Friday, August 28, 2015

The Presentations Of Jesus In The Gospels (Part 1)

Question: Do the Gospels really present Jesus in very different ways? 

AP: Absolutely. One could say that each Gospel has its own "trend" or bias. Let's take a look at a few of them, and I'll show you what I mean.

First, the Gospel of Matthew. It presents Jesus as the fulfillment of God's promises to Israel. Jesus is the new Moses who proclaims a new law. This new law is really just the old law, just with his interpretation of it. Christians must abide by this new law, which makes the old obsolete. Jesus has a mission to gather disciples and preach the Gospel not only to Israel but to everyone. Therefore, he founds the church. In this Gospel is assembled all that could interest the church that we don't find in the other Gospels.

Next, the Gospel of Mark. This Gospel probably holds that Jesus is the Son of God by way of adoption at his baptism. From that moment, he is an authentic and real child. Mark thinks that Jesus is the only true Messiah, but his messianism is radically different from that of the Jews. Mark believes in a suffering and peaceful, non-political messianism. The Messiah's death was the result of a plot by the Jewish authorities, but God used it as a sacrifice for the remission of the sins of all mankind. Neither his disciples nor the Jewish people understood to this was what was happening. Mark also argues that the death and resurrection of Jesus are not the only things that are important for salvation, but all the works and teachings that were uttered during his life. And in this way he corrects his teacher Paul.

And now, the Gospel of Luke. This Gospel agrees with Mark in combating any form of a political-warrior image of Jesus. He says that the center of history is none other than the period of time Jesus lived on earth. In other words, this is the beginning of the fullness of history. Jesus is primarily a model for people to follow once they become part of the church, which lasts until he returns. Jesus proclaimed once and for all that the Christian faith is unique. It was always the same and does not change. The Spirit has a leading role both in the life and ministry of Jesus (= Gospel) and the church (= Acts). Acts, Luke's second installment, presents a very skewed picture of Paul and his theology, which greatly affects our understanding of the mission of Jesus.

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