Jesus/Godhead

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

by Steve Ray on June 20, 2018

The Jewish Jesus – like he really was

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 his Jewish ancestors.

Let me ask you a few questions. Were you born and raised in Israel? Did you study the Torah with the rabbis from an early age? Have you traversed the rocky hills and dusty paths to celebrate the mandatory feasts in Jerusalem?

Do you speak Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic? I haven’t found anyone in my Catholic parish who has these credentials. Without this background, we are at a great disadvantage when studying the Bible and its central character — Jesus himself.

When we open the pages of our English Bible, we find a Jewish book! The setting revolves around Israel and the worship of Yahweh.

With one exception, the more than forty biblical writers were all Jews, and the exception was most likely a Jewish proselyte.  (Do you know who the only non-Jewish author in the Bible is? I’ll give you a few hints: he was a physician, one of St. Paul’s co-workers, and he wrote the first history of the Church.)

The point is, how can we understand the Bible and the teaching surrounding our Lord Jesus and salvation without understanding his people, his culture, and his Jewish identity?

For the whole article click here.

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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 explanation. If you readers have anything to add, please post it in the Comments below. Thanks.

Thanks. Beautiful images. Full of biblical representation — NOT pagan influences. They are devotional images to remind Catholics of the sorrows of Jesus and Mary and the resultant purification, joy and new life that come from them.

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart of Jesus:
Hearts represent love and life as the center of our being. Jesus’ heart beats with the fire of love (at the top of the heart) which was demonstrated at the cross. The fire also represents the purifying fire of God by which he purifies men. It exudes the transformative power of divine love.

The crown of thorns brought suffering which was endured for the love of man to redeem him — to bear man’s pain in his own heart. The cut in the heart is that made by the lance that was thrust through his heart when he was on the cross.

The blood dripping represents the new life secured through his death (life came through dead). The Blood of Jesus also cleanses us, washes us from sin. The result is the heart of man (below surrounded by flowers) is given new life. The flowers represent a garden of delights, new life, freshness. The Garden of Eden which brought about death by sin is now replaced by the Garden of Heaven which brings new life because of holiness and the work of Christ.

Adam and Eve experienced death at the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden; The New Adam (Jesus) brings about life at the Tree of Death (the cross) in another garden (John 19:41). This cross is at the top of the heart. Heaven and the glory of God is represented by the clouds and the blazing sun or heavenly light from God behind the hearts.

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Immaculate Heart of Mary:
This one is similar to the Sacred Heart. The roses surrounding Mary’s heart represent her sinlessness and purity, sweetness and new life. The seven swords piercing the top of the heart represents the “Seven Sorrows of Mary,” (“Mater Dolorosa”).

The first of her sorrows was the Prophecy of Simeon that a sword would pierce her soul because of her son’s death (Luke 2:35), 2) their flight into Egypt, 3) the loss of Jesus in the Temple; 4) the fourth sorrow is Mary watching Jesus carry the cross, 5) the crucifixion imagining a mother watching her son die this way; 6) receiving his limp, cold body after the crucifixion, 7) the body of her son buried in the tomb.

When Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple as a baby the prophet Simeon said that the life and death of Jesus would be like a sword that would pierce her soul (Luke 2:35). The lower heart, the one of Mary surrounded by roses, shows a cut in it which is symbolic of her sorrows. But her sorrows have brought us new life and pure hearts represented by the garden of roses below.

The Mystic Rose:
The mystic rose, symbolizes Mary’s mystical participation in the Holy Trinity as Heaven’s Rose or Mystical Rose. In medieval times the mystic rose symbol was drawn with four petals on a stain glass background or on a multi-colored background like a popular quilt pattern which is still stitched today.

Conclusion:
It is a very popular and insightful devotion to Jesus and his mother — the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Every aspect is taken from the Bible and nicely illustrated in the pictures you sent. You have a nice few items there :-)

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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. Jesus’ country was not large. How many times would Israel fit into Texas?

a. 2
b. 5
c. 20
d. 30

3. Jesus was how old when his earthly ministry began?

a. 28
b. 42
c. 30
d. 35

4. Jesus did not say:

a. Regarding the Law: “Love your neighbor as yourself”
b. To questioning followers: “God helps those who help themselves”
c. Regarding his apostles with swords: “Two are enough”
d. To a Jewish questioner: “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?”

