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Bible Alive Jesus Christ 012: "Jesus is LORD!"

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See what Son of God (a Davidic title) meant for the earliest Christians illuminated by Easter. Discover the significance of the Pauline formula: “the Son of God according to the Spirit of Holiness.” …

See what Son of God (a Davidic title) meant for the earliest Christians illuminated by Easter. Discover the significance of the Pauline formula: “the Son of God according to the Spirit of Holiness.” Learn how the earliest believers, having experienced the Risen Christ, could dare to think Jesus is God. See that when Jesus’ divinity is expressed conceptually in the New Testament, the drama of our redemption appeared in a new light. Finally, in respect we look at the Old Testament’s relationship to the New.

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  • 1. Bible Alive: Jesus Christ
    Class Twelve—Conclusion &
    Jesus is LORD!
  • 2. The following presentation would be impossible without these resources
  • 3. And most of all…
    By Father Roch A. Kereszty o. cist.
    Thank you Father Roch!
  • 4. Setting the Tone
    John 17:3—And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you sent.
  • 5.
  • 6. Setting the Tone
    John 4:42—[The Samaritan villagers] said to the woman, “It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
  • 7.
  • 8. Setting the Tone
    John 20:28ff—Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
  • 9.
  • 10. Prayer
    Father
    All things praise you in your Son
    By your Spirit conform all things to
    Jesus Christ
    Grow our faith to illuminate our reason
    And grant us reason to critically appropriate
    Our faith.
    Amen.
  • 11. The Newness of the New Testament
    What was expected in the Old Testament? The mystery of Christ through the New Testament transcends all that the Old Testament had expected.
    Consider the Old Testament in isolation from the New Testament, and you cannot escape seeing a messianic dynamism as “its most powerful driving force,” according to Kereszty.
  • 12. History Shaping Theology
    The loss of the united kingdom under David and Solomon, split into Northern (Ephraim or Israel) and Southern Kingdoms (Judah or David).
    The destruction of the Northern Kingdom
    The destruction of the Southern Kingdom and especially the holy city of Jerusalem with its Temple in 586 BC.
  • 13. Old Testament Expectations
    In the Old Testament, there is a messianic dynamism present with a sense of expectation as the most powerful driving force.
    According to Jean Daniélou (d. 1974), There are two parallel lines of Messianic expectation in the Old Testament:
    A new and greater Moses and a new and greater David.
    The prophets and apocalyptic visions promised the coming of God himself in his reign.
    • The Incarnation in a human being was never promised nor was it explicitly expected.
  • The Unexpected NEWNESS!
    Kereszty explains that the “unexpected newness of the New Testament” is that God himself became the New David, the New Prophet, the New Israel, and that God as man takes upon himself the condemning judgment Israel and all humankind deserved for their sins.
    Jesus Christ is this irreducibly new event.
    Yet the New Testament primarily expresses this newness in transforming the meaning of titles and notions taken from the Old Testament.
  • 14. Jesus as Lord, Son of God and God
    In First Century Judaism, the name “Yahweh” was unspeakable. This was out of reverence for the ineffable God.
    In liturgical prayers, substitutions were employed:
    In Hebrew, Adon, meaning “lord.”
    In Greek, Kurios, meaning “lord.”
    In Old Testament texts, Adon - Kurios, additionally expresses the sovereign rule of God over the Cosmos, and particularly, over Israel.
    Therefore Adon – Kuriosexpresses that Israel belongs to the Lord God, and the Lordship of God is exercised for his People’s benefit.
    Justice will prevail and peace will abound IF the People obey the Lord.
  • 15. Mari in Maranatha
    The Gospels indicate that the disciples and others called Jesus “Mari,” an Aramaic title analogous to “My lord” or “Sir.”
    Highly respected rabbis would be called mari.
    Kereszty reminds us that this usage is far removed from “Lord” in the divine sense.
  • 16. Jesus is Lord
    When did the disciples first understand Jesus’ transcendent Lordship?
    Read Acts 2:22-24, 32, 36—
    “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it … this Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses … Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
    The study of the earliest fragments of Christian kerygma and liturgy showed that only in encountering the Risen Jesus did the disciples understand his transcendent Lordship.
