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(No) Dogmatics

Copyright

Cover: “Sun reflected in water.”

 

(No) Dogmatics

by Volker Schunck

Published by Volker Schunck at Shakespir

1st Edition 2016

Copyright 2016 Volker Schunck

hellovolker.wordpress.com

 

Shakespir License Notes

Thank you for downloading this ebook. You are welcome to share it with your friends. This book may be reproduced, copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes, provided the book remains in its complete original form.

The used translation of the bible is “The World English Bible” (WEB) provided by biblegateway.com. The name “World English Bible” is trademarked. The World English Bible (WEB) is a Public Domain (no copyright) Modern English translation of the Holy Bible. It is is based on the American Standard Version of the Holy Bible first published in 1901, the Biblia Hebraica Stutgartensa Old Testament, and the Greek Majority Text New Testament. – Thank you guys for your work! – I replaced the literally expressed Tetragram of God’s name with Adonaj.

 

My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

(Matthew 11:30)

Table of Contents

Copyright

Table of Contents

About me

Preface

Gott in Creation

Gott in Christ

Gott in Humans§

Creed

About me

 

I live in Dresden, Germany. I was a merchant and then I studied theology – without degree. Through my engagement with Zen I became aware of the Christian mysticism. Meanwhile I go my own way. Believe is not a thinking but a being. It is important to me, not to live lost in thought, but to live aware and intensely.

 

My Christian faith and my experiences in meditation influence my everyday life, in which I try to be attentive. My books arise from this spirit too.

 

Table of Contents

Preface

Similar to the sun which is reflected in water and warms it, the bible gives witness of Jesus Christ, who unlocks us God’s heart (being).

In the synoptic gospels, which are also called history books, Jesus’ origin, path of life and goal is described. But not with the intention to draw an objective picture, which satisfies the demands of modern, scientific history books. This way of thinking was totally strange to the people of the ancient world.

What a pity, you might think. But the writer of the gospels speak wholeheartedly what Jesus mean to them. And much more: They describe what Jesus means for the world. That is more important as the historic question regarding space and time. This is about eternity and sense. Where do we come from, what does give our lives meaning, where will we go after our dying? What is the human and who is God? For the evangelists Jesus was the Messiah, which also the Jews were egerly awaiting, and God’s Son. How the life of Jesus took place, his speeches and work, I have compiled examplarily from the Synoptics. I don’t make a claim to be complete. Who feels inspired after reading my selection may read the scripture by himself. It is worthwhile in any case. I formulated a creed for the presence, which tries to express the faith in a contemporary language and added an explanation. What does that mean? I ask and interpret the christian faith for the presence. In addition I added for a better understanding verses which describe God as creator and how God as Holy Spirit faced humans – then and today.

 

God bless you!

 

Your Volker

 

Table of Contents

God in Creation

I believe in God, emptiness and life, who made us out of love.

One with the universe, he is not absorbed by it.

Who is free, because his spirit blows where he wants.

One with Christ, we see his fullness.

 

Scripture

 

Genesis 1

1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and empty. Darkness was on the surface of the deep and God’s Spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters.

 

3 God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw the light, and saw that it was good. God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day”, and the darkness he called “night”. There was evening and there was morning, the first day.

 

6 God said, “Let there be an expanse in the middle of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 7 God made the expanse, and divided the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. 8 God called the expanse “sky”. There was evening and there was morning, a second day.

 

9 God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 God called the dry land “earth”, and the gathering together of the waters he called “seas”. God saw that it was good. 11 God said, “Let the earth yield grass, herbs yielding seeds, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with their seeds in it, on the earth”; and it was so. 12 The earth yielded grass, herbs yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with their seeds in it, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. 13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day.

 

14 God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of sky to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs to mark seasons, days, and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of sky to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of sky to give light to the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. 19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

 

20 God said, “Let the waters abound with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of sky.” 21 God created the large sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed, after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind. God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

 

24 God said, “Let the earth produce living creatures after their kind, livestock, creeping things, and animals of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. 25 God made the animals of the earth after their kind, and the livestock after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind. God saw that it was good.

 

26 God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in his own image. In God’s image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them. God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree, which bears fruit yielding seed. It will be your food. 30 To every animal of the earth, and to every bird of the sky, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food;” and it was so.

 

31 God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. There was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.

 

Genesis 2

 

2 The heavens, the earth, and all their vast array were finished. 2 On the seventh day God finished his work which he had done; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. 3 God blessed the seventh day, and made it holy, because he rested in it from all his work of creation which he had done.

 

4 This is the history of the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Adonaj God made the earth and the heavens. 5 No plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Adonaj God had not caused it to rain on the earth. There was not a man to till the ground, 6 but a mist went up from the earth, and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Adonaj God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 Adonaj God planted a garden eastward, in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground Adonaj God made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was parted, and became the source of four rivers. 11 The name of the first is Pishon: it flows through the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 and the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and onyx stone are also there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon. It is the same river that flows through the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel. This is the one which flows in front of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 Adonaj God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it. 16 Adonaj God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 but you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.”

 

18 Adonaj God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 19 Out of the ground Adonaj God formed every animal of the field, and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called every living creature became its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock, and to the birds of the sky, and to every animal of the field; but for man there was not found a helper comparable to him. 21 Adonaj God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. As the man slept, he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Adonaj God made a woman from the rib which had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh. 25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they were not ashamed.

 

Genesis 3

 

3 Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Adonaj God had made. He said to the woman, “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?’”

 

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees of the garden, 3 but not the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, ‘You shall not eat of it. You shall not touch it, lest you die.’”

 

4 The serpent said to the woman, “You won’t surely die, 5 for God knows that in the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

 

6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took some of its fruit, and ate; and she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate it, too. 7 Their eyes were opened, and they both knew that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together, and made coverings for themselves. 8 They heard Adonaj God’s voice walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Adonaj God among the trees of the garden.

 

9 Adonaj God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”

 

10 The man said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

 

11 God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

 

12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

 

13 Adonaj God said to the woman, “What have you done?”

 

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

 

14 Adonaj God said to the serpent,

 

“Because you have done this,

you are cursed above all livestock,

and above every animal of the field.

You shall go on your belly

and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.

15 I will put hostility between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and her offspring.

He will bruise your head,

and you will bruise his heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

 

“I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth.

In pain you will bear children.

Your desire will be for your husband,

and he will rule over you.”

17 To Adam he said,

 

“Because you have listened to your wife’s voice,

and ate from the tree,

about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’

the ground is cursed for your sake.

You will eat from it with much labor all the days of your life.

18 It will yield thorns and thistles to you;

and you will eat the herb of the field.

19 By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground,

for out of it you were taken.

For you are dust,

and to dust you shall return.”

20 The man called his wife Eve because she would be the mother of all the living. 21 Adonaj God made coats of animal skins for Adam and for his wife, and clothed them.

 

22 Adonaj God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…” 23 Therefore Adonaj God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

 

Exodus 3

 

3 Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to God’s mountain, to Horeb. 2 Adonaj’s angel appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the middle of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 Moses said, “I will turn aside now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.”

 

4 When Adonaj saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the middle of the bush, and said, “Moses! Moses!”

 

He said, “Here I am.”

 

5 He said, “Don’t come close. Take your sandals off of your feet, for the place you are standing on is holy ground.” 6 Moreover he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

 

Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look at God.

 

7 Adonaj said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 9 Now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to me. Moreover I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

 

11 Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

 

12 He said, “Certainly I will be with you. This will be the token to you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

 

13 Moses said to God, “Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you;’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ What should I tell them?”

 

14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM,” and he said, “You shall tell the children of Israel this: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 God said moreover to Moses, “You shall tell the children of Israel this, ‘Adonaj, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and this is my memorial to all generations. 16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and tell them, ‘Adonaj, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt; 17 and I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”’ 18 They will listen to your voice, and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you shall tell him, ‘Adonaj, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to Adonaj, our God.’ 19 I know that the king of Egypt won’t give you permission to go, no, not by a mighty hand. 20 I will reach out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders which I will do among them, and after that he will let you go. 21 I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and it will happen that when you go, you shall not go empty-handed. 22 But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, and of her who visits her house, jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons, and on your daughters. You shall plunder the Egyptians.”

