What Do Americans Believe About Jesus? 5 Popular Beliefs
Throughout the religious landscape of the United States, Jesus Christ continues to be a key figure and a perennial person of interest, particularly in the days leading up to Easter. And the year 2015 is no different. To a record-breaking audience of 3.7 million people on Sunday, March 29, the National Geographic Channel launched their version of Bill O’Reilly’s bookKilling Jesus. It was the channel’s most watched premiere in its history. The Finding Jesus miniseries on CNN has likewise maintained a high level of popularity.
What, on the other hand, do Americans believe about Jesus?
According to current Barna Group study, the following are five prevalent American conceptions of Jesus: 1.
A cameo appearance by Jesus Christ has appeared in hundreds of pop culture productions, ranging from The Da Vinci Code toSouth Park.
- More than nine out of ten Americans believe that Jesus Christ was a genuine person who lived on the earth (92 percent ).
- While the historicity of Jesus is not in dispute for most Americans, people are becoming increasingly skeptical about Jesus’ divinity.
- One in every six people still does not believe that Jesus was divine, according to the poll (18 percent ).
- Approximately one-third of young individuals (35 percent) believe that Jesus was only a religious or spiritual leader, with the remaining 17 percent unsure of his identity.
- Americans are divided on whether Jesus committed sins during his earthly existence, which may be a reflection of their skepticism regarding Jesus’ divinity.
Only slightly more than half of those polled reject, either strongly or moderately, that Jesus committed sins while on earth (46 percent), with the remaining 2 percent unsure.
Sixty-six percent of Millennials consider this to be true.
America, as a whole, continues to be devoted to Jesus Christ.
Despite the fact that the vast majority of Americans claim to have made such a commitment, some groups are much more likely than others to have done so.
White Americans are the ethnic group most likely to have made a personal commitment to Jesus: Only six out of ten white Americans (60 percent) report having done so, compared to eight out of ten black Americans (80 percent) and almost two-thirds of all non-white Americans (60 percent) (65 percent ).
- A last point to mention is that Millennials are far less likely than any other generation to have made a personal commitment to Jesus that is still relevant in their lives today.
- Adults who have made a personal commitment to Jesus think that Jesus is the only way to get to heaven, according to the majority of those who have done so.
- Only 2 percent of those who have made a personal commitment to Jesus say they do not believe they will go to paradise when they die.
- Overall, about two out of five Americans have acknowledged their wickedness and declared trust in Christ (a group Barna labels as “born again Christians”).
- Among Millennials who have made a personal commitment to Jesus, just 56 percent say they think they will go to paradise because they have acknowledged their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.
- (68 percent ).
Broadly speaking, this is the most common perception among Americans who have never made a commitment to Jesus—and it is also quite common among self-identified Christians.
(7 percent ).
It is not surprising that Easter brings a range of Jesus-centered entertainment and media programming: Jesus has a built-in audience.
This impressive number begs the question of how well this commitment is expressed.
Much has been made about whether Millennials will get more serious about church and faith as they age, but the fact is younger Americans are not as connected as older generations are to Christ.
The first online survey was performed among a nationally representative sample of 1,036 U.S.
The anticipated maximum sampling error for this study is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points at the 95-percent confidence level.
The maximum sampling error for this study is predicted to be plus or minus 3.1 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level, depending on the sample size.
This study’s maximum sampling error was calculated at the 95 percent confidence level to be 3.1 percentage points, either plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
This study’s maximum sampling error was calculated at the 95 percent confidence level to be 3.1 percentage points, either plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
It was possible to conduct the online survey because of a research panel known as KnowledgePanel®, which was designed and managed by Knowledge Networks.
A statistically valid sampling procedure is used to select panel members, who are drawn from a published sample frame of home addresses that is representative of about 97 percent of all US households.
KnowledgePanel is made up of around 50,000 adult members (aged 18 and older), which includes those who live only in mobile phone homes.
Barna Group (which includes its research division, Barna Research Group) is based in New York City.
The company is based in Ventura, California.
