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Jesus: The Family & Flesh and Blood

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

Jesus: The Family & Flesh and Blood

"born of woman, born under the law" Jesus was ‘born under the law’, that is, a Jew. Paul in his letter to the Galatians "God was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother." Matthew 16:17 (written after Paul's letters) Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven." The Jewish World of Jesus: A Historical Overview

Few think of Jesus of Nazareth as part of the royal family of David–even though Paul affirms the same as our earliest source–namely that he was descended from the messianic lineage of King David (Romans 1:3). Given that pedigree, that means Jesus’ brothers and sisters, as children of Mary, which I have argued elsewhere, would likewise be this royal family. Thus when James/Yaaqov, brother of Jesus, succeeds him in leading the Nazarene movement–we are talking about a Dynasty or Caliphate with bloodline succession. This lecture expands on that issue and why the emerging Christian Church was so bent on either playing down or in some cases erasing this dynastic family of Jesus.

"Those who say they love Jesus should care. I realize this goes beyond the typical non-passionate presentation of historical ideas, but historians can have emotions and to totally misrepresent a good Jewish man–who happens to be the most influential person in history–is that not some kind of moral crime? The culprits, I will leave for future discussion, but I have laid out much in my books and publications." James Tabor "Christianity might have remained as a sect within Judaism ... In this initial stage there was little or no thought of any dividing line between Christianity and Judaism."—The Catholic Study Bible In first century Palestine under Roman rule it was dangerous to engage in political Judaism and calling for the empire of God over the empire of Rome. The disciples said to Jesus, “We know you will leave us. Who is going to be our leader then?” Jesus said to them, “No matter where you go you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being.” (Gospel of Thomas) First, there is James himself, as well as Jesus’ mother and brothers. Jesus was gone but James, as we will see, became a towering figure of faith and strength for Jesus’ followers, as I discussed in the post yesterday. To have Jesus’ own brother with them, his own flesh and blood, and one who also shared Jesus’ royal Davidic lineage, had to have been a powerful reinforcement. And this would be the case with Jesus’ family as a whole. They became the anchor of his movement. Mary has been revered for her role as the “Mother of God” for centuries, but historically speaking, her role as the very human mother of this extraordinary family of six sons and two daughters seems to have been lost. Unfortunately, we ­don’t have many details about how James was able to accomplish what he did as leader of the movement. John and Jesus were part of a Jewish Messianic Movement that challenged the ruling elite in their society. The elite included the Roman Empire, the Herodian kingdom, and the established religious leaders in Jerusalem who collaborated with the Roman Empire and the Herodian kingdom. John the Baptist was beheaded, and Jesus was crucified soon after. The violent response to them from the ruling elite speaks to their radical revolutionary movement. The kingdom of God was to replace the kingdom of men. Radical end time ethics to overthrow the ruling powers of their world. James the brother of Jesus carried on the mantle of the messianic movement from John and his brother in Jerusalem, but he also came to a violent end about 30 years after his brother's crucifixion. With their deaths their followers had to come to terms with the movements radical end time message of imminent revolution and the reality as time passed of the Romans destroying all those in their path including the Jewish Temple itself. The evolution of the theological grappling of the failed end time movement of the Kingdom of God and the bottleneck of what theological memories could survive from the Roman Jewish Wars were instrumental to what we call Christianity." from video introduction

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