Jesus in Christianity

In Christianity, Jesus is believed to be the Son of God and the second Person of the Holy Trinity. Christians believe that through his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, God offered humans salvation and eternal life.[2]

These teachings emphasize that as the Lamb of God, Jesus chose to suffer on the cross at Calvary as a sign of his obedience to the will of God, as an "agent and servant of God".[3][4] Jesus died to atone for sin to make us right with God.[5] Jesus' choice positions him as a man of obedience, in contrast to Adam's disobedience.[6]

Christians believe that Jesus was both human and divine—the Son of God. While there has been theological debate over the nature of Jesus, Trinitarian Christians believe that Jesus is the Logos, God incarnate, God the Son, and "true God and true man"—both fully divine and fully human. Jesus, having become fully human in all respects, suffered the pains and temptations of a mortal man, yet he did not sin.

According to the Bible, God raised him from the dead.[7] He ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God,[8] and he will return to earth again for the Last Judgment and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.[9]

Ottavio vannini, san giovanni che indica il Cristo a Sant'Andrea
Jesus (on the left) is being identified by John the Baptist as the Lamb of God.[1]

Core teachings

Although Christian views of Jesus vary, it is possible to summarize key elements of the shared beliefs among major denominations based on their catechetical or confessional texts.[10][11][12] Christian views of Jesus are derived from various biblical sources, particularly from the canonical Gospels and New Testament letters such as the Pauline epistles. Christians predominantly hold that these works are historically true.[13]

Those groups or denominations committed to what are considered biblically orthodox Christianity nearly all agree that Jesus:[14]

  • was born of a virgin
  • was a human being who was also fully God
  • did not sin
  • was martyred and buried in a tomb
  • rose from the dead on the third day
  • eventually ascended back to God the Father
  • will return to Earth.[15]

Some groups considered within Christianity hold beliefs considered to unorthodox. For example, believers in monophysitism reject the idea that Christ was fully human and God at the same time. Others, such as the Latter-day Saints, consider Christ to be in possession of a fully physical body after his resurrection.

The five major milestones in the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus are his baptism, transfiguration, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.[16][17][18] These are usually bracketed by two other episodes: his nativity at the beginning and the sending of the Paraclete (Holy Spirit) at the end.[16][18] The gospel accounts of the teachings of Jesus are often presented in terms of specific categories involving his "works and words", e.g., his ministry, parables and miracles.[19][20]

Christians not only attach theological significance to the works of Jesus, but also to his name. Devotions to the name of Jesus go back to the earliest days of Christianity.[21][22] These exist today both in Eastern and Western Christianity—both Catholic and Protestant.[22]

Christians predominantly profess that through Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, he restored humanity's communion with God with the blood of the New Covenant. His death on a cross is understood as a redemptive sacrifice: the source of humanity's salvation and the atonement for sin[23] which had entered human history through the sin of Adam.[24]

Christ, Logos and Son of God

Sargis Pitsak
First page of Mark, by Sargis Pitsak (14th century): "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God".

But who do you say that I am? Only Simon Peter answered him: You are the Christ, the Son of the living GodMatthew 16:15-16[25]

Jesus is mediator, but…the title means more that someone between God and man. He is not just a third party between God and humanity…. As true God he brings God to mankind. As true man he brings mankind to God.[26]

Most Christians generally consider Jesus to be the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah, as well as the one and only Son of God. The opening words in the Gospel of Mark (1:1), "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God", provide Jesus with the two distinct attributions as Christ and as the Son of God. His divinity is again re-affirmed in Mark 1:11.[27] Matthew 1:1 which begins by calling Jesus the Christ and in verse 16 explains it again with the affirmation: "Jesus, who is called Christ".

In the Pauline epistles, the word "Christ" is so closely associated with Jesus that apparently for the early Christians there was no need to claim that Jesus was Christ, for that was considered widely accepted among them. Hence Paul could use the term Christos with no confusion about who it referred to, and as in 1 Corinthians 4:15 and Romans 12:5 he could use expressions such as "in Christ" to refer to the followers of Jesus.[28]

In the New Testament, the title "Son of God" is applied to Jesus on many occasions.[29] It is often used to refer to his divinity, from the beginning in the Annunciation up to the crucifixion.[29] The declaration that Jesus is the Son of God is made by many individuals in the New Testament, and on two separate occasions by God the Father as a voice from Heaven, and is asserted by Jesus himself.[29][30][31][32]

In Christology, the concept that the Christ is the Logos (i.e., "The Word") has been important in establishing the doctrine of the divinity of Christ and his position as God the Son in the Trinity as set forth in the Chalcedonian Creed. This derives from the opening of the Gospel of John, commonly translated into English as: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." [33] In the original Greek, Logos (λόγος) is used for "Word," and in theological discourse, this is often left in its English transliterated form, "Logos".

