Christian views of Jesus


Christian views of Jesus

Christian views of Jesus consist of the teachings and beliefs held by Christian groups about Jesus, including his divinity, humanity, and earthly life. As indicated by the name "Christianity," the focus of a Christian's life is a firm belief in Jesus as the Son of God and the "Messiah" or "Christ", despite the fact that the New Testament according to Luke and Mattew quotes Jesus referring to himself as the Son of Man in several places. The title "Messiah" comes from the Hebrew word מָשִׁיחַ ("māšiáħ") meaning "anointed one". The Greek translation , , , , , , ] he ascended to heaven, to the "right hand of God," [, , , , ), the only Son of the Living God, the Lord, ["Apostle's Creed"; "Nicene Creed"; "Catechism of the Catholic Church" §441–451; "Augsburg Confession," article 3; Luther, "Small Catechism" commentary on "Apostle's Creed" ] and the eternal Word. ["Augsburg Confession," article 3; ) means literally "that which lies beneath," and is also referred to as the "mystical union." More simply, the doctrine states that Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. Included in this is the doctrine of Dythelitism, i.e., that Christ has two wills, which always act in union. These doctrines were pronounced by the Ecumenical Councils of Ephesus, Chalcedon, and Constantinople.

The term "hypostasis" was used by some Greek philosophers to distinguish reality from appearances, [Aristotle, "Mund.," IV, 21] and, before its theological employment by the Council of Nicaea, it was synonymous with "substance" or "being" ("ousia"). The subtle theological distinction was fully expressed by the Council of Chalcedon, which declared that the one substance and one person of Christ was in two natures, each perfectly united yet with each retaining its own properties ("eis en prosopon kai mian hpostasin"). [ Denzinger, ed. Bannwart, 148]

Groups that reject either the divinity or humanity of Jesus obviously do not hold the doctrine of hypostatic union. However, some groups hold that Jesus is both man and God, but employ different teachings to explain this relationship. Nestorianism holds that Christ not only has two natures, but that he is two physical persons united morally, but not physically, by means of grace. Monophysitism holds that Jesus has only one nature: either his human nature is wholly absorbed by the divine, or the converse, or that the two are mixed such that a third nature results, which supersedes its constituent human and divine components. Monothelitism holds that, though Christ has two natures, he only has one will. Many of these views found renewed forms in Western Christianity at the time of the Reformation, especially among Adoptionists, Socinians, and Ubiquitarians.

Trinity

The Trinity is the doctrine that, in the unity of the One God, there are three divine persons: the Father, Son, and Spirit, distinct from one another yet of one substance. The three persons are co-eternal and uncreated: "the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God." [Athanasian Creed] Jesus is understood by Trinitarian Christians to be the person of the Son, eternally begotten by the Father, who came upon earth to deliver to the world.

Such language appears in Christology. Though diverse, these views may be generally classified into those which hold Christ to be only divine and not differing from the Father hypostatically, and those which hold Christ to be less fully God than the Father, in the most extreme form being a mere human prophet. says Christians are expected to show their faith by their works. Bibleref2|Revelations|3:2 asks the reader to "strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die," implying that failure to produce good works might lead to a loss of rewards at the believers' judgment. bibleref2|John|13:15 claims that Jesus' life is an example or role model for followers. In bibleref2|John|14:12 Jesus states that followers who believe in him can do the works that he does and even "greater works." This last scripture has provoked much debate on the role of miracles and healing in current times. See also Antinomianism.

However, the idea of "salvation" has been interpreted in many ways, and a wide spectrum of Christian viewpoints exist and have existed throughout history up to the present day.

