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Chapter 11 - A Failure to Receive Truth
There can be value to clarifying Christianity in considering the failure of Israel to receive Jesus. Paul tells of a reason a record was kept of the history of Israel.
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. - 1 Corinthians 10:11
Most of human development is learning what we have to do to get what we want. For most people, the idea of God or eternal reward seems too abstract and insubstantial to hold much interest. The nation of Israel even had promises of blessings and curses to make God seem more relevant and practical, but even this proved an insufficient inducement.
The nation had come to be administered by an elite. Jesus referred to three elements of this elite as being dangerous because their influence could spread as subtly as yeast (leaven) grew. They were called hypocrites not so much as intentional connivers, but as self-deceived manipulators. The Pharisees thought they had obtained righteousness through their works. The Sadducees thought they had a birthright. The Herodians had no interest other than the advantages to be had through political alliance.
An example of how these people ‘led’ the nation can be found when they confronted Jesus;
And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me. And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things. - Mark 11:27-33
Nowhere in their deliberations did these leaders ever consider what was true. In so doing, they declared themselves unworthy of an answer to which their position might have entitled them.
In a similar way, one finds Christianity often shaped into collectives the administration of which is sought by those who through ambition and ego seek to control others. The hallmark characteristic of these sort of people is their disinterest in truth.
If one listens to Christian testimonies, one often hears at the core of a person’s journey a search for truth. Jesus described those who would respond to him;
Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. - John 18:37
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