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Christian Footings

How does Jesus use of parables of reversal challenge the understanding of the kingdom of God among his contemporaries (see chapter V of Christian Footings)? One of the biggest interpretation problems regarding the interpretation of the bible is the fact that some consider it a metaphoric faith book while others see it as fact.

On the other hand a very important part of the bible and the teachings of Jesus are the parables. And one must stress the fact that his reversal parables are very important for the actual message of Jesus. For example one of the most important ones is the reverse parable with the law: Mt 5. 17: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. This shows that Jesus has not come to change the existing laws of god but to reaffirm them and could be closely connected with the fact that he drew the money lenders form the temple. They were never allowed in so, they are both reversal parables that show Jesus as a new kind of Rabbi and prophet who reaffirmed the law of god in such sinful times. Or in other words he helped his contemporaries understand the fact that the meek will inherit the kingdom of god.

Another such parable is the one with Lazarus and the rich man where Jesus attended to Lazarus first reaffirming once again that for the kingdom of god is the soul and not money that matters. Unfortunately for those that want to have an objective picture of Jesus and his preaching general facts regarding 1st century Judaism are scarce. (Goldberg/Rayner. p 90-94) 2. How may history be interpreted as being too narrow for an understanding of Jesus? Internal wars have marked Christianity like no other religion in the world. As a matter of fact, Jesus is worshiped by all the religions in the Western World, and they all hate each other.

Even if the situation has calmed down over the years and many strive to bring peace between the three religions the hatred is still existent and the wars are ongoing: Somalia, Yugoslavia, Israel… The most divided religion however is Christianity. Since it became the official religion of the Roman Empire the Christians have argued and fought over their concept of Jesus, his divinity, relation with god and personal identity. Those issues have caused Europe to divide into three religious sectors (Orthodox, Protestant, and Catholic) that have fought and killed each other for centuries regarding their different concepts of Jesus and his teachings.

So history shows to have been too narrow for the teaching of Jesus because basically his ideas of love, peace and tolerance were twisted and misinterpreted in order to justify endless bloodshed and robbery. In other words the Crusades were not inspired by the turn the other cheek philosophy but by strategic and economic ambitions of European kings. This can best be seen by the fact that when arriving into a Christian city (Constantinople) the English and the Venetians attacked and sacked the city. Source: 1. Goldberg David and Rayner John. The Jewish people, their History and religion, Oxford: Penguin Books, 1987.

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