Some especially notable events in the ministry of Jesus, recounted in the Gospels, include:
* When Jesus was asked what is the most important commandment in the Mosaic Law, Jesus answered: "The most important one... is this:... 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'" bibleref2|Mark|12:29–30, echoing bibleref2|Deut.|6:5, the Shema), and then he said, "The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself'" (bibleref2|Lev.|19:18).
* Jesus asked his disciples: "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (bibleref2|Matthew|16:15–19).
* Seeing merchants doing money-changing at the Temple in Jerusalem, he used a whip to drive out all the animals being bought and sold by the merchants, released the doves, and overturned the tables to scatter the money-changers' coins, saying to those who sold the doves, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" (bibleref2|John|2:16).
* On the day before Passover started, now referred to as Good Friday, Jesus shared a Passover meal with his disciples — the Last Supper. During the meal, he gave bread to his disciples, saying, "Take it and eat. This is my body," and then gave them a cup of wine, saying, "Drink from this, all of you, for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (bibleref2|Matthew|26:26–29). Many Christian denominations take this as the institution of the sacrament of Communion or the Eucharist.

Crucifixion interpretations

While hanging on the cross, the Gospel of Mark has Jesus asking, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Many readers find this theologically perplexing, believing that God left him to die on the cross. According to a common interpretation of the scriptures, God the Father was turning away from Jesus at this time because he was suffering in the place of sinners. Others recognise this as an exact quotation of the first verse of Bibleref2|Psalm|22, a common way at the time to refer to an entire Psalm. That Psalm begins with cries of despair, but ends on a note of hope and trust in God's triumph and deliverance. It also contains several details that have been taken to apply to Jesus' crucifixion, such as the soldiers casting lots for Jesus' garments and leaving his bones unbroken. Still, others of a long-held tradition see Jesus' words as the ultimate climax of Jesus' entering into the human condition; his exclamation here evinces his full experience and solidarity with humanity, even the experience of alienation from God.Fact|date=February 2007 Yet, others consider "why hast thou forsaken me" to be a mistranslation of the original Aramaic: they argue that a better translation is "for this I was kept" or "why hast thou let me to live?."Fact|date=February 2007 Jesus' final words as recorded in Bibleref2|Luke|23:46 were "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."

Bibleref2|John|19:30 describes Jesus' final words as "It is finished" upon his death. Also, the account in John does not mention Jesus asking for the "bitter cup" to be taken away from him while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before (eventually ending his prayer with the words, "nevertheless not my will, but thine be done"), but rather skips this and proceeds directly to Jesus' acceptance of God's will, expounding upon his attitude of surrender (Bibleref2|John|18:11). Although, it does include his praying to God to watch over his followers.

Resurrection, Ascension, and Second Coming

According to the New Testament, he was raised from the dead by God on the third day following his crucifixion and appeared to his disciples; the Acts of the Apostles reports that forty days later he ascended bodily into Heaven and retains since then both of his natures, divine and human. Paul's letters to the Romans, Ephesians and Colossians, as well as the letter to the Hebrews (traditionally attributed to Paul) claim that Jesus presently exercises all authority in heaven and on earth for the sake of the Church, until all of the earth is made subject to his rule through the preaching of the Gospel, see also the Great Commission. Based on the New Testament, Most Christians believe that Jesus will return from heaven at the end of the age, to judge the living and the dead, and fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy.

In many sects of the Latter Day Saint movement (Mormonism), it is believed that Jesus appeared in the Western Hemisphere after his resurrection and taught some early Americans, whom "The Book of Mormon" says were of Israelite descent. The New Testament (Bibleref2|John|10:16) states: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice" and Jesus also states that he was "sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Bibleref2|Matthew|15:24). It is also believed by some Mormons that, because the Book of Mormon also refers to "other lost sheep," when Christ left America he may have visited other civilizations in different parts of the world, although it is not mentioned where.

Miracles performed

"Main article:" Miracles of Jesus

Miracles performed by Jesus, according to the Gospels, include:
* Turning water into wine for a wedding feast.
* Curing a sick child who was near death.
* Curing a lame man, a man with a virulent skin disease, a paralyzed man.
* Feeding a crowd of five thousand using only fives loaves of bread and two fish.
* Walking on water to reach his disciples who were in a boat (and enabling Peter to walk on water, also).
* Giving sight to a man born blind.
* Resurrecting a man (Lazarus) who had been dead for four days.
* Appearing to Peter, James, and John in a transfigured state, with unearthly, brilliant white clothes, and with Elijah and Moses.
* Resurrect three days after he died.

