Tag Archives: Matthew 15

Sunday Devotional: The call of God is irrevocable

Matthew 15:21-28

At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! 
My daughter is tormented by a demon.” 
But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her. 
Jesus’ disciples came and asked him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” 
He said in reply,
“It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.” 
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.” 
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith! 
Let it be done for you as you wish.” 
And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.

As the above passage from Matthew 15 indicates, Jesus told the Caananite woman — a Gentile — that He was sent only to Israelites, i.e., Jews, not Gentiles. But Jesus was moved and persuaded by the woman’s faith in Him, and so He granted her request and exorcised the demon from her daughter.

That is one of the great mysteries of humankind — why Jews not only rejected Jesus the Christ, despite the many foretellings of His coming in the Torah, the Hebrew Bible and Christianity’s Old Testament, their leaders actually demanded that He be put to death, although Jesus had committed no crime. Not just put to death, but executed by the cruelest method that the Romans reserved for the worst criminals — crucifixion.

All of which raises the question of why most Jews, then and now, refuse to believe that Jesus is who He said He is.

Among the reasons why they don’t, according to the article “Why Don’t Jews Believe In Jesus?,” are:

  • The Jewish Messiah must be descended on his father’s side from King David, but Jesus was not because Christians say he was the product of a virgin birth and therefore had no father. (Hmm, does that mean Jesus is not Jewish?)
  • Jews don’t believe in miracles: “Even if the individual claiming personal revelation performs miracles [as Jesus did], there is still no verification that he is a genuine prophet. Miracles do not prove anything. All they show—assuming they are genuine—is that he has certain powers. It has nothing to do with his claim of prophecy. Judaism, unique among all of the world’s major religions, does not rely on ‘claims of miracles’ as the basis for its religion. In fact, the Bible says that God sometimes grants the power of ‘miracles’ to charlatans….” (Hmm, but don’t Jews believe in the miracles of  Moses parting the Red Sea, and the manna from Heaven during the time Moses led Jews wandering in the desert?)

Now you see why the Talmud, the collection of the sayings and writings of rabbis regarded as superior even to the Torah, calls Jesus a “bastard,” “fool” and “charlatan,” His mother Mary a “whore,” and Christians “idolators” and less than human. (See Rev. I. B. Pranaitis, The Talmud Unmasked: The Secret Rabbinical Teachings Concerning Christians; first published in St. Petersburg in 1892.; and “Truth About the Talmud“.)

Jews really should heed this:

But the rejection by Jews turns out to be to our benefit. As St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, said in Romans 11:11-12, 15, 19-20, 23, 28-29:

But through their transgression
salvation has come to the Gentiles…

their transgression is enrichment for the world…
their rejection is the reconciliation of the world….
Indeed you will say, “Branches were broken off
so that I might be grafted in.”
That is so.
They were broken off because of unbelief,
but you are there because of faith.
So do not become haughty, but stand in awe….
And they also, if they do not remain in unbelief,
will be grafted in,
for God is able to graft them in again….
In respect to the gospel, they are enemies on your account;
but in respect to election,
they are beloved because of the patriarchs.
For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.

So if you hear His call, do not harden your heart.

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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European Jewish Congress: Bible should contain warnings about antisemitic passages; governments must fund fight against antisemitism

Founded in 1986, the European Jewish Congress (EJC) is an umbrella organization of 42 national Jewish communities in Europe, representing more than 2.5 million European Jews. Affiliated to the World Jewish Congress, the EJC is one of the most influential international public associations. It works with national governments, European Union institutions and the Council of Europe. Based in Paris, the EJC has offices in Brussels, Strasbourg, Berlin and Budapest.

The Jerusalem Post reports that on November 21, 2018, the EJC convened a high level conference in Vienna, Austria, on “Europe beyond antisemitism and anti-Zionism – securing Jewish life in Europe”.

The conference was arranged by the Federal Chancellery of Austria led by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz who, in his opening address, said “Antisemitism and anti-Zionism are getting blurred, but they are two sides of the same coin.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a recorded video speech at the conference, in which he said that antisemitism was resurgent again “throughout the world,” and that a new antisemitism has arisen which attempts “to demonize the Jewish state and prevent the Jewish people the right to self-determination in the homeland of our forefathers, the Land of Israel. Netanyahu said that “The Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. The Holocaust began with the spread of hate speech, the burning of books and the smashing of shop windows.”

EJC president Dr. Moshe Kantor said at the conference:

“Today, on European streets, people are being killed again simply for being Jewish. Jewish communities in Europe are increasingly concerned about their security and pessimistic about their future. Europe doesn’t have a monopoly on antisemitism anymore. No Jewish community anywhere in the world, however strong and well organized, is now immune from Jew hatred. Fighting antisemitism deserves much more than simple statements of good will – we need concrete policies and reinforced legislation.”

