He talks about Rabbi Neusner's book "A Rabbi Talks with Jesus". The Rabbi spends a lot of time with the Gospels and puts himself in the position of being there and listening to what Jesus has to say. Neusner understands Scripture very well (better than some Christians sadly). He recognises that in the Sermon on the Mount the addition to the Law is Christ Himself and Neusner understands very well what this means. But in the end the Rabbi chooses to walk away.
Pope Benedict writes:
"This dialogue is conducted with great honesty. It highlights the differences in
all their sharpness, but it also takes place in great love.
The rabbi accepts the otherness of Jesus' message, and takes his leave
free of any rancour; this parting, accomplished in the rigor of truth, is ever
mindful of the reconciling power of love."
Earlier the Holy Father has explained that Rabbi Neusner has decided not to follow Jesus, rather to remain with the "eternal Israel."
I find this a struggle. The rabbi has, it seems, almost met Jesus-perhaps he HAS met Him for he has certainly dialogued with Him through the Scriptures and yet despite his apparent search for truth the rabbi chooses to walk away from Jesus, preferring to leave things unfulfilled. My initial reaction was that the rabbi's book was just an intellectual exercise and he hadn't understood who he was talking to.But the Holy Father has read the book and says otherwise. He says it is done in the "rigor of truth". I am perplexed therefore at why the rabbi has chosen to reject Jesus-because that is surely what he has done.
I know that after the huge miracle of the feeding of the 5000 Jesus said 'Eat my body and drink my blood' and many walked away. They had seen and yet still did not trust enough to listen and hope.
Obviously Rabbi Neusner has not seen Jesus in the way those with him that day saw Him-but he has understood Him.
I am concerned-how is Rabbi Neusner to be saved?