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  • The Historical Jesus: Lecture Seven
    Jesus means attaching oneself to poverty Second attaching oneself to Jesus means that one must abandon all other ties and obligations Of course as the history of the Church unfolded these demands were softened or abandoned but to be a follower of the historical Jesus meant precisely these two things absolute poverty and absolute obedience After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go He said to them The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest Go on your way See I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves Carry no purse no bag no sandals and greet no one on the road Whatever house you enter first say Peace to this house And if anyone is there who shares in peace your peace will rest on that person but if not it will return to you Remain in the same house eating and drinking whatever they provide for the laborer deserves to be paid Do not move about from house to house Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you eat what is set before you cure the sick who are there and say to themome near to you But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you go out into its streets and say Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you Yet know this the kingdom of God has come near I tell you on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town This program for carrying out the mission

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/jesus/jesus10.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • The Historical Jesus: Lecture Eight
    will be called on the carpet on the day of judgment which Jesus envisioned to be very close at hand Whoever listens to you listens to me and whoever rejects you rejects me and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said I thank you Father Lord of heaven and earth because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants yes Father for such was your gracious will All things have been handed over to me by my Father and no one knows who the Son is except the Father or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him Then turning to the disciples Jesus said to them privately Blessed are the eyes that see what you see For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see but did not see it and to hear what you hear but did not hear it Those citizens of Israel who accept the work of those missionaries will in contrast to those who reject them find

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/jesus/jesus11.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • The Historical Jesus: Lecture Nine
    believed to have ceased operation in the time of Malachi The Spirit would not resume its activity until the dawn of the Messianic age So what Jesus promises them is that they will be participants in the dispensation of the Messiah Further he is claiming that the messianic era has begun On the very interesting subject of messiah s in the first century the interested reader is directed to the edited volume of James Charlesworth The Messiah Earliest Developments in Judaism and Christianity Now he was casting out a demon that was mute when the demon had gone out the one who had been mute spoke and the crowds were amazed Now he was casting out a demon that was mute when the demon had gone out the one who had been mute spoke and the crowds were amazed But some of them said He casts out demons by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons Others to test him kept demanding from him a sign from heaven But he knew what they were thinking and said to them Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert and house falls on house If Satan also is divided against himself how will his kingdom stand for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul by whom do your exorcists cast them out Therefore they will be your judges But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons then the kingdom of God has come to you When a strong man fully armed guards his castle his property is safe But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his plunder Whoever is

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/jesus/jesus12.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • The Historical Jesus: Lecture Ten
    because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah and see something greater than Jonah is here Those missionaries mentioned earlier went from town to town and preached the ethic of love expedient for kingdom citizens Those who accepted their message were welcomed into the circle of disciples while those who did not were upbraided for their hardness of heart The fate of these kingdom rejecters is judgment What is so peculiar about this is that it seems to be opposed to Jesus simple preaching of the Gospel and leaving the response to the individual It seems therefore that this segment of text would belong to the work of the early church as it spread out and was being rejected in some quarters In response to this rejection threats were tendered This is the way many scholars view the issue However there is nothing unreasonable in assuming that Jesus did proclaim judgment on those who rejected the Kingdom for in sum th not his message but the Kingdom and therefore God himself For an enthusiastic follower of God such rejection is worthy of denunciation Thus in my view these sentences clearly stem from the historical Jesus No one after lighting a

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/jesus/jesus13.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • The Historical Jesus: Lecture Eleven
    he or she assign a task to the teacher which is not rightly his Jesus did not come to settle family quibbles or act as an arbitrator between labor and management Then as now folk tried to distract Jesus from his mission by giving him little sub tasks to perform He did not perform on demand then and he will not now And he said to them Take care Be on your guard against all kinds of greed for one s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions Then he told them a parable The land of a rich man produced abundantly And he thought to himself What should I do for I have no place to store my crops Then he said I will do this I will pull down my barns and build larger ones and there I will store all my grain and my goods And I will say to my soul Soul you have ample goods laid up for many years relax eat drink be merry But God said to him You fool This very night your life is being demanded of you And the things you have prepared whose will they be So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God He said to his disciples Therefore I tell you do not worry about your life what you will eat or about your body what you will wear For life is more than food and the body more than clothing Consider the ravens they neither sow nor reap they have neither storehouse nor barn and yet God feeds them Of how much more value are you than the birds And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that why do you worry about the rest Consider the lilies how they grow they neither toil nor spin yet I tell you even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these But if God so clothes the grass of the field which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven how much more will he clothe you you of little faith And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink and do not keep worrying For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things and your Father knows that you need them 1 Instead strive for his kingdom and these things will be given to you as well Do not be afraid little flock for it is your Father s good pleasure to give you the kingdom Sell your possessions and give alms Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out an unfailing treasure in heaven where no thief comes near and no moth destroys For where your treasure is there your heart will be also

