Conversations with Jesus of Nazareth: In His Own Words (Conversations with...)

Conversations with Jesus of Nazareth: In His Own Words (Conversations with...)

By: Jesus Christ (author), Simon Parke (author)Hardback

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Description

Who was Jesus of Nazareth? Many admire his spiritual teachings; some go further and claim him as the messiah, while a few deny he ever existed at all. But everyone has an opinion about this obscure preacher who lived his brief life in one of the less significant regions of the Roman Empire; and who, in being crucified, died the traditional death for criminals and trouble-makers. Jesus lived in turbulent times. Under Roman rule, Judea was a hotbed of nationalist, political and religious interests, all vying for power. Jesus was caught in the middle of these, allied to none and ultimately reviled by all. 'My kingdom is not of this world,' he said, though he agreed taxes should be paid to the Romans. 'Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.' He taught simply but challengingly, advocating love for our enemies, a spirit of forgiveness and respect for children. What else was new about Jesus? He spoke of a new way of being which he called 'the kingdom of God.' This was not a place but an inner state, and the doorway to this kingdom was trust in a heavenly father. As he would often say: 'Have anxiety about nothing.' It was a trust Jesus himself required in a life full of conflict; not least with his family who largely disowned him. 'Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?' he famously asked when they attempted to rein him in. In 'Conversations with Jesus of Nazareth', the questions are imagined, but the words of Jesus are not; they are authentically his, taken from the various records of his life in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Thomas. Jesus himself never wrote anything down, but in a culture of oral transmission, his words, deeds and stories were well-remembered, and it's not hard to see why. 'It's the shape of our heart which Jesus is interested in,' says Simon Parke. 'This is what comes across when talking with him. It's not what we do that matters, but who we are, and that's why he upset the religious people of his day: he didn't give them anything to hide behind. He's not always easy company, I agree, but his life and his words - they have the undoubted ring of truth.'

About Author

Jesus of Nazareth - born Joshua bar Joseph - lived for 33 years in the 1st century AD, before he was executed by the Roman authorities on charges of blasphemy. He was taken to Skull Hill outside Jerusalem and crucified. He died a lonely figure, with only four supporters at the foot of the cross, one of whom was his mother. Few could have imagined a world religion would take shape around this broken and defeated body. So who on earth was Jesus and what was he like? He was from artisan stock, from the world of small farmers and independent craftsmen; a son of the Galilean countryside and never at home in the cities. He was also a man of supreme courage, prepared to take on the power structures of his day, in word and deed, whenever they threatened the principles of justice and mercy. He did not spare opponents, calling Herod 'a fox' and the Pharisees, 'whitewashed tombs.' He could be physically violent, evicting salesmen from the temple using a whip. But he had an eye for those who needed help, those on the edge of society. His opponents regularly criticised him for mixing with the wrong people; Jesus, however, looked not at outward appearance or status but at the heart. He ridiculed much religious practice, but exalted children. He told stories about the Kingdom of God; reputedly healed many; fell out with his family and despaired of his followers. Amidst his busy life, he would withdraw into the hills early to pray; and when his opponents finally had him crucified, he shouted from the cross, 'Forgive them, father, they don't know what they're doing.' Palestine in the first century was a political time bomb and a place of hardening religious codes. It was in this setting that Jesus preached the Kingdom of God, an inner state which began with trust in God and the openness of a child; for this he was killed. The twist in the tail is that his followers claimed he came back to life; that death couldn't hold him. It's a claim still made by Christians today. In 'Conversations with Jesus of Nazareth', we meet the man behind the myth. The questions are imagined, but Jesus' words are not; all of his words are taken from the records of his life in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Thomas. Some called him the messiah, others a blasphemer; but you will come to your own conclusions. As Jesus himself once asked Peter, 'Who do you say that I am?'

Contents

ntroduction ONE Are you political or spiritual TWO Why do you upset people? THREE Whatever happened to family values? FOUR Is it all in the preparation? FIVE What makes good prayer? SIX What makes good people? SEVEN What on earth is the kingdom? EIGHT What hurts people? NINE Do you have healing hands? TEN Inside the cup ELEVEN Who are you trying to help? TWELVE Do you bring peace or a sword? THIRTEEN Are you lonely? FOURTEEN How will everything end? FIFTEEN Into the heart of darkness. SIXTEEN Is there life after death? SEVENTEEN Who are you? EIGHTEEN And what now? Reflections from the market place

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781907661433
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 170
  • ID: 9781907661433
  • weight: 354
  • ISBN10: 1907661433

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