Bible Alive: Jesus Christ<br />Class Eight: The Kingdom of God II—<br />Miracles and Message<br />
The following presentation would be impossible without these resources<br />
And most of all…<br />By Father Roch A. Kereszty o. cist.<br />Thank you Father Roch!<br />
Setting the Tone<br />  “Hope consists in asserting that there is at the heart of being, beyond all data, beyond all inven...
Setting the Tone<br />If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough. 		<br />		—Meis...
Setting the Tone<br />There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, “Thy will be done”, and those to whom God says,...
Let us Pray<br />Merciful Father<br />Thank you for inviting us to the Banquet of your Reign.<br />Help us to see with eye...
Summarizing Last Class<br />We saw that the Church never could have invented Jesus’ baptism at the hands of John the Bapti...
The Message of Jesus<br />
What was the message of Jesus?<br />Mk 1:14-15, 8:35, 10:29, 13:10—<br />Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Gali...
Matthean Theology & Gospel<br />How does Matthean text in its editorial summaries recapitulate the teaching of Jesus (in G...
Lucan Theology & Gospel<br />How does the Lucan text present Jesus’ preaching (euaggelizesthai)? <br />See Lk 4:18-19, 4:4...
Terminology of Jesus<br />Did Jesus himself use the term “Good News”? Does it matter?<br /><ul><li>Since the Gospels are n...
But it is irrelevant. The fact is that the center of Jesus’ message is the Kingdom, and the Evangelists are RIGHT to use t...
Original Expression for Luke<br />What is the meaning of the term euaggelizesthai, “proclaim the Good News,” in the light ...
The New Age of the Good News<br />A new age has dawned on humankind. What was happening to the world of those exposed to J...
A Different ‘End of Days’<br />How is the drawing near of the Kingdom of God in Jesus’ preaching SIGNIFICANTLY different t...
Not What Was Expected…<br />Unlike Apocalyptic Jewish literature, where the ‘End of Time’ is accompanied by signs of cosmi...
The Good News is Surprising<br />Jews expected the coming of the King either through violent warfare or perfect obedience ...
Violent Kingdom?<br />Can the Kingdom of God be brought about by violence or a political movement?<br /><ul><li>No way.
Jesus risked alienating the crowds to drive this point home—he would not accept the role as political Messiah. The Reign o...
In the poorest of the Jews at the time, their periodic rebellions had a messianic overtone to them. These people expected ...
Stupid Resistance<br />In Jesus’ preaching on the Kingdom God’s power is seen as one of incomprehensible love—why would pe...
What kind of love is this??<br />Lk 7:36-50<br />Cf<br />Mk 14:3-9<br />Mt 26:6-13<br />Jn12:1-8<br />
Lk 15:3-7<br />Cf. also<br />Mt 18:12-13<br />What kind of crazy love is this?? One out of 99??<br />
Jn 4:1-30<br />What kind of insane love considers the defiled half-breed, the enemy, the apostate, the prostitute and <br ...
Lk 10:25-37<br />This is a CRAZY, STUPID, INCONCEIVABLE<br />love……<br />
Luke 10:38-42<br />What kind of love is this that accepts a woman as a disciple!!??<br />
Mt 18:1-5<br />Cf. also<br />Mk 9:33-37<br />Lk 9:49-50<br />What kind of love is so SHAMEFUL as to place a child or serva...
Mk 2:1-12<br />Cf. also<br />Mt 9:1-8<br />Lk 5:17-26<br />(see also Jn 5:1-18)<br />This love is <br />Incomprehensible. ...
Lk 15:11-32<br />What kind of love is this??<br />
Incomprehensible Love<br />The love of Jesus’ God is, in Greek, moron—a“stupid, foolish love” (see Lk 15:1-32). <br />It i...
The Banquet<br />What is the central image of the Kingdom? <br />The Festive Banquet is the central image of the Kingdom. ...
Image of the Banquet<br /><ul><li>Lk 14:15-24—</li></ul>	When one of those who sat at table with him heard this, he said t...
The Central Image of the Kingdom<br />More on the Festive Banquet: <br />The Festive Banquet, in Jesus message, relates to...
Exploring the Festive Banquet<br />Read Mt 18:21-35—<br />Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my br...
Love of Enemies & Metanoia<br />The most characteristic attitude of one who undergoes metanoia is love of enemies. <br />N...
More from the Festive Banquet<br />What is another aspect of metanoia in Jesus’ preaching and the Festive Banquet image? <...
