Jesus and Victory Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:25:15
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Chapter eleven, pages 510 through 539, in the book Jesus and the Victory of God by N. T. Wright, details Jesus as a messiah, and the meaning of this messiahship. The chapter had several sections, each titled according to the question N. T. Wright was trying to answer at that particular moment. Pages 510 through 539 detailed the Temple being destroyed and Jesus being vindicated, Jesus being put on trial for claiming to be a messiah, Caesarea Philippi, messianic praxis, messianic sayings, and the roots of Jesus ministry.

In the first section, it was established that Jesus was a prophet. It was explained that he described warnings against the Temple, and against Jerusalem. Jesus knew that he was the messiah, Mark 13 explained this. Jesus warned of the destruction of the Temple, and was vindicated as both a prophet and a messiah when this did indeed happen. Jesus also warned against false messiahs using apocalyptic language. Because of the claims Jesus made, he was put on trial. The second section of the chapter questions the accuracy of the trial narrative in Mark.

The main questions Wrights asks are whether or not the Jewish authorities were legally able to carry out the death penalty and who was responsible for Jesus death. It was found that the Romans had prohibited the Jewish leaders from carrying out the death penalty. This is why the Romans executed Jesus. The official charge against Jesus was that he claimed to be a messiah. In essence, Jesus was thought to be blasphemous. The Romans saw this as a threat to Caesars order, but the Romans would have never found out about it had the Jewish authorities not turned him in.

Jesus confessed to the allegations, and was put to death. The next section makes clear that Jesus acted and spoke as a messiah even before he made his final trip to Jerusalem. It was said that Jesus thought himself to be the messiah when he was still in Galilee. He accepted the title of messiah, and tried his best to carry out the mission that went along with that title. Jesus account of the kingdom of god indicates that he believed the kingdom to be where ever he was. Jesus believed that the kingdom was only in operation through him.

He was fully aware that he was following a messianic program, even in his sayings. Jesus, for example, likens himself to a shepard; a shepard that goes looking for lost sheep. He was saying that he was the shepard, guiding his flock, the people, to a better life through god. Jesus uses this analogy several times to describe his ministry. The chapter goes on to explain that one can trace the roots of Jesus ministry.

It was explained that Jesus was called by god to be a messiah for the people of Israel. For example, Psalm 2.7 and Isaiah 42. 1 indicate that there was a voice at Jesus baptism. This voice was thought to be the call for Jesus to be a messiah. There is no historical proof that Jesus received his call then, but it is possible. God worked through Jesus ministry. The kingdom was present because Jesus was there. Jesus was the reason for the kingdom of god on Earth. One was welcomed into the kingdom by following Jesus. Jesus believed that he was the messiah, that he embodied Israel itself because of the people who followed his ministry.

The conclusion of chapter eleven sums up what the chapter was about. It revisited Jesus belief and claim that he was the messiah. Jesus had a kingdom-agenda, and he gained followers for his ministry with this agenda. After he was executed, Jesus followers needed no other confirmation that he was indeed the messiah when Jesus was resurrected. Jesus believed that he was the messiah, and he was prepared to die because of this belief. Wright, N. T. (1996). Jesus and Israel: The Meaning of Messiahship. Jesus and the Victory of God. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press. 510-539.

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