“What Jesus said is irrelevant.”
I was shocked, stunned and dismayed to hear those words coming out of a Christian’s mouth.
There was an animated (passionate, but NOT angry) discussion going on in a group. You know the kind. The iron sharpening iron kind where people are challenged to defend what they believe using the Bible. The kind where what people actually believe starts to come out.
I quoted Yeshua challenging someone’s belief. The response? “What Jesus said is irrelevant. He was talking to Jews and we are not Jews.” At that point, my mouth literally dropped open…a rarity for me. I said something like, “Really?! Irrelevant?!”
I looked around the room, expecting someone to say something in response to what he said. But no one…NO ONE…did. So, I quietly said, “I’m done” and shut up at that point. I don’t know why there was no response, but I find it just as disturbing as the words spoken.
How many Christians actually believe this? Although, I believe few would come out and say it directly like that, some of what they believe does come from picking and choosing what is relevant and what is not. Any time we dismiss the words of Yeshua/Jesus because they contradict what we believe, are we not saying, in essence, that his words are irrelevant to us?
What are the implications of that belief? What is the logical end conclusion? If what Yeshua said is only for Jews, that makes His teaching on prayer irrelevant. Scratch the “Our Father”. Also, Yeshua’s final statement was to Jews so I guess there is no need to “Go and make disciples”. Yeshua’s prayer in John 17 is…irrelevant, since only Jews would have been present listening. Even more importantly, what about “It is finished”? Is that, also, only for Jews? If Yeshua’s words are only relevant for Jews, then why even read the gospels? Of what significance are they to non-Jews? Why is there even a “Christianity”? (Of course, that is a good question for other reasons which would take a whole other post, but I hope you get my point.)
I don’t believe this person actually believes Yeshua’s words are irrelevant. At least, I certainly hope not! However, it IS something to think about. What do YOU believe? Do YOU believe what Yeshua said is irrelevant to non-Jews? If so, why do you believe that? And what DO you believe is relevant?
In today’s world, I see the “church” moving farther and farther away from the clear words of the Bible. For a long time, some churches have only been using the New Testament. Their Bibles don’t even contain an Old Testament! Recently, a well known pastor started teaching that the disciples of Yeshua (Jews) taught to unhitch the Old Testament/Jewish Bible from the New Testament. (An interesting concept seeing as how the only Bible they had at that time was the Tanakh/Jewish Bible/OT and it was all they had when Paul wrote Timothy that all scripture was profitable for teaching, correction and so on.) Many of the things Yeshua said have been discounted over the years…typically, simply ignored or explained away. Are we now moving even further away from the clear words of our Messiah/Christ?
The word Christian means “Christ follower”. How do you follow someone whose words are irrelevant? I don’t know. I know the person who spoke would definitely identify as a “Christ follower”. But who, or what, is Yeshua/Jesus? If you believe Yeshua is G-d, then it follows you must believe he wrote the OT! He wrote the laws contained in it! Yes, they came through Moshe/Moses, but who gave them to him?? If Yeshua’s words are only relevant to the Jews, then doesn’t that mean Yeshua came only for them? Where does that leave non-Jews? (I know there are answers to all these things…answers some folks may not really like, but right now I am just trying to get people to THINK!)
In this instance, I believe the statement made was simply not thought out. I think it was an emotional reaction…at least, I hope that’s all it was. But I just cannot help but wonder how many people have this underlying belief and don’t even recognize it. How many of us think Yeshua’s words are relevant until they bump up against something we believe and, then, they are only for Jews? Or, at least, not for us.
There is a real lack of teaching when it comes to the history of the earliest church. Most are only taught from the time of the Nicene Council forward. They have no idea how the first century church really lived. It’s very sad, really, for this is the logical outgrowth of that lack.