I came across an article this morning that had “shocking news about Jesus”. I thought, “what new news about Jesus could anyone have?” So I opened the article up to read what details the reporter had about Jesus that would shock the world.
The first thing the reporter wrote was “Jesus was not a tall white male like what is depicted in many famous paintings.” Let me get this straight; Jesus who was born in Nazareth, which was part of the Roman Palestine, was not a European looking white male? Dude! that is not shocking, that is common sense! What is shocking is that the reporter thought it would be shocking.
The second part of that was the reporter said he was not a tall man. He reports that anthropologists have determined that the average height of a Palestinian in the time of Jesus was about 5′ 4″ tall. So, since the average height is 5’4″, does he think that no one can be taller (or shorter for that matter) than 5′ 4″? The average height right now for a white American male is 5′ 10″, yet I am 6′ 3″ so am I not a white American male? What is shocking is the reporter wants to make an assumption based upon averages. I am not saying Jesus was a tall male, I am not saying he was average or short either. I am saying we cannot know how tall Jesus was based upon averages.
Next the article went on to say that Jesus was not a peaceful man. The writer’s proof was the passages about Jesus going into the temple and overturning the money changer’s tables and running them off. This made me want to ask the writer the question “If you walked into your parent’s home and saw that people had moved into the home your parents were residing in and turned it into a crack house, would you sit quietly by and do nothing?” The money changers, with the priests approval, had defiled the temple. Jesus did what he had to do to rid the holy temple of that which soiled it. Once again, this is not shocking.
Then the writer spoke of divorce. He/she said that divorce was permitted by Jewish law but Jesus taught against it. Yes, the Jewish law did permit for divorce, but only in certain conditions, i.e. adultery, inter-faith marriages which were not contracted by God, a man who did not provide for his wife, or a woman who broke the marital contract. Jesus did permit that under the law divorce could be granted, but He also stipulated that if the marriage should be saved if possible. Once again, not shocking but morally correct. Jesus was saying what God has put together between a man and woman, man should not destroy.
My thought after reading this was “have we strayed that far from morality and our ethical compass that we find this shocking?” If so, we are on the downhill slope into debauchery and need to get our leadership to reverse course.