Again, “We adore God Who is love, who in Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, Who offered Himself on the Cross to expiate our sins, and through the power of this love, rose from the dead and lives in His Church. We have no God other than Him” (Pope Francis, 6/21/14)
“Jesus is the Messiah of Judaism and He can only be understood as the Messiah of Judaism,” states Rev. John L. McKenzie. Jews do not believe Jesus is the Messiah of Judaism. But, the same New Testament that presents Jesus as Nonviolent and His Way as being a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies also maintains He is the Messiah of Judaism and He can only be understood as the Messiah of Judaism. The New Testament is not part of Hebrew Scriptures, so the fact that Jesus is designated the Messiah of Israel in these text carries no spiritual authority for the Jewish people. Their understanding and faith is as stated by Moses Maimonides (d.1204) in the twelfth of his thirteen principles of faith: “I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even though he may delay, nevertheless I anticipate every day that he will come.”Some Christians, however, believe that the Messiah of Judaism has come and He is the Nonviolent Jesus of Nazareth, who teaches as God’s Will a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies. Should it not then be that these Christians who embrace the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels should regularly pray that Judaism come to see and accept the Nonviolent Jesus of Nazareth as the Nonviolent Messiah of Israel?
I am not suggesting that Constantinian Christians, who quantitatively compose most of what is named Christianity, regularly pray that Jews become Christian, that Jews should accept any of the institutional Churches of Christianity as something into which they should enter. I am saying that much like the “either-or” issues of whether monotheism, i.e., the one God, is violent or nonviolent, or whether the Jesus of the Gospels is violent or nonviolent, the issue of whether the Nonviolent Jesus is the Nonviolent Messiah of Israel is an “either-or” issue. If Judaism cannot be what it was chosen by God to be, cannot accomplish the mission for which it was created by God to accomplish, unless it accepts the Nonviolent Jesus as God’s chosen Nonviolent Messiah, why would not a believer in Nonviolent Jesus as the Nonviolent Messiah of Israel pray that such an acceptance would occur?
Admittedly, the violent, brutal, power riddled, enmity saturated Constantinian Churches,’ that have systematically tormented and destroyed Jewish people for centuries, are institutions that Jewish people should be a leery of in the extreme. The historical record makes clear that such Churches always have their finger on the trigger, and that the direction they fire in support of one day is the direction they can fire on the next day. But, for Jews to accept the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels as God’s choice to be the Messiah of Israel, proclaiming a Way of Nonviolent love of all, friends and enemies, as the Way to restore Israel, humanity and each person to their right relationship with God would be an entirely different choice for Jews to make. For disciples of the Nonviolent Jesus to pray for this acceptance, would not be praying for Jews to become part of the institutional Constantinian Church.
The salvation of Israel and through Israel of humanity is, like war, ultimately a God question. It is a question of what kind of God is God, and what does God expect of those to whom He has given existence?
“The last and highest of Jesus’ pronouncements is that of love of enemies…’Love your enemies’ in its fundamental meaning is deeply bound-up with Jewish faith and at the same time transcends it.” -Martin Buber
“Jesus transformed the idea of Messiah when He fulfilled it. The total reality of Jesus Messiah is found nowhere in the Old Testament, not even in its totality. Jesus, however, could have emerged from nothing except Israel and the Old Testament. It is remarkable when one reflects that only as the Savior of Israel can Jesus be recognized. -John L. McKenzie.
Emmanuel Charles McCarthy (To be continued)