Jesus/Godhead

Was Jesus Nice?

by Steve Ray on January 7, 2020

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me. “That was not very Christ-like.” This response usually comes after being honest to the point of making someone upset.  The implication is that Jesus was a cuddly little nice guy who was always smiling, always accepting with kind words – in short NICE.

In America we tend to be pretty nice, except maybe if you live in New York City. But in contrast to the rest of the world we tend to be very polite, genteel, gracious and nice. Tour guides in other countries say that Americans are the nicest people. We transpose our niceness onto Jesus and think he was a lot like us.

But does LOVE = NICE?

Of course Jesus was loving. He is God after all and God is love (1 John 4:8). We also know that love does not always equate to NICE. God allowed Paul to have a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble (2 Cor 12:7). Three times Paul prayed for it to be removed. God said NO.  God was not acting very American. He certainly wasn’t very nice about it.

Nice is defined primarily as “pleasant or commendable, kind or friendly” (Collins English Dictionary). It originally comes from the Latin meaning “simple, silly or ignorant.”

There is such a thing as “tough love.” It is the kind of love that cares enough to be honest, to confront, to discipline, to cause temporary pain to bring about eternal glory.  On the surface “tough love” does not always appear to be nice. How often has a child, sent to the corner blurt out “You are not very nice!”

Was Jesus nice?

Like Aslan the Lion in C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series, Jesus is approachable and loving, but don’t ever consider him “tame” or too cuddly. Jesus is God as well as man. He expressed the wrath and anger of God as well as the mercy and love of God.

Imagine coming to the Temple in Jerusalem one day to pray. You hear a great commotion and run over to see an angry man throwing over tables, grabbing the money from the merchants and throwing the money on the ground.

Whipping the money changers and dumping over their tables

But worse, you see him make a scourge of cords – a whip – and striking people with it. You are shocked that anyone would be so rude and destructive, so inconsiderate and mean to lash people with a whip. People ran in fear! Everyone was upset. Jesus was red in the face and scowling.  It certainly wasn’t very “Christ-like.” How nice was that?

Jesus was always loving, but he was not always nice, as we Americans count niceness. Here is just one example. Jesus spoke very harshly to his fellow Jews.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. . . .  You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? (Matthew 23:27,  28, 33).

Ouch! It doesn’t sound very kind and courteous: not very thoughtful or nice!

So, maybe there is more to WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) than we’ve been led to believe. Maybe we shouldn’t worry so much about being nice, being liked, acting like genteel Americans. Maybe we ought to be more honest and forthright about the things that really matter.  Maybe we should be more willing to hurt some feelings, step on some toes, show tough love to those in sin.

Maybe we should be more Christ-like.

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Did the Pope Deny Jesus was God?

by Steve Ray on October 10, 2019

According to an interview he gave (see below) the Pope denied the divinity of Jesus. If he did we have a serious problem. If he did not, then why doesn’t he step forward, clarify what he said and clearly affirm the teaching of Scripture and the constant teaching/dogma of the Church? Either way — if he said it or if he doesn’t speak out clearly — either way we have a serious problem.

i do not believe for a moment that the pope denies the divinity of Christ and I hope he corrects the record soon. The facts and issues are stated clearly below — at least what we know at this point. Written from Rome by a good and trusted friend Thomas Williams.

The Vatican Refutes Pope’s Denial of Christ’s Divinity

ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty

ROME — The Vatican issued a statement Wednesday refuting claims Pope Francis had denied the divinity of Jesus Christ, saying the words attributed to the pontiff were a “free interpretation” of what he actually said.

886EC4E1-5BBB-4206-AFB3-8387418349F6On Wednesday, journalist Eugenio Scalfari published an essay in the Italian daily La Repubblica declaring, among other things, that the pope told him that he believes that Jesus of Nazareth was an exceptional man, but not God incarnate.

“As has already been stated on other occasions, the words that Dr. Eugenio Scalfari attributes in quotation marks to the Holy Father during talks with him cannot be considered a faithful account of what was actually said, but represent rather a personal and free interpretation of what he heard, as is quite evident from what was written today about the divinity of Jesus Christ,” reads the statement by papal spokesman Matteo Bruni.

According to Scalfari, founder of La Repubblica, “Pope Francis conceives the Christ as Jesus of Nazareth, a man, not God incarnate. Once he took flesh, Jesus ceased to be a God and became a man until his death on the cross.”

For the whole article click here .

Another article here.

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Since we are visiting the convent of St. Maria Faustina, I thought I would share this meditation on the Divine Mercy of God.

Mary knew mercy. Mary saw mercy. The mercy was so real and visible and close it may have splashed on her face. Sister Faustina’s Divine Mercy shows the blood and water springing from the side of Christ, the fountain of mercy. Mary stood at the foot of the Cross where the blood and water flowed from her Son’s side.

