In Response to “Was Jesus Truthful?”

I didn’t want to react to a blog entry I’ve read titled “Was Jesus Truthful?” but I fear that there may be fellow Christians who aren’t strong in their faith and who lack sufficient knowledge regarding their faith that may be led to think that Jesus does indeed suffer from a credibility problem. And as is expected from somebody who believes in Christ, I feel it is my duty to respond to this post so that others may know that Jesus is indeed still true to His Word.

Just to be clear, I seek no emnity with the original poster of the blog post (whom I didn’t name here) nor any atheist for that matter. I see myself as fairly tolerant of other people’s beliefs (or lack thereof) but I just couldn’t remain silent on the accusation made on the said post.

The post stated that there are quotes from the Bible that will “confirm that Jesus deliberately lead his followers into false expectations.” The author quoted the following verses:

Matt. 10:23 – When giving instructions to his disciples as to just how they are to go about spreading his message Jesus says, “for truly I say unto you, you shall not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of man comes.”

I do not see the problem here. The way I see it, it merely puts emphasis to the difficulty of the task of spreading the Word of God by saying that the Second Coming would happen first before the followers of Christ could preach to everybody.

Matt. 26:28 – Jesus says, “There are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”

Actually, the verse quoted above is from Matthew 16:28. The New American Bible explains the passage in a footnote thusly: “Coming in his kingdom: since the kingdom of the Son of Man has been described as “the world” and Jesus’ sovereignty precedes his final coming in glory (Matthew 13:38, 41), the coming in this verse is not the parousia as in the preceding but the manifestation of Jesus’ rule after his resurrection; see the notes on Matthew 13:38, 41.”

Matt. 24:33-34 – After prophesying a wide assortment of events including the second coming, Jesus said, ” . . . when you shall see all these things, know that it ( the 2nd coming ) is near, even at the door. This generation shall not pass till these things be fulfilled.” Jesus was obviously referring to the contemporary generation.

Contemporary generation? In the original Greek text, the word generation was genea which can also be translated as “race” as in human race or Caucasian race or group of people of common descent and Jesus could actually be referring to the Jewish people as group or race. So, this passage could be read to mean that the Second Coming will come first before all Jews disappear from this Earth. For a more elaborate explanation, read Marshall Entrekin’s article “Did Jesus Wrongly Predict a First Century Return in Matthew 24:34?”

Matt. 26:74 – When brought before Caiaphas, the chief priest, Jesus said to him, ” I will tell you, hereafter you shall see the Son of man . . . coming on the clouds of heaven.” According to this the second coming was to happen during Caiaphas’ lifetime.

The verse quoted above is actually from Matthew 26:64 and is completely quoted as:

Matt. 26:64 – Jesus said to him in reply, “You have said so. But I tell you: From now on you will see ‘the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power’ and ‘coming on the clouds of heaven.'”

Jesus was asked by Caiaphas if He was the Messiah. In response, he essentially quoted Daniel Chapter 7 that describes the Son of Man coming from the clouds of Heaven. He is obviously speaking in a symbolic manner for how can He be sitting at right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven at the same time? And with this, Caiaphas said that Jesus has blasphemed for claiming to be the Messiah.

Mark 9:1 – And he said unto them, “verily, I say unto you, that there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

This doesn’t refer to the Second Coming. It refers to the establishment of the church of the followers of Christ that will be the instrument of God’s kingdom and power.

Luke 21: 27-28 – “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

Well, I don’t see anything wrong here. When we see Jesus coming out of the clouds in the Second Coming, I can pretty much assume that the redemption does draweth nigh.

Luke 21:32 – “verily I say unto you, “This generation shall not pass way, till all be fulfilled.”

Same explanation as that with Matthew 24:34 above.

1 Thess 4: 15-17 – In his first epistle to the Thessalonians Paul assures the congregation that the second coming is very near,” . . . “we who are alive,” . . . shall not proceed those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven . . . and the dead Christ shall rise first . . . Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together. . .”

I do not see how Christ could be accused of not being truthful in this passage as it was Paul who made the claim that the Second Coming will be happening in his lifetime and not Jesus. Indeed, Jesus said that nobody knows when the day of judgement will be so how could Paul?

Revelation 22:12 – Behold, I come quickly.”
Revelation 22: 20 – “Yes, I am coming quickly.”

I’ll just bundle these two passages together. The author of the post used the two passages to prove that Jesus said that He would come REAL soon but two millennia later and He still hadn’t come. Well, the problem was that the author assumed that the word “quickly” (tachu in the original Greek) meant REAL SOON when it actually meant “fast” or “swiftly” in the context of the two passages. For a more elaborate explanation, read the article “Surely I Come Quickly, Why “Quickly” Describes How Jesus is Coming, Not When He Will Come.”