If you would like to get free e-mail notifications on the release of each update on the most recent research findings from Barna Group, you can sign up for this free service on the Barna website by entering your e-mail address (). Barna Group published a report in 2015 titled
Who Do People Say Jesus Is? – India
It is my intention to offer an answer to this issue in the form of three sections, each of which will consider how Jesus is perceived both within and outside of the Church in India. The three heads are as follows: In what ways do various groups of people of other religions express their views on Jesus? II. What do other Christian denominations have to say about Jesus? Andiii. What is it that we, as Partners in Mission Today, need to say about Christ? a) The Secular Point of View: Jesus is regarded as one of the greatest persons in the history of the world by large segments of the population.
They are sometimes displayed with images of Gandhi, John F.
It is difficult to comprehend how Kennedy has managed to win over the hearts and minds of so many Tamils.
The fact that all depictions of a wrist watch or other types of timepieces always show the time 10 past 10 supposedly because of the time of Kennedy’s assassination suggests that he may have had an easier time finding a place in the hearts of the people than some of the other martyrs of history may have contributed to his popularity.
- As for Hinduism on a religious level, most members, with the exception of a small minority of fanatically anti-Christian Hinduttwa believers, have little issue embracing Jesus as one of their deities, according to the Hinduttwa’s own religious texts.
- When they burn incense in honor of their gods, they also burn incense in honor of the image of Jesus.
- The One true God’s real existence is formless, and so it is desirable to worship as many manifestations of the One true God as possible in order to honor the One true God.
- However, it is noteworthy that it is the Sacred Heart, which is surrounded by a crown of thorns and has an inset depiction of an empty cross in the centre, which has grabbed the adoration of the people once again.
- Jesus, on the other hand, is the source of blessing because of his suffering.
- This is due to his belief in monism, which is defined as the Non-Twoness of Reality.
- Jesus was one of those who, by the power of God, were able to overcome this false dualism and achieve oneness with God in this life itself.
Philosophical Hinduism generally considers all pain as being produced by one’s own karma (effort), and if it is not caused by one’s own karma in this incarnation, it must be caused by the working out of karma from a previous life.
Instead, motivated by a strong reverence for Jesus, they are impelled to seek similarities within their own mythology in order to demonstrate that their gods have also suffered vicariously through his death.
As a result, we can observe once more that the crucifixion of Jesus has had a significant impact on the minds of Native Americans.
Krishna Iyer, a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India who is well-known for many landmark decisions on religious freedom and human rights.
“All human qualities of compassion, generosity, fairness, and integrity.have been effectively nailed to the Cross,” he wrote at one point.
The Religious Powers are the modern-day equivalents of Anna and Caiphas.
Among the topics covered will be the Official Declarations issued from time to time and their impact, the perception of Jesus as the “Price Paid for Sin,” and the growing influence of the prosperity-advocating Charismatic Fundamentalism.
Jesus as understood by Christians
A) Jesus in Official Declarations: The following are some of the subjects that have been chosen for debate in the Church’s Conferences and Synods: “Jesus Christ, Light of the World,” “The Servant Lord Jesus,” “Jesus Christ Unites and Liberates,” “Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace,” and so on. Theological discussions and bible studies are excellent venues for delving into such topics in depth. To be used during the Conferences, specially created liturgies, hymns, and songs mirroring the topic will be composed for usage.
- Unfortunately, the fresh insights and mission goals that emerge from the Conference are generally only preserved in the Conference records.
- The majority of people either stay unchanged in their understanding or continue to be affected by fundamentalists and independent electronic media outlets.
- That traditional belief in the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus has not been shattered by scientific reasoning is something to be thankful for.
- Some of the negative consequences, on the other hand, put a stop to this enjoyment.
- With Jesus as our Captain, we Christians are sailing securely towards heaven aboard God’s new Noah’s Ark, the Church.
- We don’t have to be concerned about the state of the world because there is nothing we can do to improve it.
