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Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Self-Harmony of the Bible - 5 (Part Nineteen)

Was Jesus an Ascetic?
            The skeptic cites Matthew 4:1,2, which shows that Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights, Matthew 6:19-25, where Jesus commands us not to store up earthly treasures, but heavenly ones, Matthew 8:20, where Jesus says that he has nowhere to lay his head, and Matthew 10:7-10, where Jesus tells his disciples not to take any material possessions with him, as proof that Jesus was an ascetic. Conversely, he cites Matthew 9:10, where Jesus eats, Matthew 9:14, where he explains why his disciples do not fast, and Matthew 11:19, where Jesus says that he eats and drinks, as proof that he was not an ascetic. One cannot be two different things at the same time, so the Bible contradicts itself.
            That is, unless you are able to read the scriptures! Jesus fasted for forty days once on a special occasion – not because he was an ascetic. Greed has always been warned against – he certainly did not demand that we become ascetics, but he did want us to pursue spiritual things first. Jesus did not lack a place to sleep, but he did lack a place of his own; this he lacked for our sake. Jesus did not always forbade the taking of money, rather, he and his disciples carried a money box around. (John 12:6) Also, his choice for Matthew 9:14 is puzzling, for that is about his disciples, not himself, and he says that they will fast for a time after he is gone. So, you decide if he is an ascetic or not.

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