  • 17. “Transcendent Lordship” Recognized
    According to Kereszty, Jesus’ “transcendent Lordship” means “Jesus is Lord” in the absolute sense of divine power and majesty as well as well as the right to the unconditional allegiance of every human being.
  • 18. Kenosis & Exaltation
    According to Kereszty, one of the earliest texts on the Lordship of Jesus is a liturgical hymn written within the first three decades of Christianity that Paul incorporated into his letter to the Philippians.
    After describing the pre-existent self-emptying of Jesus, the hymn declares his exaltation:
    Phil 2:5-11
    Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him
    and bestowed on him the name
    which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth (see Is 45:23), and every tongue confess
    that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.
  • 19. Easter FIRST, THEN Christmas
    The New Testament begins with the Resurrection, not the Nativity. The Resurrection—how has it been understood over the past few hundred years in theology?
    1 Cor 15:13-14—But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
  • 20. Quite Poorly Understood
    For much of pre-Vatican II Catholic theology, the resurrection had long been viewed in apologetical terms, that is, as simply the strongest possible corroboration of Jesus’ messianic claims.
    It had no importance in itself in the work of redemption.
    We were thought to be redeemed by the CROSS, and the CROSS ALONE.
    Contemporary theology sees the resurrection as the beginning of the story not just confirmatory of Christian faith.
  • 21. Step by Step Development
    What does it mean in the New Testament that Jesus is Lord? How did this come to be understood?
    At first, in light of the resurrection, the titles like Lord and others were functional—they described what Jesus had done.
    Then they became confessional—they were used in prayer and worship, and thus specified what it meant to be a Christian: one who confesses that Jesus is Lord.
    And then it became clear that these titles had a metaphysical and theological character—the expression “Jesus is Lord” is an intellectual tool to probe the inner reality of Jesus Christ, his person, his natures, and their relationships.
  • 22. Step by Step Development
    It was because of the early Church’s faith in the resurrection that it came to acknowledge the divinity of Jesus.
    Once this happened it began laying down the foundations for the incarnation, which sees Jesus as the Word made flesh:
    Jn 1:14—And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
  • 23. From the doctrine of the incarnation the Church was led ineluctably to the preexistence of Jesus
    Jn 1:1—In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was turned toward God, and what God was the Word also was.
    Phil 2:5-11—Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
    …and to the question of his relationship to the whole of creation and to the history of salvation.
  • 24. Col 1:15-20
    He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
  • 25. Rom 8:19-22
    For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now…
  • 26. Eph 1:9-10, 22-23
    For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth … and he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
  • 27. He is indeed the “first fruits” (1 Cor 15:20) of the “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17), which is the Kingdom of God.
    1 Cor 15:20—
    But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
    2 Cor 5:17—
    Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.
  • 28. Jesus is HaShem
    Jesus is Lord in the absolute sense of possessing divine power and majesty as well as the right to unconditional allegiance of every human being.
    In the Kenotic hymn of Philippians, the bestowal of the name above every other name means the bestowal of the unspeakable divine name “YHWH” expressed by the term “Lord.”
  • 29. The Pre-Pauline “Lord Jesus”
    The Pauline letters contain the pre-Pauline formula “Lord Jesus.”
    Jesus enters upon his reign and receives universal dominion from God at the moment when God raised him from the dead.
  • 30. The Eucharistic LORD
    See 1 Cor 10:16-17—
    The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
    See 1 Cor 11:23-26—
    For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
    • The place where the Lordship of the risen Christ is most clearly manifested is the Eucharistic sacrifice.
    • 31. It is there that his personal presence is most keenly experienced.
  • The LORD’s Supper
    Kereszty explains that it is at the Eucharistic celebration where Jesus’ personal presence as Lord of his Church who rules and transforms our lives is most keenly experienced.
    The Eucharistic celebration is also called “the Lord’s Supper”:
    1 Cor 11:20—When you meet together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat.
    The Aramaic acclamation, Marana-tha! (COME, LORD!), is the fervent prayer for his coming at this ancient Eucharistic meal.
    Note that Paul preserves the original form of this Aramaic prayer in his letter to the Corinthians:
    1 Cor 16:22—If any one has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Marana-tha!
  • 32. Marana-thaor Maran-atha?
