601: THE MISMATCH BETWEEN JESUS’ SKILLSET AND THE ‘MESSIAH’ JOB DESCRIPTION

“A warm welcome to Zingcreed, the pioneering blog that tries to make Jesus real and that doesn’t give a fig about St Paul or what the church thinks. If you’re an independent thinker and on the margins like Zingcreed, then this is the blog for you.
The Zingcreed slogan is “More Jesus, Less ‘Christ’, No God.” This post claims that if Jesus was the ”Christ’/’Messiah’ at all, then he was a pretty pathetic one

In solidarity,

Peter Turner, M.A., M.Sc.”

 

The ancient Israelites had a clear idea of what the coming Messiah would be like. They had a job description for a post they hoped someone would soon fill. Jesus was just one of several first century claimants, but he failed to persuade anyone that he was a suitable candidate. If you have ever wondered ‘why the Jews rejected Jesus’, look no further.

I propose to list the job description as a series of bullet points, and to consider whether each point was fulfilled by Jesus during his lifetime or in the century after. I shall then list Jesus’ skills and consider whether they were relevant to the job or not.

The criteria for being the Messiah

  • The Messiah must assist God in restoring Israel to prominence
  • The Messiah must assist God in restoring Jerusalem to prominence
  • The Messiah will bring about the universal worship of the one God
  • The Messiah will establish universal peace
  • The Messiah will end wickedness
  • The Messiah will redeem the righteous
  • The Messiah, as God’s agent, must be instrumental in inaugurating a new world order.

So what happened during Jesus’ time and up to 150 CE?

Political reality failed to live up to religious expectations. The middle of the second century was definitely not the Messianic era. Anyone living at the time of redemption would immediately recognise the “after” as fantastically different from the “before”. But….

  • Israel and Jerusalem did not become preeminent, Rome did. In fact, Jerusalem was laid waste, and its temple and priesthood destroyed. The Jews were dispersed from their homeland into the Diaspora, and a Roman city, Aelia Capitolina was built on the site of Jerusalem.
  • The worship of the one God did not exist either
  • The world did not bask in universal peace
  • Wickedness did not end, nor were the righteous redeemed
  • No new world order was inaugurated.

What qualifications did Jesus have for the job of Messiah?

  • He had a special birth
  • He was thought by many to be divine
  • He suffered
  • He was believed by many to have risen from the dead.

All these considerations were totally irrelevant to the Jewish concept of the Messiah.

Conclusion:

Whatever Jesus was, it wasn’t the Maschiach/Moschiach, (the Hebrew name for the Messiah or anointed), that’s ‘Christ’ in Greek (more or less). He wasn’t what the Jews were looking for at all. As he didn’t fit their published job description he didn’t qualify for the post.

This all emphasises the validity of the Zingcreed motto: More Jesus, Less ‘Christ’, No God.

Of course I could be wrong – I have had several e-mails telling me I am, and one telling me to stop writing. Zingcreed has far more questions than answers.

Sources:

The Psalms of Solomon (1st century BCE)
Wilson, Barrie “How Jesus became Christian” St Martin’s Griffin Press (2008)

 

 

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