Blessed are the Poor<br />Why do the materially poor, hungry, and grieving all have a special advantage regarding the King...
Misery helps people cry out to God because everything else has failed. In that very moment they do so, the kingdom of God ...
Among them, all alienation and estrangement cease and an intimate communion is established because, accepted by God, they ...
The Phenomenon of Jesus’ Miracles<br />
Unexpected Miracles<br />Let’s talk about the miracles of Jesus. Were the miracles of Jesus what the people expected?<br /...
The Synoptics do not use terata to describe Jesus’ miracles.  The word for these was “dynameis” or “powerful deeds.” These...
Miracles & the Kingdom<br />What do the miracles of Jesus say about the Kingdom?<br />Mk 2:5—And when Jesus saw their fait...
VERY IMPORTANT: The bodily healings and even the reanimations from the dead that Jesus performs are ONLY a visible illustr...
The Healings Interpreted<br />Note how the healings are described with the same verb as describing the raising up of Jesus...
The Essence of Faith<br />What is the essence of the faith Jesus demands?<br />Read Mk 5:35-36—While he was still speaking...
True Faith & Faith Today<br />The faith that Jesus asks for—is it contrary to what many people TAKE for faith in our socie...
Are the Miracles Historical?<br />Rudolf Bultmann: “One cannot use electric light and radio and believe in the spirits and...
Are Jesus’ Miracles Historical??<br />What evidence do we have for the historicity of Jesus’ miracles in general?<br />Jes...
Miracles & Historicity<br />So what can be said of the miracle stories’ historicity?<br /><ul><li>Most exegetes hold that ...
Nature Miracles & Reanimations<br />Okay. But what about the nature miracles? And raising people from the dead (resuscitat...
However, if we accept the resurrection of Christ by faith, we cannot a priori object to the admitting the historicity of J...
To suggest that the daughter of Jairus or the young man of Nain only appeared dead is pure speculation without any support...
Also the nature miracles anticipate the Kingdom in which nature will be exorcized and no longer be an instrument of Satan ...
What is it then? It is a philosophical presupposition, a world-view IMPOSED on scientific matters.
We have seen already how the Christian doctrine of Creation itself is the philosophical and theological context that provi...
In all miracles, the natural actions of Jesus are not by-passed, but rather are enabled by the divine power to transcend t...
It is God’s power that manifests itself through human gestures and words of Jesus and elevates them into prophetic signs t...
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Bible Alive Jesus Christ 008: “The Kingdom of God II--Miracles and Message”

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Explore the message of Jesus and his teaching method. Discover what “Kingdom of God” means. Learn why the “Festive Banquet” is the central image of the Kingdom and why in Jesus’ message. See how metanoia (a complete change of heart) begins with accepting the invitation to the banquet. Also learn about Jesus’ miracles, called “dynameis” or “powerful deeds,” and how these acts of power show forth the hidden Kingdom. Are they historical? And discover how “the distribution of the loaves and fish” is the turning point in Jesus’ ministry.

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Bible Alive Jesus Christ 008: “The Kingdom of God II--Miracles and Message”

  1. 1. Bible Alive: Jesus Christ<br />Class Eight: The Kingdom of God II—<br />Miracles and Message<br />
  2. 2. The following presentation would be impossible without these resources<br />
  3. 3. And most of all…<br />By Father Roch A. Kereszty o. cist.<br />Thank you Father Roch!<br />
  4. 4. Setting the Tone<br /> “Hope consists in asserting that there is at the heart of being, beyond all data, beyond all inventories and all calculations, a mysterious Principle which is in connivance with me and which cannot will anything except that which I will <br /> if<br /> what I will DESERVES to be willed and is willed with the whole of my being.”<br />—Gabriel Marcel<br />
  5. 5.
  6. 6. Setting the Tone<br />If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough. <br /> —Meister Eckhart<br />
  7. 7.
  8. 8. Setting the Tone<br />There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, “Thy will be done”, and those to whom God says, “All right, then, have it your way”. <br /> —C.S. Lewis<br />
  9. 9.