    Kereszty explains that Oscar Cullman has shown that Marana-tha (COME, LORD!) as a liturgical acclamation is more likely the meaning as opposed to Maran-atha (the Lord comes), which would be a confessional formula.
    The fact that Paul preserved the text in Aramaic demonstrates that he considered it a sacred tradition which linked the Palestinian mother-church with the Hellenistic churches.
    The position of Bousset and Bultmann and their followers is that only in Hellenistic churches was Jesus proclaimed as ‘Lord’ in the absolute sense; yet they fail to explain the presence of this Aramaic liturgical acclamation in a letter addressed to the predominantly Gentile community of Corinth. See more of this in O. Cullman’s The Christology of the New Testament, pp. 203-218.
  • 33. Rom 8:35-39—
    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For thy sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    Eph 1:16-23—
    I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might which he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead and made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; and he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
    While the risen Christ is Lord over the whole church in a special way, his Lordship extends over heaven and earth and the netherworld.
  • 34. Satan is Bound
    Jesus is Lord; broken, Satan fell from heaven:
    Lk 10:18—And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven…”
    Rev 12:9—And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
    Although the world is still influenced by the devil, he is bound for the purposes of God.
    1 Jn 5:19—We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one.
    Rev 20:2-3—And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended. After that he must be loosed for a little while.
  • 35. Lord IN the Christian’s Life
    Jesus is Lord in the life of the Christian, also. The Christian has, in Christ, conquered Satan and can resist his temptations in faith.
    1 Jn 2:13—I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father.
    1 Pet 5:8-9—Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.
  • 36. God is Intimate with the Church in Christ
    That Christ is Lord over the Church and over the Universe is varied in expression.
    In Pauline and Deutero-Pauline theology, Christ not only is Lord over the Church but also is her bridegroom
    Christ unites himself to the Church in love.
  • 37. Some Erotic Christology
    2 Cor 11:2—
    I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband.
    Eph 5:25-27—
    Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
    1 Cor 10:16-17—
    The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
  • 38. More Erotic Christology
    1 Cor 12:12-27—
    For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single organ, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
  • 39. Even More Erotic Christology
    Eph 1:19-23—what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might which he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead and made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; and he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
    Col 1:18—He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent.
  • 40. Christ Nourished by Christ
    Kereszty explains that in the Spirit the Church is nourished by the Body of Christ and thus she becomes the Body of Christ.
    The Church manifests Christ to the world because she is thus FILLED with Christ.
    In the very sacramental Johannine theology, Christ is “the vine” and Christians are “attached branches.”
    Thus, INTERIORIZED is the Lordship of Christ in the Church—it is the result of a loving union with him in the Spirit.
  • 41. Lord of the Christian
    Paul also emphasizes that the entire existence of a Christian is determined by the Lordship of Christ.
    Christians BELONG to the Lord.
    The one who eats mean eats it for the Lord and the one who abstains from eating meat also does it for the Lord:
    Rom 14:7-9— None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
  • 42. Jesus’ Lordship means Christian Freedom
    • Rom 6:1-11—
    What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
    • The Lordship of Christ determines the whole existence of the Christian.
    • 43. Accepting this Lordship makes the Christian free from the dominion of the Law as well as free from sin.
  • Social Standing Irrelevant
    • Col 3:9-11—
    • 44. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.
    • 45. Gal 6:15—
    • 46. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
    • 47. Phil 3:3—
    • 48. For we are the true circumcision, who worship God in spirit, and glory in Christ Jesus, and put no confidence in the flesh.
    • 49. Being under the Lordship of Jesus Christ makes all other relations relative.
    • 50. Social standing does not matter, for in the new creation that Christ has brought about, all are one in Jesus Christ.
  • Christology and Secular Authorities
    What are the results of EVERY relationship being relativized?
    Following Pauline thought, Kereszty explains that it includes obedience to the secular authorities (even if they be Pagan) not only out of fear of punishment but because of one’s CONSCIENCE.
    All authority after all is FROM GOD for safeguarding the COMMON GOOD.
