Jesus and Jewish Tradition

I’m slowly working through “The Voice Still Speaks: Message of the Torah for Contemporary Man” by Rabbi Morris Adler (1906-1966) published posthumously in 1969 by Bloch Publishing, New York.

In a really interesting essay on Jewish law, Adler makes the startling statement: " In religion, all law is an attempt to make us better servants of the Lord, and consequently, one who is rooted in Jewish tradition could not have said, as the central figure in Christianity is reported in the New Testament to have said, 'Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s." (p. 171)

He prefaces and postfaces this remark with the arguments that Jewish law and tradition do not identify isolated spheres where different sets of laws are operative. In this case, he says, Caesar is subject to the same laws of God as anybody, and he is not in control of any separate sphere on earth, etc. “**All of life is a sanctuary, and we can never move away from the area of God’s sovereignty.” ** p.172.

There you go. That’s a pretty deep criticism of Jesus. Adler seems reasonable. Anybody want to defend Jesus?

I may be missing the point entirely, but Christs answer as ever in these situations is really genious.

with all that you said, does it not also say in the bible that GOd appoints authorities and leaders that we should obey on earth.(someone may have a quote on that), but because of this control which ceaser has, we give to him what is his.

Ceaser has power from God, not by his own doing etc… Ceasers power is instituted by GOd, thus we can give to him what is his, (and still Gods, because he owns ceaser and ceasers office)???

make any sense???

I seems Rabbi Adler, like Jesus’ contemporaries, and when you think about often we too, didn’t understand the nature of the mission of Jesus.

I would guess that when asked what was Jesus’ mission here on earth, most would say “To redeem us through His Paschal Sacrifice” (maybe not in those words). However, studying the Gospels, it seems in Jesus’ mind His mission was to proclaim God’s Loving Presence is active here and now and in a special way in Himself. And to demand of all a response to this Loving Presence. Christ called this Presence of the Father the Kingdom of God (Heaven).

Jesus is totally commited to the Kingdom (even on to death), and this is why I said about the Rabbi, as well as, myself find it hard to understand that Christ’s demand of a response from us at times calls us to think so differently that he could say " Render onto Ceaser the things that are Ceaser" because in the end in light Kingdom of God those things, earthly worries about temporal power and concerns, are irrelevant - Seek first the Kingdom of God.

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