WHY JESUS WAS KILLED
Let’s say that Jews killed Jesus not with their own hands, but they obtained a death sentence from the Roman ruler of Judea. But the fact that the Jews desired to destroy this “outrageous” preacher undoubtedly took place. If you remember Stephen the First-Martyr, whose murder was helped by the future apostle Paul, the picture is clear. When Stephen was murdered, the police and the colonial authorities did not interfere. For complete clarity, it should be noted that all the mentioned actors (except Pontius Pilate) were Jews. And the clashes took place between the Jews.
Just what kind of Jews? Let’s try to understand. «Go especially to the lost sheeps of the Home of Israel» (Mt 10: 6). And who are these «lost sheeps»? Those whom Jesus called “the Salt of the earth”.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven! So they drove the prophets that were before you.
13 Ye are the salt of the earth;
20 For I say to you, if your righteousness is not more generous than the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
It is no secret that the «scribes and Pharisees» considered illiterate people who were not well versed in the teachings, «the people of the earth», «Am Ha’aretz.» It was they who were addressed by the scribes with their contempt and pejorative epithets. The Talmud is full of stories and anecdotes about these uneducated people. And to this day the «people of the book» uses the epithet «Am Ha’aretz» as a synonym for the word «boor».
And who was Jesus himself, as if he had not been «am Ha’aretz», an illegitimate vagabond, rejected by society?
Of course, we cannot know how rumors were true that Joseph married Mary to cover up her shame. It is not excluded that he himself «smelled» a minor girl who was given to him for education. And then he covered his own shame, explaining to everyone that the girl was pregnant from unknown warrior. So long as aged Joseph was alive, Jesus had a patron who loved and cherished the child. But the family did not really recognized Mary and her son as relatives.
Whoever was the father of Jesus, in the eyes of his relatives and neighbors, he was a bastard, illegitimate, and Mary — a fallen woman, which was saved by Joseph. After the death of Joseph, a respected man, a jack of all trades (he was a builder, mason and carpenter), Jesus and his mother were forced to leave the family business. According to legend, the inhabitants of Nazareth drove him from his native village.
Jesus recompensed in the same way:
1 On the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the Mother of Jesus was there.
2 There was also called Jesus and His disciples for marriage.
3 And as the wine was lacking, the Mother of Jesus said to Him: they have no wine.
4 Jesus says to her: What have Me and You to do, Woman? My hour has not yet come.
5 His mother said to the servants: «What He will tell you, so do it.»
«What have to do Me and you, Woman» («why do we may care about them?»): Jesus did not want to use his miracle abilities for the sake of guests. Yes, he and Maria were invited to the wedding, but only after he, the wandering preacher, became a famous man, the head of the sect. However, he still carried out the «miracle», which was a sign of reconciliation. Maybe, he was invited to the wedding to reconcile?
Before and after that he had to wander a lot around the country. Jesus could not become a scribe, a connoisseur of Torah, because he did not have a home, a scroll of Torah, parchment, ink. Could he carry a heavy scroll of Torah, writing equipment and ink on his hump? Sitting on a visit to random people who, by their kindness, took a vagabond preacher to visit, Jesus preached a sermon, told parables and other stories with meaning, without recording anything.
He did not have the opportunity to write down his thoughts, so that the students memorized, and after many decades, stated what they remembered. It is very similar to the story of Muhammad, who, however, lived in his own (not at all a poor house), but, according to his own statement, could not read and write, so his «companions», on their own initiative, recorded the «drafts» of the Koran.
Jesus unambiguously appealed to non-scribes. He sought to raise the dignity of his uneducated supporters. Instead of the derogatory nickname «Am Ha’aretz (People of the Earth), he appropriated to them the honorary title» Melah Haaretz «, or the Salt of the Earth. He also listed in detail, in the Sermon on the Mount, why they should be better than the scribes and Pharisees («interpreters»): of course, in observing the moral standards that he, Jesus, «toughen» in comparison with the Pharisees, the Torah and the prophets:
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see from you good works, and glorify your Father who dwells in heaven.
As a preacher of morality, Jesus could not admit that he was the illegitimate son of an unknown Roman soldier (and such rumors were spread by his enemies). That’s why he came up with a fable about the Immaculate Conception from God, and that he is the son of God. It seems that over time he himself believed in this invention, especially in connection with his unusual abilities of the psychic and «miracle maker.»
In this myth, the influence of Hellenism on the Jewish population of Galilee was manifested. This influence was so profound that half of the inscriptions in the synagogues of that time were Greek, pagan mosaics were laid out on the floor of synagogues along with traditional Jewish ones, and the names of Jews were more often Greek and even Roman, or double. Of the 12 apostles of Jesus, 3 had Greek names, 8 — Hebrew, 1 Aramaic name, and one had a Hebrew name, but became known under the Greek name Peter.
Hellenization led to the fact that scribes and Pharisees lost influence over the flock, many people renounced the traditions of Judaism. Such was the vacuum of influence that Jesus entered with his preaching. It is possible that the «lost sheep of the house of Israel» are Hellenized Jews who renounced the traditions of Judaism.
Most significant instrument of Jesus’ influence on the people became his abilities as a «miracle maker.» Perhaps he possessed the ability and technique of hypnosis, but in some «miracles» one can see the design, organization and staging. The rich and enlightened part of the Jews did not yield very much to Jesus’ agitation. Just like today, educated people did not believe in miracles. In connection with which, Jesus cursed the city of Capernaum:
«And you, Capernaum, who ascended to heaven, will be cast down to hell, for if the forces that were manifested in you were manifested in Sodom, he would remain to this day; But I tell you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you» (Matt.11: 23-24).
