The usual impression that people generally have regarding Jesus is someone who is friendly, nice and non-threatening in appearance religious teacher like the Dalai Lama of Tibet. He went around like a faith-healer and performed miraculous healings and supernatural signs, teaching people mostly through parables about the impending Kingdom of God, and who was later betrayed for crucifixion to the Roman officials in Palestine by instigation of the Jewish religious leaders and tribal elders. This Jesus is the one who blesses the little children and says they have guardian angels but is He all sugar and spice with only pleasant things to say or do, so is there a serious or harsher side of our LORD and Savior that is often overlooked in reading the gospel narratives?
Matthew 8: 21-22
Then another of His disciples said to Him, "LORD, let me go and bury my father." But Jesus said to Him, "Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead."
Matthew 10: 34
Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
Luke 12: 49
I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!
Luke 2: 10-14 [CONTRAST]
Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ [Moshiach] the LORD. "And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manager." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
Matthew 13: 49-50
So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing (grinding) of teeth.
Matthew 15: 22, 24-27
And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, "Have mercy on me, O LORD, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed. But He answered her not a word. But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Then she came and worshipped Him, saying, "LORD, help me!" But He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs." And she said, "Yes, LORD, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, LORD; this shall not happen to you!" But He turned to Peter and said, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense (stumbling-block) to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."
Matthew 18: 8-9
If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into the hell fire (Gehenna).
Matthew 22: 13-15, 24-25, 27-28, 33
But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive the greater condemnation [judgment/damnation??]. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much the son of hell (Gehenna) as yourselves. Blind guides, who strain at a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they [you] are full of extortion and self-indulgence (unrighteousness). Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly; but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?
Matthew 25: 40-41, 46a
And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." Then He will say to those on the left hand, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. And these will go away into everlasting punishment."
Luke 4: 16, 28-29
So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with rage, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city, and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff.
Luke 13: 1-3
There were some at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
Luke 13: 23-24
Then one said to Him, "LORD, are there few who are [will be] saved?" And He said to them, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able."
John 2: 13-16
Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the Temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the Temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers' money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, "Take these away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!"
John 5: 14
Afterward Jesus found him in the Temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well [whole]. Sin no more, less a worse thing come upon you.
John 8: 21
Then Jesus said to them again, "I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come."
John 9: 40-41
Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, "Are we blind also?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now [since] you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains.
COMMENTARY: The Jesus that is preached from quite a few liberal or progressive pulpits in the Christian churches is a message mostly about Love and not as great an emphasis concerning Judgment, Sin or Eternal damnation. Is His teaching more about living according to The Golden Rule and treating others with dignity, respect and tolerance. While this is certainly true, however, one cannot escape the legacy of "sin" inherited from Adam and Eve as well as the presence of evil and demonic forces in this world. This brief study will not answer all the issues but it should cause one to pause and reflect on which Jesus is "real" and what He wants from us as generally taught in the community of faith, or do we diligently search for ourselves as He is revealed in the Holy Bible; even in His Old Testament 'theophany' [pre-human manifestation/appearance]. There are even some who want to see Jesus [Yeshua] as somehow more approachable than the awesome God [El Shaddai, Yehovah or HaShem] of the Jewish Patriarchs, Judges, Prophets, Kings and the children of Israel but He and the Father are ONE [Heb. "echad"].
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December 19, 2011
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