  10. 10. Let us Pray<br />Merciful Father<br />Thank you for inviting us to the Banquet of your Reign.<br />Help us to see with eyes of faith<br />Help us to listen with the Spirit of Humility. <br />Help us likewise to go out and love our enemies, forgive others’ debts as you have forgiven ours.<br />Poor in Spirit, we give you thanks for today and every day, <br />By your Divine Presence,<br />Amen. <br />
  11. 11. Summarizing Last Class<br />We saw that the Church never could have invented Jesus’ baptism at the hands of John the Baptist. We learned why also. <br />We saw why Baptism is the “hermeneutical key” for understanding the meaning of Jesus’ ministry and message. <br />We discovered how the inspired authors of the Synoptic Gospels choose mythic language in the temptation narrative and how all three attempts of the devil are variations on the one great temptation Jesus faced during his public ministry: To become the Messiah who fulfills the expectations of the people. <br />We learned the outline of Jesus’ ministry.<br />
  12. 12. The Message of Jesus<br />
  13. 13. What was the message of Jesus?<br />Mk 1:14-15, 8:35, 10:29, 13:10—<br />Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” <br />For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel&apos;s will save it. <br />Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel…<br />And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. <br /> The message of Jesus is the “Good News” or Gospel that “The Kingdom (or reign) of God is at hand!” <br />
  14. 14. Matthean Theology & Gospel<br />How does Matthean text in its editorial summaries recapitulate the teaching of Jesus (in Greek, to euanggeliontesbasileias)? <br />See Mt 4:23, 9:35, 24:14—<br />And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.<br />And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity.<br />And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come.<br />Matthew’s theology has Jesus “proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom.”<br />
  15. 15. Lucan Theology & Gospel<br />How does the Lucan text present Jesus’ preaching (euaggelizesthai)? <br />See Lk 4:18-19, 4:43, 8:1—<br />“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preachgood news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”<br />…But he said to them, “I must preachthe good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.”<br />Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, preaching and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him…<br />Luke prefers this medial verb-form to indicate the message of Jesus’ preaching. <br />
  16. 16. Terminology of Jesus<br />Did Jesus himself use the term “Good News”? Does it matter?<br /><ul><li>Since the Gospels are not and were not intended as biographies or transcripts, we don’t know for certain that Jesus himself used these expressions or something similar in Aramaic.
  17. 17. But it is irrelevant. The fact is that the center of Jesus’ message is the Kingdom, and the Evangelists are RIGHT to use the Greek for “Good News” because it manifests an important aspect of the Kingdom.</li></li></ul><li>Original Expression for Matthew<br />Where does the expression “Good News” (verb forms of euaggelizesthai) come from (Is 40:9-10, 52:7)? <br />Is 40:9-10, 52:7—<br />Get you up to a high mountain,O Zion, herald of good tidings (ho euaggelizomenos);lift up your voice with strength,O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings (ho euaggelizomenos),lift it up, fear not;say to the cities of Judah,“Behold your God!”Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,and his arm rules for him;behold, his reward is with him,and his recompense before him…<br /> How beautiful upon the mountainsare the feet of him who brings good tidings (euaggelizomenou),who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good (euaggelizomenos),who publishes salvation,who says to Zion, “Your Godreigns.”<br /> The term “Good News” used as it is in the New Testament written as it was in Greek originates in the Old Testament translated into Greek, the Septuagint (LXX).<br />
  18. 18. Original Expression for Luke<br />What is the meaning of the term euaggelizesthai, “proclaim the Good News,” in the light of its Old Testament usage?<br />The terms euangellizesthai, “to announce Good News,” means in context to announce God’s VICTORY to Jerusalem. That’s the Good News. <br />So the liberation from the Babylonian Exile announced by Isaiah’s disciples is a foreshadowing of what is happening now: Satan is on the retreat! The exile of sickness, death, and sin are CONQUERED! <br />Through the word and works of Jesus, the power of Satan is on retreat. This is the beginning of the final victory over the powers that have oppressed and kept humankind captive in the shadow of death.<br />Mt 13:17—[Jesus said] “Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”<br />Lk 10:23-24—Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”<br />
  19. 19. The New Age of the Good News<br />A new age has dawned on humankind. What was happening to the world of those exposed to Jesus’ preaching?<br /> Mt 11:13<br />For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John…<br />Lk 7:28, 16:16<br />“…I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he”… “The law and the prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and every one enters it violently…”<br /> The world as they knew it was coming to an END. <br />