    Rom 13:1-7—Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be subject, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
  • 51. A Pauline Scandal
    However, Kereszty keeps in mind that belonging to the Lord liberates us from any type of slavish attitude toward human authorities.
    There is only one Lord and we are only his slaves in the absolute sense:
    1 Cor 7:23, 8:5-6—You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men … For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”—yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
    From his Christological understanding of freedom and authority, Paul draws conclusions about slavery that have scandalized a large number of modern Christians.
    Many have faulted Paul for not declaring that slavery is contrary to a human being’s God-given dignity.
  • 52. Paul and Slavery
    Kereszty agrees that Paul never declares slavery evil or denounces its institution.
    He never incites Christian slaves to rebel against their masters.
    He does encourage Philemon to liberate his slave Onesimus:
    Ph 7-20—For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an ambassador and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus–I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.)
    I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel; but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own free will. Perhaps this is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back for ever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand, I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.
  • 53. Social Standing is Meaningless
    Kereszty says that besides this Paul expressed that in the Lordship of Christ one’s social standing is irrelevant.
    Why? Because of what the New Creation in Christ has brought us:
    Gal 3:28—There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
  • 54. Slave & Free
    Kereszty adds that the external social structures do remain intact in this radical unity with each other in Christ and under the Lordship of Christ.
    The difference is that THEY NO LONGER COUNT.
    Inside the Christian community, the free person should consider himself or herself a SLAVE of Christ while the slave should consider himself or herself a freed person of the Lord.
  • 55. Free & Slave
    Kereszty explains Paul by stressing that the new relationship to Christ abolishes all barriers among classes, reveals the foundation for a radical unity, and provides an integrated Christian community structure.
    The Christian slave’s relationship to Christ gives such a sense of dignity and inner freedom that he or she can endure even an inhuman master in patience and love.
    A Christian master should be aware of his total dependence on Christ so that he can respect a slave as a person freed by Christ:
    1 Cor 7:21-23—Were you a slave when called? Never mind. But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity. For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.
  • 56. Pauline Thought & Slavery
    Kereszty explains that eventually, such inner attitudes dispersed throughout the Roman Empire substantially contributed to the abolition of slavery.
    We must emphasize the hard won insight that slavery is indeed against the dignity of human persons and that we must endeavor to abolish unjust social structures.
    Regardless, the teaching of Paul has great relevance for us modern people in our time.
    Paul is aware that those suffering under inhuman oppression, provided they keep their faith, REMAIN INWARDLY FREE. No torture, no human or diabolic power can deprive them of the core of their human dignity which is founded on their relationship with Christ.
    Kereszty expresses that this last point has been neglected by certain types of liberation theologies.
  • 57. MarkanKyrios
    Kereszty explains that the title Kyrios (Lord) is used primarily of God in the Gospel of Mark
    Mk 5:19, 13:20—But he refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you” … “And if the Lord had not shortened the days, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days.”
    The exception would be Mk 11:3 where it applies to Jesus as King Messiah:
    If any one says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’”
  • 58. Mark’s Use of Kyrios: A Subtle Christology
    Kereszty says that Mark’s use of Kyrios in the story of the Gerasene demoniac bears a subtle Christological message. Jesus, after curing the possessed man, dismisses the crowd with these words:
    Mk 5:19-20—But he refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and all men marveled.
  • 59. Centered on God
    Jesus’ words in Scripture are consistent with his theocentric attitude. Namely, God the Father is the only Lord.
    Mk 12:29—Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one…”
    Jesus gives all glory to God—his all-pervading attitude of single-hearted worship, praise, and thanksgiving is revealed by each Gospel in its own way.
    Look at how Jesus responds to the rich young man in Mark:
    Mk 10:18—And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.”
  • 60. KuriosGod, Kurios Jesus
    Kereszty explains that while Jesus commands the Gerasene demoniac to announce what the Lord has done for him, he begins to proclaim (keryssein, the technical term for proclamation of the Christian faith) what Jesus has done for him.
    So the SAME action of curing that Jesus attributes to “the Lord” (God)is attributed by the man (who, here, represents the Christian evangelists) to Jesus himself.
