Some have attempted to explain Jesus' sinless perfection by proposing he was that way because he didn't have a human father. The theory suggests that Adam's fallen nature is passed on only by the men, and not by the women. We would like to ask those theorists where Eve got her own guilt complex; and her own self consciousness, and her own sinful nature. She certainly didn't get it from Adam because they ate the fruit after she was born, not before. No; left to itself, the post-fallen Adamic race, whether it be a male or a female, could never on its own produce a man like Jesus. He was a miracle because it was genetically impossible for him to be a sinless man any other way.
Question: But doesn't the Bible say that he came in the form of sinful flesh?
Before Adam fell, he himself was in the "form" of sinful flesh. He wasn't sinful flesh at first, just in its form; viz: he was a human being. Same with Jesus. He came in the likeness of sinful flesh to die for sinful flesh's sins, but he didn't actually come here as a sinful being himself.
●Rom 8:3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,
Jesus had ample opportunity to become a sinful being just like the Adams had ample opportunity (and took it). But Jesus held out, and finished up a righteous man; thus making it possible for others to be restored to innocence through his crucifixion and resurrection.
●Rom 5:18-19 ...Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
Thus; although he was in the likeness of sinful flesh (viz: a human being), Jesus himself never became sinful. And anyway; if Jesus were sinful, then he would have been a sinner in need of redemption himself, and in need of a new birth just like everybody else because his mind, like everyone else's mind, would have been inclined to resist God rather than to submit.
●Rom 8:6-7 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.
The whole purpose of the new birth is to liberate sinners from the sinful nature. And it's only possible through Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. If he himself were a sinful man, then what atonement would protect him from judgment? And who would die for his redemption?
Question: Well, what was the point of tempting Jesus?
In conclusion; there are abroad today two extreme versions of Jesus. One version is the carnal weakling of the Broadway play; Jesus Christ Super Star. The other version is Catholicism's frigid loner. The New Testament's Jesus is somewhere in-between those two varieties. He is in fact clearly said to be physically (and thus hormonally) no different than other men— but yet very honorable.
●Heb 7:26-28 Such a high priest meets our need one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.
Oh How Sweet To Trust In Jesus