So, was Jesus being untruthful based on the “proofs” provided in the original post? You decide.

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Published in: on May 12, 2005 at 6:53 pm  Comments Off on In Response to “Was Jesus Truthful?”  

Filipino Mass

Misa ng Sambayanan PamphletEvery second Sunday of the month, there is a 2:30 pm mass done in Filipino at St Francis Church, Lonsdale St, Melbourne. Well, mostly in Filipino. Today, we gave the Filipino Mass a go and found that the mass was celebrated by Fr Ed Wood. As you can accertain from the name, he’s not Filipino. Anyway, although his parts were in English, I didn’t really mind as the rest of it was in Tagalog.

It was a refreshing change from going to St Mary’s for mass. There were more people there and there was an entire choir singing the church hymns courtesy of the Filipino Choir of Saint Francis. The songs sung and the appearance of the inside of the church itself reminded me a lot of my high school’s parish church St Andrew’s in Paranaque.

St Francis Church inside. Click image to zoom inThe only problem we encountered was the lack of cheap parking space in the heart of the city. Our only option was to go for the free one-hour parallel parking bays along the city streets. However, near the end of the mass during the advertisments segment, the lay minister informed us that if we had parked our cars in the nearby flat-$9 St Francis parking space, we could have our car park tickets stamped in the Catholic bookshop.

I didn’t know if this meant that the parking fee would be discounted or what so I went over to the bookshop to enquire. One of the shopkeepers told me in a humourless manner that we could park the car in the St Francis parking space for free for an hour and a half. Silly me, I kept thinking that he was telling me that it was free for only half-an-hour.

“But the mass is an hour long,” I said.

“That’s why it’s for an hour and a half,” he said in a I-can’t-believe-how-stupid-you-are tone.

“Ah sorry,” I said laughing but the guy remained dead serious.

It seemed like he wasn’t enjoying his job. The next person to talk to him was this lady asking to have her ticket stamped. She said thanks and he didn’t say anything. Sheesh. Anyway, next time we go to mass there, we now know we can park our car for free for an hour and a half near the church.

St Francis Church
St Francis Church
Click image to zoom in

We didn’t talk to anybody there after the mass though like Ka Uro suggested in his blog to new guys coming to New Zealand:

Attend a Filipino mass on Sunday. Tanungin mo ang host mo kung saan ang malapit. Even if you are not Catholic, tiempuhan mo kapag tapos na ang misa. After the mass maraming nagbebenta ng mga Filipino foods. It’s your chance para makipagkilala sa ibang Pinoy. Yung ibang Pinoy snub hindi ka papansinin. Yung iba naghihintay lang na ikaw ang unang bumati. Since ikaw ang may pangangailangan, ikaw na ang unang bumati. You never know baka may alam na job opening ang makilala mo.

There’s always the next time. The next Filipino mass will be on 8th of May, same time. We’ll try to talk to them next time over merienda they have after the mass (according to the ads segment). We would’ve gone with them if we had more time on our one-hour car park. Ah, well.

Published in: on April 10, 2005 at 7:09 pm  Comments (1)  

Farewell, Pope John Paul II

In a speech made to the general audience in May 1995, Pope John Paul II gave the following affirmation (translation taken from a documentary shown by SBS on April 2, based on a film directed by Krzysztof Zanussi):

I give thanks to God for having been born and for being called upon my particular mission. And above all, I renew before Christ my pledge to serve the Church as long as He wishes, surrendering myself totally to His will. I leave to Him the decision as to when and how He wishes to relieve me of this service.

On April 2, Karol Jozef Wojtyla‘s service as pope ended after he succumbed to heart failure and septic shock after years of declining health. Today, his life in the public eye ends with his burial. Eternal peace to you, Pope John Paul II!

Published in: on April 8, 2005 at 9:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Incensed

I’m not sure if it’s just because I’m living in a more “progressive” country or I’m seeing and hearing more incidence of what I call “Christ and Christian bashing” around me. Just this weekend, there was the Comedy Gala on TV and if I recall correctly, I heard at least three comedians having jokes that poke fun at Jesus and His followers. It seems to be the trend nowadays.

And it’s not only on the Comedy Gala show that night. I see other instances where Jesus is made the butt of their jokes or skits. There is even a comic book series like the Battle Pope by Funk-O-Tron productions that has as its “protagonist” a womanizer and drunk character called the Pope with a wimpy Jesus for a sidekick. In the world of webcomics, of which I’m a part of, gag webcomics would use jokes that demean Jesus and/or his followers.

