After reading the chapter on Luke and knowing what I already know about Jesus and his teachings, pinpointing what I believe to be Jesus central teaching was much easier than I imagined. Frankly I was dreading trying to come up with one broad enough statement to encompass all that I thought Jesus tried to teach his followers. Add to this the fact that I am having an extremely hard time staying focused in the belief system that I comfortably grew up in, and it is obvious the kind of torment this paper could cause.
I finally managed to sit down and really clear my mind and re-read the chapter in What Can We Know About Jesus and had a sudden realization. Amidst my notes and scribblings in the book, I truly GOT something that I could write about and believe in. (My problem up to this point was finding a topic I could write about and not feel like I was betraying my true thoughts- I found that I could come up with a ton of great ideas that I knew werent true to my thoughts at this point. ) This is my final realization: Jesus main teaching was to seek him out and find him to be true as an individual.
I feel that I can explain and believe this because it is one thing that I find true in many divisions of the Christian religion. There is almost no dispute in the fact that Jesus wanted his followers to seek him as the truth. Evidence to my idea of Jesus central teaching is partially given in the book of Matthew, Blessed are the poor in spirit… Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. (Mt 5:3-6) (98). This states that even though an individual may be poor, they are blessed in spirit as long as they hunger for and seek the righteousness that Jesus taught.
Also stated was that The ultimate fate of every member of the human race is said by Matthew to turn on their response to the little ones who are Jesus messengers and agents to call the nations of the world to repentance and lead them to an understanding of Gods purpose (104). I take this to mean that Jesus sent people out to teach his word so that all people in all parts of the world could hear his words and decide if they held true. If his messengers could lead people to an understanding of God, then they had served a purpose as a follower, even if those ho are being taught do not choose to follow his words.
In Johns book, he shows Jesus as the messenger of God, sent to teach people the information they might need in order to follow Gods way. John pictures the agent of God, the Word, who was instrument through whom the world was created, and who now has come in human form…to live on earth and to invite people to share in the light if the knowledge of God that he brings (105). John also sees Jesus simply as the teacher of Gods word, not someone who is forcing this word on everyone he meets, which I misunderstood for quite some time.
He uses wording like invites to show that Jesus did not teach to anyone who did not want to be spoken to. My belief in what I believe to be Jesus central statement is perhaps best stated that Through Jesus the light of the knowledge of God goes out to the whole world, even though not all respond in faith (107). This basically sums everything up in one tidy sentence: Jesus taught what he felt he needed to teach, and people sought him out. They either believed in him and his teachings or they didnt, there was no middle ground.