Wednesday 10 December 2014

Did Jesus's public ministry begin because Joseph had died, and Jesus therefore became the heir to David's throne: rightful King of the Jews?

Following on from:

When his legal Father Joseph died, Jesus then became the rightful heir of, or at least a credible claimant to, the throne of Israel; King of the Jews, by his lineal descent from David.

So, at that point, and with that status, he entered and began his ministry.


Seems to make sense...



Bruce B. said...

I wonder if there are any Catholic or Orthodox traditions about when Joseph died.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

I'd never thought of that, but, yes, it does make sense.

Joel E. said...

Paul, speaking to Timothy: "remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith."

That said, I think that there is some justification for reading this into Matthew's account. Look out for "the one born King of the Jews" sections, which make much more sense under this reading. On the other hand, I don't see a trace of it in Mark, John, or even Luke (with his own non-Joseph centric genealogy). Ultimately, I think, it comes down to varying ideas of kingship in our various chroniclers.

josh said...

Interesting thought and I believe I actually have the answer:


Bruce Charlton said...

@josh - That's good enough for me - and if WmJas says it makes sense, then it makes sense.

If I was making a movie about the life of Jesus, I think I would make this assumption, as it provides a motive for a major change in Jesus's life which is otherwise completely lacking.

Al. said...

There are (catholic) Eucharistic prayers where Jesus is called 'royal priest in the order of Melchizedek' ( ... I'm not sure about the wording since I never hear these things in English.

tgj said...

It makes sense, except for the fact that he stated many times that his kingdom was not of this world and he never attempted to restore the Jewish kingdom. In fact, he avoided it and discouraged the Jews from trying to make him into such a king and discouraged them from rebelling against the Romans.

Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad makes a good case that the Jewish leaders in fact agitated for his crucifixion precisely because his message of a kingdom not of this world was threatening to draw too many followers and fatally undermine their revolutionary hopes:

The Jews eventually got their revolution, which failed to free them from the Romans and resulted in the destruction of their temple as Jesus had foretold. The Christians went on to transform the pagan Roman Empire into a Christian Empire that lasted for many centuries. But even then it was only an image of the kingdom that is not of this world.

Bruce Charlton said...

@tgi- There is no conflict between what I am saying and what you are saying. I am not saying Jesus was campaigning for political power- that would be silly. But I think we need to imagine Jesus's teachings coming from someone who was *also* regarded by some as the heir to the throne of David.