 Mercy became flesh in Mary’s womb in Nazareth; Mary gave birth to Mercy in Bethlehem; she raised her Son and lived with Mercy for thirty years before sending him out to be and show mercy for three years.

Then she saw the ultimate Mercy demonstrated in such a divine and human manner— the Son of God, her own son, hanging on the Cross to make mercy available to all people.

John 19:34  “But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.”

Imagine standing in all these places in the Holy Land when we go and celebrating it here with the nuns at the bones of St. Maria Faustina where we will pray the Divine Mercy with the sisters today. Imagine eating the Body and Blood of Our Lord — mercy itself — in the very places he showed us what mercy was. Join us in the Holy Land this fall.

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Meaning of Sacred and Immaculate Hearts – Feast Days are Upon Us!

June 27, 2019

Since Friday, June 28 is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I am reposting this. A non-Christian friend found two paintings at an art show and asked me, “What in the world are these? They seem to have pagan elements. What do they have to do with Jesus and Mary?” Here is my […]

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Is there Evidence for Jesus outside the Bible?

May 13, 2019

Some people may think Jesus is a mythical figure like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. Others think Jesus might be historical but only mentioned in the Bible is the only source of information on the existence of Jesus. They question whether Jesus really existed as a real historical figure. Is the Bible the only […]

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Steve Ray – 1 Hour Audio Tour of the Passion

April 19, 2019

I was just on the Terry Barber & Jesse Romero Show and I gave them and their listeners a one-hour Virtual Tour of Jesus’ Passion from the Upper Room to the Burial Tomb. You can listen here.

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“The Pain of the Crucifixion” – Free Talk by Steve Ray

April 19, 2019

Get my free talk on MP3 below. Also visit this site to see the magnificent artwork of James Tissot detailing the Passion of our Lord from Gethsemane to the Tomb. The PROMO CODE to download the free MP3 file is CRUCIFIXION.    

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Entering the Empty Tomb; A Contrast – Now and Back Then

April 19, 2019

It looks different today, but the place is the same. It is darker now, covered with a dome that blocks the sun. There is no grass, no hillside, no trees waving their leaves nearby. Instead there are the hushed voices of hundreds of people, the Muslim call to prayer echoing in the distance and the […]

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My Past Articles for Holy Week; Current Radio Shows this Week

April 15, 2019

Above is one of my all time favorite paintings — Peter and John running to the empty tomb by Eugene Burnand. Over the last few years I’ve answered some questions and commented on the events of Holy Week. Here are links to those articles: How long was Jesus on the Cross? How long was Jesus […]

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Temple Sizes Compared – bigger than a football field

March 18, 2019

Since we are at the Western Wall today, seeing all this with our own eyes, I thought I would share again this blog about the size of temples of Israel. The 1) Tabernacle in the wilderness, the 2) Temple of Solomon, 3) Herod’s Temple at the time of Christ and 4) Ezekiel’s Temple are compared. The […]

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A MUST READ: Cardinal Müller issues Manifesto: A quasi correction of Pope Francis’ pontificate

February 9, 2019

“February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) (News also released by Catholic News Agency) – Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, has released a Manifesto which reads like a correction of many of the doctrinal errors Pope Francis has taught during his tenure as Pope…. …Pope Francis removed Cardinal Müller from his post as […]

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Pictures of the Presentation

February 2, 2019

Today is the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord. I did a show on Relevant Radio’s Morning Air on the presentation. You can listen to the podcast here. My interview begins 15:15 into the show. It was mandated in the Old Testament because after the exodus God had required the first born son to […]

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Holy Family – One of My Favorite Topics – Running through their World in Nazareth

December 31, 2018

Since we are in Nazareth today, I thought I would share a bit about the daily life of the Holy Family. These videos were taken when I could still run. You will enjoy seeing where Jesus and Joseph worked, and their hometown as it is today. Join me for two running adventures. Their life was […]

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Jesus was NOT Crucified or Killed: Quran, Sura 4

November 25, 2018

by Fr. George W. Rutler “That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety […]

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Jesus Was A Jew – So What is That To You?

June 20, 2018

Jesus was a Jew… This fact may escape the casual reader of the New Testament, but it is crucial to understanding Jesus and the book written about him—the Bible. Unhappily, in 21st century America we are far removed from the land of Israel and the ancient culture and religion of Judaism followed by Jesus and […]

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How Well Do You Know Jesus and His Land? Multiple Choice Questions.

May 17, 2018

Here is a fun quiz to test your knowledge. How much do you know about Jesus and his Land? Answers are below in the Comments but DON’T CHEAT until you give it a hero’s try! 1. We have no record of Jesus visiting which place? a. The Phoenician Coast b. Tiberias c. Egypt d. Nain 2. […]

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