Quotations

Well-known quotations attributed to Jesus in the Gospels include:
* "I am the Way; I am Truth and Life. No one can come to the Father except through me." or "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me." (bibleref2|John|14:6) This is the most frequently referenced verse attributed to Jesus. [ [http://www.topverses.com/?find=jesus Top Verses Bible jesus ] ]
* The Beatitudes (bibleref2|Matthew|5:3–12)
* The Lord's Prayer (bibleref2|Matthew|6:9–13)
* "No one can be the slave of two masters... You cannot be the slave of both God and mammon [i.e., material possessions, wealth, money] ." (bibleref2|Matthew|6:24) (Discourse on ostentation)
* "Do not judge, and you will not be judged." (bibleref2|Matthew|7:1)
* "Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls in front of pigs..." (bibleref2|Matthew|7:6)
* "Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find." (bibleref2|Matthew|7:7)
* "Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to destruction is wide and spacious, and many take it." (bibleref2|Matthew|7:13)
* "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth: it is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword... A person's enemies will be the members of his own household." (bibleref2|Matthew|10:34)
* "Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (the Sole Satisfierbibleref2|Matthew|11:28)
* "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for someone rich to enter the kingdom of Heaven." (bibleref2|Matthew|19:24)
* "Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God." (bibleref2|Matthew|22:21)
* "The spirit is willing enough, but human nature is weak." (bibleref2|Matthew|26:41)
* "Love your enemies, do good to those who treat you badly. To anyone who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek as well." (bibleref2|Luke|6:27)
* "Why do you observe the splinter in your brother's eye and never notice the great log in your own?" (bibleref2|Luke|6:41)
* "I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the light of life." (bibleref2|John|8:12)
* "Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give to you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you." (bibleref2|John|14:27)

Legacy

According to most Christian interpretations of the Bible, the theme of Jesus' preaching was that of repentance, faith and love, as demonstrated in bibleref|Matthew|22:36-40, bibleref|Luke|10:27, and bibleref|Mark|12:28-31. (See also Shema Yisrael). During his public ministry, Jesus extensively trained twelve Apostles to continue after his departure his leadership of the many who had begun to follow him, mainly in the towns and villages throughout Galilee, Samaria, Tiberias and the Decapolis. Most Christians who hold that Jesus' miracles were literally true, not allegory, think the Apostles gained the power to perform miracles and heal both Jews and Gentiles alike after they had been empowered by the Holy Spirit of Truth ("to pneuma tēs alētheias, το πνευμα τες αλεθειας" bibleref2|John|14:17, bibleref2|John|26; bibleref2|Luke|24:49, bibleref2|Acts|1:8, bibleref2|Acts|2:4). Some Christians, citing bibleref2|Mark|16:17, believe that these supernatural powers are given to all believers. According to bibleref2|Acts|2:4, these claims were fulfilled at Pentecost, poignantly the Jewish feast that, in addition to other Scriptural events, commemorates also the giving of the Law to Moses. For Christians the legacy Jesus left was one of sacrifice and redemption; they believe that Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus is held as an important person, a great teacher or a prophet by many other religions (who deny him as being God in the flesh).Fact|date=February 2007

References

See also

* Islamic view of Jesus
* Judaism's view of Jesus
* List of Jesus-related articles
* New Testament view on Jesus' life
* Religious perspectives on Jesus

External links

* [http://www.allaboutjesuschrist.org Jesus Christ] — A Christian Source of Apologetics on Jesus Christ
* Gibson, Mel, " [http://www.thepassionofthechrist.com/splash.htm The Passion of the Christ] ." ISBN 0–7886–0588–7
* " [http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/prophchr.html Prophecies of Jesus Christ as Messiah] ." GodAndScience.org.
* Domínguez, J., " [http://biblia.com/jesusbible/prophecies.htm Prophecies of the Old Testament Fulfilled in Jesus] ." Jan. 26, 2004. (Public domain text)
* " [http://www.bibleplus.org/gospel.htm The Gospel of Jesus Christ] ." BiblePlus.
* [http://www.gotjesustalk.com Jesus Blog] — Looking at current events through the eyes of Jesus.
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6121524153548519701&q=jesus&hl=en Jesus (Google video)] - This film is the definitive version of the life of Jesus.


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