- To the contrary, the prevailing principles of the Church’s corporate existence are based on a bizarre justification about the ways of the world that is infused with patriarchal culture, elite dominance, and capitalist exploitation.
The perfect health insurance policy, the perfect matchmaker who finds beautiful and wealthy brides for his devotees’ sons, the perfect matchmaker who orders success by leaking question papers so that his believer’s children do well in exams, the perfect matchmaker who orders success by ensuring that his believer’s children have a very successful career.
All of this Jesus does in exchange for frequent contributions to Charismatic preachers who are willing to provide the service of effective prayer in exchange for the contributions.
Those who suffer do so as a result of their refusal to accept Jesus as their Savior.
Consequently, it is apparent that those who died were victims of God’s wrath against the infidels.
According to Christian believers in India, it is this Jesus who is growing increasingly popular. Unfortunately, many Church leaders have become (paid) agents of one or both of these preachers, which is a sad reality that must be acknowledged with shame.
What do the Partners Need to Say about Jesus?
Please allow me to take a quick detour into the pages of the Bible at this point. Most people don’t pay attention to Jesus’ self-description as Son of Man, which may be found in the Caesarea Philippi Conversation, from which our fundamental question for thought was drawn. We appear to believe that it is only a simple reminder of our Lord’s humanity. Alternatively, we believe it is a modest method of referring to oneself, as opposed to the pompous “I.” It is only because the disciples appeared to have missed the significance of the passage that they were confused about the possibility of the Son of Man needing to suffer.
“Can you tell me who people believe the Son of Man is?” In both Mark and Luke, the word “I am” is used in lieu of the letter “S.” However, both of those Gospels, immediately following Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah of God, go on to record Jesus equating the S o M with the Messiah and adding that, as the S o M, he must suffer.
- When the same people who crucified Christ realize in the Lifted Up Son of Man the everlasting I AM, they will have discovered the Truth that will set them free and will have set them free.
- (See, for example, Jn 8:27ff and 12:31-36) So, what exactly does all of this mean?
- We may see the connection between Jesus’ self-understanding and his need to suffer when we consider that by S o M, he meant that he is the all-time corporate representation of all of humanity’s suffering and striving peoples throughout history.
- Daniel recognizes this reality and gives it the moniker “Son of Man” in a vision he had during the night hours (see Dan ch 7:13-27).
- To the extent that Jesus is the embodied Reality of God in Solidarity with the Oppressed, he is compelled to suffer the same fate as the oppressed in order to show his commitment to solidarity.
- This implies that, just as we identify the Son of Man, the I Am in the crucified Jesus, we must likewise acknowledge the Son of Man, the I Am in the crucified Jesus.
- An acknowledgment of this kind should compel the oppressors and their abettors (i.e., the vast majority of humanity) to engage in horizontal repentance towards the Collective of the Oppressed.
This self-disclosure of Jesus is only completely recognized when we begin to recognize it for what it is. Only then will we be genuinely and totally immersed in Mission.
52 percent of Americans say Jesus isn’t God but was a great teacher, survey says
A slim majority of individuals in the United States believe Jesus was a brilliant teacher and nothing more during his lifetime, which numerous Christian leaders believe is proof that today’s believers are “drifting away” from conventional evangelical doctrines, according to the poll. A 2020 survey conducted by Reform Church nonprofit Ligonier Ministries found that 52 percent of adults in the United States believe Jesus Christ is not God, contrary to traditional teachings from the Bible and the Christian church, which claim that Christ was both man and God.
According to the study, nearly one-third of evangelicals believe that Jesus is not God, compared to 65 percent who believe that Jesus is “the first and greatest being created by God.” 3,000 Americans took part in the poll, which included 630 self-described evangelicals, and the results have spurred a plea for greater in-depth modern study of the Holy Scriptures.
Professional evangelicals are sadly drifting away from God’s absolute standard in Scripture as the culture around us increasingly abandons its moral compass, according to a new study “The statement came from Stephen Nichols, who serves as the chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries as well as the president of Reformation Bible College.