    Kereszty explains that this narrative then HINTS at the theological rationale on the foundation of which the other evangelists start to apply the title Kyrios in a transcendent sense to the earthly Jesus (all the while retaining their fundamental conviction that “that the Lord our God is the only Lord”).
  • 61. The one Lord God ACTS Through the man Jesus
    God’s divine lordship is exercised through the man Jesus so that when Jesus performs a divine deed, it is God himself who performs it.
    On the basis of Matthew and Luke, people address Jesus as “Kyrie” (Lord) in a sense implying transcendent dignity.
    E.g., Mt 8:25 (cf. 14:30)—And they went and woke him, saying, “Save, Lord; we are perishing.”
    This use of addressing Jesus as “Lord” demonstrates the Matthean conviction that the earthly Jesus is Lord because he acts with the power of God, who alone can save from the powers of chaos and death:
    Lk 5:8—But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
    Lk 7:13—And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”
  • 62. Johannine use of “the LORD”
    John adds a unique nuance to the meaning of “kyrios”. The Risen Christ is always called “Lord” by his disciples.
    Jn 20:18—Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
    Jn 20:25—So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
    Jn 21:7—That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea.
    Jn 21:12—Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.
    The Johannine use of the title “Lord” clearly means “God”:
    Jn 20:28—Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
  • 63. The LORD… BUT HUMAN!
    Kereszty explains that nonetheless for the Johannine community Jesus remains intinately known as a human figure who shows himself to the disciples—even his wounds on his hands and side—and who prepares a meal for them.
    Jn 20:20—When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
    Jn 20:27—Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.”
    Jn 21:12—Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”
  • 64. Johannine Emphasis
    Kereszty explains that for the Fourth Gospel, there is a special emphasis on the identity between Jesus, Lord and God, and the crucified Jesus of Nazareth.
    The divine presence is at the same time a familiar human presence that revives and perpetuates the personal ties he forged with his disciples in his earthly life.
  • 65. Kyrios Jesus = Refusing Idolatry
    In the Hellenistic environment, Kyrios also acquires a special meaning—the emperors of Rome were worshipped as gods under the title KyriosKaisar(Caesar is Lord).
    In conflict with the emperor cult, the confession KyriosIesous (“Jesus is Lord”) expressed the refusal of the Christians to acknowledge any other human being than Christ as divine.
    Martyrs like St. Polycarp would rather be burned alive at the stake than proclaim “Caesar is Lord.”
  • 66. The Final Coming
    Jesus remains absolute Lord, but his rule in this interim period remains hidden and he is still struggling in his members against the power of the Evil One.
    Therefore, the Church and the individual Christian, inspired by the Spirit, eagerly awaits the “day of the Lord.”
    1 Cor 1:7-8—…so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ; who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Rev 22:20—He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
  • 67. The SON of God
    Kereszty explains that the title “Lord” theologically expressed the Church’s faith that the risen Christ is equal in power and majesty with God and that God exercises his reign over the Church and cosmos through him.
    But both the God of the Old Testament and Christ are called “Lord.”
    Therefore the term “Lord” does not elucidate the relationship between God and Jesus.
  • 68. How to Describe the Un-describable??
    Kereszty says that the Apostolic Church attributed several titles to Jesus.
    Servant of God
    The Prophet
    The Holy and Just One
    The Messiah
    The Lord
    The Son of God
  • 69. Ransom & Redeemer
    The first three titles—Servant of God, the Prophet, and the Holy and Just One—did not survive for long.
    It is perhaps that these expressions were too Jewish and, thus, not that understandable in the larger Gentile world.
    Certainly the understanding of Jesus as “ebed Yahweh” or Servant was central to the earliest Christians. They sought other Old Testament figures to better express his reality—the related expressions of ransom and redeemer surfaced.
  • 70. First Century Context
    Richard McBrien explains that in the New Testament world of commerce, one paid a “ransom” in order to buy back a pawned object or to liberate a slave.
    In this way Christ could be seen as ransom. He was “paid” to liberate us all from the slavery of sin.
    But it would be a colossal misunderstanding (one very prevalent among Christian fundamentalists) to view Christ as LITERAL ransom; that is, in MORE THAN METAPHORICAL terms.
    It would be a HUGE MISTAKE to think of Christ as some necessary payment demanded by God.