The pre-existence of Christ refers to the doctrine of the personal existence of Christ before his conception. One of the relevant Bible passages is John 1:1-18 where, in the Trinitarian view, Christ is identified with a pre-existent divine hypostasis called the Logos or Word. This doctrine is reiterated in John 17:5 when Jesus refers to the glory which he had with the Father "before the world was" during the Farewell discourse.[34] John 17:24 also refers to the Father loving Jesus "before the foundation of the world".[34] Non-Trinitarian views about the pre-existence of Christ vary, with some rejecting it and others accepting it.

Following the Apostolic Age, from the 2nd century forward, several controversies developed about how the human and divine are related within the person of Jesus.[35][36][37] Eventually in 451, the concept of a Hypostatic union was decreed, namely that Jesus is both fully divine and fully human.[35][36][38][39] However, differences among Christian denominations continued thereafter, with some rejecting the hypostatic union in favor of monophysitisim.

Incarnation, Nativity and Second Adam

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. — Colossians 1:15-16

The above verse from Colossians regards the birth of Jesus as the model for all creation.[40][41][42][43] Apostle Paul viewed the birth of Jesus as an event of cosmic significance which brought forth a "new man" who undid the damage caused by the fall of the first man, Adam. Just as the Johannine view of Jesus as the incarnate Logos proclaims the universal relevance of his birth, the Pauline perspective emphasizes the birth of a new man and a new world in the birth of Jesus.[6] Paul's eschatological view of Jesus counter-positions him as a new man of morality and obedience, in contrast to Adam. Unlike Adam, the new man born in Jesus obeys God and ushers in a world of morality and salvation.[6]

In the Pauline view, Adam is positioned as the first man and Jesus as the second: Adam, having corrupted himself by his disobedience, also infected humanity and left it with a curse as its inheritance. The birth of Jesus counterbalanced the fall of Adam, bringing forth redemption and repairing the damage done by Adam.[44]

In the 2nd century Church Father Irenaeus writes:

"When He became incarnate and was made man, He commenced afresh the long line of human beings, and furnished us, in a brief, comprehensive manner, with salvation; so that what we had lost in Adam—namely to be according to the image and likeness of God- that we might recover in Christ Jesus."[45][46]

In patristic theology, Paul's contrasting of Jesus as the new man versus Adam provided a framework for discussing the uniqueness of the birth of Jesus and the ensuing events of his life. The nativity of Jesus thus began to serve as the starting point for "cosmic Christology" in which the birth, life and resurrection of Jesus have universal implications.[6][47][48] The concept of Jesus as the "new man" repeats in the cycle of birth and rebirth of Jesus from his nativity to his resurrection: following his birth, through his morality and obedience to the Father, Jesus began a "new harmony" in the relationship between God the Father and man. The nativity and resurrection of Jesus thus created the author and exemplar of a new humanity.[49] In this view, the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus brought about salvation, undoing the damage of Adam.[50]

Ministry

Luca signorelli, comunione con gli apostoli, cortona
The Communion of the Apostles, by Luca Signorelli, 1512.

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).—John 10:10 (Ampl)

Jesus seemed to have two basic concerns with reference to people and the material: (1) that they be freed from the tyranny of things and (2) that they be actively concerned for the needs of others.[26]

In the canonical gospels, the Ministry of Jesus begins with his baptism in the countryside of Judea, near the River Jordan and ends in Jerusalem, following the Last Supper.[51] The Gospel of Luke (3:23) states that Jesus was "about 30 years of age" at the start of his ministry.[52][53] The date of the start of his ministry has been estimated at around AD 27-29 and the end in the range AD 30-36.[52][53][53][54][55]

Jesus' early Galilean ministry begins when after his baptism, he goes back to Galilee from his time in the Judean desert.[56] In this early period he preaches around Galilee and recruits his first disciples who begin to travel with him and eventually form the core of the early Church.[51][57] The major Galilean ministry which begins in Matthew 8 includes the commissioning of the Twelve Apostles, and covers most of the ministry of Jesus in Galilee.[58][59] The final Galilean ministry begins after the death of John the Baptist as Jesus prepares to go to Jerusalem.[60][61]

In the later Judean ministry Jesus starts his final journey to Jerusalem through Judea.[62][63][64][65] As Jesus travels towards Jerusalem, in the later Perean ministry, about one third the way down from the Sea of Galilee along the River Jordan, he returns to the area where he was baptized.[66][67][68]

The final ministry in Jerusalem is sometimes called the Passion Week and begins with the Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem.[69] The gospels provide more details about the final ministry than the other periods, devoting about one third of their text to the last week of the life of Jesus in Jerusalem.[70]

Teachings, parables and miracles

The words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father who dwells in me does his works.John 14:10[71]

In the New Testament the teachings of Jesus are presented in terms of his "words and works".[19][20] The words of Jesus include several sermons, in addition to parables that appear throughout the narrative of the Synoptic Gospels (the gospel of John includes no parables). The works include the miracles and other acts performed during his ministry.[20]

Although the Canonical Gospels are the major source of the teachings of Jesus, the Pauline epistles, which were likely written decades before the gospels, provide some of the earliest written accounts of the teachings of Jesus.[72]

The New Testament does not present the teachings of Jesus as merely his own teachings, but equates the words of Jesus with divine revelation, with John the Baptist stating in John 3:34: "For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit." and Jesus stating in John 7:16: “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me".[71][73] In Matthew 11:27 Jesus claims divine knowledge, stating: "No one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son", asserting the mutual knowledge he has with the Father.[32][74]

Discourses

Christ Taking Leave of the Apostles
Jesus' Farewell Discourse to his eleven remaining disciples after the Last Supper, from the Maesta by Duccio.

