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The Image of Jesus: Was He Black?

June 9, 2017 by Herbert Daughtry

The Search for the True Jesus: Historically and Theologically

Part Eight

“Eschatological Statement

“Finally, was Jesus’ eschatological statement, with its blood and war dramatics (Mathew 24:29-45), meant only for the future? In other words, was Jesus a revolutionary only in individual conversion and future expectation? No one can deny that in each of the above two areas that Jesus was a revolutionary. But can revolution be dichotomized? Can there be a revolutionary individual without that individual living out that revolution in impactful ways within society?

Mr. Carl Braaten writes, in ‘The Future of God – The Revolutionary Dynamic of Hope, ‘ ‘The simple fact of preaching the gospel is like putting a stick of dynamite into the social structure.’ Similarly, does a glimpse of a new order, even in the future, inspire efforts to change the present to conform to that future? Mr. Braaten, in ‘Christ and Counter-Christ,’ wrote: ‘The power of Jesus’ freedom is eschatological, but the place of its realization is history.’

“Is this the kind of revolution Jesus finally settled for after months of agonizing on tactics, programs, strategies, allies, and goals? To admit that still makes Jesus a revolutionary, and, also if the above is true, does that not place upon Him responsibility for His people’s actions, even when that action is violent confrontation with demonic structures? Jesus surely knew what Frederick Douglass, 1800 years after him, knew, ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand.’ One radically alters a person’s self-concept and worldview so that that person now works for the liberation of others; thus, bringing that person into conflict with the status quo, must bear some of the legal and moral responsibility for that person’s behavior.

“Apparently Contradictory Statements by Jesus:

“Blessed are the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9).

“Think not that I come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34).

“Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also (Matthew 5:39).

“Suppose ye that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division (Luke 12:51).

“All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword (Matthew 26:52).

“He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one (Luke 22:36).

“Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you (Luke 6:27)
“And, when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables (John 2:15).

“What is the reason for these apparently contradictory Scriptures? Mr. Marvin Harris, in his book, ‘Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddle of Culture,’ put forth the claim that the idea of a peaceful Messiah came to fruition after the destruction of Jerusalem in 71 A.D.

“From the stress Mark placed upon the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem as a punishment for the killers of Jesus, Mr. Brandon infers that this gospel – the first to be composed and the model for the others – was written in Rome after the fall of Jerusalem. As Brandon says, it was probably written in direct response to the great victory celebration of 71 A.D.

“The appropriate conditions for the spread of the cult for a peaceful messiah were at last present in full force. Jewish Christians now readily joined with Gentile converts to convince the Romans that their messiah was different from the Zealot-branded messiahs who had caused war, and who were continuing to make trouble: Christians, unlike Jews, were harmless pacifists with no secular ambitions. The Christian Kingdom of God was not of this world; Christian salvation lay in eternal life beyond the grace; the Christian messiah had died to bring eternal life to all mankind; His teaching posed no threat to the Romans, only to the Jews; the Romans were absolved of any guilt in Jesus’ death; and, the Jews alone had killed him while Pontius Pilate stood by, helplessly unable to prevent it.”

… to be continued.