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/jesus/jesus15.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • The Historical Jesus: Lecture Twelve
    though it has much to commend it historically still remains speculative More concretely we can simply say that Jesus ministry was not intended by him to be a warm and fuzzy but rather a clear call to commitment even ifthat commitment means that the obligation of family must be discarded He also said to the crowds When you see a cloud rising in the west you immediately say It is going to rain and so it happens And when you see the south wind blowing you say There will be scorching heat and it happens You hypocrites You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky but why do you not know ho w to interpret the preou not judge for yourselves what is right Thus when you go with your accuser before a magistrate on the way make an effort to settle the case or you may be dragged before the judge and the judge hand you over to the officer and the officer throw you in prison I tell you you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny The disciples are not only to keep an eye to the sky they are also to act wisely in the here and now That is they must conduct themselves as citizens of this world too He said therefore What is the kingdom of God like And to what should I compare it It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden it grew and became a tree and the birds of the air made nests in its branches 4 And again he said To what should I compare the kingdom of God It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/jesus/jesus16.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • The Historical Jesus: Lecture Thirteen
    of flour until all of it was leavened Strive to enter through the narrow door for many I tell you will try to enter and will not be able When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door saying Lord open to us then in reply he will say to you I do not know where you come from Then you will begin to say We ate and drank with you and you taught in our streets But he will say I do not know where you come from go away from me all you evildoers There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and a ll the prophets in theelves thrown out Then people will come from east and west from north and south and will eat in the kingdom of God Indeed some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last Jerusalem Jerusalem the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings and you were not willing Jesus once more reiterates the notion that loyalty to him requires obedience and constancy One cannot be a disciple so far as Jesus is concerned and be half hearted at it They must not rest on their laurels in the belief that everything is well with them Or they might find themselves surprised on the day of judgment to be cast into gehenna See your house is left to you And I tell you you will not see me until the time comes when you say Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord This saying has mystified theologians for centuries Most likely it refers to the fact that Jesus himself will go away rather than the Romans or the existing power structures But one day he will return and he will be blessed rather than cursed But this interpretation is only one of many For all who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted Again Jesus stresses the importance of humility for those who belong to the kingdom Then Jesus said to him Someone gave a great dinner and invited many At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had be en invited Come 92 But they all alike began to make excuses The first said to him I have bought a piece of land and I must go out and see it please accept my regrets Another said I have bought five yoke of oxen and I am going to try them out please accept my regrets Another said I have just been married and therefore I cannot come So the slave returned and reported this to

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/jesus/jesus20.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • The Historical Jesus: Lecture Fourteen
    says I repent you must forgive Though these sayings seem to be disparate they all cluster around the idea that in marriage relationships and friendships God must hold center place There is no possibility in real discipleship that God will be dethroned by anger or malice thus anger and malice have no place in the heart or life of the disciple The Lord replied If you had faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree Be uprooted and planted in the sea and it would obey you Faith is the operative principle of kingdom citizenship Faith in what is said by God rather than in what one sees in life In short faith replaces sight as the operative principle of existence But this is not blind faith it is faith based on the faithfulness of God and thus the most sure sighted faith there can possibly be They will say to you Look there or Look here Do not go do not set off in pursuit For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other so will the Son of Man be in his day But first he must endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation Just as it was in the days of Noah so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage until the day Noah entered the ark and the flood came and destroyed all of them lain just as it was in the days of Lot they were eating and drinking buying and selling planting and building but on the day that Lot left Sodom it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed On that day anyone on the housetop who has belongings in the house must not come down to take them away and likewise anyone in the field must not turn back Remember Lot s wife Those who try to make their life secure will lose it but those who lose their life will keep it I tell you on that night there will be two in one bed one will be taken and the other left There will be two women grinding meal together one will be taken and the other left Then they asked him Where Lord He said to them Where the corpse is there the vultures will gather As they were listening to this he went on to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately So he said A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return He summoned ten of his slaves and gave them ten pounds and said to them Do business with these until I come

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/jesus/jesus21.htm (2013-12-09)
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