How did Jesus regard animals ?

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Smiler, May 11, 2017.

  1. Some Scripture we can understand easily, and some seems to be possibly interpreted in more than one way. But there are some questions to which there doesn't seem to be a clear unequivocal answer.
    One question that I sometimes ask myself is "What was the attitude of Jesus to the life of animals?"
    At the Creation, Genesis informs us that mankind was to "have dominion" over the animals, which could benefit from more detail, defining the limits in several aspects.
    Then in Leviticus we are told of the various animals which were to be sacrificed for which sins, and the whole business of blood-letting doesn't go down well with the supporters of the RSPCA. In fact, Hosea and Isaiah both point out that God doesn't want the sacrifice of animals, but that was not just to spare the animals from death.
    So were animals created only for food, or to work for farmers, or to take part in chariot races ? Without mankind's provision for domestic animals many would just kill and eat each other. And some of us can see the arguments of our vegetarian friends.
    Then there are the questions posed by non-Scriptural science (Darwin and company), who have their arguments pointing towards the evolution and emergence of basic life from the sea to the land, eventually turning up as the human intelligencia.

    So although we may not be at all surprised that Jesus rode on a donkey (even a colt), should we be surprised when Jesus told his fishermen friends where to cast the net, and met them on the beach while cooking a fish breakfast?
    What would Jesus have done if He found a snake in His bed? Praying, put it out to sting someone else? I was surprised when one of my clerical friends went to great lengths to stamp on a moth fluttering about in the grass outside, but I was made to wonder if I would be right in letting it have a chance to get into a wardrobe and create havock there.

    Personally, I cannot "love" or even keep a dog, but I would certainly not be cruel to one in any way. Nevertheless, I do ask myself what Jesus would think about the pigs into which the demons went and led them all to their death. I imagine that if someone asked Him about it then and there, He would have said how much more important it was to cast the demons out of the distressed man than to worry about the pigs, or even the loss incurred by their owner.

    What leads are there in the New Testament which might point us to the mind of Jesus on our dealing with animals in our modern lifestyle?
  2. When I consider the treatment and fate of animals Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 always comes to my mind:

    19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

    20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

    21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
    Fish Catcher Jim and Cturtle say Amen and like this.
  3. Yes, thank you for that, inquiring mind.
    Verse 21 is in some way asking the interesting question, and of course these references were before Jesus, which makes it all the more intriguing to know what He would have to say about them.

    Fish Catcher Jim, inquiring mind and Cturtle says Amen and like this.
  4. Scripture shows that the Lord cares for the animal world, but that the welfare of the animals is not paramount.

    Matt 6:26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

    Matt 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father

    Actually, we know that _our_ welfare is closely tended to by the Lord, but even that is not the paramount concern. The purpose of creation is to bring glory to God. He is the potter. We are the clay. He will use us as He will.
    Fish Catcher Jim, inquiring mind and Cturtle says Amen and like this.
  5. You know He loves animals because He created them for His pleasure.

    Rev 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
    CoffeeDrinker, Fish Catcher Jim, Cturtle and 1 other person say Amen and like this.
  6. A whole lot more animals on the ark than people....
    Boanerges, Cturtle, CoffeeDrinker and 1 other person say Amen and like this.
  7. I love my baby boys (dogs). I only have one son. When he turned 21 I was sad because he was adult and I missed beibg able to baby him. God gave me my 2 baby boys to love. They helped me with my empty nest issue while I navigated having a grown man for a child. I believe the Lord knew what I needed at the time. I have to believe he loves the animals too because I rescued them from a puppy mill.
    Boanerges, Cturtle and inquiring mind says Amen and like this.
  8. Thank you, Friends.
    I am being led to more searching of the New Testament through the comments and advice that you have given me in this thread.
    If I may, I would like to indicate the several new paths which have been opened to me, and which have given me thought.

    Brother Mike V responded with the shortest comment, which reminded me of the school-time quip which asked "If there is no real purpose for the stinging wasp, why didn't Noah kill both wasps when they entered the Ark?"
    But to be serious now:

    inquiring mind, it's that word "spirit" which intrigues me, when you quote "the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward". I have always compared the human spirit with the Holy Spirit, associating the degree of each with the power of free will. But now I must think about the free will of animals, assuming that they are quite unaffected by the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Thank you, Siloam, for your quotation "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?"
    That brings up the question of "worth", along with what Boanerges says: "He loves animals because He created them for His pleasure". That word "pleasure" is worth pondering on. It is something we experience differently as individuals, and I'm not sure what would please God now His creation has quite gone off course.