  20. 20. A Different ‘End of Days’<br />How is the drawing near of the Kingdom of God in Jesus’ preaching SIGNIFICANTLY different than the End of Days foretold in Jewish apocalyptic literature?<br />Lk 17:20-21—Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Lo, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”<br /> If you lack eyes of faith, you cannot perceive the hidden presence of the Kingdom or Reign of God. <br />
  21. 21. Not What Was Expected…<br />Unlike Apocalyptic Jewish literature, where the ‘End of Time’ is accompanied by signs of cosmic upheaval, such apocalyptic signs do not accompany the drawing near of the Kingdom in Jesus’ preaching. <br />Healings, exorcisms and raising the dead as well as preaching to the poor and converting sinners are signs that do not compel acceptance. <br />Why? They can be misinterpreted. Some misinterpret them as evidence of Jesus being diabolically possessed. But with eyes of faith, one can see the Kingdom in these “mighty deeds” of Jesus.<br />
  22. 22. The Good News is Surprising<br />Jews expected the coming of the King either through violent warfare or perfect obedience to the Law. Is this how Jesus came? <br />Nope. <br />Jesus and his ministry of the Kingdom has appeared as a pure gift of God’s initiative. <br />IT WAS IN NO WAY MERITTED. It does not presuppose conversion; rather it calls for conversion. Kereszty explains—the Kingdom of God appears in the ministry of Jesus, not as the result of Israel’s conversion but rather as a pure gift on God’s initiative. <br />
  23. 23. Violent Kingdom?<br />Can the Kingdom of God be brought about by violence or a political movement?<br /><ul><li>No way.
  24. 24. Jesus risked alienating the crowds to drive this point home—he would not accept the role as political Messiah. The Reign of God cannot come through military or political movements.
  25. 25. In the poorest of the Jews at the time, their periodic rebellions had a messianic overtone to them. These people expected the Kingdom to come due to an armed uprising against Roman oppression. </li></li></ul><li>Jesus’ Restoration…<br />What does Jesus mean by the ‘Kingdom of God’?<br />Mt 12:28—But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. <br />The Reign/Kingdom of God (or Kingdom of Heaven, which is probably the term Jesus used historically) is the hidden but powerful presence of God in Jesus restoring wholeness to life and humanity.<br />
  26. 26. Stupid Resistance<br />In Jesus’ preaching on the Kingdom God’s power is seen as one of incomprehensible love—why would people resist this love?<br />This love is an unsettling and upsetting love, not only for the religious hypocrite, but also for the devout Jew who sought righteousness and avoided wickedness. <br />Jesus not only allowed sinners to come to him like John the Baptist did, he went after them. He not only forgave their sins; he ate with them! <br />Jesus’ God pays the SAME AMOUNT to the worker hired in the last hour of the day (the sinner who repents at the final hour) as to the worker who has endured the whole heat of the day’s labor (the self righteous and law-abiding Pharisee or Essene). What sort of God is this? What sort of love is this??<br />
  27. 27. What kind of love is this??<br />Lk 7:36-50<br />Cf<br />Mk 14:3-9<br />Mt 26:6-13<br />Jn12:1-8<br />
  28. 28. Lk 15:3-7<br />Cf. also<br />Mt 18:12-13<br />What kind of crazy love is this?? One out of 99??<br />
  29. 29. Jn 4:1-30<br />What kind of insane love considers the defiled half-breed, the enemy, the apostate, the prostitute and <br />repeat fornicator,<br />the person in <br />absolute <br />darkness? <br />
  30. 30. Lk 10:25-37<br />This is a CRAZY, STUPID, INCONCEIVABLE<br />love……<br />
  31. 31. Luke 10:38-42<br />What kind of love is this that accepts a woman as a disciple!!??<br />
  32. 32. Mt 18:1-5<br />Cf. also<br />Mk 9:33-37<br />Lk 9:49-50<br />What kind of love is so SHAMEFUL as to place a child or servant in the place of Greatness???<br />
  33. 33. Mk 2:1-12<br />Cf. also<br />Mt 9:1-8<br />Lk 5:17-26<br />(see also Jn 5:1-18)<br />This love is <br />Incomprehensible. <br />
  34. 34. Lk 15:11-32<br />What kind of love is this??<br />
  35. 35. Incomprehensible Love<br />The love of Jesus’ God is, in Greek, moron—a“stupid, foolish love” (see Lk 15:1-32). <br />It is the love of a FOOLISH shepherd who leaves 99 sheep for the a troublesome one that has been lost—think how outrageous that is! <br />It’s like that of a CRAZY woman who frantically sweeps the house until she finds ONLY one coin! <br />Or like a Father whose ungrateful son abandons him and squanders everything of the family inheritance he gave him, and abandoning his dignity he runs to embrace him, not even waiting to hear him finish his confession before he has dressed him in his finest attire and celebrates his return to life in the Banquet!<br />
  36. 36. The Banquet<br />What is the central image of the Kingdom? <br />The Festive Banquet is the central image of the Kingdom. Both the law-abiding Pharisee (who is in terrible condition as he, the elder brother, resents his father’s generosity toward his brother) and repentant sinner are invited into the central image of the Kingdom.<br />Mt 8:11—“I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.”<br />Lk 13:28-30—“There you will weep and gnash your teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out. And men will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”<br />