    Rom 3:24—…they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus…
    McBrien explains that the New Testament does not press the metaphor of ransom further than did the Old Testament.

  • 71. Ransom: An Old Testament Metaphor
    McBrien explains that we do not “pay a ransom to God”
    Ps 49:7-8—Truly no man can ransom himself, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of his life is costly, and can never suffice,
    It is God who is our Redeemer
    Ps 78:35—They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer.
    Ps 19:14—Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
    Is 63:4-5—For the day of vengeance was in my heart,and my year of redemption has come. I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold; so my own arm brought me victory, and my wrath upheld me.
  • 72. What Does the Metaphor Mean?
    McBrien explains that the metaphors of redeemer and ransom mean that the forgiveness of sin is not some casual or arbitrary act of God.
    Sin is actually a bondage that leads to death.
    It “costs” God much to forgive and to deliver us from that slavery and bondage.
    Whenever the New Testament speaks of the blood of Christ as the “price” he had to pay, it is attempting to emphasize that the risen Lord’s life and death somehow served the salvific purposes of God in history.
    CRUCIAL: THERE IS NO EXACT “COMMERCIAL” DESCRIPTION OF WHAT ACTUALLY OCCURRED IN THE PASSION AND DEATH OF JESUS.
  • 73. Jesus a “Curse”?
    McBrien asks, what does it mean to speak of Jesus as having become a “curse” for us, and as having shed his blood in expiation of our sins?
    It DOES NOT mean that Jesus was actually accursed by God like the scapegoat of the Old Testament, which was burdened with the sins of all the people and then driven off to death in the desert, the waterless abode of demons.
  • 74. Jesus was NOT Marked for Death
    McBrien is emphatic that nowhere does New Testament Christology liken Christ to the scapegoat of the Old Testament.
    Therefore, the metaphors of “ransom” and “redeemer” do not mean that Jesus was MARKED out for death by the Father in expiation for offending the divine majesty—in fact, there is also no Old Testament model for such an idea.
  • 75. An Exercise in Pauline Paradox
    Gal 3:13 (with a quote from Deut 21:22-23)—Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree.”
    McBrien explains that Christ brought us back from the “curse” of the Law by himself becoming a “curse” for us.
    Just like with the word “ransom,” the term “curse” is used METAPHORICALLY.
    Paul mixes proper and improper senses of the same word so that he will make his point.
    1 Cor 1:18—For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
    1 Cor 1:20-21—Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.
  • 76. What About the Blood Sacrifices?
    McBrien explains that when they were given as a means of atonement, the death of the animal was entirely incidental.
    In itself, blood was regarded as a purifying and sacred element:
    Deut 12:23—Only be sure that you do not eat the blood; for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.
    Insofar as the shedding of the blood of Christ is clearly associated with the establishment of a New Covenant, the allusion is always to the Sinai Covenant (see Ex 24):
    Heb 9:12-14—he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
    Mk 14:24—And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”
    Mt 26:28—for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
    Lk 22:20—And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
  • 77. Jesus: A Peace Offering
    The Old Covenant enacted on Sinai was through the blood of a peace offering, not a sacrifice of expiation. It was not a sin offering or a guilt offering.
    God was not so enraged by the world’s sin that a price was to be exacted—this was the prevalent idea of God among the Pagans.
    What motivated the Peace Offering?
    Jn 3:16—For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
  • 78. Jesus is the Son of God
    • The term “Messiah” in the form of Greek “Christos” became part of Jesus’ personal name, according to Kereszty.
    • 79. In the liturgy, “Lord” continued to be used.
    • 80. But the title “Son of God” gained decisive importance in kerygma and catechesis.
    • 81. “Son of God” has proven to be more theologically expressive than the other titles because it explains the relationship between the God of the Old Testament and Jesus.
  • “Son of God” has Important Old Testament Roots
    • The term “Son of God” is not used biblically all the time to indicate divinity. Israel is “Son of God”:
    • 82. Ex 4:22-23—
    And you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, Israel is my first-born son, and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me”; if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay your first-born son.’”
