REX’S QUESTION (Paraphrased):
How can anyone believe in Jesus when he was a liar who preached “liberty” yet instructed people to beat slaves?
THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER:
Rex, and any folks who appear to have influenced his thinking, seriously misread Jesus’ teaching, so it’s worth unpacking why and glimpse how experts advise us to understand the Bible.
Here’s the full question, as posted:
“How is it possible to believe in Jesus when he claimed to ‘set at liberty them that are bruised’ (Luke 4:18) but also gave bruising instructions on how to flog slaves? (Luke 12:47-48) His first claim is clearly dishonest! His instruction to flog slaves for not knowing what they’re doing is malicious. After all, he also said “God forgive them for they know not what they do’! How can anyone trust a man who lies and contradicts his own instructions?”
If Jesus was deceitful, confused and advocated physical abuse of helpless slaves, yes, he’d be a flawed moral teacher, much less someone for billions to worship as the Son of God. When a passage like this seems puzzling or contradictory, it’s advisable to seek guidance from a couple Bible commentaries in your local library written by solid scholars familiar with the ancient idiom and context.
Rex’s interpretation follows a wooden literalism that makes Fundamentalists look liberal.