Where is Jesus currently living?

Jesus

Who was Jesus of Nazareth? An encounter with him did not leave anyone without a trace, because he is the person in whom God comes close to people.

From birth to resurrection

The Gospels tell that an encounter with Jesus never left anyone without a trace: He knew how to give people hope, question what is taken for granted, heal injuries and let God's work become tangible in the midst of everyday life.

And just as "Christ" is actually not just an epithet for Jesus, but an honorary title that expresses his special meaning and dignity, there are a number of other dignity titles, each of which describes a special aspect of his salvation work. So is Jesus as Son of man, as Son of god and as Mr designated.

The birth of Jesus

Two of the four Gospels tell something about the birth of Jesus: Matthew and Luke (each in chapters 1–2). In the first two chapters of his Gospel, Luke artfully interwoven the story from the announcement of the birth of Jesus to the twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple with the prehistory of the birth of John the Baptist. With this he shows how the life of the last of the prophets in the tradition of the Old Testament - John - is arranged by God for the coming of the Savior, with whom a new time of salvation then begins. The hallmarks of this savior are diapers and cribs, i.e. poverty and childlike helplessness - a bitter correction of all then (as now) expectations of salvation and the Savior. It also corresponds to it when the angel first and foremost brings the message of the birth to the shepherds, who at the time of Jesus were just as despised by the religiously authoritative circles as the tax collectors.

In contrast to this, in Matthew's case, personalities of high social standing (whom Herod even grants audience) are the first to see the newborn Jesus and greet them as their King. But they too stand for the longing for salvation and redemption. The astrologers from the Orient represent the peoples of the earth, and they are an example of how Jesus is also the savior for those who do not belong to the people of Israel, for foreigners and non-Jews.

What both representations have in common is that they use various details to make it clear that this child is really the promised Messiah: Jesus is born in Bethlehem, David's hometown, from whose descendants the Messiah is said to come (1 Samuel 16: 1; Micah 5 ,1). The family tree in Matthew 1 leads from Abraham to David to Jesus. The evangelist wants to make it clear from the beginning that we are talking about the one in whom God's promises to his people are fulfilled. That is why Matthew emphasizes again and again in these chapters: "All this happened so that what the Lord had announced through the prophets might come true" (Matthew 1:22; 2:15)

Luke not only places the birth of Jesus in the context of the history of salvation of the people of Israel, but also in a world-historical context: He expressly mentions the Roman Emperor Augustus, whose appeal for the census prompts Joseph and Mary to go from their hometown of Nazareth to Bethlehem. But here, too, Luke conveys a theological message at the same time: the fundamental difference between the peace in the kingdom (the Pax Romana) enforced with Roman power and authority and the peace of God opened up through the coming of Jesus, the Son of God.

However, an exact date for the birth of Jesus cannot be determined from the gospel accounts. If it is true that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great (Luke 1: 5; Matthew 2: 1, 22), then he is no later than 4 B.C. born, for in that year Herod died.

Continue reading

The public appearance of Jesus

At the age of about 30, Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan. The Gospels report that at this baptism the Spirit of God descends on Jesus and prepares him for his duties (Luke 3: 21-22). Afterwards, Jesus withdraws for a short time into the desert - the place of inner preparation and closeness to God.

Then he begins to gather students around, to teach, and to heal the sick. People recognize in his words and deeds an authority that God himself has given him (Mark 1: 21-28), yes, they notice that God is present in Jesus, in all his conduct, work and preaching. He proclaims and lives God's presence in such a way that the people who meet him feel that God is very close to them.

The natural use of divine authority also brings Jesus repeatedly into conflict with the religious leaders of his people, the teachers of the law and Pharisees. His devotion to the outcasts and despised of the society of the time often led to open criticism.

Even Jesus' closest disciples do not always understand what he is saying and doing. When Jesus explains to them that he is neither a military nor a political leader, but will suffer death in order to fulfill his mission from God, they react with incomprehension (Mark 8: 31-33).

Continue reading

Jesus' message of the rulership of God

“The time has come: now God will establish his rulership and complete his work. Change your life and believe this good news! ”This is - in a nutshell - the core of Jesus' sermons (Mark 1:15). The concept of the "rule of God" with which he is concerned is usually rendered in traditional translations of the Bible as "kingdom of God" or "kingdom of heaven". This must not lead to the misunderstanding that it is about a kingdom that lies in heaven and has little to do with people's everyday lives. On the contrary: The "rule of God" describes the area in which God shows himself to be Lord - especially in our world and in our lives.

The deeds of Jesus, his "miracles", are signs that God is now really establishing his rulership: the blind see, the paralyzed walk and the lepers get well (cf. Matthew 11: 2-6). But the world should not only be healed physically. It is a sign and miracle of a very special kind that Jesus takes care of those who are on the fringes of society, not only the poor who are recommended for the care of their people in the Old Testament, but especially those who are to blame have loaded. His special attention and love go to you. On the other hand, he sees the rich, saturated and self-satisfied in extreme danger. When God's rulership comes, they will be judged (cf. Luke 6: 20-26).

The message of Jesus about the kingdom of God stands in a tension of "already" and "not yet". The presence of God is already visible in Jesus' actions and speech, especially for those who take his words seriously and believe him. But the final consummation has not yet arrived. The kingdom of God is present and future at the same time.

Until perfection comes, all who want to belong to Jesus are faced with the task of reviewing their previous actions and giving up what separates them from God. Jesus gives people completely new standards. In the rules of life in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7