  37. 37. Image of the Banquet<br /><ul><li>Lk 14:15-24—</li></ul> When one of those who sat at table with him heard this, he said to him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!” But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for all is now ready.’ <br /> But they all alike began to make excuses. <br /> The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.’ <br /> And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.’ <br /> And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ <br /> So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’” <br />
  38. 38. The Central Image of the Kingdom<br />More on the Festive Banquet: <br />The Festive Banquet, in Jesus message, relates to metanoia, a complete change of heart and way of life—this begins with accepting the invitation to God’s banquet. <br />Loving one’s enemies becomes the characteristic attitude of one who undergoes metanoia. <br />If I accept the invitation to the banquet there must be included in me a gratitude for an UNDESERVED forgiveness for my sins, and I must therefore adopt the same attitude toward those who sinned against me. <br />If I don’t imitate God’s forgiveness, rest assured God will revoke forgiving my sins. Only in this way can I “prove” that I have accepted the love of God. <br />
  39. 39. Exploring the Festive Banquet<br />Read Mt 18:21-35—<br />Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” <br /> Jesus said to him, &quot;I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. <br /> “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, `Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.&apos; And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”<br />
  40. 40. Love of Enemies & Metanoia<br />The most characteristic attitude of one who undergoes metanoia is love of enemies. <br />No love of enemies? Then it is all rubbish. <br />Only in loving your enemies can one “prove” that they have accepted and understood the love of God. <br />
  41. 41. More from the Festive Banquet<br />What is another aspect of metanoia in Jesus’ preaching and the Festive Banquet image? <br />We are called by Jesus to become “little children.” <br />Can little children earn their living? Nope. Are they independent? No way. They are COMPLETELY dependent on their parents. <br />No matter what happens they trust in their parents’ care. They are convinced that their parents are able to what is best for them. <br />Thus a disciple is one who unconditionally, trustingly, lovingly and joyfully surrenders to God as one’s Father and gratefully accepts the kingdom as pure gift.<br />
  42. 42. Blessed are the Poor<br />Why do the materially poor, hungry, and grieving all have a special advantage regarding the Kingdom? <br /><ul><li>These are called “blessed” by Jesus. Why? Because wealth, satisfactions, and pleasures tend to BLIND people to their NEED of the Kingdom. But the poor are at the end of their rope, or as Marx said, “they have only their chains to lose.” They have no stake in their present status. They have no excuse for refusing an invitation.
  43. 43. Misery helps people cry out to God because everything else has failed. In that very moment they do so, the kingdom of God is theirs. So being guests at the banquet in the Kingdom of Heaven is a celebration for those who have accepted the invitation and were reborn as little children.
  44. 44. Among them, all alienation and estrangement cease and an intimate communion is established because, accepted by God, they accept one another.</li></li></ul><li>Kereszty’sMatthean Clarification <br />Kereszty believes Luke’s version of the Beatitudes are closer to the original wording of Jesus. <br />He indicates that “Matthew” (or the Matthean community) makes an important clarification: those being materially poor, regarding the Kingdom, are in a fortunate position. However, they enter the Kingdom ONLY if they take advantage of their opportunity and DETATCH from wealth and develop a hunger for God’s justice and holiness (Mt 5:3-10).<br />In truth, the wealthy person who is ready to share his or her riches with the poor because he is detached from his wealth is, in Matthew’s interpretation, “poor in spirit.”<br />
  45. 45. The Phenomenon of Jesus’ Miracles<br />
  46. 46. Unexpected Miracles<br />Let’s talk about the miracles of Jesus. Were the miracles of Jesus what the people expected?<br />Mk 8:11-12—The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven, to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”<br />Mt 12:38—Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” <br />Lk 11:29-30—When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh, so will the Son of man be to this generation.”<br /><ul><li>Nope. The Jews expected a cosmic portent or apocalyptic event. Jesus REFUSED to give one of these signs.</li></li></ul><li>Signs and Powerful Deeds<br />What about the Gospel of John?<br /><ul><li>While the theology of the Fourth Gospel uses the Greek term semeion (or signs), it does not use terata meaning a heavenly apocalyptic sign” or “cosmic manifestation of divine wonder,” but rather seven selected miracles of Jesus which were PROPHETIC signs from Jesus’ ministry which symbolize and anticipate his death and resurrection.
