March 26 2005 

"Slay them before me"
(Luke, 19, 27)
A parable, really ?


If there is a God somewhere who created me for something, this is below.

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But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. (Luke, 19, 27).

So what ? This is the end of a parable, a story fabricated for teaching.

But is it that simple ? Some questions.

1) Are there any circumstances where Jesus is considered as a potential King of Jews ?
Yes, plenty. See for instance Matthew 2, 2, Matthew, 21, 4-5, Mark 15, 2, John, 19, 12, John, 19, 19, Acts, 1, 6.

2) Are there circumstances where Jesus preaches violence ?
Yes. Matthew, 10, 34, Luke, 22, 36.

3) What about Jesus' arrestation ?
It seems Jesus has decided to be arrested, not allowing his Apostles to fight. And therefore, his purpose was not a terrestrial throne. But let's read this in Mark, 14, whose version is the more realistic one. Jesus does not say : "All right ! I want you to arrest me." He says : "Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me ? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not : but the scriptures must be fulfilled." Just imagine Jesus wanted them not to arrest him but to follow him, to join him. What could he say ? First, he had to recognize that they where not here friendly. Then, he had to present them a good reason to do so. What reason ? He could hardly find it but in scriptures. But then the Apostles don't understand, and run away. We shall never know what scriptures Jesus wanted to invoke.

4) What about "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's" ?
Someone asks Jesus to clarify his position : is he with or against Romans ? "Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not ?" He eludes actually the question. Orthodox Jews rejected Roman money because it showed a human image (Matthew, 22, 17-21).

5) What about Pilate's attitude ?
Jews want Pilate to judge and sentence Jesus to death. He is reluctant to do so, but they force him by threatening him to alert Caesar (Tiberius at the time). So what ? There is a king, Herod (for Galilee). Jesus is supposed to want Herod's place. Pilate may prefer Jesus to Herod, if he is more accepted by people (and as cooperative).

6) Is there any clue supporting this idea of Pilate hoping to replace Herod by Jesus, and forsaking ?
Yes. Jesus' trial and sentence cause reconciliation between Herod and Pilate : "And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together : for before they were at enmity between themselves." (Luke, 23, 12).

7) What about "My kingdom is not of this world" ?
The complete verse is : "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world : if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews : but now is my kingdom not from hence." (John, 18, 36) When it is said, in front of Pilate, it can be as well an acknowledgement of failure.

8) What about the resurrection ?
Crucifying was not necessarily lethal. There is an instance, in Josephus, of a man who has been crucified, unhooked, and who survived. An apparent death that mislead even doctors does happen even today.

9) What about miracles ?
It is quite common that miracles are more and more added to stories about famous and worshiped persons. In Gospel, most miracles are related concisely, and no astonishment is mentioned. There are two exceptions. The first one is the resurrection. The second one is the blind man cure, in John. There is an elaborated method : "When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam. He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing." (John, 9, 6-7). Then, there is a long dispute about the sense of this event. It is not absurd that some kind of cornea troubles can be cured this way. Tacit says that the Roman emperor Vespasien cured one day a blind man with his saliva.