    But it's not so much what God thinks which interests me just now, as what might have been the attitude of a young Rabbi who all his life was learning to think like His Heavenly Father. He would be thinking of what He had learned from the Torah and He would be being inspired by his acceptance of God's thoughts as He grew up. He would not have had to resort to CoffeeDrinker's position (which has worked wonders for one of my own sons and his rescued dog).

    One of my internet friends recently asked me what she should understand by the word "subhuman" and that has added more of a puzzle to my mind along the lines of our discussion.

    So now I'll have a lot to study and pray about from what you have all suggested. Bless you.
    CoffeeDrinker, Cturtle and inquiring mind says Amen and like this.
  9. Usually these conversations end up with " Do pets / animals go to heaven?'

    My *OPINION* based on the character of God / Christ is that our Loving Father will grant the requests of His Children in heaven....why wouldn't the God that knows every hair, every grain of sand, builder of life from dust, the one who clothes lilies and cares for the birds not grant a request for a resurrected pet?

    Now I also believe that our pets may not cross our minds for a millennium or two as we will be in awe for quite some time with eternity...

    But God knows; maybe they will be waiting for you in your mansion?
    CoffeeDrinker, Cturtle and inquiring mind says Amen and like this.
  10. As for the fate of the animals in that regard I cannot see beyond the present life; but I certainly hope to see my sweet feline and canine friends in time to come. If not in the afterlife, I rejoice in the gift they have been to me in this life. And I think this gift came from God.

    Of course, Jesus loves animals. <><
    Cturtle likes this.
  11. .... and so it goes on.
    One thing leads to another, but I mustn't overstep the mark. I gather from the most recent posts that somehow pets are allowed a more spiritual experience than I have so far assumed.
    But it does make me wonder by what spiritual mechanism the blessing of domestic animals in a special Service is achieved. I can't imagine the Holy Spirit is involved, so what spirit is ? Do they really feel and act differently afterwards, even if the owner does ?
  12. See: Isaiah 11
    inquiring mind likes this.

  13. I think all "dogs go to heaven". Cutest movie... lol

  14. I find animal behavior quite interesting. I say this because both of my dogs have personalities just like people. It's bizarre how they behave. They have real personalities with likes / dislikes and weird behaviors.. lol

    My micro yorkie likes to sleep right beside me every night and never wants to me. he likes to sleep in late in the mornings and does not like to be disturbed. he enjoys his sleep very much. My griffonshire likes to move about at night. He has a bed in my office and in my bedroom, but he enjoyes taking walks outside and laying by the pool at night while i am sleeping. i leave my doggie door open all night for him to roam. I do often wonder what he is thinking as he sits by the pool in the evening.

    I love these goofy dogs and have spent a lot of money on behavior lessons for them. Like i said I took them from a puppy mill and my little griffonshire (my avatar picture) was abused. he is the one who wonders about at night while i sleep. i often wonder if he ever thinks about his life and how it was before and how blessed he is now.

    I have spoiled these boys with so much love and so do my friends and family. God was good to give them to me. They have been a blessing to me and i have to believe that i have been a blessing to their lives.
    sandpiper and inquiring mind say Amen and like this.
  15. In this, as in many things the bible does not tell us all; it tells us what we need to know. But, I think we are going to be more than delightfully surprised when we get to glory.
    sandpiper, CoffeeDrinker, Cturtle and 1 other person say Amen and like this.
  16. Regard for animals always reminds me of a story that I heard or read somewhere, and an interesting comment that President Lincoln “supposedly” made. Someone asked Lincoln if another fellow in question was a good Christian. The president answered (to paraphrase),”Well, I don’t know about that, but he is good to his dogs... and that always told me a whole lot about a man.”
    CoffeeDrinker likes this.
  17. I don't know if I would term it a "spiritual experience" as such like prayer, meditation, study, praise, etc. But I think that our pets often give unconditional love something we, as humans, all need. And we, in turn, learn to give love to others because of our experience in giving care to our pets who cannot care for themselves. It's all about love. And, to me, as I mentioned before, I think they are gifts from God to teach us something. And mine certainly have..
    inquiring mind likes this.

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