The gospels include several discourses by Jesus on specific occasions, such as the Farewell discourse delivered after the Last Supper, the night before his crucifixion.[75] Although some of the teachings of Jesus are reported as taking place within the formal atmosphere of a synagogue (e.g., in Matthew 4:23) many of the discourses are more like conversations than formal lectures.[76]

The Gospel of Matthew has a structured set of sermons, often grouped as the Five Discourses of Matthew which present many of the key teachings of Jesus.[77][78] Each of the five discourses has some parallel passages in the Gospel of Mark or the Gospel of Luke.[79] The five discourses in Matthew begin with the Sermon on the Mount, which encapsulates many of the moral teaching of Jesus and which is one of the best known and most quoted elements of the New Testament.[76][80] The Sermon on the Mount includes the Beatitudes which describe the character of the people of the Kingdom of God, expressed as "blessings".[81] The Beatitudes focus on love and humility rather than force and exaction and echo the key ideals of Jesus' teachings on spirituality and compassion.[82][83][84] The other discourses in Matthew include the Missionary Discourse in Matthew 10 and the Discourse on the Church in Matthew 18, providing instructions to the disciples and laying the foundation of the codes of conduct for the anticipated community of followers.[85][86][87]

Parables

The parables of Jesus represent a major component of his teachings in the gospels, the approximately thirty parables forming about one third of his recorded teachings.[88][89] The parables may appear within longer sermons, as well as other places within the narrative.[76] Jesus' parables are seemingly simple and memorable stories, often with imagery, and each conveys a teaching which usually relates the physical world to the spiritual world.[90][91]

In the 19th century, Lisco and Fairbairn stated that in the parables of Jesus, "the image borrowed from the visible world is accompanied by a truth from the invisible (spiritual) world" and that the parables of Jesus are not "mere similitudes which serve the purpose of illustration, but are internal analogies where nature becomes a witness for the spiritual world".[90] Similarly, in the 20th century, calling a parable "an earthly story with a heavenly meaning",[92] William Barclay states that the parables of Jesus use familiar examples to lead others' minds towards heavenly concepts. He suggests that Jesus did not form his parables merely as analogies but based on an "inward affinity between the natural and the spiritual order."[92]

Miracles of Jesus

Believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. —John 10:38[93]

In Christian teachings, the miracles of Jesus were as much a vehicle for his message as were his words. Many of the miracles emphasize the importance of faith, for instance in cleansing ten lepers,[Lk 17:19] Jesus did not say: "My power has saved you" but says "Rise and go; your faith has saved you."[94][95] Similarly, in the Walking on Water miracle, Apostle Peter learns an important lesson about faith in that as his faith wavers, he begins to sink.[Mt 14:34-36] [96]

One characteristic shared among all miracles of Jesus in the Gospel accounts is that he delivered benefits freely and never requested or accepted any form of payment for his healing miracles, unlike some high priests of his time who charged those who were healed.[97] In Matthew 10:8 he advised his disciples to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, and drive out demons without payment and stated: "Freely you have received; freely give".[97]

Christians in general believe that Jesus' miracles were actual historical events and that his miraculous works were an important part of his life, attesting to his divinity and the Hypostatic union, i.e., the dual natures of Christ's humanity and divinity in one hypostasis.[98] Christians believe that while Jesus' experiences of hunger, weariness, and death were evidences of his humanity, the miracles were evidences of his deity.[99][100][101]

Christian authors also view the miracles of Jesus not merely as acts of power and omnipotence, but as works of love and mercy: they were performed to show compassion for sinful and suffering humanity.[98] Authors Ken and Jim Stocker state that "every single miracle Jesus performed was an act of love".[102] And each miracle involves specific teachings.[103][104]

Since according to the Gospel of John[20:30] it was impossible to narrate all the miracles performed by Jesus, the Catholic Encyclopedia states that the miracles presented in the Gospels were selected for a twofold reason: first for the manifestation of God's glory, and then for their evidential value. Jesus referred to his "works" as evidences of his mission and his divinity, and in John 5:36 he declared that his miracles have greater evidential value than the testimony of John the Baptist.[98]

Crucifixion and atonement

The accounts of the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Jesus provide a rich background for Christological analysis, from the canonical gospels to the Pauline epistles.[105]