    • Hos 11:1—
    When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
    • Is 1:2—
    Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;for the LORD has spoken:“Sons have I reared and brought up,but they have rebelled against me…”
    • Jer 3:19—
    “‘I thoughthow I would set you among my sons,and give you a pleasant land,a heritage most beauteous of all nations.And I thought you would call me, My Father,and would not turn from following me.
  • 83. Davidic “Son of God”
    David and his heirs are also referred to as “Son of God.”
    2 Sam 7:14-15—
    I will be his father, and he shall be my son. When he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men; but I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you.
    I Chron 17:13-14—
    I will be his father, and he shall be my son; I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom for ever and his throne shall be established for ever.'"
  • 84. Davidic “Son of God”
    The Davidic link with “Son of God” is especially true of Psalm 2—
    Why do the nations conspire,and the peoples plot in vain?The kings of the earth set themselves,and the rulers take counsel together,against the LORD and his anointed, saying,“Let us burst their bonds asunder,and cast their cords from us.”He who sits in the heavens laughs;the LORD has them in derision.Then he will speak to them in his wrath,and terrify them in his fury, saying,“I have set my kingon Zion, my holy hill.”
    I will tell of the decree of the LORD:
    He said to me, “You are my son,today I have begotten you…”
  • 85. New Testament “Son of God”
    • In some New Testament texts, Jesus is called son of God either in a Messianic sense or as the new eschatological Israel who relives in a new, salvific way the history of his People.
    • 86. Mt 2:14-15—And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.”
    • 87. Jn1:49—Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
  • The TRUE Son
    • Kereszty explains that in light of the resurrection, the Church realizes that Jesus is the Son of God in the two former senses BECAUSE he is the Son of God in an absolute and transcendent sense.
    Just as he never calls himself “God,” Jesus never calls himself directly “Son of God” in the Synoptic Gospels.
    This is most significant.
  • 88. Up till the END
    • Kereszty explains that the disciples had to witness the words and deeds of Jesus, his public life, his prayers to his “Abba,” and his obedience to him up to the agony of the Garden and up to the last cry on the Cross in order to graps what it means for Jesus to be Son of God.
    • 89. Anything verbal from Jesus before the crucifixion would have been misunderstood.
  • Pre-Pauline Keregma of “the Son”
    • Kereszty says that while interpreting the appearances of the Risen Christ, the Early Church coined a kerygmatic formula, which Paul quotes at the beginning of the Letter to the Romans, Rom 1:3-5—
    • 90. …descended from David according to the flesh
    and designated Son of God in power according to the
    spirit of holiness
    by his resurrection from the dead,
    Jesus Christ our Lord…
    • The Pauline formula: “the Son of God according to the Spirit of Holiness”—what does that mean?
  • Resurrection Viewpoint
    • Kereszty explains that “Son of God” in the Pauline formula presupposes the appearances of the Risen Christ in which the disciples understood that their master lives in the manner of God and is one with God.
    • 91. It is by THIS vantage point that they start to understand the mystery of his earthly life.
    • 92. They know that since the risen Christ is one and the same person with the crucified Jesus of Nazareth, all the while in his earthly life Jesus was Son of God.
    • 93. Reflecting back on his prayers, and on his relationship to God during his earthly life they now view his prayer and his obedience to be the expression of the Son’s relationship to the Father.
  • “Son of God” Framing the Markan Jesus
    Kereszty explains that through the literary device of inclusio, framing his account of Jesus’ ministry, Mark employs “Son of God” the key to understanding the mystery of Jesus:
    Read Mk 1:1,15:34, 39—
    The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God … And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
    What does this express?
    For Mark, only by crying out to the world on the cross hisabandonment by God does the ULTIMATE depth of the unique relationship between the Father and the Son come to light.
    Only here is his obedience to his “Abba” consummated and becomes clear that he has ALWAYS been the obedient Son of God.
  • 94. Not Inspired from Greek Myths
    Kereszty agrees with Oscar Cullmann’s insight against the followers of Bousset and Bultmann that Jesus’ sonship manifested in obedience is totally opposed to the Hellenistic stories of “sons of god” or “divine men” (theioiandres).
    See Christology of the New Testament, pp. 271-278; cf. also other reasons in M. Hengel, The Son of God, pp. 21-56. On the title in Mark, cf. L. Sabourin, Christology: Basic Texts in Focus, pp. 31-52.