 

Isaiah 6

 

6 In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face. With two he covered his feet. With two he flew. 3 One called to another, and said,

 

Holy, holy, holy, is Adonaj of Armies!

The whole earth is full of his glory!”

4 The foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 Then I said, “Woe is me! For I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell among a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, Adonaj of Armies!”

 

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar. 7 He touched my mouth with it, and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin forgiven.”

 

8 I heard the Lord’s voice, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”

 

Then I said, “Here I am. Send me!”

 

9 He said, “Go, and tell this people,

 

‘You hear indeed,

but don’t understand;

and you see indeed,

but don’t perceive.’

10 Make the heart of this people fat.

Make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes;

lest they see with their eyes,

and hear with their ears,

and understand with their heart,

and turn again, and be healed.”

11 Then I said, “Lord, how long?”

 

He answered,

 

“Until cities are waste without inhabitant,

and houses without man,

and the land becomes utterly waste,

12 And Adonaj has removed men far away,

and the forsaken places are many within the land.

13 If there is a tenth left in it,

that also will in turn be consumed:

as a terebinth, and as an oak, whose stock remains when they are felled;

so the holy seed is its stock.”

 

God in Creation

I believe in God, emptiness and life, who made us out of love.

One with the universe, he is not absorbed by it.

Who is free, because his spirit blows where he wants.

One with Christ, we see his fullness.

 

What does that mean?

 

God’s emptiness is the space for the fullness of his always new arising love.

The greatness and depth of his love is frightening and fulfills us with awe. God is one with the universe, which he created and maintains. But God is not exhausted in the universe, and we cannot recognize God through creation. In the freedom of his spirit, he was one with Christ. We experience through Christ God’s humanity. We need not to be afraid of God.

 

Sermon

 

To put this mystery “God” in words we say: God is emptiness. Emptiness is the largest, deepest and widest, what I can say of him at that moment. And this emptiness is a creative emptiness.

Would God not be, no life would be. In every moment God is creative and vivid. The pulse of the creative life of God is pulsing through the whole universe like through a big body. Even more: God’s creativity is the origin of our lives, of human and animal, stone and tree, our milky-way and far away galaxies, the origin of space and time, but God himself is without origin. Would God have an origin, we would say that God has a beginning. What has a beginning also has an end. God is eternal, that means God’s reality, although he pulses with his life through the temporal universe, is of his own kind (sui generis). That God is life, could be easily misunderstood, when one think, God is life as we usually know it.

But do we really know life? To be born, eat and drink, grow up, take up a profession, having kids, grow old and die?! Therefore we say a lot more about God: God loves, us – and what he creates out of himself in his love. God’s emptiness, God’s creativity that arises in and out of this emptiness, that is new again and again, is his love.

Well, how do we know that this is so? We know that first through the one real human: Christ. For in him this love becomes visible and tangible for us humans. A human like you and me. He was so much one with God, that some of his contemporaries have seen God in him and through him.

To ask: how is this possible? How is such a human possible where we still know the people? is obvious. But this is God’s mystery, which we humans cannot understand. This is the mystery of Christ. Just this much: He was open and empty for God.

God’s emptiness that is his always new arising love, is the space for the eternal possibilities of God. And therefore we say: God’s emptiness is his fullness.

And this fullness has found space in Christ. But the fullness of God, the fullness of his love, has not enough space in one human. It is flowing over, out and out, so the humans have experienced God through Christ.

To experience God through Christ, means to be freed of regulations, laws and commandments which are man-made. To follow him means to follow him to freedom. To follow him into freedom means to become empty. To become empty of images of God and images of humans, to become empty of worries and dreams regarding the past and the future.

In this space God’s love can grow and bloom. Another word for God’s love, which came through Christ in this world, is light. Light dispels the darkness. God’s light is his life, his emptiness and his love. But God’s light is not like sunlight or the light of a candle, but God’s light is darkness. It glows within us, it comforts, gives us peace and makes us whole. It grows and flowers inside. God’s light is his spirit, his emptiness, his love, his fullness.

 

Table of Contents

God in Christ

I believe in Christ, God’s real human, who frees us.

One with God, he was light in darkness.

Who was crucified, because darkness hates light.

One with God, he lives in his light.

 

Scripture

 

Matthew 1:18-23

 

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this; for after his mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, intended to put her away secretly. 20 But when he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take to yourself Mary, your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She shall give birth to a son. You shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins.”

 

22 Now all this has happened, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying,

 

23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child,

and shall give birth to a son.

They shall call his name Immanuel”;

which is, being interpreted, “God with us.”

 

Matthew 3:11-17

 

11 I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor. He will gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire.”

 

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John would have hindered him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?”

 

15 But Jesus, answering, said to him, “Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. 16 Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him. 17 Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

 

Matthew 4:1-17.23

 

4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry afterward. 3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

 

4 But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”

 

5 Then the devil took him into the holy city. He set him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will put his angels in charge of you.’ and,

 

‘On their hands they will bear you up,

so that you don’t dash your foot against a stone.’”

7 Jesus said to him, “Again, it is written, ‘You shall not test the Lord, your God.’”

 

8 Again, the devil took him to an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory. 9 He said to him, “I will give you all of these things, if you will fall down and worship me.”

 

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Get behind me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.’”

 

11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and served him. 12 Now when Jesus heard that John was delivered up, he withdrew into Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he came and lived in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,

 

15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,

toward the sea, beyond the Jordan,

Galilee of the Gentiles,

16 the people who sat in darkness saw a great light,

to those who sat in the region and shadow of death,

to them light has dawned.”

17 From that time, Jesus began to preach, and to say, “Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

 

23 Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people.

 

Matthew 5:17-20

 

17 “Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill. 18 For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished. 19 Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

Matthew 8:20

 

20 Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

 

Matthew 8:28-29

 

28 When he came to the other side, into the country of the Gergesenes, two people possessed by demons met him there, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that nobody could pass that way. 29 Behold, they cried out, saying, “What do we have to do with you, Jesus, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?”

 

Matthew 9:1-13

 

9 He entered into a boat, and crossed over, and came into his own city. 2 Behold, they brought to him a man who was paralyzed, lying on a bed. Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, “Son, cheer up! Your sins are forgiven you.”

 

3 Behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man blasphemes.”

 

4 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven;’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk?’ 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” (then he said to the paralytic), “Get up, and take up your mat, and go up to your house.”

 

7 He arose and departed to his house. 8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

 

9 As Jesus passed by from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax collection office. He said to him, “Follow me.” He got up and followed him. 10 As he sat in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw it, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

 

12 When Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do. 13 But you go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

 

Matthew 11:1-6

 

11 When Jesus had finished directing his twelve disciples, he departed from there to teach and preach in their cities. 2 Now when John heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples 3 and said to him, “Are you he who comes, or should we look for another?”

 

4 Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6 Blessed is he who finds no occasion for stumbling in me.”

 

Matthew 11:25-30

 

25 At that time, Jesus answered, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to infants. 26 Yes, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in your sight. 27 All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows the Son, except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and he to whom the Son desires to reveal him.

 

28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 

Matthew 12:1-14

 

12 At that time, Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the grain fields. His disciples were hungry and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 But the Pharisees, when they saw it, said to him, “Behold, your disciples do what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.”

 

3 But he said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him; 4 how he entered into God’s house, and ate the show bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the law, that on the Sabbath day, the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are guiltless? 6 But I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. 7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

 

9 He departed there, and went into their synagogue. 10 And behold there was a man with a withered hand. They asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?” that they might accuse him.

 

11 He said to them, “What man is there among you, who has one sheep, and if this one falls into a pit on the Sabbath day, won’t he grab on to it, and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day.” 13 Then he told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out; and it was restored whole, just like the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out, and conspired against him, how they might destroy him.

 

Matthew 16:13-20

 

13 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

 

14 They said, “Some say John the Baptizer, some, Elijah, and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”

 

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

 

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

 

17 Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 I also tell you that you are Peter,[a] and on this rock[b] I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades© will not prevail against it. 19 I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.” 20 Then he commanded the disciples that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ.

