How well do you know JESUS? Who were Jesus’ parents? Why was choosing to be Jesus’ mother so difficult? • Mary (Miriam) of Nazareth and Joseph of Nazareth (or God the Father!) • Women were held to a high standard for morality – if she was pregnant and not married, she could be executed. • If Joseph married her, he risked public embarrassment, people would judge him – was he the father? Was another man? He would be marrying a morally questionable woman! What were the circumstances of his birth? (where, when, why, how) • Bethlehem, small town in Judea • We once thought his birth was in year 1, and know now that it was probably a few years before that – maybe 4 BCE. • He was born in Bethlehem because Mary and Joseph had to travel there for Roman census – Bethlehem was where Joseph’s tribe were from (he came from the ancestors of King David, an ancient leader of the Jewish people). • Jesus was born in a stable because there was no room in any inn What country did he live in? What was the political situation in his country? (who was in government, were there basic human rights etc?) • Judea, a Roman occupied province of Palestine in the Middle East. There was very little in way of basic human rights • people in Judea paid taxes to Rome (and Jesus said they should) but also obeyed local Jewish authorities. The Pharisees, for example, were Jewish authorities who were very concerned with ritual purity and following the laws from the Torah perfectly – the story of the Good Samaritan is a comment on that – sometimes the Pharisees turned their back on people because they were impure… it was all about offering the sacrifice at the Temple and sometimes it wasn’t compassionate. • Life was harsh and often short (Joseph was probably dead by the time Jesus was crucified) What religion was Jesus? How do you know? (find quotations from the Bible as support) • • • • He was Jewish (Luke 2:21) Shema (Deut 6:4) Matthew 22:34 (The Greatest Commandment) The Shema is the central belief of Jews and why Jesus might have told the Pharisee that it was the greatest commandment – He was a faithful Jew! Why did Jesus’ moral teachings come into conflict with the teachings of his religion? • He said love your enemies, he said forgive (in contrast to Exodus 21:12, Jesus says forgive in Matt 5:38 – he refers to Exodus specifically). Jesus criticizes ritual purity laws (Good Samaritan), heals on the Sabbath day (Pharisees considered this work) and Jesus accepted women. Where did He grow up? Why? Where did He live as an adult? How do you know? • Jesus grew up in Egypt until King Herod died. There was fear that Herod would kill Jesus. • He lived in Nazareth in Galilee as an adult What was Jesus’ likely profession before his public ministry? • He was likely a carpenter or craftsman like his father. That was the way most families operated. How did Jesus call His first disciples? What profession did His first disciples have? • Matt 4:18 • Mark 1:16 • Luke 5:1 What are the most central teachings of Jesus? Provide evidence for why you think these are important. • Parables are often where we find his central teachings: • How to get to the “Kingdom” (Kingdom Parables) (Beatitudes, love your neighbour, forgive your enemies, turn the other cheek, don’t judge unless you yourself are free of sin etc.) Who does the Catholic Church say was Jesus’ original disciple? Explain. • Mary, his mother! • She chose to be his mother and knew him first and better than anyone. During His public ministry, what styles of teaching did Jesus use? • • • • Preaching Parables Living the example Healings What was Jesus charged with at his trial? Who was ultimately responsible for his death? • He was executed for a crime called sedition (creating an uprising against the government). • The Jewish authorities had no power to crucify him and they were concerned about people saying he was the Son of God. • It’s debatable who was responsible – Pontius Pilate wanted to set him free, but the crowds called for his execution • Was it Jews who were responsible (probably the crowd was full of people sent by the Chief Priests)? • Was it the Romans, who had to do the actual job of executing Jesus? • This is still something that is argued and debated What did Jesus say was the greatest commandment? • Matt 22:34 • Mark 12:28 • Luke 10:25 What happens in Acts 2:1-8? Explain this event’s significance. • This is the Pentecost, the “Birthday of the Church” when the Holy Spirit was sent to help the apostles spread the good news. • This is celebrated in the feast of Pentecost (which was originally a Jewish harvest festival) and remembered in the sacrament of Confirmation. What do you think other faiths’ opinions are about Jesus? (Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism) • In Islam, Jesus is a great prophet (called Isa). His mother’s name is the title of a book in the Qur’an. More is written about her in the Qur’an than in the Christian Bible. It is believed in Islam that Jesus is the Messiah (called Isa al-Masih – Jesus the Messiah) and will come again before the apocalypse to kill the anti-Messiah – very similar to what Christians believe! Other Religions Continued • In Judaism, Jesus is seen as a false prophet and a fraud. There were many preachers like him in Jewish history – the Christian movement began as a movement in Judaism. All of the other movements faded, but Christianity did not… the resurrection is key in this. • In Buddhism, Jesus is sometimes considered to be a bodhisattva (or “enlightened being who lived many lives before”) • In Hinduism, Jesus is sometimes considered to be an avatar of Vishnu, the god who appears on earth in times of crisis. (the Buddha is also considered to be an avatar of Vishnu) What was Jesus’ surname? • Surnames as we know them today were not used. Jesus was probably called Yeshua BarYosef (Son of Joseph) • Jesus is the Latin of the name Yeshua. • The term Christ means “the anointed one” • Messiah means the same thing (Greek and Hebrew). • Christ is his title, not his surname. That’s why we can call him Jesus the Christ or Christ Jesus. After the death of Jesus, what became of his disciples? • They spread out into the Roman Empire, founding churches as far as Rome and possibly India (the Indian Christian communities trace their heritage to Thomas, the apostle who doubted that Jesus had risen). Many were martyred; we can read their stories in Acts of the Apostles.