Jews For Judaism Claims Jesus Wasn’t Perfect. They Are Wrong.

Jews for Judaism is an organization formed in response to the efforts to evangelize Jews by Jews for Jesus.  Jews for Jesus is a Messianic Jewish organization that claims to distribute 8 million tracts about Jesus a year.  We may have our disagreements with the organization doctrinally, but we applaud their efforts to win those people.

Jews for Jesus must be doing something right because their efforts forced the creation of a group to counter their claims.  This group is Jews for Judaism.  In this article today, I want to give an answer to their claims in this video.

The main argument of the video is that Jesus wasn’t perfect or, in many respects, even a good person.  The narrator realizes the folly of many Jews, or unbelievers in general, who have decided that although they aren’t Christians, they think that Jesus was a good person and even a good teacher.  We Christians realize that this middle of the road attitude won’t work, because he also claimed to be God (see our article about the Deity of Christ).  How could Jesus have been a good person and still lie about being God?

Jews for Judaism goes the other direction.  Because they have not been taught the basic principles of “rightly dividing” (II Tim 2:15), they take verses from the Bible out of context and use these verses to try and demonstrate that Jesus was a hypocrite who taught one thing and yet did the other.  Furthermore, the narrator uses fanciful and apocryphal Jewish stories (trying to imply that the New Testament is fanciful and apocryphal as well) to make the Jewish leaders of New Testament times sound like the good guys, especially in contrast to the Lord.  We must always remember that it was those same Jewish leaders who delivered up Christ to be crucified on  a Roman cross.  Strangely, the rabbi in the video never brings this up.

We shall look at the verses they bring out and show how they are looking at them wrong.  Jesus Christ was perfect (Heb 5:9).  He was sinless (I Pet 1:9).  And, unlike other religious leaders like Muhammad and the Pharisees, he was a real man.  A man worth following. (John 21:22)

They begin by bring up the destructions, such as the Inquisitions and Crusades, caused by the teachings of Babylonian Whore of Rome.  What a good reminder that Jews need to see that Christians and Jews have suffered TOGETHER at the hands of the Papal Roman Tyrants.  We would never claim to have suffered the same amount as the Jewish people, but we are nevertheless, “we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Rom 8:36.  I firmly believe that for a Jew to get saved, they have to see the difference between the teachings of the Popes and the Bible.  Satan’s Church has made it hard for Jews to see past the hatred of Rome.

The narrator realizes that this is a little bit of a cheap shot, but I understand where he’s coming from.

From there, the narrator states his thesis.  Jesus Christ didn’t abide by “love”.  Of course, like all modernists, he is defining “love” as “putting up with anything and everything.”  He makes a crucial error at the beginning of the video.  Does a mother “love” her son when she lets him do anything he wants?  No.  Sometimes love has to involve what we call “tough love”.  With that more accurate definition, we will see that Jesus Christ was the greatest lover of Israel, souls, and men who ever lived.  His actions backed it up.

Accusation #1: Jesus didn’t turn the other cheek.

Luke 6:29, “And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other;” is then compared to John 18:22 and 23, “And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so? Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?” The narrator mistakenly gives the reference as John 13, but that’s ok.

He claimed that Jesus didn’t “offer also the other” after he’d been hit.

There are two answers to this accusation.  First, Luke 6 and Matt 5 are about rules, regulations, and laws in the Millennial Kingdom.  After the Jews rejected the ministry of John in Matt 11 and then commit the unpardonable sin in Matt 12, the offer of the Kingdom is no longer on the table.  Christ’s ministry has entered into a transitional period.  This means that the rules of the Kingdom are not applicable because he is not in the Kingdom.  We understand this principle.  It may be illegal to have a church service in Afghanistan, but that does not mean we can’t have a church service in Alabama.  That would be the doctrinal, dispensational answer to this accusation.