 

Matthew 20:29-33

 

29 As they went out from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. 30 Behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, you son of David!” 31 The multitude rebuked them, telling them that they should be quiet, but they cried out even more, “Lord, have mercy on us, you son of David!”

 

32 Jesus stood still, and called them, and asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”

 

33 They told him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.”

 

34 Jesus, being moved with compassion, touched their eyes; and immediately their eyes received their sight, and they followed him.

 

Matthew 26:36-46

 

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go there and pray.” 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and severely troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch with me.”

 

39 He went forward a little, fell on his face, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire.”

 

40 He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What, couldn’t you watch with me for one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that you don’t enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

 

42 Again, a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cup can’t pass away from me unless I drink it, your desire be done.” 43 He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he came to his disciples, and said to them, “Sleep on now, and take your rest. Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Arise, let’s be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand.”

 

Matthew 27:31-54

 

31 When they had mocked him, they took the robe off of him, and put his clothes on him, and led him away to crucify him.

 

32 As they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, and they compelled him to go with them, that he might carry his cross. 33 They came to a place called “Golgotha”, that is to say, “The place of a skull.” 34 They gave him sour wine to drink mixed with gall. When he had tasted it, he would not drink. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided his clothing among them, casting lots, 36 and they sat and watched him there. 37 They set up over his head the accusation against him written, “THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

 

38 Then there were two robbers crucified with him, one on his right hand and one on the left. 39 Those who passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, 40 and saying, “You who destroy the temple, and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!”

 

41 Likewise the chief priests also mocking, with the scribes, the Pharisees, and the elders, said, 42 “He saved others, but he can’t save himself. If he is the King of Israel, let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God deliver him now, if he wants him; for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 The robbers also who were crucified with him cast on him the same reproach.

 

45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lima sabachthani?” That is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

 

47 Some of them who stood there, when they heard it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.”

 

48 Immediately one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him a drink. 49 The rest said, “Let him be. Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.”

 

50 Jesus cried again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit. 51 Behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, they entered into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 Now the centurion, and those who were with him watching Jesus, when they saw the earthquake, and the things that were done, feared exceedingly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God.”

 

Matthew 28:1-15

 

28 Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 Behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from the sky, and came and rolled away the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him, the guards shook, and became like dead men. 5 The angel answered the women, “Don’t be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus, who has been crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, just like he said. Come, see the place where the Lord was lying. 7 Go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead, and behold, he goes before you into Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.”

 

8 They departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring his disciples word. 9 As they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!”

 

They came and took hold of his feet, and worshiped him.

 

10 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Go tell my brothers that they should go into Galilee, and there they will see me.”

 

11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city, and told the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12 When they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave a large amount of silver to the soldiers, 13 saying, “Say that his disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 14 If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him and make you free of worry.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were told. This saying was spread abroad among the Jews, and continues until today.

 

Mark 1:1-15

 

1 The beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in the prophets,

 

“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,

who will prepare your way before you.

3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness,

Make ready the way of the Lord!

Make his paths straight!’”

4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins. 5 All the country of Judea and all those of Jerusalem went out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins. 6 John was clothed with camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. 7 He preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and loosen. 8 I baptized you in water, but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.”

 

9 In those days, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Immediately coming up from the water, he saw the heavens parting, and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 A voice came out of the sky, “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

 

12 Immediately the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness. 13 He was there in the wilderness forty days tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals; and the angels were serving him.

 

14 Now after John was taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Good News of God’s Kingdom, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and God’s Kingdom is at hand! Repent, and believe in the Good News.”

 

Mark 1:21-27

 

21 They went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue and taught. 22 They were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, 24 saying, “Ha! What do we have to do with you, Jesus, you Nazarene? Have you come to destroy us? I know you who you are: the Holy One of God!”

 

25 Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”

 

26 The unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 They were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching? For with authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him!”

 

Mark 2:1-17

 

2 When he entered again into Capernaum after some days, it was heard that he was in the house. 2 Immediately many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even around the door; and he spoke the word to them. 3 Four people came, carrying a paralytic to him. 4 When they could not come near to him for the crowd, they removed the roof where he was. When they had broken it up, they let down the mat that the paralytic was lying on. 5 Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”

 

6 But there were some of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak blasphemies like that? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

 

8 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you reason these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to tell the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven;’ or to say, ‘Arise, and take up your bed, and walk?’ 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I tell you, arise, take up your mat, and go to your house.”

 

12 He arose, and immediately took up the mat, and went out in front of them all; so that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

 

13 He went out again by the seaside. All the multitude came to him, and he taught them. 14 As he passed by, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he arose and followed him.

 

15 He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners sat down with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many, and they followed him. 16 The scribes and the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why is it that he eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”

 

17 When Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

 

 

 

Mark 2:23-28

 

23 He was going on the Sabbath day through the grain fields, and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to him, “Behold, why do they do that which is not lawful on the Sabbath day?”

 

25 He said to them, “Did you never read what David did, when he had need, and was hungry—he, and those who were with him? 26 How he entered into God’s house when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the show bread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and gave also to those who were with him?” 27 He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

 

Mark 3:1-12

 

3 He entered again into the synagogue, and there was a man there who had his hand withered. 2 They watched him, whether he would heal him on the Sabbath day, that they might accuse him. 3 He said to the man who had his hand withered, “Stand up.” 4 He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath day to do good, or to do harm? To save a life, or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 When he had looked around at them with anger, being grieved at the hardening of their hearts, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored as healthy as the other. 6 The Pharisees went out, and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

 

7 Jesus withdrew to the sea with his disciples, and a great multitude followed him from Galilee, from Judea, 8 from Jerusalem, from Idumaea, beyond the Jordan, and those from around Tyre and Sidon. A great multitude, hearing what great things he did, came to him. 9 He spoke to his disciples that a little boat should stay near him because of the crowd, so that they wouldn’t press on him. 10 For he had healed many, so that as many as had diseases pressed on him that they might touch him. 11 The unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, “You are the Son of God!” 12 He sternly warned them that they should not make him known.

 

Mark 8:22-30

 

22 He came to Bethsaida. They brought a blind man to him, and begged him to touch him. 23 He took hold of the blind man by the hand, and brought him out of the village. When he had spit on his eyes, and laid his hands on him, he asked him if he saw anything.

 

24 He looked up, and said, “I see men; for I see them like trees walking.”

 

25 Then again he laid his hands on his eyes. He looked intently, and was restored, and saw everyone clearly. 26 He sent him away to his house, saying, “Don’t enter into the village, nor tell anyone in the village.”

 

27 Jesus went out, with his disciples, into the villages of Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?”

 

28 They told him, “John the Baptizer, and others say Elijah, but others: one of the prophets.”

 

29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

 

Peter answered, “You are the Christ.”

 

30 He commanded them that they should tell no one about him.

 

Mark 9:38-41

 

38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone who doesn’t follow us casting out demons in your name; and we forbade him, because he doesn’t follow us.”

 

39 But Jesus said, “Don’t forbid him, for there is no one who will do a mighty work in my name, and be able quickly to speak evil of me. 40 For whoever is not against us is on our side. 41 For whoever will give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you are Christ’s, most certainly I tell you, he will in no way lose his reward.

 

Mark 10:13-16

 

13 They were bringing to him little children, that he should touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who were bringing them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said to them, “Allow the little children to come to me! Don’t forbid them, for God’s Kingdom belongs to such as these. 15 Most certainly I tell you, whoever will not receive God’s Kingdom like a little child, he will in no way enter into it.” 16 He took them in his arms, and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

 

Mark 13:3-13

 

3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign that these things are all about to be fulfilled?”

 

5 Jesus, answering, began to tell them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray. 6 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he! ’ and will lead many astray.

 

7 “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, don’t be troubled. For those must happen, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places. There will be famines and troubles. These things are the beginning of birth pains. 9 But watch yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils. You will be beaten in synagogues. You will stand before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony to them. 10 The Good News must first be preached to all the nations. 11 When they lead you away and deliver you up, don’t be anxious beforehand, or premeditate what you will say, but say whatever will be given you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

 

12 “Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child. Children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. 13 You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake, but he who endures to the end, the same will be saved.

