Home Mission Kingdom Jesus of Nazareth Revelation Fulfillment of Prophecy Kingdom Come Commandments Gospel Fulfillment Nazareth Matthew Mark Luke John Conclusion Web Links

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Copyright © 2001 Jeanie C. Crain
Last modified: March, 2002

See Back to Galilee (2012)


In concluding this study of the man Jesus of Nazareth, allow me to review key points:


  • Jesus was a man passionately committed to his mission: the kingdom of God could be entered presently.
  • Jesus himself was an individual who concentrated his life’s energies into realizing God’s kingdom in his life and activities within his geographical sphere of circumscribed activity.
  • History attests to Jesus’ being right: his example founded an entirely new religion… at its best, universal in scope, exclusive to no age, no people, and no place. His proclamation of the kingdom of God has been taken up and recounted in the lives of people everywhere.
  • The Lord’s Prayer clearly identifies Jesus’ mission: “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
  • God’s kingdom can be entered by divine activity; it is not limited to any temporality; it is dynamic and unfolding process.
  • Not content with status quo, Jesus of Galilee brought a revelation of what Judaism could be.
  • In his personal life, Jesus embodies fulfillment of the Old Testament in his actions.
  • Jesus commits fully to Isaiah’s vision, believing himself possessed of the spirit of the Lord God, being anointed by God to bring the good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…
  • Jesus  taught two greatest commandments—love God and your neighbor as yourself—this is divine activity, recognized as divine in whatever person, time, or place, its action is achieved.
  • Each Gospel writer presents Jesus somewhat differently, but each is adamant in presenting him as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.
    • In Mark, Jesus is presented by John the Baptist as one who will draw people into communion with God through a spiritual baptism.
    • Matthew directly declares Jesus to be the Messiah expected by Jews.
    • In Luke, Jesus is the historically expected Messiah. Jesus is the anointed one, the Christ in Greek.  Luke knits together the two accounts: Jesus as the one to bring humankind into communion with God is introduced as a baby born to Mary and Joseph.
    • John alone introduces Jesus as God.
  • Jesus begins his mission in Galilee but ends in Jerusalem; his mission is universal.
  • Jesus proclaims human beings have a spiritual obligation for accepting responsibility in the evolving kingdom.
  • The activities of Jesus set him apart from the religious establishment.
  • Jesus teaches spiritual life demands more than superficial observance and ritual; God demands a living sacrifice.
  • Jesus mediates between the two great extremes of human life: inactivity and activity, reflection and action, thinking and doing; this must be, among other arguments, why Jesus continues to be par exempla the ideal human being at the same time he must be seen as God’s revelation, God incarnate.  
  • Jesus teaches his disciples will be accepted no better than he himself has been.
  • Jesus points to the truth that the temple, foretold by Jeremiah, is not the seat of God; rather than ritual sacrifice, God demands mercy and forgiveness.
  • Jesus encourages the rewarding of faith wherever it is found.
  • Jesus teaches the desire of God is that no one be lost.
  • Luke focuses on Jesus’ universal mission, his ministry and passion.
  • His sole purpose is to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God.
  • The kingdom of God now is entirely about matching sayings with actions. 
  • Matthew, Mark, and Luke  remembered and passed on the identity of  Jesus, what he said and did.  This explanation is enhanced by the far richer theological explanations in the Gospel of John.

  • John’s Gospel explains the mystery of the person of Jesus. The Evangelist takes us behind the scenes of Jesus’ ministry, giving us a glimpse into his eternal origin and divine nature. He was unique because “he was in the beginning with God,” active in creation, the source of light and life (John 1.2–4). Hence, when he became incarnate in human flesh, he made known the eternal God, whom “no one has ever seen” (John 1.14; John 1.18).
  • While the Synoptic Gospels preserve the sayings of Jesus in words closer to their original form, the fourth Evangelist employs more freely his own modes of thought and language in reporting and interpreting the teaching of Jesus.
  • The fourth gospel became, not the supplement, but the complement of the other three.
  • There is no other gospel more Palestinian than John  in its mode of expression, allusions, and references. Yet we must all feel how thoroughly Hellenistic it also is in its cast.
  • The Gospel of John is an interpretation of the acts and sayings of Jesus.

Jesus as God in action, creating, revealing, redeeming, the agent of creation, the personal word of God. Jesus is divine light coming into a world primarily existing in darkness; Jesus not only is light in contrast to darkness but is the author of life itself.

  • In John clearly, Jesus is the Galilean who embodies God’s kingdom and a new Judaism focused upon John the Baptist’s repentance and baptism, but the change demanded is now internal and spiritual; life, light, God himself, indwells within the human being who has recognized and confessed that God’s kingdom is spiritual and not physical; nonetheless, those focused on the kingdom will become enactors of the Word. They will become agents effecting God’s kingdom, and that effecting will impact and change the physical world.
  • That Jesus, Paul, and Christianity introduce a new universalism and new Judaism (some would say, paganism) is clear.
  • John structurally teaches the culmination of the Old and the initiation of the New.
  • John more completely than the Synoptics parallels the material/physical and ideal/spiritual worlds mediated only by rebirth.
  • For John, Jesus of Galilee is uniquely God manifest, the divine embodied.
  • No wonder Jesus was misunderstood and resisted: he is both traditionalist and new age, and he is misunderstood: paradoxically, old and new have become the one evolving, unfolding will of God for the salvation of humankind.
  • The death and resurrection of Lazarus is the culminating action of Jesus prior to the passion.
  • The complete purpose for the Gospel is finally clearly summarized in 20.30, 31:

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;

25    but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

  • Folklore about the negative thirteen makes it easy for readers to remember that John 13 contains Jesus’ farewell supper, farewell discourse and prayer; to note, however, that these are the prelude for coming events bringing the Kingdom of God to humankind universally is to turn tragedy into glorious victory. 
  • Jesus models for his disciples what the service of love in the Kingdom of God should mean.
  • Even in modern existential literature, even without a God, what more noble calling for humanity than commitment to, and carrying through on the one real choice—to complete the life-work given to us, perhaps unasked for, in some cases, unwanted.
  • Is Jesus, then, in some way, as the Greeks suggested, the ideal human being, and in being ideal, does he in some way then escape and become more than human—in some way both God and human?

·        Jesus clearly understands his destiny as union with God. His vision is unity or one-ness with God. As Jesus himself declares it, this fulfills the purpose for his having been born.

  • Jesus is, indeed, the paschal lamb.
  • In John, Thomas’ confession is the climax of the book: “My Lord and my God!” 
  • In John twenty, the law is perfected in the death and resurrection of Jesus in the revelation of Christ, Lord and God. The way, the truth, and the light come through obedience and submission to the complete will of God. This obedience becomes more than ritual and outward purification; the heart of the individual is changed. Jesus of Nazareth is the Word of God. The Gospel in a nutshell becomes John 3.16.
  • John selectively told not the entire set of stories surrounding Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, but those stories revealing Jesus’ own self-disclosure.
  • If Jesus is the founder of Christianity, John is the first great theologian of Christianity.