In this season, Christians should study Scripture with diligence, engage in our culture with confidence, and bear witness fearlessly to the identity and saving work of Jesus Christ as revealed in the gospel, according to the Bible “Nichols went on to say something else, this time issuing a warning to today’s evangelical leaders.
Christianity argues that God is one God, but that three coeternal figures — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — are all manifestations of the same divine spirit, according to the belief.
Bart Ehrman, a New Testament scholar and author, has drawn attention to the historical component of how Christians’ perspective of Jesus influences the faith as a whole: When it comes to Christianity, Ehrman writes, “If Jesus’ followers hadn’t declared him God, they would have remained just another sect within Judaism — a little Jewish sect.” Ehrman is the author of the book How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee.
However, Ligonier Ministries, which collaborated with LifeWay Research to conduct the poll, has a different point of view: As the organization pointed out in a statement last week, “If Jesus’ claim to be God is untrue,” “He was either insane or deceitful, but He could not have been a wonderful teacher.” Ligonier Ministries responded to Newsweek’s request for comment on the survey on Sunday afternoon, providing further information.
A majority of Americans believe that Jesus was only a great teacher during his lifetime, which numerous Christian leaders believe is proof that today’s believers are “drifting away” from traditional evangelical teachings, according to a recent poll.
Photograph by PATRIC ROBERT – CORBIS/Contributor for Getty Images
A Majority Of Americans Think Jesus Is A Great Teacher Yet Reject His Claims To Be God
/PRNewswire/ – ORLANDO, Fla., August 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ – According to a recent poll, 52 percent of respondents in the United States believe that Jesus was nothing more than a wonderful teacher. However, if the claim that Jesus was God was untrue, then He was either insane or deceitful; in any case, He could not have been a wonderful teacher. Every two years, Ligonier Ministries conducts the State of Theology poll, which yields important insights into how Americans view God and truth as well as the Bible, worship, and ethical problems.
- After the 8th of September, the complete findings of the 2020 poll will be published online at TheStateofTheology.com.
- Over the course of history, detractors have disputed this assertion, arguing that Jesus was simply a brilliant teacher who accomplished little else.
- Evangelical Christians have always acknowledged the authority of the Bible as well as the redemption provided by Jesus Christ.
- 9:5; Heb.
- However, while it may not come as a surprise that the vast majority of the general public in the United States does not believe that Jesus is God, nearly a third of evangelicals (30 percent) now believe that Jesus was simply a brilliant teacher.
- Ligonier Ministries’ chief academic officer, Dr.
- At a time when the culture around us is gradually abandoning its moral compass, some evangelicals are unfortunately slipping away from God’s ultimate norm as set forth in Scripture.
This is a moment for Christians to be diligent in their study of Scripture, to connect with people in our culture with confidence, and to speak boldly to the identity and redeeming work of Jesus Christ as revealed in the gospel.” Ligonier Ministries has developed the Ligonier Statement on Christology in order to assist Christians in communicating the Bible’s teaching on the person and work of Jesus Christ in an accurate and straightforward manner.
This declaration is available for reading and downloading at ChristologyStatement.com, where it is available in twenty written languages.
The study was conducted between March 10 and March 18, 2020.
More material may be accessed on the website TheStateofTheology.comon a regular basis. The 8th of September. People who strongly agreed with the following four assertions were classified as evangelicals according to LifeWay Research, which conducted the study.
- What I believe is based on the Bible, which I feel is the ultimate authority. As a believer, it is extremely vital for me to urge non-Christians to place their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior
- Jesus Christ’s death on a cross is, without a doubt, the only sacrifice that can eliminate the punishment of my sin. Only those who place their faith in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior are eligible to accept God’s free gift of eternal salvation
- Everyone else does not.
Ligonier Ministries is a Christian organization. Ligonier Ministries exists to proclaim, teach, and defend the holiness of God in all of its completeness to as many people as possible, and to do it in the most effective and efficient way. In order to do this, Ligonier’s reach today is extensive and global. Ligonier’s teaching fellowship, which was established in 1971 by Dr. R.C. Sproul, is comprised of theologians, pastors, and scholars. Ligonier produces hundreds of instructional programs, including theRenewing Your Mindbroadcasts, theReformation Study Bible, Tabletalkmagazine, and books published by the Reformation Trust.
