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    THE TEACHINGS The SIX TEACHINGS OF JESUS

    James T. Reuteler, Ph.D. Covenant Bible Studies

    Arvada, Colorado 2017

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    Dedicated to my Wife Barbara Ann (Russell) Reuteler

    St. Catherine's on Mt. Sinai in Egypt is the oldest continuously operating monastery and home to one of the largest collections of Coptic manuscripts and priceless paintings, such as this painting of Jesus,which I have placed on the cover.

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    -----------------------------------------------------------INTRODUCTION 5

    -------------------------------------------1. The Messianic Claim 7

    -----------------------------------------2. The Kingdom of God 23

    3. The -------------------------------------Cost of Discipleship 33

    -----------------------------------------4. The Law and Gospel 49

    5. The Spiritual Disciplines ------------------------------------ 61

    6. ----------------------------------- The Apocalyptic Message 77

    -------------------------------------------------------------APPENDICES 101

    ----------------------------------------- Jesus claims to be God 103

    ----------------------------------------- Entering the Kingdom 104

    ----------------------------------------------------------- Parables 108

    ----------------- Three Characteristics of a True Christian 109

    ------------------------------------------- Obeying God’s Laws 110

    ----------------------- The Ten Commandments Contrasted 111

    ------------------------------ Salvation through Christ Alone 112

    ------------------------------------------ The End of the World 113

    --------------------------------OTHER BOOKS BY THE AUTHOR 115

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  • INTRODUCTION

    The teachings of Jesus have always fascinated me. While the essence of his teachings can be found in The Sermon on the Mount in chapters 5 to 7 of the Gospel of Matthew, there are valuable teachings to be found in all the Gospels, in The Book of Acts, and even in the Book of Revelation.1 I have worked through all of these books searching for the Teachings of Jesus.

    I found six of Jesus’ teachings. They are his Messianic Claim, the Kingdom of God, the Cost of Discipleship, the Law and Gospel, the Spiritual Disciplines, and the Apocalyptic Message.

    The New Testament is a companion to this book. It will be necessary to read the Scripture passages before reading my comments or commentary on those passages. This book is not Scripture, but it is a meager attempt to interpret Scripture. In the Appendices, I have placed some documents or graphics as an additional way of looking at some of the topics raised in the Six Teachings of Jesus. There may be more than six categories of Jesus’ teachings, but these are the six categories that have leaped out at me.

    Why is it important to study the teachings of Jesus? In my opinion, these six categories of his teachings should be studied first. We should read the Bible backwards, starting with Jesus and interpreting everything else from our understanding of Jesus. This means of course that parts of the Book of Revelation will need to be read first, since Jesus calls the seven churches to account for the way in which they have reflected his light, or put it out.

    This book is intended to be a six week study. There is a companion, or workbook, to aid the reader in probing more deeply into the Teachings of Jesus. The workbook will assist the reader in identifying and understanding the six teachings of Jesus. It will also lead the reader in responding to the six teachings of Jesus.

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    1 See my book, The Messengers, and, The Explosion of Faith. The first book is a study of the four Gospels and the second is a Study of the Book of Acts.

  • The study could be expanded to an eight week study by spending two weeks each on chapters five and six.

    Chapter Five: The Spiritual Disciplines: pages 61-69 The Bonhoeffer Quote: pages 69-76

    Chapter Six The Apocalyptic Message: pages 77-89 Letters to the Churches: pages 89-100

    At the end of each chapter, I will attempt to put the main point in a brief statement of each of the Six Teachings of Jesus. This is my own opinion, but I have drawn my conclusions by reading all the teachings of Jesus. Let me know what you think!

    James T. Reuteler, Ph.D. Arvada, Colorado Jim@Reuteler.org Jim.Reuteler.org

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    mailto:Jim@Reuteler.org mailto:Jim@Reuteler.org

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    “Jesus is LORD” Romans 10:9

    1 THE MESSIANIC

    CLAIM

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  • THE MESSIANIC CLAIM

    My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews.