  47. 47. The Synoptics do not use terata to describe Jesus’ miracles. The word for these was “dynameis” or “powerful deeds.” These acts of power which show forth the hidden, initial presence of God’s kingdom. </li></li></ul><li>Breakdown of Johannine Signs<br />Provision of Wine (Jn 2:1-11)<br />Healing of the Official’s Son (Jn 4:46-54)<br />Healing of Man by the Pool (Jn 5:1-18)<br />Distributing the Loaves and Fish (Jn 6:1-14)<br />Master of the Sea (Jn 6:15-25)<br />Healing the Man Born Blind (Jn 9:1-41)<br />Raising the Dead Lazarus (Jn 11:1-46)<br />
  48. 48. Miracles & the Kingdom<br />What do the miracles of Jesus say about the Kingdom?<br />Mk 2:5—And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”<br /><ul><li>These works of power show that Jesus proclamation deals not just with words, but also with actions. With the preaching these mighty works inaugurate the New Age of the Kingdom.
  49. 49. VERY IMPORTANT: The bodily healings and even the reanimations from the dead that Jesus performs are ONLY a visible illustration for the invisible happening, the MUCH GREATER HAPPENING, in the hearts of believers. </li></li></ul><li>Miracle Accounts: Just the Facts?<br />Are the miracle accounts we read in the Gospels devoid of interpretation? Are they “just facts” reported on and recorded?<br />No. The miracle traditions have been theologically re-thought, re-told, and re-composed in light of Jesus’ death and resurrection. <br />The miracle traditions were re-conceived in light of the resurrection in which they have received NEW MEANING (Gospel Formation Stages 2 and 3). <br />They become signs and guarantees of the new, eschatological human race that is fully and eternally alive for God and with God. Every miracle reveals some aspect of the God of the Living.<br />The healings and resuscitations of the dead anticipate the new and eschatological creation whose first fruits are the glorious risen body of Christ.<br />EVERY miracle during Christ’s public ministry REVEALS some aspect of the God who shows God’s self to be God by GIVING LIFE. <br />Jesus is the GOD OF THE LIVING, and his purpose in Creation is that we may live in his eternity for him and with him. <br />
  50. 50. The Healings Interpreted<br />Note how the healings are described with the same verb as describing the raising up of Jesus:<br />Mt 8:15—[Jesus] touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and served him. <br />Mt 9:5,7—For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?... And he rose and went home. <br />Mk 2:12—And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, &quot;We never saw anything like this!&quot;<br />Lk 4:39—And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her; and immediately she rose and served them. <br />Lk 5:25—And immediately he rose before them, and took up that on which he lay, and went home, glorifying God. <br />Lk 17:19—And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” <br />
  51. 51. The Essence of Faith<br />What is the essence of the faith Jesus demands?<br />Read Mk 5:35-36—While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” <br />The essence of faith demanded by Jesus is: when facing the empirical evidence of death as the final end of human life, trust in God who brings his creation back to a new life in and through Jesus.<br />
  52. 52. True Faith & Faith Today<br />The faith that Jesus asks for—is it contrary to what many people TAKE for faith in our society?<br />Mk 9:23—And Jesus said to him, “If you can! All things are possible to him who believes.”<br />YES. We often kid ourselves, “Believe you can do it and you can do it!” Jesus never speaks of faith as confidence in one’s own UNLIMITED power. <br />The “faith the size of a mustard seed,” the faith that can move mountains, does not mean push yourself beyond your limits. It is very different from that. It is faith in God’s almighty power and in his absolute Goodness available for us in Jesus. <br />This faith tells God: I trust that you alone are almighty and good and therefore I surrender myself to you completely. “If you WANT you can make me CLEAN.” By subjecting himself or herself to God in UNCONDITIONAL obedience, the believer in some sense shares in God’s limitless power; he can do WHATEVER God wants him to do with the strength that God provides. <br />In this sense Jesus alone has THE FULNESS OF FAITH—he is the archetype and leader of our faith and we only participate in his fullness.<br />