To that end, the conference produced a Catalogue of Policies to Combat Antisemitism — detailed proposals and recommendations for combating antisemitism in Europe, drawn up by the EJC with the assistance of academics from universities in Vienna, Tel Aviv and New York. (Daily Mail names Israeli historian Dina Porat and New York University professor Lawrence H. Schiffman as among the academics.)

Chancellor Kurz said he intends to bring the document before the European Council, the body comprising the 28 EU member heads of state that determines policy direction, at its next summit in December. Raising the issue at the European Council would be prelude to the adoption of the recommendations by the EU and Europe’s national governments.

On its website, the European Jewish Congress identifies the following recommendations of the Catalogue of Policies to Combat Antisemitism:

  1. Adoption and implementation of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism by all countries, institutions and businesses;
  2. Governments and intergovernmental organizations should condemn the blatant state-sanctioned antisemitism that exist in a number of countries, such as Iran;
  3. All countries should appoint an envoy for combatting antisemitism;
  4. Every country should commit to a percentage of its GDP, annually, to fund the fight against antisemitism;
  5. Creating new legal frameworks to combat antisemitism effectively and strengthening existing ones;
  6. People who express or hold antisemitic views should not be allowed to be members of political parties or occupy a position of power;
  7. Companies should be advised not to do business with countries or organizations that support antisemitism in any way;
  8. Governments should commit financial and operational resources to ensure the security of Jewish communities;
  9. Internet companies should be liable for antisemitic content on their platforms.

Curiously, left out of the above recommendations is the call for new editions of the Bible and Koran to carry warning messages about anti-Semitic passages.

James Wood reports for Daily Mail, Nov. 23, 2018, that the recommendation is in the EJC’s conference document, An End to Antisemitism! A Catalogue of Policies to Combat Antisemitism, in a chapter entitled “Recommendations regarding Religious Groups and Institutions”. The document reads:

Translations of the New Testament, the Qur’an and other Christian or Muslim literatures need marginal glosses, and introductions that emphasize continuity with Jewish heritage of both Christianity and Islam and warn readers about antisemitic passages in them. While some efforts have been made in this direction in the case of Christianity, these efforts need to be extended and made consistent in both religions.

The Catalogue of Policies to Combat Antisemitism also calls for:

  • The identification and rejection of all antisemitic texts and passages in the heritage of Christianity and Islam.
  • Religious leaders and thinkers to public denounce as “unholy writ”  all canonical or quasi-canonical writings of religious anti-Semites.

The Catalogue‘s justification for these changes is because divine messages are always communicated through human beings and therefore subject to error. It reads:

God’s revelation is thus marred by human fallibility. Beginning with the New Testament, divine revelation expresses itself in Christian holy texts that also express a form of hatred. The manifestations of this hatred resulted in a tradition of antisemitism that gave moral legitimacy to crimes against the Jewish people, the epitome of which is the Shoah.

Several themes in the New Testament have come under fire for being anti-Semitic. These include blaming Jews for the death of Jesus, and negative remarks about the stubborn nature of the Jewish people and their disloyalty to God.

So what is the IHRA working definition of antisemitism?

On May 26, 2016, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) — of which the United States is a member — adopted the following the “non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism“, which is used by the U.S. State Department:

Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.

Alas, the working definition does not define what “hatred toward Jews” means, but that meaning can be gleaned from what the IHRA considers to be contemporary examples of antisemitism, including:

  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective—such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.

What the IHRA, European Jewish Congress and its Catalogue of Policies to Combat Antisemitism conveniently omit is that the Talmud, which supercedes the Torah (Old Testament) in religious authority for Jews, is rabidly anti-Christian.

Written in Hebrew between the third and sixth centuries, the Talmud is a collection of 63 books that together codify the oral law that Jewish rabbis claim was handed down from Moses. Jesus, in Matthew 15, however condemns that oral law when he said: “By the traditions of your elders you make void the Word of God.”

English translations of the Talmud have been watered down so as to conceal from the Gentiles the “satanic verses” contained in the original Hebrew. Those “satanic verses” can be classified into three categories:

  1. Jewish supremacy
  2. Hatred for “goys” or Gentiles
  3. Hatred for Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and all Christians. Some examples:
    • Jesus (“Yashu”) is in Hell being “boiled in hot excrement” (Gittin 57a); Jesus was sexually immoral and “worshipped a brick” (Sanhedrin 107b); Jesus was cut off from the Jewish people for his wickedness and refusal to repent (Sotah 47a).
    • Mary (“Miriam the hairdresser”) was a prostitute who “had sex with many men” (Shabbath 104b, Hebrew Edition only); “She who was the descendant of princes and governors played the harlot with carpenters” (Sanhedrin 106a).
    • “Christians who reject the Talmud will go to hell and be punished there for all generations” (Rosh Hashanah 17a); “All things pertaining to the Goim are like a desert; the first person to come along and take them can claim them for his own” (Babha Bathra 54b).

Sources:

See also:

~Eowyn

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