DepartmentSt. Michael's College Courses
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What did Jesus teach?
Much of what he taught was not particularly new.
He was working from within the Jewish tradition.
Called 12 apostles—representing the 12 tribes of Israel.
His agenda—to reunite Jewish people and reform Jewish faith.
C.S.LewishJesus is either crazy or he’s telling the truth.
Love & mercy have to be at the forefront—theme that unites the gospels
The other main theme is the notion of the kingdom of God.
Main priority of people=seek to do God’s will
Personal, loving, merciful god.
1 interpretation is that the Kingdom of God is in heaven—where God can reign as King
2.—that the kingdom of God is a new order brought about through revolutionary coming
3—that the kingdom of God can be brought here on earth.
But the Kingdom of God refers a lot less to a place or event and more as an action. God
can rule as a king not in a location or time but within you in your heart.
Kingdom of God ties in directly with the notion of the messiah
How did he act?
Jesus does not rejedt traditional Jewish practices but offers an ethical sublimation—put
the heart before the law.
Keeps the Sabbath, teaches in synagogues, celebrates jewish holidays—but he teaches
that some laws can be taken lightly.
--It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you, it’s what comes out—Here Jesus is
being very liniant with Jewish purity laws.
On others, he’s actually more strict. E.g. divorce. At that time, divorce was permitted. At
that time, when a woman was divorced, she was economically and socially abandoned.
Jewish groups are going to take issue with Jesus.
So there’s ways in which Jesus fits the Jewish tradition and ways in which he challenges
He sometimes passes the boundaries of purity. There are times that are more pure, things
that are more pure. Within this concept, there’s a cultural map for the Jewish people.
Jesus transgressed many purity law. Jesus is seen with impure people, low humana like
Samaritans, the blind, the cripple, the possessed….
Jesus is accused of eating with tax collectors and sinners.
Who followed Jesus?
Jesus saw his mission as primarily focused on the Jewish people—his closest followers
were all Jewish.
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