 

Mark 13:24-27

 

24 But in those days, after that oppression, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, 25 the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 Then he will send out his angels, and will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the sky.

 

Mark 14:12-25

 

12 On the first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the Passover, his disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare that you may eat the Passover?”

 

13 He sent two of his disciples, and said to them, “Go into the city, and there you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him, 14 and wherever he enters in, tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 15 He will himself show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Get ready for us there.”

 

16 His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found things as he had said to them, and they prepared the Passover.

 

17 When it was evening he came with the twelve. 18 As they sat and were eating, Jesus said, “Most certainly I tell you, one of you will betray me—he who eats with me.”

 

19 They began to be sorrowful, and to ask him one by one, “Surely not I?” And another said, “Surely not I?”

 

20 He answered them, “It is one of the twelve, he who dips with me in the dish. 21 For the Son of Man goes, even as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born.”

 

22 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had blessed, he broke it, and gave to them, and said, “Take, eat. This is my body.”

 

23 He took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave to them. They all drank of it. 24 He said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Most certainly I tell you, I will no more drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it anew in God’s Kingdom.”

 

Mark 15:21-41

 

21 They compelled one passing by, coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to go with them, that he might bear his cross. 22 They brought him to the place called Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, “The place of a skull.” 23 They offered him wine mixed with myrrh to drink, but he didn’t take it.

 

24 Crucifying him, they parted his garments among them, casting lots on them, what each should take. 25 It was the third hour, and they crucified him. 26 The superscription of his accusation was written over him, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 27 With him they crucified two robbers; one on his right hand, and one on his left. 28 The Scripture was fulfilled, which says, “He was numbered with transgressors.”

 

29 Those who passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who destroy the temple, and build it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!”

 

31 Likewise, also the chief priests mocking among themselves with the scribes said, “He saved others. He can’t save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, that we may see and believe him.” Those who were crucified with him also insulted him.

 

33 When the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is, being interpreted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

 

35 Some of those who stood by, when they heard it, said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.”

 

36 One ran, and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Let him be. Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down.”

 

37 Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and gave up the spirit. 38 The veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. 39 When the centurion, who stood by opposite him, saw that he cried out like this and breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

 

40 There were also women watching from afar, among whom were both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41 who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and served him; and many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

 

Mark 16:1-8

 

16 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 They were saying among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 for it was very big. Looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back.

 

5 Entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were amazed. 6 He said to them, “Don’t be amazed. You seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen. He is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him! 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He goes before you into Galilee. There you will see him, as he said to you.’”

 

8 They went out, and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had come on them. They said nothing to anyone; for they were afraid.

 

Luke 1:5-80

 

5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the priestly division of Abijah. He had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 They were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they both were well advanced in years. 8 Now while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to enter into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 The whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.

 

11 An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Don’t be afraid, Zacharias, because your request has been heard, and your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 You will have joy and gladness; and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and he will drink no wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord, their God. 17 He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to prepare a people prepared for the Lord.”

 

18 Zacharias said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”

 

19 The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God. I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. 20 Behold, you will be silent and not able to speak, until the day that these things will happen, because you didn’t believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”

 

21 The people were waiting for Zacharias, and they marveled that he delayed in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple. He continued making signs to them, and remained mute. 23 When the days of his service were fulfilled, he departed to his house. 24 After these days Elizabeth, his wife, conceived, and she hid herself five months, saying, 25 “Thus has the Lord done to me in the days in which he looked at me, to take away my reproach among men.”

 

26 Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 Having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, you highly favored one! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women!”

 

29 But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered what kind of salutation this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and give birth to a son, and will call his name ‘Jesus.’ 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom.”

 

34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?”

 

35 The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God. 36 Behold, Elizabeth, your relative, also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing spoken by God is impossible.”

 

38 Mary said, “Behold, the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.”

 

The angel departed from her. 39 Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah, 40 and entered into the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 She called out with a loud voice, and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 Why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came into my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy! 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord!”

 

46 Mary said,

 

“My soul magnifies the Lord.

47 My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,

48 for he has looked at the humble state of his servant.

For behold, from now on, all generations will call me blessed.

49 For he who is mighty has done great things for me.

Holy is his name.

50 His mercy is for generations of generations on those who fear him.

51 He has shown strength with his arm.

He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

52 He has put down princes from their thrones.

And has exalted the lowly.

53 He has filled the hungry with good things.

He has sent the rich away empty.

54 He has given help to Israel, his servant, that he might remember mercy,

55 As he spoke to our fathers,

to Abraham and his offspring forever.”

56 Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her house. 57 Now the time that Elizabeth should give birth was fulfilled, and she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had magnified his mercy towards her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 On the eighth day, they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him Zacharias, after the name of the father. 60 His mother answered, “Not so; but he will be called John.”

 

61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.” 62 They made signs to his father, what he would have him called.

 

63 He asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, “His name is John.”

 

They all marveled. 64 His mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue freed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65 Fear came on all who lived around them, and all these sayings were talked about throughout all the hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard them laid them up in their heart, saying, “What then will this child be?” The hand of the Lord was with him. 67 His father, Zacharias, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,

 

68 “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,

for he has visited and redeemed his people;

69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David

70 (as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets who have been from of old),

71 salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us;

72 to show mercy towards our fathers,

to remember his holy covenant,

73 the oath which he spoke to Abraham, our father,

74 to grant to us that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies,

should serve him without fear,

75 In holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.

76 And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High,

for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways,

77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the remission of their sins,

78 because of the tender mercy of our God,

whereby the dawn from on high will visit us,

79 to shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death;

to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

80 The child was growing, and becoming strong in spirit, and was in the desert until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

 

Luke 2:41-52

 

41 His parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover.

 

42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast, 43 and when they had fulfilled the days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. Joseph and his mother didn’t know it, 44 but supposing him to be in the company, they went a day’s journey, and they looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 When they didn’t find him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the middle of the teachers, both listening to them, and asking them questions. 47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When they saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us this way? Behold, your father and I were anxiously looking for you.”

 

49 He said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 They didn’t understand the saying which he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth. He was subject to them, and his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

 

Luke 3:21-22

 

21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also had been baptized, and was praying. The sky was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form like a dove on him; and a voice came out of the sky, saying “You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased.”

 

Luke 4:1-13

 

4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. He ate nothing in those days. Afterward, when they were completed, he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”

 

4 Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”

 

5 The devil, leading him up on a high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 The devil said to him, “I will give you all this authority, and their glory, for it has been delivered to me; and I give it to whomever I want. 7 If you therefore will worship before me, it will all be yours.”

 

8 Jesus answered him, “Get behind me Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.’”

 

9 He led him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,

 

‘He will put his angels in charge of you, to guard you;’

11 and,

 

‘On their hands they will bear you up,

lest perhaps you dash your foot against a stone.’”

12 Jesus answering, said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”

 

13 When the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him until another time.

 

Luke 6:20-23

 

20 He lifted up his eyes to his disciples, and said,

 

“Blessed are you who are poor,

God’s Kingdom is yours.

21 Blessed are you who hunger now,

for you will be filled.

Blessed are you who weep now,

for you will laugh.

22 Blessed are you when men shall hate you, and when they shall exclude and mock you, and throw out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.

23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven, for their fathers did the same thing to the prophets.

 

Luke 6:27-35

 

27 “But I tell you who hear: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you. 29 To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer also the other; and from him who takes away your cloak, don’t withhold your coat also. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and don’t ask him who takes away your goods to give them back again.

 

31 “As you would like people to do to you, do exactly so to them. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive back as much. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back; and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil.

 

Luke 7:36-50

 

36 One of the Pharisees invited him to eat with him. He entered into the Pharisee’s house, and sat at the table. 37 Behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that he was reclining in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of ointment. 38 Standing behind at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “This man, if he were a prophet, would have perceived who and what kind of woman this is who touches him, that she is a sinner.”

 

40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

 

He said, “Teacher, say on.”

 

41 “A certain lender had two debtors. The one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they couldn’t pay, he forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him most?”

