Ministry and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ Part 2

About the ministry and crucifixion of Jesus Christ the central figure and Son of God in the Christian religion, a partial biography, history, and look at his life and teachings.


WHEN: 27-30 A.D.

Eventually John the Baptist ran afoul of the authorities, namely King Herod, and was imprisoned and killed. Jesus stepped into the void, but where John had preached a future of fire and brimstone, Jesus took a softer line, emphasizing gentleness and a gracious, merciful God. Once or twice, however, he seems to have accepted everlasting hell for nonbelievers, but these examples are rare. He took his teachings out of the wilderness, and into the synagogues and city streets. He had a magnetism that drew people to him, and he taught in parables--simple stories in which it was almost impossible to miss the point.

Jesus differed from John the Baptist in yet another way. While John had lived the life of an ascetic, surviving mostly on dried locusts and honey and wearing animal skins, Jesus was gregarious and readily joined groups on all social levels. Indeed, his 1st miracle was performed at a wedding party, where the host had run out of wine. Jesus said, "Fill the jars with water" (John 2:3-10), and when the water was sampled, the host was astounded to discover that it was wine. Jesus was not adverse to joining rich men in banquets or to seeking out the company of "publicans and sinners," but he was more oriented to the poor and the humble, and he built his plans on them.

The people flocked to him. His message was simple; his delivery, direct. He fast became an unsettling element in society. It must be understood that the atmosphere in Jerusalem was already volatile. The Jews had been prepared for a coming of some sort, but they were not ready for Jesus. The Romans, who were in fact a Government of occupation, were uneasy because of the increasing instability of the populace.

While the Romans were not generally considered to be oppressive occupiers, there were, nevertheless, 2 widely diverse systems in opposition to each other. For the Romans, the State was the primary consideration, while for the Jews, God and the spiritual aspects of life were more important. Moreover, the Jews were fragmented into secular groups of varying degrees of orthodoxy. In short, the scene was chaotic.

Jesus was at 1st looked upon more as a political messiah than a spiritual one. The crowds hailed him as "King of Israel" and thought that he had been sent to overthrow the Romans and make Judea supreme. This view changed, however, when he began to tamper with some of the Judaic law and openly attacked the Pharisees, who were this law's defenders. Then he became more and more convinced that he was indeed the Messiah, and when he openly proclaimed this, his doom was sealed.

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