Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Jesus the Benefactor 1

posted by Scot McKnight

This series, too, emerges from a chapter I wrote that didn’t “fit” into the book, so I’m posting it this week… while we are in Ireland. The best book I’ve seen that looks at Jesus through the lens of benefactor is F.W. Danker, Jesus and the New Age: A Commentary on St. Luke’s Gospel
.

One of Jesus’ closest followers was a man named Peter. Actually, his name was Simon, but Jesus re-named him Cephas, the Aramaic word for “rock” and that Aramaic name got translated into Greek and then into English as “Peter.” You could translate his name as “Rocky.” Peter was the earliest leader of the followers of Jesus after Jesus’ resurrection (more on that later) so explaining Jesus fell on Peter’s shoulders.  Once he had to reduce it all to its basics for some Gentile converts to Jesus, and Peter summed up Jesus’ life in three categories:

?               God was with him to do good

?               Injustice led to his public crucifixion

?               God undid injustice when he raised Jesus from the dead

Or,

?               Jesus the Benefactor

?               Jesus the Crucified

?               Jesus the Resurrected

Those are the basics of Jesus’ life according to Peter. (You can read about this in Acts 10:24-48.) Jesus did good; Jesus was barbarically crucified; but Jesus broke the bonds of death. That’s the Story of Jesus in a nutshell. If it’s good enough for Peter, it’s good enough for us.  We begin with this first category, Jesus the Benefactor, the one who did good to others.

When Peter reduces the Story of Jesus to its basics, he uses the special word euergeton, which means that Jesus was a benefactor, one who benefited the world in which he lived. Jesus did benefactions, good things, because “God was with him.” Here is how Peter explained it:

You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached–  how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy
Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good [benefactor] and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him (Acts 10:37-38).

The Story of Jesus is the Story of Jesus doing good because God was with him.  As if to remind us all what Jesus was on about, Peter introduces Jesus as a benefactor by saying “You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.” Very clear here: Jesus brings peace by doing good. Doing good produces peace. Peace flows from doing good.

            But what does it mean to say Jesus was a “benefactor”?





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mick

posted June 7, 2010 at 8:27 am


I am struck by “God was with him”, which we know also from scripture that Jesus lived his earthly life “with the Father”. It is from Jesus’ interactive life of love, dependence and willingness to do all the Father commands him that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good [benefactor] and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him”.
It makes me wonder where my efforts or lack thereof to good in the Jesus way come from? Does it flow from being with God and receiving his Spirit and power to follow Jesus in doing good in the world?



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T

posted June 7, 2010 at 9:16 am


This touches on one of the main weaknesses of the Creeds in my view: they skip his life; they skip Jesus the benefactor (at the Father’s leading and the Spirit’s power). They skip Jesus the Rabbi and disciple-maker.
As for what it means, I don’t think Peter’s (Trinitarian) summary can be improved upon, except by the fuller gospels themselves. Healing/rescuing people in every sense is simply a major, if not central, agenda of God’s government. Turning wounders into the kind of Trinitarian healers that Jesus is, is part and parcel of this.



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Tom

posted June 7, 2010 at 12:25 pm


- A PRAYER FROM JESUS –
This prayer is from Jesus that we may here from Him, that He may meet our needs. It only consist of three simple steps.
1) We need to read one scripture. This will focus us in the word that brings everlasting life.
2) Since this prayer is from Jesus we need to direct our prayer to Him personally. To often Christian focus they’re prayer’s to G_D the father. Scripture proclaims that Jesus should be the focus of our prayer.
3) The simplest part of this Prayer is to ask Jesus one question. Please, all that is required for this question is to make it simple. Let Jesus Himself finish the question when He gives you that understanding through prayer.
The PRAYER
The scripture that is the focus of this prayer is “ACTS 2:38″. It’s not necessary to do any study into this scripture. Jesus Himself willl bestow the understanding that will resonate in your heart.
The most important part of this prayer is that we need to direct our prayer directly to Jesus. If you normally would say Father in your prayer, change your focus from the Father to Christ Jesus by lifting Jesus name up every time you would normally use Father in your prayer.
Maybe the hardest part of this prayer is the question that we need to ask Jesus. For man as we are, always try to understand the question and may add many additional quires. The simplest question is all that is required.
Simply ask Jesus ‘WHY, Jesus why’



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