Why Did The Jews Accuse Jesus Of Blasphemy?
By Bassam Zawadi, anwering-christianity.com
One argument often raised by Christians in order to try and prove the deity of Christ is that they say that the Jews accused Jesus of committing blasphemy. However, I am here to argue that the Jews misunderstood them and that Jesus never did commit blasphemy. We will also examine the real reason why the Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy.
Here is one passage in which the Jews accuse Jesus of committing blasphemy:
John 10:31-39: Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” 33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ‘ [d]? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
Jesus over here is rebuking the Jews for how they don’t understand scripture. Jesus then says in verse 37 that if he does the works of the Father (obviously because nothing he does is of his own authority (John 5:30) and he is doing what God is commanding) then they should believe that he is God’s son (son of God in the sense that he is serving God) and that they will know that the Father is in him and that he is in the Father (this shows oneness of purpose, see similar examples in John 17:21).
Jesus told them the real reason why they wanted to kill him:
John 8:37-40: I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father. “
39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered.
If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would [d] do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.
Jesus is accusing them of killing him simply because they do not like or want to accept his teachings. Jesus clearly stated to them that he is a MAN who was telling them the truth that he heard from GOD. Not that he is God.
The Jews were so desperate to convict Jesus of death. They tried everything:
Mark 14:55-63: The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. 56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. 57 Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.’ ” 59 Yet even then their testimony did not agree.
60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer.
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
63 The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. 64 “You have heard the blasphemy.”
You can see that they were so desperate that they had to get false witnesses to testify against Jesus. But that didn’t even work. Then when Jesus said that he is God’s son they went crazy and accused him of blasphemy out of sheer desperation to have him killed. But I already quoted Jesus in John 10:31-39 in how he defends himself against this accusation and how he shows the misunderstanding that the Jews had of scripture.
The Mystic Son in KABBALAH
The Doubter’s Guide
There is a divine strain in the Kabbalah signifying a divine sonship of God. We can find current studies on this secret doctrine in G. Sholem’s posthumous book, On the Mystical Shape of the God head (1997), and also in Lenora Leet’s book, The Secret Doctrine of the Kabbalah (1999).
Leet states: ”The Son symbol is … the central salvic belief of the Jewish esoteric tradition from its beginnings [in] the temple culture of the ancient priesthood.” …
Rebirth of the individual
After the final temple period, circumcision was considered the prime sacrifice to God. For here one’s lower animal nature was symbolically cut off, while dedicating one’s spirit to God as sanctified son. Hence the Talmud states: “Blessed are they who are the sons of God” (Kiddushin 61a)
Although Judaism conventionally sanctified rebirth of their nation, the esoteric strain secretly sanctified rebirth of the individual.
The Merkabah stated the divine person above the throne in the Book of Ezekiel, and the Son of Man in the Books of Enoch and Daniel, signified the prophets’ higher, sanctified self, as a “son of God”, now twice born.
The highest symbolic interpretation reveals Ezekiel’s four emanations and seven heavens to the throne as the prophet’s internal journey to the Godhead. So like the primordial shaman, Ezkiel’s altered states revealed secret truths to initiates who were to become priests or holy persons.
Finally the Zohar reveals an esoteric reading of the Sh’ma: “Hear O Israel, YHVH Elohaynu [and] YHVH [are] one.” signifying both immanence and transcendence, female and male are merged as one. So blessed also are the daughters of God. Once merged in mystic union there is neither male nor female, only one’s new self twice born to achieve higher being.
The Missing Mystical Voice
by Jean-Yves Leloup
Most books on gnostic wisdom are not very useful for journeyers on the path. They tend to be either scholarly, awkwardly-worded translations with dull commentaries on what may or may not have been Gnostic beliefs, or Church history (from various biases) or Coptic grammar on the one hand, or else sloppily-written, vague musings on the other.
I’ve long felt that almost all Christian thought, and “Jesus scholarship” in particular, is plagued by a dearth of serious mystical input.
Everyone seems trapped in the quest for intellectual certainty, knowing what exactly Jesus did or didn’t say, and did or didn’t do.
The ultra-liberal Jesus Seminar is simply the mirror image of entrenched Fundamentalism. Both sides (and most who are in-between), are mired in thinking that having the facts means having “True” Christianity.
The truth is that mystics understand mystics, and others cannot
Factual knowledge can’t transcend the ego—there must be a willingness to be utterly changed by that Reality which is beyond the mind, beyond concepts, and yes, beyond belief.
To know ourselves, to know that we are know, is also to discover ourselves reborn, each of us child of the Living One, flame of the Fire, child of the Wind.
Not to know ourselves is to fall short of ourselves, to live in vain, to arise and disappear like fog from breath on a glass, to be vanity. (The Gnostic Wisdom of Jesus, pp. 69-70)