Johannine "agency christology" combines the concept that Jesus is the Son of his Father with the idea that he has come into the world as his Father's agent, commissioned and sent by the Father to represent the Father and to accomplish his Father's work. Implied in each Synoptic portrayal of Jesus is the doctrine that the salvation Jesus gives is inseparable from Jesus himself and his divine identity. Sonship and agency come together in the Synoptic gospels only in the Parable of the Vineyard (Matthew 21:37; Mark 12:6; Luke 20:13).[106] The submission of Jesus to crucifixion is a sacrifice made as an agent of God or servant of God, for the sake of eventual victory.[4][107] This builds upon the salvific theme of the Gospel of John which begins in John 1:36 with John the Baptist's proclamation: "The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world".[108][109] Further reinforcement of the concept is provided in Revelation 21:14 where the "lamb slain but standing" is the only one worthy of handling the scroll (i.e., the book) containing the names of those who are to be saved.[110]

A central element in the Christology presented in the Acts of the Apostles is the affirmation of the belief that the death of Jesus by crucifixion happened "with the foreknowledge of God, according to a definite plan".[111] In this view, as in Acts 2:23, the cross is not viewed as a scandal, for the crucifixion of Jesus "at the hands of the lawless" is viewed as the fulfilment of the plan of God.[111][112]

Paul's Christology has a specific focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus. For Paul, the crucifixion of Jesus is directly related to his resurrection and the term "the cross of Christ" used in Galatians 6:12 may be viewed as his abbreviation of the message of the gospels.[113] For Paul, the crucifixion of Jesus was not an isolated event in history, but a cosmic event with significant eschatological consequences, as in 1 Corinthians 2:8.[113] In the Pauline view, Jesus, obedient to the point of death (Philippians 2:8) died "at the right time" (Romans 4:25) based on the plan of God.[113] For Paul the "power of the cross" is not separable from the resurrection of Jesus.[113]

John Calvin supported the "agent of God" Christology and argued that in his trial in Pilate's Court Jesus could have successfully argued for his innocence, but instead submitted to crucifixion in obedience to the Father.[114][115] This Christological theme continued into the 20th century, both in the Eastern and Western Churches. In the Eastern Church Sergei Bulgakov argued that the crucifixion of Jesus was "pre-eternally" determined by the Father before the creation of the world, to redeem humanity from the disgrace caused by the fall of Adam.[116] In the Western Church, Karl Rahner elaborated on the analogy that the blood of the Lamb of God (and the water from the side of Jesus) shed at the crucifixion had a cleansing nature, similar to baptismal water.[117]

Mormons believe that the crucifixion was the culmination of Christ's atonement, which began in the Garden of Gethsemane.[118]

Resurrection, Ascension, and Second Coming

Rafael - ressureicaocristo01
Depictions of the Resurrection of Jesus are central to Christian art. Painting by Raphael, 1499-1502.

The New Testament teaches that the resurrection of Jesus is a foundation of the Christian faith.[1 Cor 15:12-20] [1 Pet 1:3] Christians, through faith in the working of God[Col 2:12] are spiritually resurrected with Jesus, and are redeemed so that they may walk in a new way of life.[Rom 6:4]

In the teachings of the apostolic Church, the resurrection was seen as heralding a new era. Forming a theology of the resurrection fell to Apostle Paul. It was not enough for Paul to simply repeat elementary teachings, but as Hebrews 6:1 states, "go beyond the initial teachings about Christ and advance to maturity". Fundamental to Pauline theology is the connection between Christ's Resurrection and redemption.[119] Paul explained the importance of the resurrection of Jesus as the cause and basis of the hope of Christians to share a similar experience in 1 Corinthians 15:20-22:

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

If the cross stands at the center of Paul's theology, so does the Resurrection: unless the one died the death of all, the all would have little to celebrate in the resurrection of the one.[120] Paul taught that, just as Christians share in Jesus' death in baptism, so they will share in his resurrection[121] for Jesus was designated the Son of God by his resurrection.[Rom. 1:4] [121] Paul's views went against the thoughts of the Greek philosophers to whom a bodily resurrection meant a new imprisonment in a corporeal body, which was what they wanted to avoid, given that for them the corporeal and the material fettered the spirit.[122] At the same time, Paul believed that the newly resurrected body would be a heavenly body—immortal, glorified, powerful and pneumatic, in contrast to an earthly body which is mortal, dishonored, weak and psychic.[123]

The Apostolic Fathers, discussed the death and resurrection of Jesus, including Ignatius (50−115),[124] Polycarp (69−155), and Justin Martyr (100−165). Following the conversion of Constantine and the liberating Edict of Milan in 313, the ecumenical councils of the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries, that focused on Christology helped shape the Christian understanding of the redemptive nature of Resurrection, and influenced both the development of its iconography, and its use within Liturgy.[125]

