Once again, we sift through the ashes of the straw men that Marshall Brain has torched on his website, “God is imaginary” in order to sort out facts from falsehood. Today, we look at proof 39, “Realize that Jesus was a jerk.”
Given these definitions, can we make the case that Jesus was a jerk? Let’s see what we find when we look at God’s word.
A person who is a hypocrite is certainly a jerk. No one likes a hypocrite, because hypocrites are smugly foolish. And Jesus seems to have a problem with hypocrisy. For example, one of Jesus’ most famous lines is, “Love your enemies,” as he says here in Matthew 5:43:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”
He reiterates the message in Luke 6:26:
“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
That seems simple enough. And wouldn’t you expect Jesus to love his enemies? Yes you would, unless he is a hypocrite. Therefore, what we find in Mark 16:15-16 is surprising. It shows us how Jesus treats his enemies:
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned [to hell].
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” —John 14:15 ESV
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? ’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” —Matthew 7:21-23 ESV
This is “good” news? Jesus doesn’t love his enemies at all.
What if Jesus tells stories that are completely untrue? For example, take Matthew 4:8 as an example:
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
The problem with this story is that the earth must be flat for it to work. From a tall mountain it is impossible to see “all the kingdoms.” Even standing on Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain on earth, the farthest you could see is 250 miles to the horizon [ref]. Yet we know that at the time of Jesus, there were thriving kingdoms in China, India, South America, Europe, etc. So clearly this story could not have happened. People who are dishonest like this are jerks.
Another easy way to see that Jesus is a jerk is to recognize his bigotry. In Matthew 15:22-26 we find this telling conversation:
A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
Jesus calls this woman a dog because she is not the right nationality. That is both ridiculous, and a clear indication that he is a jerk.
She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters ‘table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” —Matthew 15:27-28 ESV (emphasis added)
If you are a person who steals other people’s stuff, you are a jerk. In Mark 11:1-3 we find this transaction:
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’ “
How many times have you had some jerk say, “let me borrow this and I’ll return it in a minute,” never to see that person again? It is a common scam. And that’s exactly what Jesus does. The disciples take the colt, but if you search the scriptures you find that they never bother to return it. Wow – what a jerk.
This statement is totally ridiculous on several different levels. First, something like a hand cannot “cause you to sin” — your brain causes “sin.” Every intelligent person knows that. Therefore, gouging your eye out or cutting your hand off is useless. If you have a problem with “sin” and you are going to amputate something to solve it, you would need to amputate your brain, since that is where all “sin” originates.
But if you think about it further, you realize that Jesus has completely missed the actual remedy. If you are having a problem with unproductive behaviors, what you need to do is either educate or rehabilitate yourself. You would do that by talking with a counselor or seeing a therapist. Amputation is an absurd prescription, as every intelligent person knows. Jesus is not only a jerk — he is an idiot. He dispenses advice that is completely useless, and recklessly dangerous as well.
Here is another emotional outburst from Mark 11:15-16:
On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.
Is this a smart thing to do? Is this the kind of behavior you expect from a thoughtful, rational adult? No, it is the behavior of a child. Surely the all-powerful son of God could come up with a better plan than knocking over tables in a one-time outburst.
And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” —Mark 11:17 ESV