Aside from these activities, Ligonier organizes national and regional conferences, offers an online learning community throughLigonier Connect, broadcasts 24-hour Christian Internet radio throughRefNet, provides biblical and theological answers throughAsk Ligonier, undertakes numerous translation projects in other countries, and makes thousands of unique educational resources available online atLigonier, among other things.
LIGONER MINISTRIES IS THE SOURCE
As Jesus approached the district of Caesarea Philippi, He questioned His followers, ‘Who do people claim to be the Son of Man?’ they replied. Some claimed to be John the Baptist, while others claimed to be Elijah, while others claimed to be Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But who do you claim that I am?’ he inquired of them. Simon Peter said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ and the rest is history. And Jesus responded by saying, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah!’ (Matthew 5:3) My Father in heaven has revealed this to you, not flesh and blood.'” “For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.'” (Matthew 16:13-17; my italics are mine.) Everything in life is predicated on one single question posed by Jesus: “Who do you claim that I am?” Jesus adds, “It doesn’t matter what others think of Me.” What do you think I am, and how do you know?
- This question was posed to the disciples at an opportune moment in their lives.
- He is immersed in water.
- After then, He begins to serve in public ministry.
- People’s preconceived notions of reality were shattered in the light of His teaching.
- The greatest of all are the least of all.
- Death is a place where life can be found.
- And then we see that Jesus not only taught about the methods of the kingdom, but He also brought the kingdom into being himself.
Heals the servant of the centurion.
Casts demons from the body, allowing the disabled to walk, the blind to see, and the dumb to speak.
He can walk on water.
He is critical of the religious culture of the day, as well as its leaders.
“Come, follow Me,” He says to His disciples, who respond enthusiastically.
It asserts authority that is exclusively held by God.
He also claims to be the only way back to the Father.
Is it, though, something we believe?
What do YOU believe Jesus to be?
These are the same questions that people have been wrestling with since the time of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
However, I really like what C.S.
I’m trying to dissuade people from saying something extremely stupid about Jesus, which is that he’s God.
It would be difficult to consider Jesus a great moral teacher if he were simply a man who spoke the kinds of things Jesus said.
You are required to make a decision.
Whether you want to shut him up and call him an idiot, spit on him and murder him as a demon, or fall at his feet and hail him Lord and God, let us avoid bringing up any patronizing rubbish about his being a wonderful human teacher.
As a result, however strange, terrifying, or unlikely it may appear, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.” “Now it appears to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and as a result, however strange, terrifying, or unlikely it may appear, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.” Pure Christianity, pages 55-56.) The continued definition of Jesus as a great moral teacher reduces His teachings, which include the whole New Testament, to a moral guidance that we may either accept or reject on our own terms.
- In contrast, if you have come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, then God with us, in the person of Immanuel.
- As our Lord and Savior.
- Our Counselor, if you will.
- Our Healer is here.
- Our sole ray of hope Our whole existence.
- If you and I believe that Jesus is who He claims to be, then we must be willing to lay down our life and fully commit to Him.
- It entails living a life of repentance on a daily basis, moving away from sin and toward Jesus.
- It entails accepting the Bible as the infallible Word of God and submitting to its authoritative authority.
- It implies that we genuinely perform the Word of God and follow the mandates of God.
So, what are your thoughts? Do you want to go all-in with me? Let’s go ahead and do it. Let’s all jump in together and see where Jesus takes us. I’d love to hear what you have to say! Please share them in the comments section.
Q: “Who does the Bible say Jesus is?”
The issue of “Who is Jesus?” is perhaps the most fundamental of all Christian questions. “Who do people say that I am?” Jesus Himself inquired of His followers in response to this question: “Who do people say that I am?” (See Luke 9:18-20.) Due to the fact that Jesus is without a doubt the most important character in Christian history, determining His identification is of utmost importance. When it comes to this question, the most fundamental response is to say that Jesus is both entirely God and fully man in one person.