See also

References

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  2. ^ Oxford Companion to the Bible p.649
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  58. ^ Ladd, George Eldon. A theology of the New Testament. p. 324
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  60. ^ Cox, Steven L., Kendell H Easley. Harmony of the Gospels, 2007 ISBN 0-8054-9444-8. pp. 97-110
  61. ^ Redford, Douglas. The Life and Ministry of Jesus: The Gospels, 2007. ISBN 0-7847-1900-4. pp. 165-180
  62. ^ Kingsbury, Jack Dean. The Christology of Mark's Gospel, 1983 ISBN 0-8006-2337-1. pp. 91-95
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  64. ^ Cox, Steven L., Kendell H Easley. Harmony of the Gospels, 2007 ISBN 0-8054-9444-8. pp. 121-135
  65. ^ Redford, Douglas. The Life and Ministry of Jesus: The Gospels, 2007 ISBN 0-7847-1900-4. pp. 189-207
  66. ^ Cox, Steven L., Kendell H. Easley. Harmony of the Gospels, 2007 ISBN 0-8054-9444-8. p. 137
  67. ^ Redford, Douglas. The Life and Ministry of Jesus: The Gospels, 2007. ISBN 0-7847-1900-4. pp. 211-229
  68. ^ Mills, Watson E. and Roger Aubrey Bullard. Mercer dictionary of the Bible, 1998. ISBN 0-86554-373-9, p. 929
  69. ^ Cox, Steven L., Kendell H Easley. Harmony of the Gospels, 2007 ISBN 0-8054-9444-8. p. 155-170
  70. ^ Turner, David L. Matthew, 2008. ISBN 0-8010-2684-9. p.613
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  73. ^ Köstenberger, Andreas J. The missions of Jesus and the disciples according to the Fourth Gospel. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998. ISBN 0-8028-4255-0 pages 108-109
  74. ^ Talbert, Charles H. Matthew. Baker Academic, 2010. ISBN 0-8010-3192-3 p. 149
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  76. ^ a b c Howick, E. Keith. The Sermons of Jesus the Messiah. WindRiver Publishing, 2003. ISBN 978-1-886249-02-8 pp. 7-9
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  78. ^ Keener, Craig S. The Gospel of Matthew. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009. ISBN 978-0-8028-6498-7. pp. 37-38
  79. ^ France, R.T. The Gospel of Matthew (New International Commentary on the New Testament). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2007. ISBN 978-0-8028-2501-8. p.9
  80. ^ Vaught, Carl G. The Sermon on the Mount: a Theological Investigation. Baylor University Press; 2nd edition, 2001. ISBN 978-0-918954-76-3. pp. xi-xiv
  81. ^ "Beatitudes." F. L. Cross (Editor), E. A. Livingstone (Editor). The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0192802903
  82. ^ Hastings, James. A Dictionary Of The Bible. Oxford University Press, USA; 3rd Revised edition, 2005. ISBN 1-4102-1730-2 pp.15-19
  83. ^ Jegen, Carol Frances. Jesus the Peacemaker. Sheed & Ward, 1986. ISBN 0-934134-36-7. pp. 68-71
  84. ^ Majerník Ján, Joseph Ponessa, Laurie Watson Manhardt. The Synoptics: Matthew, Mark, Luke. Sheed & Ward, 2005. ISBN 1-931018-31-6, pp.63-68
  85. ^ Toussaint, Stanley D. Behold the King: A Study of Matthew. Kregel Academic & Professional, 2005. ISBN 0-8254-3845-4. pp.215-216
  86. ^ Jensen, Richard A. Preaching Matthew's Gospel. CSS Publishing Company, 1998. ISBN 978-0-7880-1221-1. pp. 25 & 158
  87. ^ Chouinard, Larry. Matthew (The College Press NIV Commentary). College Press Publishing Company, 1997. ISBN 0-89900-628-0. p.321
  88. ^ Lockyer, Herbert. All the Parables of the Bible. Zondervan, 1988. ISBN 978-0-310-28111-5. p.174
  89. ^ Pentecost, J. Dwight. The parables of Jesus: Lessons in Life from the Master Teacher. Zondervan, 1998. ISBN 0-8254-3458-0. p.10
  90. ^ a b Lisco, Friedrich Gustav, and Patrick Fairbairn. The parables of Jesus Explained and Illustrated Volume 29. Nabu Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1149508398. pp.9-11
  91. ^ Oxenden, Ashton. The parables of our Lord. William Macintosh Publishers, London, 1864. ASIN: B008RW5N2S. p.6
  92. ^ a b Barclay, William. The Parables of Jesus. Westminster John Knox Press, 1999. ISBN 0-664-25828-X p.12.
  93. ^ The emergence of Christian theology by Eric Francis Osborn 1993 ISBN 0-521-43078-X page 100
  94. ^ Marthaler, Berard L. The creed: the apostolic faith in contemporary theology. Twenty-Third Publications; 3rd Revised edition. p. 220. ISBN 0-89622-537-2.
  95. ^ Lockyer, Herbert (1988). All the Parables of the Bible. Zondervan. p. 235. ISBN 978-0-310-28111-5.
  96. ^ Perkins, Pheme (1988). Reading the New Testament: An Introduction. Paulist Press. p. 54. ISBN 0-8091-2939-6.
  97. ^ a b Blomberg, Craig L. (2009). Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey. B & H Academic. p. 197. ISBN 0-8054-4482-3.
  98. ^ a b c Catholic Encyclopedia on Miracles
  99. ^ Lockyer, Herbert. All the Parables of the Bible. Zondervan, 1988. ISBN 978-0-310-28111-5. p.25
  100. ^ Brande, William Thomas, George William Cox. A dictionary of science, literature, & art. London, 1867, also Published by Old Classics on Kindle, 2009, page 655
  101. ^ Ramm, Bernard L. An Evangelical Christology: Ecumenic and Historic. Regent College Publishing, 1993. ISBN 1-57383-008-9. p.45
  102. ^ Stocker, Ken. Jim Stocker. Facts, Faith, and the FAQs. Xulon Press, 2006. ISBN 978-1600347535. p.139
  103. ^ Maguire, Robert. The Miracles of Christ. Ulan Press, 2012. ASIN: B009QMIYOW. p.133
  104. ^ Wiersbe, Warren W. Classic Sermons on the Miracles of Jesus. Kregel Academic & Professional, 1995. ISBN 0-8254-3999-X. p.132
  105. ^ Powell, Mark Allan (ed.) and David R. Bauer (ed.). Who do you say that I am? Essays on Christology. Westminster John Knox Press, 1999. ISBN 0-664-25752-6. p.106
  106. ^ Bauckhman, Richard. "The Johannine Jesus and the Synoptic Jesus". [3] 2 May 2013
  107. ^ Sadananda, Rathnakara Sadananda (2004). The Johannine exegesis of God: An Exploration into the Johannine Understanding Of God. Walter De Gruyter Inc. p. 281. ISBN 3-11-018248-3.
  108. ^ Pollard, T. E. (2005). Johannine Christology and the Early Church. Cambridge University Press. p. 21. ISBN 0-521-01868-4.
  109. ^ Hengel, Martin (2004). Studies in Early Christology. T&T Clark. p. 371. ISBN 0-567-04280-4.
  110. ^ De Haan, M. R. (1998). Studies in Revelation. Kregel Classics. p. 103. ISBN 978-0825424854.
  111. ^ a b Matera, Frank J. (1999). New Testament Christology. Kregel Classics. p. 67. ISBN 0-664-25694-5.
  112. ^ The speeches in Acts: their content, context, and concerns by Marion L. Soards 1994 ISBN 0-664-25221-4 page 34
  113. ^ a b c d Schwarz, Hans (1998). Christology. pp. 132–134. ISBN 0-8028-4463-4.
  114. ^ Edmondson, Edmondson (2004). Calvin's Christology. Cambridge University Press. p. 91. ISBN 0-521-54154-9.
  115. ^ The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures by Hughes Oliphant Old 2002 ISBN 0-8028-4775-7 page 125
  116. ^ Bulgakov, Sergei; Jakim, Boris (2008). The Lamb of God. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 129. ISBN 0-8028-2779-9.
  117. ^ Rahner, Karl (2004). Encyclopedia of theology: a concise Sacramentum mundi. Burns & Oates. p. 74. ISBN 0-86012-006-6.
  118. ^ "lds.org - Gethsemane".
  119. ^ The creed: the apostolic faith in contemporary theology by Berard L. Marthaler 2007 ISBN 0-89622-537-2 page 361
  120. ^ Dunn, James D. G. Theology of Paul the Apostle. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003. ISBN 978-0802844231. p. 235
  121. ^ a b Ehrman, Bart. Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend. Oxford University Press, USA. 2006. ISBN 0-19-530013-0
  122. ^ Reichelt, Karl Ludvig and Sverre Holth. Meditation and Piety in the Far East, 2004. ISBN 0-227-17235-3 p.30
  123. ^ 1 Corinthians 15:42-49
  124. ^ Ignatius makes many passing references, but two extended discussions are found in the Letter to the Trallians and the Letter to the Smyrnaeans.
  125. ^ The Resurrection and the icon by Michel Quenot 1998 ISBN 0-88141-149-3 page 72
Baptism of Jesus

