This week, during a community meal shared by the congregation, Pastor Angie Von Slaughter leads a group discussion about the different views of Jesus and who Jesus is to us and to her.
Teacher, Savior, Friend, Prophet, God, Man. Who is Jesus to you?
Questions from the group discussion:
1. Why do you think people are so fascinated with Jesus? Do you think this story is unique to only Jesus?
2. Why do you think Jesus wanted his identity concealed – why do you think he said not to tell anyone? Why do you think he even asked the question “Who do you say I am?”
3. What is something that you learned about Jesus that you may not have known before?
4. What tensions did you observe within yourself when you heard these other perspectives about Jesus?
1. French Theologian Jean Guitton writes: “Jesus did not mean to found a new religion. In his historical humanity, Jesus was a devout Israelite, practicing the law to the full. Jerusalem, the capital of his nation, was the city he loved: Jesus wept over it.” This thinking isn’t unique to Guitton, many theologians and philosophers alike believe Jesus didn’t mean to start a new religion. If that’s the case, why do you think Christianity was born?
2. There is some controversy surrounding the Gnostic Gospels (the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Mary Magdalene, etc) that claims Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a special relationship. Jewish Midrash makes it very clear that you weren’t allowed to be called Rabbi unless you had a wife and children… and yet Jesus was called Rabbi in the New Testament. It was also very uncommon for a 30-year-old male in the first century to not be married. Given this information, yet knowing the Bible mentions nothing about Jesus’s relationship status, do you think Jesus remained single or was in a relationship?
3. Jesus spoke often about the “Kingdom of God” or the “Kingdom of Heaven”. How would you describe the Kingdom of Heaven? How do we enter it?