Thursday, October 4, 2018

Today’s news media reports something as true, but a few issues later have to begrudgingly admit that they were mistaken.  Charges are made by the media, then later withdrawn.  Sometimes there is an apology, but not often.  Such practices used to be called “yellow journalism.”  Today some accept it as truth, even when it is exposed as a lie.  Some prefer to believe it is the truth regardless.  I wondered how those same news outlets would report on Jesus’ activities if they were reporting on them in the first century?


(AP from Tyre and Sidon)

Jesus, traveling in the region of Tyre and Sidon, was approached by a Canaanite woman who requested healing for her daughter.  Being the racist he is, he demonstrated his superiority as a man and a Jew by refusing to acknowledge her presence.  His apostles, also racists, wanted him to get rid of her.  Her presence and pleas were an embarrassment to Jesus and his Jewish staff.  The woman fell at Jesus’ feet begging for help.  Jesus, the self-proclaimed Messiah, referred to her as a “dog.”   The poor woman was humiliated and suffered the abuse in her attempt to save her daughter.  Jesus and entourage left the poor soul behind as they made their way to the region of Lake Galilee (Matthew 15:21-27).


(AP from the Sea of Galilee Region)

Jesus was surrounded by people seeking to be healed.  One woman, who had been sick for twelve years was hoping he could help.  She could not make herself be heard by Jesus due to the noise of the crowd.  She felt if she could tap Jesus on the shoulder and get his attention, maybe he would help her.  She reached, with much effort through the mass of humanity and managed to barely touch him.  The self-proclaimed Messiah abruptly stopped and turned, shocking those around him with his explosive movement.  People were surprised by his harsh demand, “Who touched me?”  He succeeded in embarrassing the woman.  His movement and demand frightened her.  She had sought healing and here was her healer turning to make a fool out of her!  Those who knew Jesus for what he really was, were not surprised by this action (Mark 5:24-30).


(AP near Jerusalem)

Local religious dignitaries were shocked when Jesus entered their city and told the citizens he would work on the Sabbath.  He did not respect Yahweh, the Ten Commandments, God’s sacred rest day, nor the faith of the townspeople.  There were six days this self-proclaimed Messiah could do his works of healing, but he chose to break the Sabbath.  Such blasphemy indicated the type of ministry he was running (Luke 13:14).


(AP from Jerusalem)

Jesus went among a crowd of people who were seeking medical help, but he did not declare who he was.  He singled out one man and asked him, “Do you want to be healed?”  He refused to ask that of the multitude surround this man.  He told the fellow to pick up his mattress and walk away.  The man did, but he should not have done so since it was the Sabbath.  Jesus had told the man to do something that was a violation of their religious law!  The joke was upon that poor man since he found himself in trouble for violating that law.  The man could not tell his accusers who had commanded him to carry his mattress on the Sabbath.  The crowd soon learned what a cruel, unfeeling individual Jesus was and how he enjoyed taking advantage of people in the most bazaar ways (John 5:1-16).  He healed the man but did not reveal who he was, so the poor man was left to take the blame for what Jesus did.  What about the multitude?  They were not asked if they wanted to be healed.  Jesus had no love for them.  He wasn’t interested in their pain nor sickness.

Perhaps this is the reason that the crowds present at Jesus’ trial felt compelled to cry out, “Crucify him, crucify him!”  What would you do if you had read the news media reports about Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph?