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New Testament
Chapter 4
Path Through Catholicism
Birth of Jesus
• Mary was probably about 13 and Joseph was probably about 18 and may
have barley known each other when they became betrothed.
• Jewish marriages began with a betrothal (like an engagement,) that lasted
one year and had all the legal force of a marriage.
• Jesus was not born on December 25 – this date was chosen by early
Christians because it was the pagan Roman feast of the “Unconquerable
Sun.”
• Only Matthew & Luke begin with birth narratives. Matthew, with his
frequent references to Old Testament prophecies probably wrote to a
Jewish audience. Luke’s world-history background suggests he was writing
to a non-Jewish audience.
Birth Narratives: Preview of Jesus’ Ministry
Gift Symbolism:
Gold (“king” of metals)
Myrrh (used for burial)
Frankincense (used in worship)
Kingship
Humanity
Divinity
Son of David
Son of Mary
Son of God
Gentile/Jewish Response to Jesus’ Message:
Magi
Herod
Many Gentiles will accept it
Many Jews will reject it
About The Four Gospels:
Mark was written first, about 70 AD in Rome to persecuted Romans
Suffering Messiah, symbol a winged lion
Mathew was written second between 70 and 75 AD in Syria to converted Jews
Teaching Messiah, symbol a winged man
Luke was written third between 70 and 80 AD in Greece to lower-class Greeks
Compassionate Messiah, symbol a winged ox
These three are called the synoptic Gospels because of their similarities
John was written last after 90 AD in Ephesus to all Christians
Life-Giving Messiah, symbol an eagle (which has wings!)
John’s Gospel is different; it assumes the reader has knowledge of Jesus
Look up the Last Supper in each Gospel:
Mt 26: 26-30; Mk 14:22-26; Lk 22:14-20;
Jn 13:1-20
Baptism of Jesus
• The sky opens above Jesus:
– New Era in history is beginning
– Represents the Son in the Trinity
• A dovelike form descends upon Jesus:
– New Creation: third act in play image of the Bible:
• 1. Creation, 2. De-creation, 3. Re-creation
– Represents the Holy Spirit in the Trinity
• A heavenly voice identifies Jesus:
– New Adam: first born of new creation
• Adam: first born of old creation
– Represents the Father in the Trinity
Contexts:
Historical: the time frame in which an event took place
Cultural: the moral, faith, social, artistic values of a people
Reminder:
We believe the Holy Spirit worked with cooperative human writers to
compose the Scriptures; IN OTHER WORDS: the Holy Spirit inspired
the human writers of Scripture in what they wrote.
Miracles of Jesus
• Jesus’ miracles were signs that announced two
long-awaited events:
– The Kingdom of God
• Manifestation of Jesus’ power over demons (evil spirits)
– God's Kingdom is like a seed. It is planted and growing, but has it
has not yet borne its intended fruit.
– Satan’s Kingdom is doomed. It is like a flower severed from its
roots. It still look as though it has life, but its days are numbered.
– The Messiah of God
• What the prophets foretold about the Messiah, Jesus
fulfilled.
• Invite faith:
– Blind: open your eyes; see what Jesus does
– Deaf: open your ears; hear what Jesus says
– Raising: open your hearts; begin a new life
Applying the Parable of the Sower to Everyday life:
four students were discussing a guidance counselor…
The “seeds:” Mike, Jordan, Amy, Jan
The “fates:”
• Seed falls on path
• Seed falls on rocks
• Seed falls among thorns,
• Seed falls on good soil
Death of Jesus
Four kinds of pain Jesus suffered:
Mind
Heart
Mental
Pain of anticipation
Emotional
Pain of desertion by apostles
Body
Soul
Physical
Pain of crucifixion
Spiritual
“Forsaken” by God
Crucifixion is a sign, invitation and revelation:
“No greater love” (sign)
“Love as I love” (invitation)
“Love entails pain” (revelation)
Resurrection of Jesus
Resuscitation: Lazarus, Jairus’ daughter
They returned to old life
Resurrection: Jesus
He leaped into a new life
His resurrection is a promise that we too shall
rise to new life after death! (We know this by
faith and a kind of deep-down intuition.)