 

43 Simon answered, “He, I suppose, to whom he forgave the most.”

 

He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” 44 Turning to the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered into your house, and you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave me no kiss, but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” 48 He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

 

49 Those who sat at the table with him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

 

50 He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

 

Luke 9:23-27

 

23 He said to all, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever will lose his life for my sake, the same will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits his own self? 26 For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed, when he comes in his glory, and the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you the truth: There are some of those who stand here, who will in no way taste of death, until they see God’s Kingdom.”

 

Luke 10:17-37

 

17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”

 

18 He said to them, “I saw Satan having fallen like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will in any way hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, don’t rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

 

21 In that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in your sight.”

 

22 Turning to the disciples, he said, “All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is, except the Father, and who the Father is, except the Son, and he to whomever the Son desires to reveal him.”

 

23 Turning to the disciples, he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things that you see, 24 for I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see the things which you see, and didn’t see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and didn’t hear them.”

 

25 Behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

 

26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”

 

27 He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

 

28 He said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live.”

 

29 But he, desiring to justify himself, asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”

 

30 Jesus answered, “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 By chance a certain priest was going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 In the same way a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion, 34 came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, and gave them to the host, and said to him, ‘Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.’ 36 Now which of these three do you think seemed to be a neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?”

 

37 He said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

 

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

 

Luke 12:1-12

 

12 Meanwhile, when a multitude of many thousands had gathered together, so much so that they trampled on each other, he began to tell his disciples first of all, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 But there is nothing covered up, that will not be revealed, nor hidden, that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light. What you have spoken in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.

 

4 “I tell you, my friends, don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom you should fear. Fear him, who after he has killed, has power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

 

6 “Aren’t five sparrows sold for two assaria coins? Not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows.

 

8 “I tell you, everyone who confesses me before men, him will the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God; 9 but he who denies me in the presence of men will be denied in the presence of the angels of God. 10 Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, don’t be anxious how or what you will answer, or what you will say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that same hour what you must say.”

 

Luke 19:28-40

 

28 Having said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

 

29 When he came near to Bethsphage and Bethany, at the mountain that is called Olivet, he sent two of his disciples, 30 saying, “Go your way into the village on the other side, in which, as you enter, you will find a colt tied, whereon no man ever yet sat. Untie it, and bring it. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say to him: ‘The Lord needs it.’”

 

32 Those who were sent went away, and found things just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They said, “The Lord needs it.” 35 They brought it to Jesus. They threw their cloaks on the colt, and set Jesus on them. 36 As he went, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was now getting near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works which they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest!”

 

39 Some of the Pharisees from the multitude said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

 

40 He answered them, “I tell you that if these were silent, the stones would cry out.”

 

Luke 20:1-8

 

20 On one of those days, as he was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the Good News, the priests and scribes came to him with the elders. 2 They asked him, “Tell us: by what authority do you do these things? Or who is giving you this authority?”

 

3 He answered them, “I also will ask you one question. Tell me: 4 the baptism of John, was it from heaven, or from men?”

 

5 They reasoned with themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.” 7 They answered that they didn’t know where it was from.

 

8 Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

 

Luke 21:29-38

 

29 He told them a parable. “See the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 When they are already budding, you see it and know by your own selves that the summer is already near. 31 Even so you also, when you see these things happening, know that God’s Kingdom is near. 32 Most certainly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things are accomplished. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.

 

34 “So be careful, or your hearts will be loaded down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day will come on you suddenly. 35 For it will come like a snare on all those who dwell on the surface of all the earth. 36 Therefore be watchful all the time, praying that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

 

37 Every day Jesus was teaching in the temple, and every night he would go out and spend the night on the mountain that is called Olivet. 38 All the people came early in the morning to him in the temple to hear him.

 

 

Luke 22:+][+7-23

 

7 The day of unleavened bread came, on which the Passover must be sacrificed. 8 He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.”

 

9 They said to him, “Where do you want us to prepare?”

 

10 He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him into the house which he enters. 11 Tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 12 He will show you a large, furnished upper room. Make preparations there.”

 

13 They went, found things as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover. 14 When the hour had come, he sat down with the twelve apostles. 15 He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, 16 for I tell you, I will no longer by any means eat of it until it is fulfilled in God’s Kingdom.” 17 He received a cup, and when he had given thanks, he said, “Take this, and share it among yourselves, 18 for I tell you, I will not drink at all again from the fruit of the vine, until God’s Kingdom comes.”

 

19 He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in memory of me.” 20 Likewise, he took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. 22 The Son of Man indeed goes, as it has been determined, but woe to that man through whom he is betrayed!”

 

Luke 22:39-46

 

29 I confer on you a kingdom, even as my Father conferred on me, 30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. You will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

 

31 The Lord said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might sift you as wheat, 32 but I prayed for you, that your faith wouldn’t fail. You, when once you have turned again, establish your brothers.”

 

33 He said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death!”

 

34 He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will by no means crow today until you deny that you know me three times.”

 

35 He said to them, “When I sent you out without purse, and wallet, and shoes, did you lack anything?”

 

They said, “Nothing.”

 

36 Then he said to them, “But now, whoever has a purse, let him take it, and likewise a wallet. Whoever has none, let him sell his cloak, and buy a sword. 37 For I tell you that this which is written must still be fulfilled in me: ‘He was counted with transgressors.’ For that which concerns me has an end.”

 

38 They said, “Lord, behold, here are two swords.”

 

He said to them, “That is enough.”

 

39 He came out, and went, as his custom was, to the Mount of Olives. His disciples also followed him. 40 When he was at the place, he said to them, “Pray that you don’t enter into temptation.”

 

41 He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and he knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

 

43 An angel from heaven appeared to him, strengthening him. 44 Being in agony he prayed more earnestly. His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.

 

45 When he rose up from his prayer, he came to the disciples, and found them sleeping because of grief, 46 and said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

 

Luke 22:63-71

 

63 The men who held Jesus mocked him and beat him. 64 Having blindfolded him, they struck him on the face and asked him, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck you?” 65 They spoke many other things against him, insulting him.

 

66 As soon as it was day, the assembly of the elders of the people was gathered together, both chief priests and scribes, and they led him away into their council, saying, 67 “If you are the Christ, tell us.”

 

But he said to them, “If I tell you, you won’t believe, 68 and if I ask, you will in no way answer me or let me go. 69 From now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”

 

70 They all said, “Are you then the Son of God?”

 

He said to them, “You say it, because I am.”

 

71 They said, “Why do we need any more witness? For we ourselves have heard from his own mouth!”

 

Luke 23:1-5

 

23 The whole company of them rose up and brought him before Pilate. 2 They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting the nation, forbidding paying taxes to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.”

 

3 Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”

 

He answered him, “So you say.”

 

4 Pilate said to the chief priests and the multitudes, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”

 

5 But they insisted, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee even to this place.”

 

Luke 23:13-25

 

13 Pilate called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one that perverts the people, and see, I have examined him before you, and found no basis for a charge against this man concerning those things of which you accuse him. 15 Neither has Herod, for I sent you to him, and see, nothing worthy of death has been done by him. 16 I will therefore chastise him and release him.”

 

17 Now he had to release one prisoner to them at the feast. 18 But they all cried out together, saying, “Away with this man! Release to us Barabbas!”— 19 one who was thrown into prison for a certain revolt in the city, and for murder.

 

20 Then Pilate spoke to them again, wanting to release Jesus, 21 but they shouted, saying, “Crucify! Crucify him!”

 

22 He said to them the third time, “Why? What evil has this man done? I have found no capital crime in him. I will therefore chastise him and release him.” 23 But they were urgent with loud voices, asking that he might be crucified. Their voices and the voices of the chief priests prevailed. 24 Pilate decreed that what they asked for should be done. 25 He released him who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus up to their will.

 

Luke 23:32-49

 

32 There were also others, two criminals, led with him to be put to death. 33 When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified him there with the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.

 

34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

 

Dividing his garments among them, they cast lots. 35 The people stood watching. The rulers with them also scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself, if this is the Christ of God, his chosen one!”

 

36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming to him and offering him vinegar, 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

 

38 An inscription was also written over him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

 

39 One of the criminals who was hanged insulted him, saying, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us!”

 

40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Don’t you even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 He said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

 

43 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

 

44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. 45 The sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” Having said this, he breathed his last.