5. Jesus had a robe that was special because it was:

a. Made of flax and cotton
b. It was whiter than any other robes
c. It had tassels for Jewish prayer
d. The robe had no seams

6. How far did Mary walk to visit her relative Elizabeth?

a. Two miles
b. Fifteen miles
c. Fifty miles
d. Ninety miles

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A Limerick for a Questioning Grandson – Did Jesus Really Exist?

April 9, 2018

My grandson Josh asked, “Did Jesus really live? Maybe he didn’t and it was just a good story someone made up.” So I sat down and wrote him this limerick and gave him a stack of books from my library. The topic has not come up again since. Was there really a man named Jesus? […]

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How Big Was Jesus in Mary’s Womb at the Visitation – and what could he do?

April 8, 2018

“How big was baby Jesus in Mary’s womb when Mary visited Elizabeth?” That is the question I asked myself while visiting the Church of the Visitation in Israel. What I learned was quite revolutionary and amazing. This is one of the best pro-life arguments from Scripture and one I’ve not heard discussed before. It also […]

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“He Descended into Hell” – a very lyrically and beautifully stated ancient homily

March 31, 2018

The Lord’s Descent into Hell By an anonymous ancient homilist SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 2018  Posted on The Catholic Thing (which you should definitely subscribe to :-) What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and […]

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

March 28, 2018

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 in the grave? Was Jesus crucified naked or covered? Welcoming New People at Mass this Week; you may be an answer […]

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Mary’s Virginity: How Was Jesus Born?

December 22, 2017

Every time I am on the radio over Advent someone calls and asks if Jesus was born normally and naturally like other babies, or was he a miraculous birth–in other words, arriving in the world by avoiding the birth canal and without “opening the womb.” There are discussions and debates suggesting he miraculously appeared in Mary’s […]

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Jesus was NOT Crucified or Killed: Quran, Sura 4

October 26, 2017

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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My Favorite Easter Painting: Rushing to the Tomb! Anticipation! It is Empty!

April 16, 2017

Anticipation, uncertainty, wonderment, fear, excitement, doubt — but it is TRUE! The Tomb is empty and the angels announce He is not among the dead. He has risen!

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When Was Jesus Crucified? How Long on the Cross? Do the Gospels Contradict Each Other?

April 14, 2017

Do the Gospels Conflict? How Long was Jesus on the Cross? (See also Was Jesus Crucified Naked? and How Long Was Jesus in the Tomb?) The question intrigued me sufficiently enough that I spent the best part of a day working on it. On the surface there seems to be a contradiction in the Gospels, mentioning different […]

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Was Jesus Crucified Naked? (Updated 4/13/17)

April 12, 2017

A gentleman heard me on Relevant Radio earlier. I had mentioned on the air that one of the great humiliations of a crucifixion was that a man was crucified naked. This thoughtful gentleman wrote to challenge my comments. Below is his e-mail and my response. Dear Mr. Ray, Please correct your description of the Passion. […]

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Steve’s Talks: Stations of the Cross & Pain of the Crucifixion

April 8, 2017

A great way to celebrate Lent and to enhance your prayers. Check it out and buy it HERE. It is available in both CD disk or MP3 download (MP3 available very soon). Learn the origins and history of the Stations, what led up to Christ’s Condemnation to Death. Steve then goes through each Station based […]

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Was Jesus Nice?

February 20, 2017

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 […]

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“You are Peter” in Jesus’ language of Aramaic

December 1, 2016

In Caesarea Philippi, the site where Jesus renamed Simon as “Peter” or Kepha (Matt 16:13-20), it is interesting to hear what Jesus REALLY said. I thought you would find this interesting. So, what did it sound like at Caesarea Philippi when Jesus renamed Simon and made him the rock of the Church: “And I tell […]

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Did Jesus Ever Run?

May 17, 2016

I posted this awhile ago, but thought it fun to post again. Though my running days are over (Doctors have told me I ran to much and my knees are shot), I still do a lot of fast walking and even have a bike in Jerusalem. But it is good to remember the days I […]

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