  53. 53. Are the Miracles Historical?<br />Rudolf Bultmann: “One cannot use electric light and radio and believe in the spirits and in the miracles of the New Testament at the same time.” <br />Kereszty—Few exegetes today would subscribe to Bultmann’s self-confident pronouncement.<br />HOWEVER, There is no consensus on the extent to which legendary developments amplified the miracle traditions. <br />
  54. 54. Are Jesus’ Miracles Historical??<br />What evidence do we have for the historicity of Jesus’ miracles in general?<br />Jesus performed REAL miracles, despite what Rudolf Bultmann says. <br />Again there is no consensus as to the extent to which legendary developments amplified the miracle traditions. <br />Thus a Christian theologian cannot, on the basis of the doctrine of inspiration, exclude the possibility that some miracle stories of the bible are ENTIRELY legendary and that others have undergone amplification. Human traditions DO develop in this way. <br />However, the assistance of the Holy Spirit DOES assure us that such amplifications or legendary developments CORRECTLY interpret the meaning of what Jesus truly said and did.<br />
  55. 55. Miracles & Historicity<br />So what can be said of the miracle stories’ historicity?<br /><ul><li>Most exegetes hold that at least some of Jesus’ reported miracles are based on historical facts. There are several points made:</li></ul>All Gospel Traditions report miracles. Even the earliest LAYERS of tradition contain them. They did not originate at a later age when the Church was confronted by Hellenism.<br />The credulity and naiveté of ancient man should not be exaggerated. Example, John the Baptist, considered to be the greatest of the Old Prophets, yet never produced any signs or wonders. <br />On of the chief charges against Jesus was that he healed on the Sabbath. In this even his enemies admit to the fact of Jesus healing people, even if they attributed those healings to Beelzebub. <br />Mt 11:20 and Lk 10:13. Matthew and Luke provide a saying in which Jesus chides Bethsaida and Chorazin for refusing to believe in spite of the mighty deeds performed in their midst. But nowhere in those texts does it mention Jesus working a miracle at Bethsaida or EVEN GOING to Chorazin. If the early Church had invented the miracle stories, shouldn’t Jesus be chiding places that were in the Gospel stories Jesus was known to have worked miracles? This bears the sign of authenticity, and not only that, but Jesus’ own witness as having performed miracles. <br />
  56. 56. Nature Miracles & Reanimations<br />Okay. But what about the nature miracles? And raising people from the dead (resuscitations and reanimations)?<br /><ul><li>Many exegetes will admit to the factuality of the healings. But they tend to relegate the nature miracles and raising people from the dead as mere developments of legend.
  57. 57. However, if we accept the resurrection of Christ by faith, we cannot a priori object to the admitting the historicity of Jesus’ raising people from the dead as a PROPHETIC sign of his own resurrection and to the coming of the Kingdom in power.
  58. 58. To suggest that the daughter of Jairus or the young man of Nain only appeared dead is pure speculation without any support from the text.
  59. 59. Also the nature miracles anticipate the Kingdom in which nature will be exorcized and no longer be an instrument of Satan used for the destruction of humankind. The nature miracles Kerezty believes are more or less historical. </li></li></ul><li>Let’s talk philosophy<br /><ul><li>The popular notion of the universe as a closed, self-explanatory system cannot be proved by empiriological science. This is beyond the competency of science.
  60. 60. What is it then? It is a philosophical presupposition, a world-view IMPOSED on scientific matters.
  61. 61. We have seen already how the Christian doctrine of Creation itself is the philosophical and theological context that provides analogies for understanding the resurrection of Christ. This applies also to the miracles of Jesus. God enables the natural cause to transcend its power and produce a disproportionately greater-than-normal effect.
  62. 62. In all miracles, the natural actions of Jesus are not by-passed, but rather are enabled by the divine power to transcend their natural results.
