Simeon holds up the baby boy and blesses God, praises God saying, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke –32). Many elderly US Americans, persons of color in particular, had a similar feeling when the news of President Obama’s first election was initially announced.
How do you suppose an African American butler felt, a man who had served presidents in the White House from Truman to Reagan?
This being the case, how could it be off base to refer to Nelson Mandela as a messianic figure raised up to lead South Africa out of the bondage of apartheid and into long, long delayed freedom?
De Gruchy insists that those who are self-proclaimed messiahs through their very claims instantly disqualify themselves as what they claim to be. In fact, he said point blank, looking back over his hard life, “I was not a messiah, but an ordinary person who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances.” Therein was his greatness.
They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes.
He lived and acted with the kind of humility, compassion, and self-service that allows us to refer to him as a messianic figure, a true liberator, an agent of God’s justice, peace and reconciliation; someone who, through his life, words and deeds [pointed] towards Jesus and not to himself….” Interestingly, Jesus of Nazareth never claimed to be a or the messiah who’d been dreamed of from ancient times.That was a bit of jolt for many who expected a messiah, but expected a messiah who was already seasoned, mature, and ready to get to work.They didn’t think they, the Jewish people living and struggling at the time Jesus was born, could wait any more; they might not make it if they tried. He wasn’t going to jump off the pinnacle of the Temple and end it all; nor was he going to retire from spiritual seeking despite the fact that in this event he’d been able to check off the last item on his bucket list.There’s another group, Jews for Judaism, that refutes what Jews for Jesus say.The Jews for Judaism make the following points in denying the claims of Jews for Jesus.