 

47 When the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous man.” 48 All the multitudes that came together to see this, when they saw the things that were done, returned home beating their breasts. 49 All his acquaintances, and the women who followed with him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

 

Luke 24:1-49

 

24 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they and some others came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 They entered in, and didn’t find the Lord Jesus’ body. 4 While they were greatly perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling clothing. 5 Becoming terrified, they bowed their faces down to the earth.

 

They said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He isn’t here, but is risen. Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again?”

 

8 They remembered his words, 9 returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest. 10 Now they were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. The other women with them told these things to the apostles. 11 These words seemed to them to be nonsense, and they didn’t believe them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. Stooping and looking in, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he departed to his home, wondering what had happened.

 

13 Behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was sixty stadia from Jerusalem. 14 They talked with each other about all of these things which had happened. 15 While they talked and questioned together, Jesus himself came near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk, and are sad?”

 

18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things which have happened there in these days?”

 

19 He said to them, “What things?”

 

They said to him, “The things concerning Jesus, the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we were hoping that it was he who would redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Also, certain women of our company amazed us, having arrived early at the tomb; 23 and when they didn’t find his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of us went to the tomb, and found it just like the women had said, but they didn’t see him.”

 

25 He said to them, “Foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Didn’t the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?” 27 Beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he explained to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 They came near to the village, where they were going, and he acted like he would go further.

 

29 They urged him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is almost evening, and the day is almost over.”

 

He went in to stay with them. 30 When he had sat down at the table with them, he took the bread and gave thanks. Breaking it, he gave to them. 31 Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he vanished out of their sight. 32 They said to one another, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us, while he spoke to us along the way, and while he opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 They rose up that very hour, returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and those who were with them, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 They related the things that happened along the way, and how he was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.

 

36 As they said these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be to you.”

 

37 But they were terrified and filled with fear, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

 

38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled? Why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is truly me. Touch me and see, for a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you see that I have.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While they still didn’t believe for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”

 

42 They gave him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 43 He took them, and ate in front of them. 44 He said to them, “This is what I told you, while I was still with you, that all things which are written in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me must be fulfilled.”

 

45 Then he opened their minds, that they might understand the Scriptures. 46 He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send out the promise of my Father on you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high.”

 

Luke 24:50-53

 

50 He led them out as far as Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he withdrew from them, and was carried up into heaven. 52 They worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

 

Interpretation

 

God in Christ

I believe in Christ, God’s real human, who frees us.

One with God, he was light in darkness.

Who was crucified, because darkness hates light.

One with God, he lives in his light.

 

What does that mean?

 

Christ was a real human in space and time. He was completely empty for the fullness of God’s love. He frees us from ourselves, because he shows us how we can find fulfillment. Fulfilled personhood is only possible in the selfless Ego looseness. Christ frees us from the illusion that we can please God by keeping commandments and laws. The natural difference between the full love of God and the lack of love of humans is finally repealed in Christ. In his oneness with God, he brought light into the darkness of this world. But the fewest humans understood and understand Christ. They take him as a troublemaker and out of place and beat him, who wants to save them from their unfulfilled human being out of the darkness, to the cross. “Why does God allow this?” we want ask. But God dies in his unity with Christ himself on the cross. When Christ cried on the cross: “My God, why has you forsaken me?” God didn’t stand somewhere apathetic – numb – aside, but was himself crucified with Christ, the human.

God died with Christ there on the cross. In Christ the humanity of God is fulfilled until the bitter end, until into death. In Christ God gives himself powerless in the hands of his humans.

The power of God’s love for human and creation is not fulfilled in God’s almightiness but in his powerlessness.. God himself overcomes the difference between himself and his creation in Christ, the human. This is so incomprehensible for us as darkness cannot comprehend light. The mind cannot fathom this mystery. What a miracle, when a human opens his heart for God’s love! He gets a little inkling of God’s love to us humans by feeling it on the very own body. God is not dead. And the human can live. Christ is risen by God in the dimension of his eternity.

 

Sermon

 

Because I believe in Christ, I can again believe in the humans. I can again believe in the humans, although I know myself. My weaknesses, my selfishness, my doubt, my unbelief. Sometimes I walk through my life like through dense fog, ‘m hopeless where I should have to believe. But I have not to believe if I cannot. For since Christ I know that God is different from us humans. Around here: do something for me, then I do something for you. Stick to the religious precepts and commandments, than God loves you. But with this idea of God Jesus makes once and for all an end. Because Jesus knew: God is like a father to the humans, because he is our Creator, and he loves us unconditionally. Like Christ lived in the consciousness: I am one with the eternal God, so we are originally intended to be one with God. But we are just not aware of it. We are like the prodigal son in the parable of the same name, who equipped with a great heritage, leaves his father and goes out into the colorful, enticing glittering world. Selfishly we live greedy our lives at the costs of others and at the costs of creation, hold for life what is impermanent and dead and take us our lives. What a crazy confusion: We take what we can get: money, power, success and sex, because we take having for being and thereby we mulct us of the real life that we can only live in unity with God.

Christ frees us to real life, in which he not only exemplifies this life to us, but is this life himself in his unity with God. Christ is selflessly empty for the fullness of God, and is thus only a real human, really himself, because God can be anything in him. He finds his identity in the fact that God is identical with him. At, in and through Jesus we learn who and what God is like.

To believe in Christ means to follow in his footsteps to freedom. One says: “The longest journey begins with a single step” and “the journey is the destination”. Once we have gone off the essential is already done. We remember: the Father’s heart loves us just as we are. Therefore, any ambitious or fearful effort, any attempt to please God in any way or to make it right for him, is not only pointless, but only makes obvious that we have not yet understood how God means it with us.

A human like Christ, who knows God like no other is perceived by most in this world as a spinner and troublemaker. Even the most pious believe him to be a blasphemer, because he leaves the worn out path of the Jewish religion and questions the existing laws and regulations. If people listen to his sermons and begin to believe him, someone like Jesus is dangerous for the existing system.

But his sermons are the least what the powerful have to fear. Those who are in power only perceive the apparent and hear only what they are able to hear. They think only in power categories and cling dried out to the religious status quo.

The ordinary people who have powerlessly nothing to lose look deeper. There is one who is different. One who is not crazy different, but one who is different in a good way. We notice this, because he does not only talk differently, but because he deals with us differently. Suddenly the whore experiences attention, the merciless tax collector grace, which is leprous becomes a Who and is healed by the love of Christ.

Christ, who not only preaches a new time, the newly dawning Kingdom of God, but also embodies himselfself, exemplifies God’s righteousness to the humans in flesh and blood. God’s justice always consists of love and not formally to adhere to laws. It’s God always all about the hearts of humans, but they misunderstood him. “Those who love God keep his commandments.” they have turned into “Who keeps the commandments loves God.” But you can formally hold even externally with a cold heart the commandments without that God means anything to you, to have a religious reputation among the people. And that seems to have been the case at the time of Jesus in the religious elite. Such a religious system that has a similiar hunger for power than the Roman occupying power, even if the religious leaders pretend to be pious, can only be described as darkness. How unbearable and threatening for the powerful must have been the occurrence of Christ.

Who makes his political deals in the darkness of dark backrooms for a long time, do not notice how much his life space decreases with the subtle progressive fossilization of his heart. He even believes the achieved status quo to be the will of God.

But who joins himself open and trusting with Jesus like his disciples, to whom Jesus is light in darkness. The traditionalists, however, try to preserve the original for life and death, because they cannot realize that the new, what is dawning in Jesus is precisely that what they are actually looking to preserve. With a good conscience and a right-believing heart they do not recognize the one who revealed God’s heart to them, but for fear of him, who is threatening their Orthodox identity that only turns around themselves, they beat the savior Christ to the cross to hang on their false image of God, because their false identities are still all what is left.

Therefore it is tragic that they just kill the one, who actually represents their salvation, because he exemplifies with his life how God means it to them. They should be able to jump over their own shadows. Because of fear they take the last possibility, wash their hands clean in the stream of misunderstood tradition, and murder the one who opens the door for them to God.