  63. 63. It is God’s power that manifests itself through human gestures and words of Jesus and elevates them into prophetic signs that foreshadow the new eschatological creation.</li></li></ul><li>The Meaning of the Miracle<br />What is the REAL purpose behind Jesus’ healing miracles?<br />The healings of Jesus have as their real purpose conversion of heart.<br />The healings transcend the potential of the human spirit in that they bring about new life with God in the healed person. <br />No one can accept the miracles of Jesus as signs of the Kingdom without corresponding inner change, a form of incipient faith. <br />The miracles, however, can never impose faith. They can help it, give birth to it, but not impose it.<br />
  64. 64. Faith is BEYOND Miracles<br /><ul><li>You can always reduce miracles to parapsychological phenomena, or misinterpret them as diabolic actions, and the nature miracles and resuscitations can simply be denied.
  65. 65. However with eyes of faith, the miracles “open up for us,” don’t they? We can only understand these mighty deeds of Jesus in light of the Kingdom.
  66. 66. The healings and the raisings of the dead signify in us the forgiveness of sins and the new life in God we are raised to, and isn’t this continued each day in the preaching and sacramental life of the Church as well as our living out this reality in our moral lives? </li></li></ul><li>Mk 6:31-45; doublet 8:1-21<br />Mt 14:13-22; doublet 15:29-16:12<br />Lk 9:10-17<br />Jn 6:1-15<br />The Multiplication of the Loaves<br />
  67. 67. Breaking Bread & Crisis<br />How is the multiplication of the loaves a turning point in the ministry of Jesus? <br />Kereszty answers that the feeding of the multitudes seems to mark a turning point in the relationship between Jesus and the crowds. It is attested to in all four gospels. <br />Jn 6:14-15—When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!” Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself…<br />The Messianic uprising occasioned by feeding the multitude would explain why Jesus wanted to separate his disciples from the enthusiasm of the crowds. <br />
  68. 68. Historical??<br />Explain the evidence for its historicity and the meaning of this sign. <br />BUT if the crowds in the dessert had proclaimed Jesus as their Messiah-King there HAD to be GOOD REASON for it. In other words, let’s be consistent and address the challenge of I. de la Potterie (Kereszty, p. 119)—if you are going to claim that this story demonstrates the historicity of a messianic uprising around Jesus DON’T REDUCE the historical kernel of the multiplication of the loaves to merely a kind “sharing of their provisions” with one another. That’s SIMPLY TOO UNREMARKABLE to spark a messianic fever plus ignite a rebellion against Rome. <br />A truly miraculous multiplication of loaves? That could make plausible the people’s outburst. <br />There was a Jewish belief that the Messiah would renew the manna miracle from the Exodus as a new Moses:<br />Dt 18:15—[Moses said] “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren—him you shall heed…”<br />
  69. 69. The Syrian Apocalypse of Baruch<br />2 Baruch 29:3-8—<br /> And it shall come to pass when all is accomplished that was to come to pass in those parts, that the Messiah shall then begin to be revealed. And Behemoth shall be revealed from his place and Leviathan shall ascend from the sea, those two great monsters which I created on the fifth day of creation, and shall have kept until that time; and then they shall be for food for all that are left. The earth also shall yield its fruit ten-thousandfold and on each vine there shall be a thousand branches, and each branch shall produce a thousand clusters, and each cluster produce a thousand grapes, and each grape produce a cor of wine. And those who have hungered shall rejoice: moreover, also, they shall behold marvels every day. For winds shall go forth from before Me to bring every morning the fragrance of aromatic fruits, and at the close of the day clouds distilling the dew of health. And it shall come to pass at that self-same time that the treasury of manna shall again descend from on high, and they will eat of it in those years, because these are they who have come to the consummation of time.<br /> Jewish intertestimental literature is repetitive with this theme; it demonstrates perhaps reason behind the crowd’s preoccupation for ‘manna from heaven’ in the Johannine text—see Jn 6:30-66. <br />
  70. 70. A Prophetic Sign-Action<br />It seems the people mistook the miracle as an Apocalyptic sign to trigger a political Messianic age. What did the miracle really mean?<br />The event highlights the unwillingness or the inability of the crowds for metanoia. <br />This is a watershed event concerning Jesus’ relationship to the crowds. They want Jesus to be the Messiah on their own terms, the leader in an uprising against Roman political power. <br />Notice that this happens in the desert, by the way—tying this not only to the Exodus narrative, but to the Gospels’ Temptation accounts. Jesus REFUSES their position because it is Satanic. They refuse the invitation to the Banquet. <br />But there is more besides: this prophetic sign-action prepares the Eucharistic Banquet in which the food that creates communion is the very Body and Blood of the Messiah himself. <br />We can only see this in light of the resurrection. <br />Questions & Assignment<br />

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