There has never been a man like Jesus. He is considered to be the most uniqueperson of all time. Jesus’ teachings have influenced many people and havechanged mankind. According to Marcus J. Borg in Meeting Jesus Again for theFirst Time, Jesus was in a way four different people fused into one.
He was aspirit person, which is a person with a deep unexplainable connection with thespirit of God. Jesus was a teacher of wisdom. He used parables and one-liners toteach about the Kingdom of God. These parables and aphorisms are the only directconnection we have with the historical Jesus. We get to read what came from himdirectly and we get a better sense of whom he really was. Borg also describesHim as a social prophet, which is characterized as a person that has conflictswith authority, that criticizes the elites of his time, and that promoted adifferent “social vision.Order now
” The last identity that Borg gives Jesus is thatof a movement founder. He started a renewal movement for Judaism that went pastthe social barriers of his time. We do not know much about Jesus until he wasabout thirty years old. We do however know that Jesus was a Jew, which issurprisingly not known by quite a few Christians. He grew up in Galilee andspoke Aramaic, or Hebrew. The Torah was his primary reading in school and heprobably became a tekton, a Greek word that means carpenter.
Borg explains thatJesus probably went to follow a prophet named John, but when John was arrestedhe carried on with God’s Word. The historical Jesus was nonmessiac, whichmeans that we do not know if He thought of himself as the Messiah or the Son ofGod. His message always pointed away from Himself and towards God. Borg givesome major impressions of Jesus and what kind of a person he was. For example,Jesus was a right and left-brained thinker.
He was an eloquent speaker that wasgreat at debate and story telling. Jesus was not always liked. People would tryto trick Him with questions, but he always managed to come back with an amazinganswer. He used extraordinary actions to make statements, like eating withsocial rejects and the diseased. He was an amazing healer that always had acrowd.
Jesus healed Simons mother-in-law, a Roman officer, a servant, a crippledwoman (just to name a few) and even raised the dead. Another thing that we knowabout the historical Jesus was that he did not live a long life and died in histhirties. Jesus was a remarkable teacher. His main teachings were of God’skingdom, prayers, wise and foolish lifestyles, and love and forgiveness.
Jesuschallenged people to question their values and that is why He was an effectiveteacher. There were many ways that Jesus would teach the Kingdom of God. Hewould wander around, heal, and eat with people. He would have table fellowshipwith anyone because He refused to see any abnormalities in someone.
David Kantorexplains on his website that Jesus had very effective techniques to teaching. One technique was social contact with people to draw them into the story withquestions. Another technique that He used was telling parables and usingsymbolism. Jesus made the heroes of the stories that he told a person that thepeople detested.
He always built on what the people already knew and did notover teach. He taught with authority and used memorable illustrations toreinforce his point. Jesus’ teachings were more influential that any part ofHis life. Stephen Johnson explains on his website that the essence of Jesus’teachings were “love and unselfish social service. ” In teaching people theKingdom of God and how He led His life, Jesus led people to God. There were fivemain teachings of Jesus.
He taught the “Fatherhood of God,” which is thatGod is our Father that loves all as a whole and as individuals. He knows us all,knows what we are thinking, and gives us the free will to know Him back. Jesustaught the “Brotherhood of Man,” or to “love our neighbors asourselves. ” He said that through exercise of faith we can experience God’skingdom.
Jesus characterized the Kingdom of Heaven in many ways, one example isHim saying, “the Kingdom of Heaven is within you. ” Another teaching of Jesuswas the importance of an individual’s personal relationship with God. Hetaught that God’s love is perfect and taught the importance of forgiveness. Jesus said, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. ” He taught thatthere are many ways to be a religious person. You have to be holy as your God isholy and be compassionate as your God is compassionate.
When Jesus first startedteaching, he went to Galilee and read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah andsaid, “God’s spirit is on me; he has chosen me to preach the message of goodnews to the poor, sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sightto the blind, to get the burdened and battered free, and to announce ?this isGod’s year to act’. ” This story from the Book of Luke show that Jesus wassent from God to meet the deepest needs of the people and spread His Word.