- First and foremost, the Bible declares that Jesus is indeed God.
- There, Jesus is referred to as “the Word,” who was with God from the beginning and who is also referred to as “God” (John 1:1).
- In the Gospels, Jesus is seen doing things that are more appropriate for a man to do than things that are appropriate for God to perform on a regular basis.
- The fact that God does not have a physical body and does not experience need or want in the same way that humans do makes each of these tasks impossible for Him to perform.
- God the Father begat Jesus the Son of God in eternity as the Son of God, and Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary as a newborn in a barn in Bethlehem.
- But how can both of these propositions be true at the same time?
- To put it another way, He was both God and a man at different moments throughout his life.
- Unfortunately, this notion comes up against biblical texts that talk of Jesus as God performing human things and as Jesus accomplishing God-like acts while appearing to be a human being.
- nailed on the cross the Lord of glory,” says Paul, as an example of what he is referring to (1 Corinthians 2:8).
Rather of being separated into two distinct entities, he is and will continue to be both God and man in the future. Moreover, as the ideal intermediary between God and mankind, He is both of these things for us, which is a magnificent fact to see.
Who do you say Jesus is?
Will he “convert you or deceive you?” is the question. The teaser for “Messiah,” a 10-episode television series, poses the question but does not provide a solution. The Netflix original series “Messiah,” created by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, is generating a lot of buzz and controversy right now. In the same way that most faith-based films do, Messiah raises some provocative concerns. Was he a prophet, the return of Jesus, or the anti-Christ, or all of the above? What is the overarching theme of the “Messiah” television series?
- What do individuals who are not religious believe?
- What do you think will be the ultimate fate of humankind?
- Who is the owner of the more powerful weapons?
- However, he requires that their firearms be buried along the route.
- The asylum seekers have gathered in front of the barbed wire barrier.
- Hurting humans flock to be around him—in pursuit of healing from physical, psychological, and spiritual traumas.
- Americans need not battle over land or freedoms.
A prostitute wants to be freed from sexual shame.
The powerful and the powerless surviving on one planet.
And a divine and devout figurehas returned to rule and reign.
Is he a fraud?
Is he a saint or a socialist soldier?
agent is determined to get to the bottom of a worldwide phenomenon surrounding a religious man referred to by some as Al-Masih who claims to be sent by God.
An Israeli agent travels to America to chase and arrest the rogue prisoner.
He builds a worldwide following of people from different religious backgrounds, including Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Many of his miracles mimic Christ, such as walking on water and raising the dead, but this second coming is not what Scripture says: As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately.
For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.
Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
(Matthew 24:27) Viewers of the series encounter a modern-day miracle-working mystery man.
Blasphemer, false prophet, madman.
Charlatan or Chosen One?
“Messiah” is rated TV-MA for frequent strong language, nudity, some sexual content, and graphic violence.
We view the aftermath of a suicide bombing; the destruction from a tornado; and human suffering.
“Who do men say that I am?” Jesus asked his disciples.
“Messiah” comes from the Hebrew word meaning “Anointed One” and “Christ” comes from the Greek word meaning the same.
But what do Americans believe about Jesus?
“Millennials are the only generation among whom fewer than half believe Jesus was God (48 percent ).
About one-third of young adults (35 percent ) say instead that Jesus was merely a religious or spiritual leader, while 17 percent aren’t sure what he was.
Millennials are the generation born between 1984 and 2002; Gen-Xers, between 1965 and 1983; Boomers, between 1946 and 1964; and Elders, in 1945 orbefore.
Or is he the Antichrist? It is up for the viewer to decide. Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Southern Ohio. Contact her at Melissa Martin Columnist Martin Columnist
Who do you say Jesus is?