A simpler answer would be that although Jesus didn’t literally turn the other cheek, HE LET THEM KILL HIM.  If you don’t think that Jesus Christ laying down his life (John 10:18) won’t “count” as turning the other cheek, then you are being literal to the point of being ridiculous.  The Bible calls this, straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. (Matt 23:24)

The rabbi finishes off this point by saying that Jesus didn’t turn the other cheek, indeed it was the Jews who turned the other cheek.  Which is a claim that only someone with no knowledge of history might be able to believe.  I love the Jewish people and I would never claim that they were in the wrong in their armed conflicts, but they HAVE taken up arms all through the last 2000 years.  Were they turning the other cheek when they fought in the First Jewish Roman War of 66-70 AD? How about in the Kitos War of 115-117 AD?  How about the Bar Kokhba Revolt of 132-136 AD?  No one would ever fault the Jews for standing up to Muhammad, but face it, they didn’t turn the other cheek when faced with Muhammad’s treachery.  Again, all Bible Believers support Israel today as they stand up against the Arabs and so-called Palestinians (“Philistines” in Arabic).  But none would claim that they are turning the other cheek.  The rabbi’s claim is bogus.

He next contrasts Matt 5:43,44 – “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” with Luke 19:27 – “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” and John 9:39 – “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

Again, we are dealing with the dispensational truth that the Sermon on the Mount in Matt 5-7 and its cross references are doctrinally applicable to the Millennial Kingdom, not during the ministry of the Lord on earth or the Church Age.

Beyond that, Luke 19:27 is a parable.  Jesus never told anyone to slay anyone… yet.  When lost men come up for judgment, he will be a holy and perfectly just Judge who will carry out the proper sentence.  This has nothing to do with the rules for the citizens of the Millennial Kingdom.

John 9:39 is talking about spiritual blindness and has nothing to do with blinding anybody literally.  Notice how the Rabbi is trying to “pull the wool over people’s eyes”.  He just expects his listeners won’t look up the passages.  It is an argument from ignorance.

Next, the rabbi goes to Matt 5:22 – “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” which he reads from the wrong version which omits “without a cause“.  Of course, it is not the rabbi’s fault. He is merely following corrupt Alexandrian scholarship just like most Christians today.

He contrasts this verse with Matt 10:34 – “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”  I don’t know if he thinks that this verse is talking about killing people like Muhammad, but he should note that Christ never swung one literal sword at one literal person.  To claim otherwise would be to play make believe.

We know that at the Second Advent (Rev 19), Jesus Christ uses a literal sword to kill people, but we are talking about the First Advent.  The sword of Matt 10:34 is a figurative sword.  We see this in the cross reference of Luke 12:51 – “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division“.  It is a figurative sword that will cause division.  He is talking about the word of God (Heb 4:12).  If a guy wanted to see a religious leader who used literal swords to kill people, he should look no further than Muhammad.  Jesus Christ, in his first coming, caused plenty of division.  No one was killed by Christ.  In fact, he spend much time bringing people back to life.  He even took time out in Gethsemane to fix the ear of the man who had been attacked by Peter in a fit of rage.  But these truths are ignored by the rabbi.  He missed the cross reference and ignored all the evidence contrary to his claim.  That happens a lot when people are trying to get away from the truth.

Next the poor rabbi goes to Matt 23:33 – “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”  He is mad that Christ could say that to a group of people who were just “trying to defend the ancient faith.”  But who can read the Gospel accounts and not see that Jesus was 100% accurate in calling those Pharisees, snakes?