Naturally Christ’s death was a big catastrophe for his friends. Those, who hoped to be freed by Jesus of the Roman occupying power, probably left him earlier, because they recognized, that that what Jesus meant with his speech of the new realm of God just was about something else than pagan power. But his real friends…

Actually, one has to marvel how it came to be that Christ after his only three years lasting public activity was not filed by the world’s history after his death, because there were still other messiahs at the time of Jesus of which we know nothing anymore. You may marvel how it comes that a small group of simple no-names has developed into a world-church that tries to go in the footsteps of the carpenter.

And indeed, something happens that probably the fewest have expected, even they knew Jesus and his deeds and words. There, something wonderful happens. The human God brings Jesus, the human, out of death. He let him rise from the dead. This seemingly unbelievable cannot be proved. But for those who know Christ and those who know him, know God, it is almost a natural matter of course, that God doesn’t leave in death the human he loves, but raise him into the dimension of eternity.

It is told how the disciples have personal contact with Jesus after they found the grave empty, talk to him, even touch his wounds with their own hands, and how Jesus breaks the bread for the disciples who go to Emmaus, like before his death, who don’t recognize him and that he suddenly disappears in front of them. What really has happened, if some story is only a clarification of what the disciples experienced inwardly after the death of Jesus, we do not know.

Anyway, that what has happened after Jesus’ death, made of despondent and desperate people, those who have not only brought happily the name of Christ into the world, who even fearless let themselves killed for this name, but such who have completely been changed by God’s Spirit – like Paul, who was a persecutor of Christians and became a follower of Christ. That the matter of Jesus continues, is in God’s hands. Even after Jesus’ death God has not changed and remains faithfully to his humans.

Christ, who has gone up to heaven after his raising, now sits at the right hand of God, which means that he also can stand up as human for the humans by God after his death. On the other hand this means that the humanity of God is not only a three-year episode in world history that has passed after the death of Jesus, but God remains as Jesus has exemplified him to us.

Thereby it does little to the point, how the ancient imagery express real space. The ancient mythological idea “God in heaven above – the human on the earth below” is so deeply rooted in our hearts that even the Copernican turn is barely able to reach the deep layers of our psychic imagery. So both may coexist: our knowledge of the astronomical facts, and our feeling that God is up there somewhere invisible in heaven.

What happened next? The disciples of Jesus concluded from the statements of Jesus that he would come back to earth again in their lifetime in order to take them to heaven. That are ideas which we hardly can understand today. But the Parousia of Christ did not happen and they had to settle down in the world as Christians, as such they were perceived and named by the world.

 

Table of Contents

God in Humans

I believe in God, spirit and life, who comforts us.

One with God, we become real humans.

Who is in us, therefore we are light in darkness.

One with God, we live in his light.

 

Scripture

 

Genesis 1:2

 

2 The earth was formless and empty. Darkness was on the surface of the deep and God’s Spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters.

 

Genesis 2:7

 

7 Adonaj God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

 

1. Samuel 16:14

 

14 Now Adonaj’s Spirit departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Adonaj troubled him.

 

Isaiah 11:2

 

Adonaj’s Spirit will rest on him:

the spirit of wisdom and understanding,

the spirit of counsel and might,

the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Adonaj.

 

Joel 2:28-32

 

28 “It will happen afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;

and your sons and your daughters will prophesy.

Your old men will dream dreams.

Your young men will see visions.

29 And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days,

I will pour out my Spirit.

30 I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:

blood, fire, and pillars of smoke.

31 The sun will be turned into darkness,

and the moon into blood,

before the great and terrible day of Adonaj comes.

32 It will happen that whoever will call on Adonaj’s name shall be saved;

for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape,

as Adonaj has said,

and among the remnant, those whom Adonaj calls.

 

Matthew 10:16-20

 

16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep among wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to councils, and in their synagogues they will scourge you. 18 Yes, and you will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the nations. 19 But when they deliver you up, don’t be anxious how or what you will say, for it will be given you in that hour what you will say. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

 

Luke 1:+][+39-45

 

39 Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah, 40 and entered into the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 She called out with a loud voice, and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 Why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came into my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy! 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord!”

 

Luke 4:1

 

4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness

 

John 4:24

 

24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

 

John 6:63

 

63 It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life.

 

John 7:39

 

39 But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn’t yet glorified.

 

Acts 2:1-13

 

2 Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 Tongues like fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them. 4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak. 5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under the sky. 6 When this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because everyone heard them speaking in his own language. 7 They were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Behold, aren’t all these who speak Galileans? 8 How do we hear, everyone in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabians: we hear them speaking in our languages the mighty works of God!” 12 They were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Others, mocking, said, “They are filled with new wine.”

 

Acts 10:44

 

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the word.

 

Acts 19:2

 

2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

 

They said to him, “No, we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

 

Romans 8:9-17

 

9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if it is so that the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if any man doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his. 10 If Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if you live after the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God. 15 For you didn’t receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

 

16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God; 17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him.

 

Romans 8:26

 

26 In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don’t know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can’t be uttered.

 

1. Korinther 2:10

 

10 But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

 

1. Korinther 2:12

 

12 But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that were freely given to us by God.

 

1. Korinther 6:17

 

17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee sexual immorality! “Every sin that a man does is outside the body,” but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

 

1. Korinther 12:13

 

13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all given to drink into one Spirit.

 

2. Korinther 3:17

 

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

 

Galatians 2:20

 

20 I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.

 

Galatians 5:16-26

 

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, that you may not do the things that you desire. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.

 

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let’s also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let’s not become conceited, provoking one another, and envying one another.

 

Galatians 6:8

 

8 For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption. But he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

 

Ephesians 4:30

 

30 Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

 

1. Peter 4:14

 

14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed; because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. On their part he is blasphemed, but on your part he is glorified.

 

1. John 4:2

 

2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,

 

1. John 5:6

 

6 This is he who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

Interpretation

 

God in Humans

I believe in God, spirit and life, who comforts us.

One with God, we become real humans.

Who is in us, therefore we are light in darkness.

One with God, we live in his light.

 

What does that mean?

 

Like in Christ God lives by his Spirit in the humans who follow Christ. Or the other way around: humans in whom God lives, follow Christ. Like Christ, they experience God’s love in so far as they open up to the love of God. Like the miracle of love between two people is hard to understand, it’s hard to understand how it is that a human begins to believe in God. How many have accepted to be incapable to love, after a botched childhood, where they have experienced everything else but love, and then it happens out of the blue: their numb heart starts to beat for another human, with all fear and new feelings that are associated with it. They were dead and have been awakened to life again by love.

So it is with a human who begins to believe in God. He experiences what it means to find his fulfillment as a human. God takes shape in him. The Christ-Way is not an easy way. Now we are like Christ – instead of him – light in the darkness of this world.

The more God transforms us, the more we realize how egoistic we are as humans, addicted to consumption and superficially look after number one, instead of realizing our unity with our next and God. But God comforts us and frees us from ourselves. To be a Christian means to become to Christ and a life in God’s light. We will never become perfect. We suffer setbacks, don’t like some people, are selfish and hurt others by our self-righteousness. How long does it take to become Christ(ian)? Eternal…

 

Sermon

 

It is remarkable that we still have today in the 21th century the mind and and the energy to tell here and almost everywhere in the world that stories, that are handed down to us in the Bible about God and Jesus Christ. Why is that? The reason is that they not only report the past, what is perhaps still of interest to historians, but these ancient texts dealing with timeless issues that affect us people living today in our existence.

Who am I? Is there a God? How can I still live today in a world of materialism at all? Am I not more than my genes? What is life all about? Why isn’t my hunger for life satisfied by what I buy? Why do I feel stressed and empty, like burned out?

Many of us are looking in the wrong places, some for a lifetime. Many try to numb their inner emptiness through work and pleasure. We have lost the right measure. Many benumb themselves with the socially accepted drug alcohol. When Obama thought out loud about the legalization of Cannabis, he cited studies that have shown that the consumption of Cannabis is not worse than alcohol consumption, something like a murmur seemed to go through the world with the tenor, yes then Cannabis cannot be so bad. But that just shows how blunted we are to a drug which is widely accepted in society and is advertised publicly. Many young people have lost themselves in the drug Crystal, from which they might even hope to get mystical experiences, but at what cost?