The baptism of Jesus is described in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. John's gospel does not directly describe Jesus' baptism.

Most modern theologians view the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist as a historical event to which a high degree of certainty can be assigned. Along with the crucifixion of Jesus, most biblical scholars view it as one of the two historically certain facts about him, and often use it as the starting point for the study of the historical Jesus.The baptism is one of the five major milestones in the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus, the others being the Transfiguration, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension. Most Christian denominations view the baptism of Jesus as an important event and a basis for the Christian rite of baptism (see also Acts 19:1–7). In Eastern Christianity, Jesus' baptism is commemorated on 6 January (the Julian calendar date of which corresponds to 19 January on the Gregorian calendar), the feast of Epiphany. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Churches and some other Western denominations, it is recalled on a day within the following week, the feast of the baptism of the Lord. In Roman Catholicism, the baptism of Jesus is one of the Luminous Mysteries sometimes added to the Rosary. It is a Trinitarian feast in the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Chalcedonian Christianity

Chalcedonian Christianity refers to the Christian denominations adhering to the christological definitions and ecclesiological resolutions of the Council of Chalcedon, the Fourth Ecumenical Council held in 451. Chalcedonian Christians follow the Definition of Chalcedon, a religious doctrine concerning the divine and human natures of Jesus Christ. The great majority of Christian communions and confessions in the 21st century are Chalcedonian, but from the 5th to the 8th centuries the ascendancy of Chalcedonian Christology (detailed below) was not always certain.