  • 95. Paul & Damascus
    Kereszty informs us that when interpreting the Damascus experience, Paul testifies that “God was pleased to reveal his Son to me” (Gal 1:16).
    Seeing the risen Christ via occulata fides, Paul must have understood the transcendant, absolute sense in which Jesus is Son of God.
    Paul aslo became aware that the earthly Jesus who descended from David was already Son (Rom 1:3), even though he was established Son of God in power only by his resurrection.
    Indeed, Paul also understood Jesus pre-existence as the Son.
  • 96. The Emptying & Filling
    • Phil 2:5-7—
    Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
    • For Paul, there corresponds to the sending of the Son by the Father a voluntary act on the part of the Son prior to his Incarnation: the one in the form and equal to God empties himself. The one who was rich becomes poor for our sake:
    • 97. 2 Cor 8:9—
    For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.
  • 98. Johannine Theology & the Son
    It is John that we discover the most developed theology of Jesus’ eternal Sonship.
    Jn 1:17-18—For the law was given through Moses; the gift that is the truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is turned toward the Father, he has made him known.
    • The Son has always been in the bosom of the Father, has always been “turned toward God”.
    • 99. The Son always had his glory with the Father.
    • 100. The Son becomes flesh that he might extend the perfect communion to all who accept him in faith (Jn 17:20-26; 1 Jn 1:3)
    • 101. There exists a total and eternal communion in mutual knowledge, life and love between the Father and the Son, as well as the obedience of the Son.
  • Given Away for our Sonship
    Jn 1:10-14—
    He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to those who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of a man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
    • The Sonship of Jesus is given away for the expiation of sins so that all could become the adopted children of God.
  • Kenosis Theosis
    • In John, the Son comes to take away the sins of the world by giving his flesh for the life of the world.
    • 102. He extends to us the same unity that he possesses with the Father.
  • Jesus is God
    The belief that Jesus is God originated most probably in the appearances of the Risen Christ and was prepared for by what Jesus did, said and suffering in his earthly life.
    There are two reasons the term God was applied to Jesus:
    The early Church remained faithful to Jesus’ teaching in reserving the title to God as the God of the Old Testament. God meant the Father.
    The Church proclaimed the Gospel in a polytheistic environment. This meant that the monotheism of the Old Testament was stressed to keep Jesus from being a second God.
  • 103. Johannine Distinction
    When John’s Gospel makes the proclamation of Jesus’ divinity, it indicates a type or a conceptual distinction between divine nature and divine persons.
    The eternal Son of God is the same as the Risen Lord, who is identical with the earthly crucified Jesus of Nazareth.
    If the Son is God, then he must transcend time. Both his eternal pre-existence and his birth in time become part of the Christian faith.
  • 104. Real Freedom
    Once Jesus’ divinity is expressed conceptually, the drama of our redemption appears in a new light:
    God gave up something not less than himself. In the Man Jesus, God himself carries the “full burden” of our sins that God himself is the “price” of “our ransom,” by which we are freed from slavery to sin.
    If Jesus is truly God and given to us, we then share in God’s own divine nature.
  • 105. Value of the Old Testament for contemporary Christians
    The human mind can grasp something new only by means of pre-understanding.
    It is imperative that we try to grasp the Christ event through the pre-understanding God himself has provided for us in the Old Testament.
    The Old Testament is a process of going through the experience of what the people of Israel went through in order to be ready to encounter God himself in the flesh and to value his redemption. The Old Testament leads to the New Testament.
  • 106. The Old in the New and the New in the Old
    In Jesus, we are given the fullness of God.
    When the Old Testament describes an experience of God’s forgiving mercy and union with him in faith, it anticipates what will be realized in the Paschal mystery of Jesus Christ.
    The Old Testament and the New Testament mutually enlighten each other and provide a link to the religious notions and institutions of the history of humanity in general.
  • 107. Invitation to Further Reflection
    Something to ponder and pray over…
    What is the relationship between Christology and anthropology?
    Taking everything that we have learned thus far, why would it be correct to describe Christology as transcendent anthropology and anthropology as deficient Christology?