Spirit of Jesus (Holy Spirit) changed everything!
Without the Spirit, God is far away.
The cosmos is steeped in mystery;
Jesus is only a teacher;
Scripture is just a book;
The Church is only a club.
In the Spirit,
The cosmos is steeped in labor,
Giving birth to the Kingdom.
Jesus is risen,
Drawing all things to himself.
Scripture is God’s Word,
Revealing all truth.
The Church is God’s People,
Alive in the Spirit.
Chapter Test:
Matching:
1. C
2. A
3. E
4. B
5. I
6. G
7. H
8. D
9. J
10. F
True/False
1. T
2. F
3. T
4. F
5. F
6. T
7. T
Fill In the Blanks
1. a. Gold
b. Frankincense
c. Myrrh
2. a. God’s Messiah
b. God’s Kingdom
c. Kingship
d. Divinity
e. Humanity
God the Father
Chapter 5
Path Through Catholicism
Parable of God
Parables are short, fictional stories Jesus used to teach people.
Parables are constructed so that the characters or images in
them mirror characters in real life: parables of the Sower, the
Good Shepherd, Prodigal Son, etc.
Images of God from Scripture:
Old Testament:
Ps 104:5-9
Dt 32:11
Ps 23:4,6
(Creator)
(Eagle)
(Shepherd)
New Testament
Lk 12:30, 15:20
Jn 14:10, 15:20
“One afternoon a musician…”
What do we mean by the expression “give glory to God”?
What are ways we give “glory” to God?
(Father)
(Trinity)
God as Creator
Chicago Sun Times 12/25/68:
From the Earth to the Moon,
1865, Jules Verne
- Launched from Florida on Dec 1
- Three men aboard
- Twelve feet tall and 12,230 lbs.
- Traveled about 25,000 mph
on its 238,000-mile journey
- Splashed down: Pacific, Dec 11
Apollo 8, 1968
- Launched from Florida on Dec 22
- Three men aboard
- Twelve feet tall and 12.392 lbs.
(minus 36-story Saturn rocket)
- Traveled 24,200 mph
on its 225,000-mile journey
- Splashed down: Pacific, Dec. 27
Prayer is not only talk to God,
but “listening” to God,
not with the ears of our body,
but with the “ears of the soul.”
St. Irenaeus: God’s glory is a human being fully alive.
(From George Bernard Shaw’s play, St. Joan:)
Interrogator: How do you mean, voices?
Joan: I hear voices telling me what to do. They come from God.
Interrogator: They come from your imagination.
Joan: Of course. That is how the messages of God come to us.
St. Augustine: Our hearts were made for you, O Lord, and they will not rest
until thy rest in you.
A convict: God is always with us; it’s just that we’re not always with God.
St. Augustine: If you pray and so what you can do, God will hear you and help
you do what you can’t do alone.
God as Father
Jesus called God the Father, “Abba”
Children in Palestine today still call their Father, “Abba”
(Daddy.)
Our love is finite: we love
God’s love is infinite: God is love
Bishop Fulton Sheen summed it this way:
Creation
God gives life
Redemption God’s love forgives
Eucharist
God’s love unites
Heaven
God’s love is eternal
God's love is often mediated through people:
John Drescher, If I were Starting my Family Again:
I remember a little fellow, frightened by lightening and thunder,
who called out in the dark, “Daddy, come. I’m scared.”
“Son,” the father said, “God loves you, and he’ll take care of you.”
“I know God loves me,” the boy replied, “but right now I want
somebody who has skin on.”
When are times you have needed someone with “skin on”?
How have you experienced God’s love through people?
God as Trinity
Jesus mentions or refers to God as Father or the Spirit over 100x’s in
the Gospel of John.