One could make a deeper argument about who he was actually preaching to at that point.  What kind of diabolical machinations were going on in 1st Century Israel?  We do have some verses with very scary applications.  Ps 22 gives some light about the spiritual goings on at Calvary.  We see “bulls,” “dogs, “the assembly of the wicked,” “lions,” and “unicorns.”  All are indicative of evil spirits.  How exactly that applies to the physical inhabitants of Israel at that time is not exactly clear.  But to claim that Jesus was wrong to call them “serpents” would be to indict David as well.  Usually, Jews at least try not to disparage David…

But the rabbi also makes a claim that the enemies of Christ were “trying to defend the ancient faith”.  We would answer yes and no.  If the “ancient faith” is a religion of self righteousness and Bible rejection, then yes, the Pharisees were defending their “ancient faith” and could well be expected to kill a man like Jesus.  He spent his whole ministry preaching against this religion. It is the religion that goes all the way back to Eve.

If the rabbi is claiming that the Pharisees were defending the religion of Moses, then he is most certainly mistaken.  Again, Jesus spent his whole ministry pointing out where the doctrines of the Pharisees (and indeed their entire way of life) contradicted the WRITTEN commands of Moses.  The Pharisees and rabbis get around this by claiming to follow the ORAL TRADITIONS that supposedly were handed down from Moses.  But Jesus pointed out how the traditions of the Pharisees contradicted the written commandments (Mark 7).  Because of their traditions, they missed the whole point of the law.  They missed that the law was written to show their sinfulness (Rom 7:13).  It was written to show a man his need to rely on the grace of God, even if works played a part in Old Testament salvation.  (Mic 6:6-8)  Jesus made the contradictions between the teachings of the Pharisees and the Scriptures so clear, that the Pharisees were forced to either kill him or reject their religion.  They chose the former.  Modern day Pharisees do the same, but since Christ is ascended up into heaven, they settle for attacking Christ’s character.

Next, the rabbi goes to John 3:36 – “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”  Because of this verse, he claims that Jesus “spoke against all who dared not believe in him”.  He uses this verse to prove it.  The only problem is, Jesus didn’t say these words.  John the Baptist did.  But it matters not, if you are engaged in a smear campaign of the Son of God.

Having cleared up the confusion as to the speaker of the text, we wholeheartedly admit that it is true.  Rabbis, unbelievers, and people of other religions can claim that God is not mad or wrathful all they want.  But it is clearly a teaching of Scripture.  The Jews own Bible says in Ps 7:11 – “God is angry with the wicked every day.”  It says in Ex 34:7 – “Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”  Beyond that, there is a direct cross reference to the words of John the Baptist in Ps 2:12 – “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”  The truth of John’s words are based upon the very Scriptures that the rabbi is supposed to be believing and teaching.  This is truly one of the greatest tragedies in the world today, how the Jew’s missed their Messiah 2000 years ago as a nation and now they miss his free gift of salvation as individuals today.

The next charge by the rabbi is found in John 3:5 – “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”  He claims that Jesus’s love was a restricted love.  But in the same passage of John 3, we see that the offer of his “restricted love” is offered to “whosoever“.  Anyone can get that love.  That is perfect balance.  Every one of those Pharisees could make the choice to receive Jesus Christ, no matter how much they went against Christ.  The rabbi claims that “Jesus hated the Pharisees.”  But who ever hated a man so much that he would die for him?  It is never hate to tell a person that he is wrong and that he is hurting himself and others.  This is what Jesus preached about.  He also went further and suffered for their sins.  There never has been a greater love than the love of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The man claims that the Jews are much more loving than Jesus and he quotes that “the righteous of all nations have a share in the world to come.”  He then gives another quote about doing good “deeds”.  But is the qualification of “being righteous” really better than the “whosoever” of John 3?  But any logical standard the answer is “NO”.  Even the rabbi’s “proof” is actually a proof for Jesus and against the teachings of the Jews.  God said in I Cor 1:19 – “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”  It is evident in this example.

Knowing that both of his examples are outside of the Scriptures, he desperately scours the Old Testament looking for a verse that might be construed to fit his narrative.  He lands on I Kings 8:41-43 – “Moreover concerning a stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name’s sake; (For they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm;) when he shall come and pray toward this house; Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name.

