Two people – Mary, the sister of Martha, and Cleopas, a believer but not a disciple of Jesus, continue sharing their stories regarding the events of Good Friday through Easter Sunday.
Two people – Mary, the sister of Martha, and Cleopas, a believer but not a disciple of Jesus both have encounters with Jesus during the season of Passover which coincides with our Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with Easter.
“Son of God” has a very different meaning to Christians than it did in Jesus’ time. It was a title of honor but not carrying with it any indication of being divine. Jesus used this title for himself rarely; however both Satan and some demons called Jesus by this title. The people around him at his crucifixion used it in a mocking way. Our lesson is to use our talents to further God’s plans.
Messiah actually means “anointed”. This means having made a commitment to accomplish a mission during a ceremony in which oil is poured on the committers head. According to the Old Testament the Messiah’s mission was to free the people. Because Jesus did this, the word, Messiah, (or Christ) has remained a part of the name we use for Jesus. Because He is our example, we are also “anointed” to carry on His mission.
The Jews had been expecting a hero to save them from subjugation by other countries. They were looking for a military leader – someone who could vanquish their enemies. Instead, Jesus came to save them in a different way.
Holiness has been described as something very personal. Often it is a set of avoidances. In Old Testament times holiness was sought by avoiding certain foods or contact with unclean things. In early Christian times it was sometimes sought by avoiding physical comforts or thoughts of physical pleasure. But Jesus gave holiness a completely different frame. Teaching that what a person says or how a person treats others is what defiles him while what he touches of eats does not defile him, he explained that holiness comes from positive action rather than personal sacrifice.
Jesus fulfilled the three-part role of Prophet as described in the Old Testament: they brought God’s word to the people, they warned the people regarding their behavior, and they performed miracles. He did all of these things and so much more.
Jesus was a special kind of teacher. I try to show this by comparing him to a college professor. To have a professor teach a student, the student must first jump through hoops, grades and recommendations and the like. Jesus accepts us with no prior accomplishments. The only qualification Jesus requires is that we ask. So also we teach and minister to others without demanding that they jump through hoops before we act.
Covetousness is at the core of many if not most of the ways we sin. God though Jesus and then through Paul showed us that true wealth and happiness comes from the contentment that follows living a godly life as exemplified in Jesus’ life and ministry.
The ninth of the original “Ten Commandments” says we are not to bear false witness against our neighbor. This commandment had a specific original meaning. But Jesus reinterpreted all the commandments in ways and made them central to our lives today. Just so, the original application was to ensure that witnesses told the truth in legal disputes. Jesus extended the application to how we witness to our own faith and identity.
Stealing – taking things from others without their knowledge or permission – has been a human problem from even before recorded history. Children and adults have been guilty of the sin of stealing. Jesus asked us to love others as much as we love ourselves. This was Jesus’ response when asked what the greatest commandment was. After loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.
The seventh of the original “Ten Commandments” says we are to shun adultery. This commandment had a specific original meaning. But Jesus reinterpreted all the commandments in ways and made them central to our lives today. Just so, the original application was to demand physical faithfulness of wives in marriage and spiritual exclusion of all gods except true God. Jesus extended the application to mental faithfulness of marriage partners and exclusion of acts and beliefs contrary to God.