“The whole of Christ’s life was a continual teaching, His silences, His miracles, His gestures, His prayers, His love for people…”
As we continue on our journey in knowing God and having a faith that is incarnational – Remember “Incarnate” that faith in Christ means a transformed life, A life that is lived in our behavior, in our very bodies – in living a life in Christ, we will look at the Life of Christ.
We look to Christ, and begin reflecting on what our own missions in life are. We can look at His life and His teachings.
JESUS’ MESSAGE AND MISSION
Jesus understood His mission from an early age. (Luke 2:41-52)
“Did you not know that I must be in my father’s house?”
He then returns with Mary and Joseph and is obedient. Even though young, he was aware of his special relationship to God and his religious mission.
PUBLIC LIFE: begins with his baptism by John the Baptist.
The years before his public life are known as the hidden life of Jesus. During this time of his life is revealed his obedience to his parents, participation in humble but honest work, and growing in the knowledge of his religion. This gives us an example of holiness lived out in daily life.
“The story of every human life begins with birth and ends with death. In the Person of Christ, however, it was His death that was first and His life that was last.”
“…It was not so much that His birth cast a shadow on His life and thus led to His death; it was rather that the Cross was first, and cast its shadow back to His birth. His has been the only life in the world that was ever lived backwards.“
BAPTISM AND HIS PUBLIC LIFE
Jesus had no need to be baptized. In asking John to baptize him, Jesus identified himself with sinners and anticipated the moment when he would take upon himself the sin of all humankind.
Immediately after, He went out into the desert to fast and pray in preparation for his mission.
During this time, he rejected the Devil’s temptations to achieve his mission through fame, comfort, or political power.
Upon returning, He was truly ready to begin His mission.
WHAT IS JESUS’ MISSION:
Proclaiming the Reign or Kingdom of God.
Each Gospel has its own variation on how He announces His mission. All accounts point to one thing:
As the savior of all humanity, an important part of His mission is to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to be a sign of the Kingdom.
In Matthew and Mark Jesus begins by proclaiming the Good News, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent” (Mark 1:15). In Luke, Jesus reads a prophecy from Isaiah & that he will fulfill it (Luke 4:16-21). In John, He gathers disciples who immediately recognize Him as the Messiah.
WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD:
Also called the Reign of God, isn’t a limited particular place or time. The kingdom of God is the manifestation & the realization of God’s plan of salvation in all its fullness.
Jesus used parables to teach us the Kingdom of God. He actually lived the Reign of God. By example we can see it in Him. (parables are stories that Jesus uses to teach people.)
HOW DID JESUS LIVE THE REIGN OR KINGDOM OF GOD?
1. He welcomed everyone. He spent time with the rich and the poor, young and old, saintly and known sinners. He was always eating with people. He loved a good meal and conversation.
He made an effort to go out to the people that “respectable” people shunned.
– When teaching or approaching people, you start dealing with where they are now and work your way up, not where they should already be.
2. The Forgiveness of Sins. Only God can forgive sins. The Jews would ask temple priests to offer animal sacrifices on their behalf. The Jews knew that the forgiveness of sins was necessary for eternal life with God. When Jesus claims to forgive sins, he is equating himself with God.
3. Jesus performed miracles. Miracles of physical healing, driving out demons, dead back to life, and natural miracles (multiplying loaves and fish, walking on water, calming storm)
Miracles show that Jesus had power over all creation – even demons – and that in the Kingdom of God, we are rescued from evil, suffering, pain, and death. Those who witnessed knew that Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God are linked together; cannot have one without the other.
The miracles in the scriptures (from the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit) are all signs of God’s power and loving presence. Many today continue to experience miracles. Think how God makes himself present in our lives.
SHARING THE MISSION
At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus gathered people whom he taught his word and example.
Disciples: students or followers. He prepared them to share in His mission to proclaim the Kingdom of God.
Jesus had many disciples beyond the Apostles. They were married and unmarried, poor and wealthy, young and old, women and men.
Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Church has the responsibility for continuing Jesus’ mission of proclaiming and making real the Kingdom of God.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES TEACHES US MORE ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
- It teaches us that it isn’t just the relationship between you and Jesus, but the relationship between you, other believers, and Jesus.
- It also teaches us that God wants us to take part in proclaiming the Gospel Message.
Even though as God, Jesus could have accomplished everything needed without human help, he honors our freedom by giving us the responsibility of being partners in his mission.
“The word of the Lord came to me thus: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”