As always, read what the verse actually says.  When it talks about the “house” it is talking about the Temple at Jerusalem.  Without that Temple in place, there is no way for anyone, Jew or Gentile, to get in on the promises of this verse or anything in this entire prayer of Solomon of I Kings 8.  So basically, if this verse is the only verse about the “unrestricted love” in Judaism, then there is no “unrestricted love” in Judaism since the necessary condition isn’t met.  There is not a physical Temple today.  Christ preached a love based on one condition, trusting Jesus as your Saviour.  (John 14:23)

The rabbi next goes to Matt 10:5,6 – “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  He uses this to prove that Jesus was “too restrictive” in his love and not kind to everyone, like the rabbis are…

The only problem here is that the Rabbi needed to keep reading.  This is a specific commandment, given to specific people at a specific time.  That is to say, it is not how Jesus would have us operate today.  The rabbi knows this, he is just betting that you won’t check him out.

We read in Matt 28: 19 – “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”   We read in Mark 16:15 – “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  And we see the reason that Christ sent preachers to the Jews first in Rom 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”  The Jews got their chance first because of the promises given to the fathers.  Now the promises are to “whosoever will“.  The charge of the rabbi is easily dismissed after looking at the Biblical evidence.

The rabbi then moved to John 15:6 – “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”  He claimed that Christians used this verse to justify burning heretics and Jews during the Middle Ages.  But, as we have noted, Roman Catholics are not Christians.  And that is a reference to what happens when a man is found guilty at the final judgment.  If it was talking about Christ or Christian conduct, why didn’t any of Christ’s disciples kill anyone for heresy?  Clearly that is not what Christ is talking about.

The rabbi next claims that Christ is purposely misstating the Pharisees when he say in Matt 5:43,44 – “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”  He claims that the Pharisees actually only preached Lev 19:18 – “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

I’m sure the Pharisees did lip service to Lev 19, but when it comes down to it, we know that they believed a person should hate their enemy.  The facts are simple.  They identified Jesus and Stephen as enemies, so they killed them.  To claim that this wasn’t their teaching (as the rabbi in the video claims) is to deny the facts.

But what Christ did was more than repeat the Law, he was magnifying it.  He taught, that not only should you love your neighbour and not hate your enemy, but you should also LOVE your enemy.  No Pharisee ever taught that.  Most people in the Old Testament weren’t required to do that.  That is the reason for so many “imprecatory” prayers in the Psalms.  It was ok for a righteous man who was being persecuted to pray that God would destroy his enemy.  Many in the Old Testament even took up arms and fought their enemies.  But this is different.  Christ is teaching that we should love them and not kill them.  I believe that the rabbi didn’t want to get into everything in the verse, because it would make him look bad.  No rabbi would ever want to do that.

We could continue, but we will not.  This has gone on long enough.  The rabbi continues by showing his anger (because of his convicted conscience) about the Parable of the Good Samaritan.  He thinks it was horrible that Christ cursed the Fig Tree.  He takes issue with the treatment by Christ of the Syrophoenician woman.

Through it all, he continues with his whitewashing of the history of the Jewish leaders.  As Bible Believers, we love them, but we would never claim that they are nearly as nice of people as the rabbi makes them out to be.  Especially after reading about what they did in the Gospels and the Book of the Acts.

After listening to and commenting on all the charges of the rabbi against Christ, we see nothing more than the false charges of sedition, etc. leveled against Christ by the Pharisees in front of Pilate.  None will stick.  Their witnesses don’t agree.  Any neutral observer, as Pilate kind of was, would admit that they “have found no fault in this man.

In the end of the day, if you want to prove that Jesus Christ was the greatest man who ever lived, look no further than Calvary.

Romans 5:6, – “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7, For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8, But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9, Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10, For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

I Peter 3:18 – “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

Let us be Bible Believers, and believe and teach as Paul did when he said in Romans 11:28, “As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.”  God loves (present tense) those Jews.  We do, too.  We love them enough to try and get them saved.

 

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