    But now my kingdom is from another place.

    John 18:36 (NRSV) 1. In Nazareth (Luke 4:16-30)

    The Synagogue in Nazareth was not the first place, in which Jesus preached, but it was in his own hometown and that provided him with some difficulty. Synagogue worship consisted of the following three parts: (1) prayers, (2) Scripture, and (3) teaching. In the reading of Scripture, a priest, if present, was expected to read from the Law, but anyone was welcome to read from the Prophets. Visitors were frequently asked, and on this special day, Jesus participated by reading from Isaiah 61:1-2 (and 58:6). After he finished reading, he sat down, as was the custom, to teach. In his teaching he claimed to have fulfilled the prophecy from Isaiah. While Isaiah was referring to the liberation of the Jews from their Babylonian captivity, Jesus taught that he was about to liberate all people from the captivity of sin. This means that he was claiming to be the Messiah and that the proof was in what he was about to do. This in itself did not alienate him from his listeners. People expected a Messiah, but on their own terms. They expected the Messiah to relate only to the Jews.

    It was obvious to Jesus that everyone wanted to see some sign or miracle, and so he quoted the proverb: “Doctor, cure yourself!” In contrast to this proverb, he quoted another: “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown.” These two proverbs are joined together in the Gospel of Thomas, where they read: “No prophet is acceptable in his village; no physician heals those who know him.” Apparently Jesus was unable to perform the same kind of miracles in Nazareth, which he performed in Capernaum, and he attributes his failure to their lack of faith. Luke has not mentioned any of Jesus’ ministry in Capernaum, and so we can only conclude that this incident in Nazareth is out of chronological order, or else that Luke has not recorded everything Jesus did. Mark 6:1-4 seems to indicate a

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  • different chronological order, for he has Jesus involved in ministry prior to the incident in Nazareth.

    The two illustrations Jesus uses from the Old Testament make the congregation angry. The first is a reference to Elijah, who provided a never-failing meal and oil for the widow from Zarephath near Sidon (1 Kings 17:8-24), and the second is a reference to the way in which Elisha healed Naaman the Leper from Syria (2 Kings 5:1-27). Not only does Jesus imply that they experience no miracles in Nazareth because of their lack of faith, but that the Gentiles do experience miracles through their faith and that God moves among those who are open to Him. This alienates the people of Nazareth enough to want to kill him, but he moves through the middle of the crowd safely.

    2. To John the Baptist The Messengers from John (Matthew 11:2-19)

    After John was imprisoned by Herod Antipas, (the younger son of Herod the Great), he sent some of his own disciples to ask Jesus if he really was the Messiah. He seems to have had doubts about Jesus, doubts, which were prompted by a different understanding of what the Messiah was supposed to do. Jesus did not fit into the judgmental role that John expected. John was the last of the Old Testament type prophets, a kind of latter-day Elijah. In fact Malachi 4:5 predicts such a person, not as a literal return of Elijah, but as a prophet like Elijah. Jesus saw John as more than a prophet, one who prepared the way for his own coming; and yet, the least in the Kingdom of God will be greater than John (11:11). This was not a criticism of John the Baptist, but a way of stressing the radical character of the Kingdom of God.

    Jesus had a high regard for John, but John still represents a different generation. He answers John’s disciples by giving them a list of the signs of the Kingdom, which were: (1) the blind see, (2) the lame walk, (3) the leper is cleansed, (4) the deaf hear, (5) the dead are raised, and (6) the poor are vindicated. The old expectation was that the Kingdom would be taken by violence and force, but Jesus proclaims its establishment by justice and love. Therefore a warning is necessary. Jesus advises caution so that they will not be led astray. John’s response of fasting was fitting, but so was Jesus’ response of feasting. The old has passed, and the new has begun.

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  • The Messianic Question (Luke 7:18-35)

    John sends two of his disciples to ask the Messianic Question, which according to Luke 7:19 is: “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus’ response in Luke 7:22 is: “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the le

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