Select one teaching of Jesus from one of the following Bible verses (underline the passage chosen): Matthew 5:21-24; Matthew 5:43-48; Matthew 6:19-24; Matthew 7:15-23; Luke 15:1-32; John 13:1-17, 34-35; John 15:1-11. Answer the following questions:
What was Jesus’ point in the teaching?
In this teaching, Jesus was talking about false prophets and false disciples. This to individuals who claim to know and follow him but in the real sense, they do not serve him in truth and spirit. The issue of false prophets has dependably been a piece of the historical backdrop of the Christian church (Keener, 2011). The false prophets have ruined the true church of the lord, and their destructive impact is still a significant challenge to date. In Matthew 7:15-23, the Lord Jesus is revealing to His people to be careful with false prophets.
False prophets have become so rampant in the churches today, a disturbing aspect regarding these false prophets is that apparently, they look precisely like the sheep. On the off chance that you take a look at them in a group of sheep, it’s hard to differentiate and certainly know that they are wolves, and not sheep. So Jesus is revealing to us that not everyone of that resembles a sheep is actually a sheep. Christians are portrayed as sheep in the Bible. When Jesus says false prophets look like sheep, it implies that they resemble Christians. They have Christian ways of doing things. They communicate like Christians, and they carry on like Christians. They show up in the congregation and assemble followers inside the congregation.
Verse 21 talks about false disciples; these are the individuals in the churches today but do not do the will of the lord; they do have the teachings about Christ but do not follow. True disciples are those who follow the teachings of the lord (Keener, 2011). The scripture tells us further about how Christ will not recognize false disciples in the last days, no matter the number and nature of Godly deeds they did in the world, the evil deeds will make Christ cast them away, and they shall not enter heaven.
What sort of relevance does this teaching have for other worldviews?
This teaching is significant and relevant to other world views in that Jesus teaches us to examine our inner self’s and determine if we serve him in truth, he also shows us that we will be recognized by our fruits, for a bad tree does not bear good fruits, nor does a good tree bear bad fruits. This is relevant to the worldview that you get what you deserve and that people reap what they have sown. In this manner, false prophets and false disciples will always be recognized by looking at the outcome of their actions.
The fact of the matter is clear: what the fruits are to the tree, the words of a man are to his heart. In the same way that a tree is known by its produce, an individual’s heart is uncovered in what they say (Wojciechowski, 2014). Just as how a fruit demonstrates the true identity of the tree, an individual’s words illustrate the condition of their heart. In this manner, we can test, and we have an obligation to prove a teacher of the word of God by his instructions. No one wants to have negative thoughts about individuals. We generally want to assume the best about individuals.
Jesus instructs us not to pass judgment on others brutally. However here he cautions us to be careful with false prophets who come to us in sheep’s attire, yet inside they are brutal wolves. They come to exploit us. They have all the earmarks of being considerate yet are incredibly malignant. Appearances can lie. In this manner, we should be wary against backstabbers. These individuals are very present in the churches today, from the preachers to the follows.
What does this teaching reveal about Jesus?
This teaching teaches us Jesus is the true leader; he knows the secret of our hearts and all the things that we do even in secret. Jesus began this teaching with a metaphor entailing sheep and wolves. He again talks about trees and their fruits. He moves from the danger of non-acknowledgment to the obligation of recognizing them by their fruits. Jesus appears to suggest that a tree can’t shroud its character (Keener, 2011). A wolf might almost certainly mask itself; however, a tree can’t. Its fruits will unavoidably uncover its identity
This teaching also reveals that Jesus is only pleased by sincere acts that come from our hearts, he is not pleased by pretense or actions that we do to gain fame, he is not pleased by dishonesty. This is revealed when he says “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Wojciechowski, 2014). Here Jesus warns us to be careful of dishonest people who pretend to be who they are not. The teaching further tells us that Jesus rewards us for our actions; he says that the tree that does not bear fruits is cut and thrown away. Jesus loves righteousness, in the teaching, he tells us that he shall cast away evildoers, irrespective of the Godly deeds that they did on earth, Jesus does not recognize them, he is righteous himself and does not identify with evil. We should, therefore, strive to be righteous just like him, so that we can be identified with him, serve him in truth.
Identify at least one claim that Jesus made about his nature and the purpose of his ministry (such as in Matthew 9:1-8; Matt 9:9-13; Luke 7:18-23; John 5:16-18; John 10:25-38; or John 14:5-11). Underline the passage chosen. What is the significance of this claim?
In this teaching, Jesus reveals that he came so that the lost can be found. He portrays himself as the savior, the loving and compassionate God has mercy and love even for the sinners who do not follow him nor live according to his purpose (Wojciechowski, 2014). We see him calling Matthew from the tax papers booth to follow him. Matthew stands up and follows and becomes his disciple. The teaching also reveals the purpose of Jesus Christ as the lord and savior who came for the lost. He dines with tax collectors who were at that time, considered as evil (Keener, 2011). This reveals that he came to save those who were in the world, he came for the sinners, not to condemn them, but so that he can save them from the world. This is portrayed when he says “It is not healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” His purpose on earth was to save those in sin.
How would you personally answer Jesus’ question, “But who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29 ESV). Describe your own beliefs about Jesus.
By Jesus asking his disciples who they think he is, he is giving them the chance to express what they had heard and what they think about him. Supposing Jesus asks me that question, I would say he is the one who delivers (The Context of the Teachings of Jesus, 2015). It is through Christ that we are redeemed from all evil. His word tells us that his deliverance lasts forever; he is the great I am, the God above all.
Keener, C. S. (2011). IVP New Testament Commentary Series: Matthew. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. Retrieved from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+7%3A15-23&version=NIV
Keener, C. S. (2011). IVP New Testament Commentary Series: Matthew. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. Retrieved from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+9%3A9-13&version=NIV
Keener, C. S. (2011). IVP New Testament Commentary Series: Mark. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. Retrieved from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+8%3A29+&version=NIV
The Context of the Teachings of Jesus. (2015). CBT and Christianity, 27-59. doi:10.1002/9781118330098.ch3
Wojciechowski, M. (2014). Teachings of Jesus and Popular Hellenistic Stories. Biblica Et Patristica Thoruniensia, 7(1), 43. doi:10.12775/bpth.2014.003