Trinitarian images:
The Bible:
Old Testament= Father; Gospel=Son; Acts, Letters, Revelation=Spirit
Denis Hayes:
Light
Father (Creator)
Heat
Son
(Redeemer)
Energy Spirit
(Sanctifier)
St. Ignatius:
3 notes, one sound
St. Patrick:
3 petals, one leaf
John Wesley:
3 candles, one light
H20:
3 forms, one substance (solid, gas, liquid)
Mother:
3 roles, 1 person (wife, mother, friend)
Chapter Test:
Matching:
1. B
2. C
3. A
4. G
5. D
6. E
7. F
True/False
1. T
2. F
3. T
4. T
5. F
6. F
7. T
8. T
9. F
10. T
11. T
12. T
Fill In the Blanks
1. a. Creation
b. Scripture
c. Jesus
2. a. Son
b. Spirit
c. Father
God the Son
Chapter 6
Path Through Catholicism
Image of God the Son
How can we find happiness?
How can we change ourselves?
How can we change the world?
Jesus is the answer to many questions…
the two most important questions are:
What is God like?
What did God make me to be like?
ICHTHYS is an acronym.
Iesous
Jesus
Christos
Christ
Theou
God’s
Yios
Son
Soter
Savior
Jesus
Native Americans often use descriptive names: “Sure Foot”, “Running Deer”
Think of how we do that…. Mike Jordan’s “hang-time” earned him the name
“Air Jordan”…. Tim Tebow’s kneeling in brief prayer earned the action the name
“Tebowing”…. William Perry’s large size and solid form earned him the name
“The Refrigerator” …. Which ones can you think of….
Jesus’ name is also descriptive:
Son of Man – a member of mankind
Son of God – the Savior of mankind
Christ
When David succeed Saul as king, God makes a covenant with him: “Your
kingdom will last forever” 2 Samuel 7:16
The covenant begins a series of promises called “messianic prophecies.”
Jesus identifies himself as the Messiah, “the anointed one.” John 10:24
The anointed:
Messiah (Hebrew)
Christos (Greek)
Christ
(English)
Christmas is about God becoming one of us to save us and teach us what is for
our good, both:
In this life and
In the life to come
HG Wells, author and historian, was commissioned to pick the “three greatest
men of history.” He placed Jesus first, Buddha second and Aristotle third.
Son of God
Old Testament: used figuratively of many (like kings)
New Testament: used literally of Jesus (John 10:36)
“My Son” – Baptism: voice from heaven
- Mountain: voice from cloud
Mt. Tabor – moment of ecstasy, Divinity shines through
Matthew 17:2-6
Mt. Olives – moment of agony, Humanity shines through
Luke 22:39, 42
How might the story of the man saving the boy in the river serve
as a parable of Jesus? (pg 82)
Savior
What did Jesus save us “from”?
Spiritual slavery and death, “the Kingdom of Satan”
What did Jesus save us “for”?
Bringing to completion his saving work: replacing the
“Kingdom of Satan” with the “Kingdom of God”
Jesus The Son of man (human)
Lord The Son of God (divine)
Christ The promised Messiah
Napolean Bonaparte (on Jesus being more than a man:)
I know men and
I tell you that Jesus is not a man…
I have inspired multitudes
that they would die for me…
a word form me, then the sacred fire
was kindled in their hearts. I do indeed
possess the secret of this magical power
which lifts souls, but I could never
impart it to anyone (as Jesus did and
continues to do across the ages.)
Chapter Test:
Matching:
1. B
2. E
3. A
4. D
5. C
True/False
1. T
2. T
3. F
4. F
5. F
6. T
7. T
8. F
9. T
10. F
Fill In the Blanks
1. a. baptism
b. transfiguration
2. a. God
b. ourselves
3. a. Jesus
b. Christ
c. Son of God
d. Savior
4. a. divine
b. human

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