For how long had Yeshua’s contemporaries been telling themselves that they were Abraham’s descendants? A very long time. They could not remember a time when the relationship to Abraham was not a top fact of life and a potent mantra.
Stuffing the stuff we thought was ace
Both Yeshua and his messenger John the Baptist stuffed that notion with the logical conclusion. The pathways of Abraham’s life set a unique tone. They wake up the human family to consider the riches of responsible behavior without personal expertise and knowledge. This remarkable quality in Abraham flavours the dimensions of his life in Canaan. It stands in contrast to the life of his descendants in Canaan. You may say that’s as it should be, but we must then realize that children are required to bear some specific likeness to their ancestors. We can slide off into thinking that Abraham’s friendships with his Canaanite neighbours are subject to the Mosaic legacy. That is how the us-them reality is fatally flawed. The behaviour that deviates from Abraham’s practical community connections is stuffable.
According to Yeshua their murderous intentions proved that they were not Abraham’s descendants even though they could prove their relationship to the patriarch by birth records. No child of Abraham was going to consent to murder an innocent man. John laid out the idea that family ties were not easily attested. Yahweh is interested in children for Abraham who show their readiness to change their minds and who do not suppose that God has no options for raising up children to Abraham, even from stones (Matthew 3:8-9).
Lies from infancy
For how long did they tell themselves that they were keeping the covenant? Every generation believed that they were privileged to be the guardians of the law and strict observers of divine instruction but the fact that thousands of years after that first camp cleanup (Leviticus 16) the service ended both with their exile and the destruction of the temple. In addition every narrative indicates treachery and resistance to divine instruction. Moses witnessed the lie at Sinai: “yes, we will do all that Yahweh desires”. Joshua warned that it was not possible to serve Yahweh, but the people insisted that they could.
The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.Ps. 58:3
None calleth for justice, nor [any] pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.Isa. 59:4
Election vs tyranny
It took a few weeks to whip a mob of Americans into a murderous and destructive force intent on overthrowing the government of the United States. The cold heart of the 45th president came into plain sight as he and a select group of supporters watched television screens of the unfolding attempt to hang his vice-president and execute representatives of the people. Returning the defected ex-president to office had run the full range of options and then some.
Who cares what Americans do to their national pride? Are they not a free people? If they want to solemnize canine marriages, let them. If they want to keep electing senators and representatives who ignore the ravages of a viral pandemic or pretend that their personal racist tendencies and bigoted policies are imaginary, let them. Far too many people have bought the idea that they deserve the right to kill their neighbours even for saying what needs to be said.
Murder and grace in plain sight
2) When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? 3) Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him.Mark 6:2-3
Matthew 2:2 offers evidence that lies about Yeshua persist: wise men came to Judea at Yeshua’s birth. John 1:49 and 19:21 show that the king of Israel did appear to natives and foreigners.
Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.”John 1:49
[people] took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.”John 12:13
“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”
So the chief priests of the Jews kept saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’”
If someone is doing well all the things the king is expected to do and saying the things that the prophets predicted, and meets every need of the people and a conspiracy to silence him by asking silly questions fails, there is murder.