Doctrinally, Chalcedonianism may be regarded as a subset of Nicene Christianity.

Christ Child

The Christ Child, also known as Divine Infant, Baby Jesus, Infant Jesus, Child Jesus, the Holy Child, and Santo Niño, refers to Jesus Christ from his nativity to age 12.

The four Canonical Gospels accepted by most Christians today lack any narration of the years between Jesus' infancy and the Finding in the Temple when he was 12.

Christ the King

Christ the King is a title of Jesus in Christianity referring to the idea of the Kingdom of God where the Christ is described as seated at the Right Hand of God (as opposed to the secular title of King of the Jews mockingly given at the crucifixion).

The title "Christ the King" is also frequently used as a name for churches, schools, seminaries, hospitals, and religious institutes.

Christian art

Christian art is sacred art which uses themes and imagery from Christianity. Most Christian groups use or have used art to some extent, although some have had strong objections to some forms of religious image, and there have been major periods of iconoclasm within Christianity.

Images of Jesus and narrative scenes from the Life of Christ are the most common subjects, and scenes from the Old Testament play a part in the art of most denominations. Images of the Virgin Mary and saints are much rarer in Protestant art than that of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Christianity makes far wider use of images than related religions, in which figurative representations are forbidden, such as Islam and Judaism. However, there is also a considerable history of aniconism in Christianity from various periods.

Christian tradition

Christian tradition is a collection of traditions consisting of practices or beliefs associated with Christianity. These ecclesiastical traditions have more or less authority based on the nature of the practices or beliefs and on the group in question.

Many churches have traditional practices, such as particular patterns of worship or rites, that developed over time. Deviations from such patterns are sometimes considered unacceptable or heretical. Similarly, traditions can be stories or history that are or were widely accepted without being part of Christian doctrine, e.g., the crucifixion of Saint Peter or the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in India, which are widely believed to have happened but are not recorded in scripture. Similarly the names of the Magi who visited Jesus at his birth are thought to have been invented much later than the events; they are not considered authentic or obligatory, but can be considered a tradition.

Tradition also includes historic teaching of the recognized church authorities, such as Church Councils and ecclesiastical officials (e.g., the Pope, Patriarch of Constantinople, Archbishop of Canterbury, etc.), and includes the teaching of significant individuals like the Church Fathers, the Protestant Reformers, and the founders of denominations. Many creeds, confessions of faith, and catechisms generated by these bodies, and individuals are also part of the traditions of various bodies.

Christmas Story

Christmas Story, A Christmas Story, or The Christmas Story may refer to:

Nativity of Jesus in Christianity

Church (congregation)

A church is a Christian religious organization or congregation or community that meets in a particular location. Many are formally organized, with constitutions and by-laws, maintain offices, are served by clergy or lay leaders, and, in nations where this is permissible, often seek non-profit corporate status.Local churches often relate with, affiliate with, or consider themselves to be constitutive parts of denominations, which are also called churches in many traditions. Depending on the tradition, these organizations may connect local churches to larger church traditions, ordain and defrock clergy, define terms of membership and exercise church discipline, and have organizations for cooperative ministry such as educational institutions and missionary societies. Non-denominational churches are not part of denominations, but may consider themselves part of larger church movements without institutional expression.

Eastern Orthodoxy in Greece

Eastern Orthodoxy is by far the largest religious denomination in Greece.

God the Son

God the Son (Greek: Θεός ὁ υἱός) is the second person of the Trinity in Christian theology. The doctrine of the Trinity identifies Jesus as the incarnation of God, united in essence (consubstantial) but distinct in person with regard to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (the first and third persons of the Trinity).

Iconodulism

Iconodulism (also Iconoduly or Iconodulia) designates the religious veneration of icons. The term comes from Neoclassical Greek εἰκονόδουλος (eikonodoulos), meaning "one who serves images". It is also referred to as Iconophilism (also Iconophily or Iconophilia) designating a positive attitude towards the religious use of icons. In the history of Christianity, Iconodulism (or Iconophilism) was manifested as a moderate position, between two extremes: Iconoclasm (radical opposition to the use of icons) and Iconolatry (idolatric adoration of icons).

Intercession of Christ

Intercession of Christ is the Christian belief in the continued intercession of Jesus and his advocacy on behalf of humanity, even after he left the earth.In Christian teachings, the intercession of Christ before God relates to Jesus' anamnesis before God during the Last Supper and the continuing memorial nature of the Eucharistic offering.From the Christological perspective, the intercession of Christ is distinguished from the Intercession of the Spirit. In the first case Christ takes petitions to the Father in Heaven, in the second case the Comforter (the Spirit) flows from Heaven toward the hearts of believers.

Jesuism

Jesuism, also called Jesusism or Jesuanism, is the teachings of Jesus in distinction to the teachings of mainstream Christianity. In particular, the term is often contrasted with Pauline Christianity and mainstream church dogma.