I used to just ignore these things but lately, I’m growing more and more annoyed by the increasing number of these insulting jokes. What gets me even more is that a lot of people wants everybody to be more tolerant of others yet there are these people who unscrupulously make fun of Jesus Christ whom a lot of people consider the Son of God. It’s unbelievable! Where’s the tolerance?

Over the last week, I’ve heard a lot of insensitive comments on FM radio and podcasts about the failing health of the (now deceased) Pope. Being a Catholic, I was incensed by these DJs and podcasters. How dare they! They may not be Catholics but as decent human beings, isn’t it just good manners that they give respect to the elderly or the sick or the dying?

And then there’s the more subtle type of Christ and Christian bashing. By now, a lot of you may have already read Dan Brown’s novel The DaVinci Code. I actually liked the book and how it weaved into its stories fancy stories about Christ and the Catholic Church. I thought it was okay until I realised that not everybody who’s going to read it will treat it as fiction.

I’m sure there are a lot of people who’ve read that novel actually believed what it’s saying about the Holy Grail being Mary Magdalene and how the Knights Templars were supposedly seeking it out during the Crusades and that the Church branded other books as heretic (and therefore excluded from the Bible) and how Constantine was essentially the founder of the modern Church. What a load of bull.

There are a lot of reading material out there that debunked the “facts” being claimed by the novel but this one seems to be a nice start if you haven’t read at least one yet: Dismantling the Da Vinci Code by Sandra Miesel of the Catholic Educator’s Resource Center.

Since I’m a Catholic, I also take offence at the insinuation of other Christians that we Catholics aren’t even Christians! I’m betting that the most popular Christian literature out there that is anti-Catholic are the infamous Chick Tracts produced by a Jack T. Chick. These are very small propaganda comic booklets that tells stories about how the Pope is supposed to be the Anti-Christ, Islam was created by the Catholic Church and other such nonesense.

Anyway, if you’re a Catholic and you’ve read these Chick Tracts and you started to feel confused about being a Catholic, you can read this: Chick Tracts, Their Origin and Refutation on the Catholic Answers website.

Now, I’m feeling an increasing inclination to educate people about Christ, Christians (in general) and Catholics (in particular). Of course, if I did an in-your-face type of education, it’ll be construed as preaching and people nowadays dislike that. It has to be subtle. I’m still thinking about what I should do.

Published in: on April 5, 2005 at 5:39 pm  Comments (2)  

Sick

My head feels like it’s being squeezed by a vise, my nose is red, runny and raw while my throat feels like there’s a porcupine trying to set up shop there. There’s a trail of tissues everywhere I go, touting my box of tissues. I’ve downed several colds tablets since Thursday night and I can’t say that my situation’s improving.

Yup, I’m sick and I think it may be the flu (fingers crossed that it’s not one of those vicious ones and that it would leave my system soon). It was a beautiful day today with sunshine and warm wind blowing, perfect day for going out. But since the only thing that I felt like doing is to lie down, I was cooped up in the apartment all day, dozing off after watching some videos. It’s enough to make anyone miserable.

News of the ailing pope’s condition isn’t very cheery either, with bulletins that don’t give much hope of him recovering. Although a non-practicing Catholic, I feel sorrow that a great man and leader is fading fast. He has inspired millions, Christians or not, and has been a kind and gentle fixture in our lives. Being the only pope that I’ve ever known in my lifetime, there’s a sadness to see the beginning of the end of an era. I don’t believe there would be a miracle recovery for him this time but I hope he finds peace and an end to his suffering soon.

Published in: on April 2, 2005 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jesus is Condemned to Death

I was intending on drawing all 14 Stations of the Cross before Easter but since I was only able draw one and it’s like only a few days left till Easter Sunday, it’s more than likely that I won’t be able to draw the rest of the Stations of the Cross. I was thinking of drawing all stations as a form of panata for the Holy Week.

Some of the other stations are pretty similar where Jesus is essentially carrying the Cross but only with different people surrounding Him. So what I’ll probably do instead is to maybe choose two or three more stations to draw.


Jesus is condemned to death.
Click image for Full View.

On a related note, I “painted” digitally a couple of Holy Week/Easter themed images last year, too. And here they are:


Iesus moritur in cruce.
Click image for Full View.

In Die Sancto Paschae.
Click image for Full View.
Published in: on March 24, 2005 at 12:06 am  Comments (2)