How Jewish is your Jesus?
Did Jesus only appear to have a human body?
Yeshua (Jesus) the Jew, the Prophet, the spokesperson for God Almighty, the man. I emphasise the latter, because the Church has at times struggled with the idea of the humanity of Yeshua, the idea that God could walk this earth as a fully flesh-and-blood human being. To understand why, one needs some grasp of Greek Philosophy, the prevalent mind-set of the early Church, once it had jettisoned all traces of its true roots in the Biblical, Hebraic mindset.
It can be traced back to Alexandria, Egypt, in the 3rd Century AD, when Christian theology was shaped by ideas handed down from such as the Greek philosopher, Plato. The problem is that the Greek thinking of the time could not get a handle on the concept of “the Word becoming flesh”, as stated at the start of John’s Gospel. For them everything material, such as the human body, was basically evil, and the creation of an inferior god, whereas anything spiritual was basically good and the creation of a better god. Out of this craziness came an idea known as docetism, taken from the Greek word for “to seem”.
For followers of this heresy, Jesus only appeared to have a physical body, only appeared to eat and drink and talk and sleep and excrete bodily wastes. And if you have trouble considering the latter, then perhaps you, too, are a closet docetist. That may seem a facetious comment, but it just shows you how ingrained these Greek ideas are in the current Christian psyche. The Hebraic and biblical view of our human existence is a holistic one, a seamless unity of mind, body and spirit. All are good and beneficial to our well-being. There’s nothing crude and un-godlike about our bodily functions.
"Blessed be the LORD God, King of the Universe, who has created humans with wisdom, with openings and hollow parts, revealed before Your holy throne, that if any part of the body was to malfunction, it would be impossible for us to exist and stand before You even for a short time. You cure all flesh and perform wonders!"
Yes, this is the Jewish prayer for going to the toilet. All in life is a gift from God. Going to the toilet regularly is a blessing (to some more than others), no more or less than eating or receiving an answered prayer. All should be thanked for and all are present in the Jewish liturgy.
But the Greek docetists weren’t interested in the Jewish liturgy, they had rejected that long before, replacing it with the pagan ideas from Greek philosophy. For them Yeshua was no more human than Spiderman or Dan Dare. For them God could never take physical form, because matter and flesh were evil, so he could only seem to have a body, he could only seem to be crucified, could only seem to be resurrected.
Utter rubbish. Try telling that to Simon Peter who ate fish with him or the woman who poured oil over him. Try telling that to the hundreds of Jews who met him in his lifetime. Try telling that to Mary who gave birth to him, tell her that her contractions were just an illusion!
Joking aside, this episode just goes to show how the truth can be the first victim when you are enslaved to an alien philosophy. The greatest error of the early Christian Church was the decision to extract itself from the Jewish roots of the faith. The reasons for this are complex and are treated in depth in my other two books, but suffice it to say, invisible strings were pulled by the one who would seek to destroy all people of God.