Because Jesus is demanding of his followers after having been with them for perhaps a year, a year and a half, or close to two years, as I indicated in the introduction, it’s a bit of a confrontation. Jesus is saying to them: “What makes you believe you know who I am? What do other people have to say about me?” Even after you’ve heard the replies, the man goes right to the heart of the matter: “Well, OK, who do you say I am?” The twelfth Sunday of the month of Ordinary Time Zechariah 12:10-11; 13:1; 14:1; 15:1 The following verses from Psalm 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, and 8-9.
- You’ll notice a significant change.
- If we acknowledge that and say, “Yes, he is the Christ,” it should make a big impact in our lives.
- In Matthew’s Gospel, the same incident, the same challenge that Jesus makes, is expanded upon a little bit more, and you get a deeper grasp of the nature of the issue that Jesus is presenting.
- After Jesus says that, Peter returns – the one who had previously stated, “When Peter realized that he was the Christ, the son of the living God, he dragged him aside and began to reprimand him: “Never, Lord, never!” You must not allow this to happen to you.
- No, no, no!” See, Peter is saying, “No, that isn’t the way to go,” because, at this time in Jesus’ life, he is renowned as a wonder-worker, and he doesn’t want to be associated with that.
- You are not obligated to submit yourself to death.
- That, however, is not the way of Jesus, as Matthew explains to us.
You are a stumbling block on my route.
“The only way to alter the world, to convert it into the kingdom of God, is through the power of love,” he was saying, rejecting all else.
This individual, who was grieved among the chosen people, had been wounded in some way and had suffered as a result.
Even as he is being put to death, even as he is being stabbed in the side with a soldier’s sword, Jesus rejects any form of retribution, any form of revenge, any form of violence.
In order to be a follower of Jesus, we must commit to following his teachings.
Following that, the bishops stated, “We would like to clarify some of the ramifications of being a Christian community in a time when our nation is heavily armed with nuclear weapons and is engaged in a continuous development of new weapons, as well as strategies for their use,” according to the pastoral letter published at the time.
- Now, PresidentObama delivered a speech in Berlin last week in which he stated that we must cut our weapons by that amount; it was a pointless speech, frankly.
- When we use them, they will cause the extinction of our whole planet, and as you have just heard, we are in a country that is always inventing new techniques for their use.
- Following the road of love, according to the Jesus who poured out his love while on the cross, is the only way to alter our world, to put an end to violence and war and suffering.
- Whenever we consider what it means to be followers of Jesus – and we identify him as the son of God whom we are following – we must take his teachings and way of life extremely seriously.
For the time being, however, I’d like to show you something else that comes through in Paul’s letter to the Christians in Galatia, because when we listen to the gospel accounts of Matthew or Luke and declare that we will follow Jesus, we’re thinking of Jesus in his humanness, and so we’ll make an effort to live our lives in the manner in which Jesus, the son of Mary, lived; we’ll follow his path.
- Following our immersion in water at baptism, we rise to new life.
- It’s not the same Jesus; he hasn’t just been resurrected and is once again going about on the earth.
- “All of you who were given to Christ through baptism have put on Christ,” Paul writes.
- Not only do we put on the human Jesus, but we also put on the glorified Jesus, the Jesus who is the eternal son of God in glory, whom we call the Messiah.
- There is no longer any distinction between Jew and Greek, between slave and free, between wealthy and poor, or between man and woman among those who have been baptized in this place.
- We will dismantle the obstacles that have been erected to separate us from one another – whether they are based on ethnicity, race, gender, poverty, or wealth – and bring us all together.
- When we remove the obstacles that separate the affluent from the poor, we can bring about a fuller way of life for everyone.
- This church would not be shutting if we recognized that we have new life in Christ – that there is no difference between men and women in Jesus, and that everyone has the potential to be called to ministry.
- Every person has the potential to be another Christ who participates in the celebration of the holy Eucharist at the altar.
- I want you to consider who Jesus truly is – the son of God and the son of Mary – and what it means to follow Jesus as one among us, who is like us in every aspect except sin, but who is also the son of God in heavenly splendor.
Are we truly prepared to embrace his challenge: “If you want to be my followers, you must deny yourselves and follow me.”
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