Jesus in Scientology

Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard described Scientology as "the Western Anglicized continuance of many earlier forms of wisdom", and cites the teachings of Jesus among belief systems of those "earlier forms". Jesus is recognized in Scientology as part of its "religious heritage," and "is seen as only one of many good teachers."Contradicting the Christian concept of Jesus' "atonement of mankind's sins" through his death on the cross, Hubbard states in the Volunteer Ministers Handbook that "Man is basically good, but he could not attain expression of this until now. Nobody but the individual could die for his own sins – to arrange things otherwise was to keep man in chains."

Mara bar Serapion on Jesus

Mara bar ("son of ") Serapion, sometimes spelled Mara bar Sarapion was a Stoic philosopher from the Roman province of Syria. He is noted for a letter he wrote in Syriac to his son, who was also named Serapion. The letter was composed sometime after 73 AD but before the 3rd century, and most scholars date it to shortly after AD 73 during the first century. The letter may be an early non-Christian reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.The letter refers to the unjust treatment of "three wise men": the murder of Socrates, the burning of Pythagoras, and the execution of "the wise king" of the Jews. The author explains that in all three cases the wrongdoing resulted in the future punishment of those responsible by God and that when the wise are oppressed, not only does their wisdom triumph in the end, but God punishes their oppressors.The letter has been claimed to include no Christian themes and many scholars consider Mara a pagan, although some suggest he may have been a monotheist. Some scholars see the reference to the execution of the "wise king" of the Jews as an early non-Christian reference to Jesus. Criteria that support the non-Christian origin of the letter include the observation that "king of the Jews" was not a Christian title, and that the letter's premise that Jesus lives on in his teachings he enacted is in contrast to the Christian concept that Jesus continues to live through his resurrection. Another viewpoint is that he could be referring to the resurrection recorded in Jesus's teachings which say he lived on, that would mean we don't know if he believed the resurrection happened or not and leaves it up to speculation whether he was a Christian or a non-Christian who agreed with Christians as regarding Jesus as a "wise king" according to the Gospels.

Scholars such as Robert Van Voorst see little doubt that the reference to the execution of the "king of the Jews" is about the death of Jesus. Others such as Craig A. Evans see less value in the letter, given its uncertain date, and the possible ambiguity in the reference.

Nondenominational Christianity

Nondenominational Christianity (or non-denominational Christianity) consists of churches which typically distance themselves from the confessionalism or creedalism of other Christian communities by calling themselves nondenominational.

Pneumatology

Pneumatology in Christianity refers to a particular discipline within Christian theology that focuses on the study of the Holy Spirit. The term is essentially derived from the Greek word Pneuma (πνεῦμα), which designates "breath" or "spirit" and metaphorically describes a non-material being or influence. The English term pneumatology comes from two Greek words: πνεῦμα (pneuma, spirit) and λόγος (logos, teaching about). Pneumatology includes study of the person of the Holy Spirit, and the works of the Holy Spirit. This latter category also includes Christian teachings on new birth, spiritual gifts (charismata), Spirit-baptism, sanctification, the inspiration of prophets, and the indwelling of the Holy Trinity (which in itself covers many different aspects). Different Christian denominations have different theological approaches on various pneumatological questions.

Sermon on the Plain

In Christianity, the Sermon on the Plain refers to a set of teachings by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, in 6:17–49.

This sermon may be compared to the longer Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew.Luke 6:12–20a details the events leading to the sermon. In it, Jesus spent the night on a mountain praying to God. Two days later, he gathered his disciples and selected 12 of them, whom he named Apostles. On the way down from the mountain, he stood at "a level place" (ἐπὶ τόπου πεδινοῦ, epi topou pedinou) where a throng of people had gathered. After curing those with "unclean spirits", Jesus began what is now called the Sermon on the Plain.

Notable messages in the Sermon include:

The beatitudes and woes (6:20–26)

Love your enemies and turn the other cheek (6:27–36)

Treat others the way you want to be treated (6:31)

Don't judge and you won't be judged, don't condemn and you won't be condemned, forgive and you will be forgiven, give and you will receive (6:37–38)

Can the blind lead the blind? Disciples are not above their teacher (6:39-40a)

Remove the log from your own eye before attending to the splinter in your friend's (40b-42)

A good tree does not produce bad fruit and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit, each tree is known by its fruit (43–45)

Why do you call me Lord, Lord yet not do what I command? (46)

Whoever follows these words of mine builds on rock and will survive, whoever does not builds on sand and will be destroyed (47–49)In Luke 7:1 after Jesus had said everything he had to say to the crowd, he went to Capernaum, which in Lukan chronology he had not visited since Luke 4:31.

Triumphal entry into Jerusalem

In the accounts of the four canonical Gospels, Jesus' triumphal entry takes place in the days before the Last Supper, marking the beginning of his Passion.

Crowds gather around Jesus and believe in him in John 12:9-11 after he raised Lazarus from the dead, and the next day the multitudes that had gathered for the feast in Jerusalem welcome Jesus as he enters Jerusalem.

In Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19, Jesus descends from the Mount of Olives towards Jerusalem, and the crowds lay their clothes on the ground to welcome him as he triumphantly enters Jerusalem.

Christians celebrate Jesus' entry into Jerusalem as Palm Sunday, a week before Easter Sunday.

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