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Did Jesus forsee his early death?

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  • Leeayoung@aol.com
    Hello---here s a simple question to chew on: Did Jesus Forsee His Early Death? Many of Jesus s teachings were couched in obscure parables and opaque
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 1, 1998
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      Hello---here's a simple question to chew on:

      Did Jesus Forsee His Early Death?

      Many of Jesus's teachings were couched in obscure parables and opaque
      statements, such as the parables of the yeast in the flour or the treasure in
      the field.

      In the past I did not tell you the things about which you asked me then. Now
      I
      am willing to tell them, but you are not seeking them.
      � Thomas 92:2 (Funk & Hoover)

      Also, the four gospels are full of premonitions of crucificixion and its
      aftermath. But what was Jesus's own actual perspective on this matter? How are
      the two issues related?

      Several possible arguments come to mind:

      1. The times were known to be dangerous, and the authorities tended to be
      ruthless in exterminating those whom they considered seditious. Thus any
      prudent evangelist would not speak too plainly. John the Baptist spoke about
      putting the axe to the roots of the tree, and look at what happened to him!
      The caution reflected in much of Jesus's teaching suggests that he was trying
      to avoid early martyrdom.

      2. Some of Jesus's pronouncements might be considered obscure beyond the
      needs of caution. According to the Jesus Seminar---whom I do not question on
      this matter---the writers of the four gospels felt compelled to supplement
      Jesus's version of many parables with explanations, for the more explicit
      guidance of the Jesus movement. Thus, at his death, Jesus left his followers
      somewhat in the dark.

      3. Jesus did call for a degree of coherence of style among his disciples,
      instructing them how to dress and speak. If he had the slightest inclination
      toward founding an organization, why did he speak so darkly? It's all very
      well for Jesus to say that the last will be first and the first will be last,
      but how effective would such statements be, coming from the mouth of an
      isolated wandering disciple? Did Jesus anticipate living many years longer
      than he did, and having the opportunity to give his disciples more explicit
      teachings?

      Looking for enlightenment---

      Lee A. Young
    • Jim West
      ... What do you mean by early? I will drop off the early and just address- did Jesus foresee his death. Yup, he did. Anyone who riled the Romans, the priests,
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 1, 1998
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        At 09:07 PM 7/1/98 -0400, you wrote:
        >Hello---here's a simple question to chew on:
        >
        >Did Jesus Forsee His Early Death?

        What do you mean by early?
        I will drop off the early and just address- did Jesus foresee his death.
        Yup, he did. Anyone who riled the Romans, the priests, and the pharisees
        was on a one way trip to death. Its hard to imagine anyone acting as Jesus
        did (cleansing the temple) and thinking that they could get away with it.

        I happen to agree with the venerable Albert Schweitzer- Jesus did what he
        did in order to force God's hand into bringing in the kingdom. Sadly, his
        plan failed, for God did not bring in the kingdom- and, as Schweitzer said,
        "the wheel he set in motion crushed him"! S. concludes his book with this
        famous paragraph- which I love, dearly:
        "Als ein Unbekannter und Namenloser kommt er su uns, wie er am Gestade des
        Sees am jene Maenner, die nicht wussten, wer er war, herantrat.... Und
        denjenigen, welche ihm gehorchen, Weisen un Unweisen, wird er sich
        offenbaren in dem, was sie in seiner Gemeinschaft an Frieden, Wirken,
        Kaempfen und Leiden erleben duerfen, und als ein unaussprechliches Geheimnis
        werden sie erfahren, wer er ist..."

        >
        > Many of Jesus's teachings were couched in obscure parables and opaque
        >statements, such as the parables of the yeast in the flour or the treasure in
        >the field.
        >

        Not so opaque for a palestinian peasant. Only to postmodern consumerisitic
        westerners.

        > In the past I did not tell you the things about which you asked me then. Now
        >I
        > am willing to tell them, but you are not seeking them.
        > — Thomas 92:2 (Funk & Hoover)
        >
        > Also, the four gospels are full of premonitions of crucificixion and its
        >aftermath. But what was Jesus's own actual perspective on this matter? How are
        >the two issues related?
        >
        > Several possible arguments come to mind:
        >
        > 1. The times were known to be dangerous, and the authorities tended to be
        >ruthless in exterminating those whom they considered seditious. Thus any
        >prudent evangelist would not speak too plainly. John the Baptist spoke about
        >putting the axe to the roots of the tree, and look at what happened to him!
        >The caution reflected in much of Jesus's teaching suggests that he was trying
        >to avoid early martyrdom.

        Not at all. Further, on the whole notion that the era was dangerous and
        filled with turmoil, I would recommend the new book by J. McLaren,
        "Turbulent Times?". In this book J. examines the (false!) notion that
        Palestine was a powder keg ready to explode.

        >
        > 2. Some of Jesus's pronouncements might be considered obscure beyond the
        >needs of caution. According to the Jesus Seminar---whom I do not question on
        >this matter---the writers of the four gospels felt compelled to supplement
        >Jesus's version of many parables with explanations, for the more explicit
        >guidance of the Jesus movement. Thus, at his death, Jesus left his followers
        >somewhat in the dark.
        >

        No- I think what the Seminar means is that the sayings of Jesus were
        redacted by later Christians in order to make them applicable to their own
        communities- thus making them clearer, not obscuring them. This does not
        mean, however, that they were not clear in the first place- it only means
        that as times changed the need arose to clarify what had become unclear.

        > 3. Jesus did call for a degree of coherence of style among his disciples,
        >instructing them how to dress and speak. If he had the slightest inclination
        >toward founding an organization, why did he speak so darkly? It's all very
        >well for Jesus to say that the last will be first and the first will be last,
        >but how effective would such statements be, coming from the mouth of an
        >isolated wandering disciple? Did Jesus anticipate living many years longer
        >than he did, and having the opportunity to give his disciples more explicit
        >teachings?
        >

        See Crossan's discussion of the householders and the itinerants in either
        his "Historical Jesus" or his "Birth of Christianity". He notes the paradox
        inherent in calling people to abandon stuff and the need for stuff to
        sustain the community!

        >Looking for enlightenment---

        Diogenes! Tis you! Alas, you have survived these perilous dark times!!!

        >
        >Lee A. Young
        >

        Best,

        Jim

        +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
        Jim West, ThD
        Pastor, Petros Baptist Church
        Adjunct Professor of Bible,
        Quartz Hill School of Theology

        jwest@...
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