In addition, we hardly see ourselves in a position to correct the distorted image of the reality that the television burns for hours every day in our heads, because we allow it. We let us cheat: happy is who has money and can buy this or that. Benumbed and hypnotized we expose ourselves to these daily brainwashing and are incapacitated to perceive our own reality, our own needs and feelings. Instead, we suck other people’s feelings from talk shows and soap operas with which we identify ourselves and live a replacement life by believing what there is played for us. We live, but what we think, feel and do has hardly anything to do with ourselves. Since it is no wonder that we hardly can know and understand ourselves. We have forgotten where we come from, who we are, and that we must die. Life is not a 24/7-sale-show.

It costs something to find our lives. Some first need to lose all their material possessions by a natural disaster to realize: Main thing, we are still alive. Yes, and then? Business as usual? Or do we use the incurred loss and question our current concept of life? Do we now realize how much we have defined us through our possession?

And so any loss, whether the mentioned material, the loss of our job or that of a loved one, throws us back on ourselves and our own mortality. Some are beginning to ask for God. Some lose their belief in God or their belief is changing and deepening.

The crucifixion of Jesus must have been a traumatic experience of loss for the disciples of Jesus. And who him-/ herself has lost a him or her beloved one will be able to understand when they say: we have died with Christ. This feeling probably is acquainted with every mourner: being paralyzed from death and grief, as if oneself is buried down there. How surprising, how new this certainty of the disciples, no, Jesus is not dead and out of the world, but Jesus is risen and lives forever in the presence of God. The same Holy Spirit of God who was in Jesus is in us now and leave us not in death, but let us resurrect with Christ. This is not easy to understand, even for those who believe in God. We know from our everyday language the phrase: the deceased lives on in his children. Perhaps this saying has its origin there.

Their experience of comfort, strength and vitality has reminded the disciples of the promises of Jesus again: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:20), “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth…” (John 14:16-17).

Yes, Jesus is alive in his disciples by God’s Spirit. That’s something different then to say that the deceased lives on in his children. Because that only means that he lives on genetic or in his offspring’s memory with what he has said and done. When we say Jesus lives by God’s Spirit inside us, we mean a dimension that transcend our understanding, and in which we may take part. Those who go the Jesus-Way have experienced for centuries, that God’s Spirit makes us similar to Christ.

At the beginning I asked, why we still have a mind and the energy to say 2000 year old Bible texts into the present. That depends on the same experience what have already made the disciples shortly after Jesus’ resurrection, that God lives as Holy Spirit in us. These statements must sound absurd and adventurous for those who are not Christians. But they are really natural to whom, who is able to believe in God. He experiences God, where he is surprised by himself, where others hate him and he is unable to return the hate and can only feel love and understanding for his opponent. Where he suddenly hears and sees himself saying and doing things, he would not have expected by himself, whether he intervenes with courage against discrimination, or he risks his life for a drowning child. Or we read the stories in the Bible that are written in the same spirit and we understand the context, we see daylight, and we are personal touched inwardly. These are all examples, which we can normally experience on a human level, but where we realize that God had a hand in it.

Many questions regarding the Holy Spirit of God could be asked like, if only Christians have the Holy Spirit (even so to ask seems wrong to me), because they say, that the Spirit of God drives that are children of God (Romans 8:14), or also so-called non-Christians?

I can’t answer these questions and will not even try, because experience has shown that such attempts only lead to wild speculation, which bring nothing to anyone and harm rather than help. I just believe that the Spirit of God is free and blows where he wants. (see John 3:8)

However, I think it is much more important to make aware to those who follow the Jesus-Way – including myself – that now we are instead of Jesus, God’s faces in this world. The humans do not need a religious zeal, no fundamentalist insistence on an absolute truth claim, but our humanity.

At all times the hope and certainty were burning in Christians, that they live on after their physical death together with Christ in the presence of God. The first Christians even imagined that they be turned alive at the second coming of Christ and will be raptured with him in heaven.

The latter may seem hard to imagine, especially if you immerse in the picture language of Revelation, where it is described how Jesus comes riding up on a white horse from heaven high. Well, so one has imagined in antiquity, as the world goes down. And for centuries humans were strenghtened and encouraged by these images during the persecutions of Christians.

The modern man may smile at such statements and mean very little to them. But it is obvious that the earth, which we spurn ecologically, sometime breaks apart. Since the invention of the atomic bomb and climate change the Apokalyse has come terrifyingly close. Therefore it is worthwhile to delve into the – sometimes difficult to understand – symbolic language of Revelation.

We should not fool ourselves, even if there has been great progresses in the Western world by the achievements of science and improved living conditions to prolong our life span, that we continue to live forever in this body. Most unfortunately, we are able to displace our death. We push the idea of death aside, live a superficial life without appreciating life properly. We get upset over little things and forget how precious life is. But even the most fulfilled and conscious lived life on this earth sometime comes to an end. With the same belief with which I believe in God, I believe that the human is more than his body and has a soul or identity that is hidden in him invisible to the human eye, and eternal. But it is more than a belief, it is a kind of certainty, of the same quality as I also believe in God. A certainty that goes beyond a purely intellectual “hold-as-true” of any biblical statements about life after death. This certainty is a kind of experience of being that can hard be put into words. Just as if I am talking to a person, and I begin to see through his facade, and I suddenly have the feeling: Gosh, I know you. But not unmasking and compromising in a negative sense but realising in a positive sense: You and I are not so different, although we apparently we don’t like in this each other here in this conversation, I feel who you really are. On another level we are even as humans one through Christ. All this is done non-verbally and in rare moments.

I know the people, and especially myself, and I know how multifaceted are the life and individual life stories, and I am wary to divide people into good and evil, in Christians or non-Christians, in redeemed and unredeemed. I know Buddhists and Muslims who are more convincing in their humanity than many Christians. Can it not be that they confess in their own way and with their piety God, even if they, like the Buddhists, do not believe in God at all? And do not search those who mistake having with being in their own manner actually God, but only that they don’t have yet understood that? We Christians should not make our hearts too tight and should not think to have a patent on truth.

Sometimes I guess something of God’s greatness and the fact that, as I see him is just an eye-blink, as he really is. And if you try to put together all experiences of all humans, who belong to a religion or not, it seems to me that we cannot fathom God’s depths. The different religions appear to me like facets of a diamond, which although gets warmed through and touched by the light of the sun cannot hold it and reflect the mutually complementary light of God, each in its own way, in a variety of colors.

 

Table of Contents

Creed

I believe in God, emptiness and life, who made us out of love.

One with the universe, he is not absorbed by it.

Who is free, because his spirit blows where he wants.

One with Christ, we see his fullness.

 

I believe in Christ, God’s real human, who frees us.

One with God, he was light in darkness.

Who was crucified, because darkness hates light.

One with God, he lives in his light.

 

I believe in God, spirit and life, who comforts us.

One with God, we become real humans.

Who is in us, therefore we are light in darkness.

One with God, we live in his light.

 

Table of Contents

 


(No) Dogmatics

In the synoptic gospels, which are also called history books, Jesus’ origin, path of life and goal is described. But not with the intention to draw an objective picture, which satisfies the demands of modern, scientific history books. This way of thinking was totally strange to the people of the ancient world.What a pity, you might think. But the writer of the gospels speak wholeheartedly what Jesus mean to them. And much more: They describe what Jesus means for the world. That is more important as the historic question regarding space and time. This is about eternity and sense. Where do we come from, what does give our lives meaning, where will we go after our dying? What is the human and who is God? How the life of Jesus took place, his speeches and work, I have compiled exemplarily from the synoptic gospels. I formulated a creed for the presence, which tries to express the faith in a contemporary language and added an explanation. What does that mean? I ask and interpret the christian faith for the presence. In addition I added for a better understanding verses which describe God as creator and how God as Holy Spirit faced humans - then and today.

  • ISBN: 9781370445080
  • Author: Volker Schunck
  • Published: 2016-08-28 17:50:11
  • Words: 23499
(No) Dogmatics (No) Dogmatics