At the Sermon on the Mount, and generally in Galilee, Jesus did not stop. From Galilee he went to the Jerusalem, capital. In Jerusalem he did not coddled with the priests. Let’s imagine how he enters the Temple of Jerusalem, sends an air kiss to the Holy of Holies (say, hello, papa) and invites priests and Levites to worship him as the son of God. Or even as God: some Orthodox priest estimated according to the Gospels, that Jesus called himself God about 50 times, directly or indirectly.
And then he goes out into the courtyard and turns over the tables of money changers. Why? Because of the gifts in the Temple could only be made by the shekels, and all foreign tourists changed their versatile foreign currency for a shekel. Now let us imagine that anti-globalists staged a pogrom in the Bank of Israel. How would they be «loved» by the authorities and money owners. Similarly in ancient times: no one likes when somebody encroaches on his income.
And now another parallel: Osama bin Laden sent the plane to the twin towers of New York quite demonstratively, because of there was a center for modern «money changers».
In short, from the preaching of humility and new morality, Jesus moved to a social revolution against the Jewish establishment.
However, the situation was much more complicated than the one I described above. After all, all these events and the struggle took place under the Roman occupation. And how did the Roman authorities react to Jesus? And how did Jesus react to the Roman power?
A few quotations: «Give Caesar Caesar’s, and God’s God.» That is, pay the tribute to Rome and the Temple.
38 You heard what was said: «An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.»
39 But I say to you, do not resist evil, but if someone hits you on the right cheek, give it another,
At first glance, this is one of the «strengthened” norms of morality laid down in the Sermon on the Mount. But in the specific political situation that existed then in Judea, this rule did not look like a domestic rule, but as a political norm. The Jewish people were offered not to riot, but to «substitute the second cheek» for the Roman invaders.
Yes, Jesus is not the only one who preached such behavior towards Rome. A whole layer of Sadducees («Just») followed the same line. And the Pharisees were not in a hurry to call the people to revolt, despite the fact that they positioned themselves as guardians of the ancient religion and nation. All political parties of ancient Judea tried to prevent the catastrophe, to which the uprising against Rome could lead. Rome was then a world empire and was at the pick of power.
Jesus was between a hammer and an anvil. His enthusiastic supporters proclaimed him the King of Israel. And he disowned this honorary title, which attracted a lot of people to him. The people sought a leader who would lead him to an uprising against Rome, and Jesus was opposed to such an uprising. He wanted a rebellion against the Jewish establishment, and not against Rome. The Sanhedrin and the high priests had no army, except that a weakly armed police, which could not cope with the rebellion of armed people.
Seeing the growing threat to its influence and wealth, the Jewish establishment turned for help to the Roman authorities.
Pontius Pilate faced a certain mystery, and hesitated in making a decision. On the one hand, the Roman policy of «divide and rule» pushed him to leave Jesus alive and allow him to undermine the influence of the Jewish center of power, the Sanhedrin. Pilate did not see the threat for the authority of Rome in the sermon of Jesus, only a threat to the Jewish establishment. And this was good in his eyes. I do not know exactly what Jesus managed to say to Pilate, but he had a positive opinion of Jesus. It is even possible that Jesus used his powers of psychic, and inspired Pilate to this way of thinking.
To rectify their situation, the Sanhedrin lawyers laid out their trump card: they told the Roman prefect that Jesus called himself the King of Israel. To give oneself this title meant a direct rebellion against the personal power of Pontius Pilate.
Again, shortly before that event, the Romans liquidated the last remnants of independence of Judea and placed the country under the direct control of Rome. This meant, in particular, that Pontius Pilate received the post of prefect of Judea because of the Jewish kings were eliminated.
What can do a ruthless official to someone who is trying to take his job (and the feeder) from him? To kill him! The real Pilate, described by his contemporaries Philo of Alexandria and Josephus Flavius, is known as an overly cruel ruler (ultimately, he was removed from office for brutality and requisitions from the population, not Jewish, but just Samaritan).
I do not know how truthful l was this accusation against Jesus. And all the more I do not understand, why did Jesus confirm it. Maybe he believed in his ability to hypnotize? Or did he really believe that he was an immortal God? That he will rise again? It’s possible. There is an example of Simon Magus, who ordered to bury himself in the grave alive and dig it out in ten days. He was dug up — and found dead. Autosuggestion has a great power.
The Christian legend places the blame for the murder of Jesus on the Jews. What can be said about this? As I noted above, in the first century of our era it was a feud between Jews. The preacher who rebelled against the establishment was killed on the initiative of the high priest, with the assistance of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate.
From the ideological point of view, most Jews did not accept Jesus. Few people believed that he was the son of God, or God. Few people believed in his miracles and in the immaculate conception. Then, like today, not all were trusting fools. Moreover, most of the people were indignant at the megalomania of Jesus. Judas Iscariot did not need to tempted by thirty pieces of silver. Perhaps he, being the apostle and the trusted by Jesus, knew something about the staging of «miracles», and some other icky deeds of the Teacher.
Moreover, no one at that time could foresee that the «preacher» rejected by the Jews would be recognized the God among a third of all mankind. And that the Jews will be killed for not believing in the Immaculate Conception and the «miracles» of a little-known Hebrew revolutionary.