Jesus of Nazareth - Galilee

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“See, the Mother of the Lord and his brothers said to him: John the Baptist baptises for the forgiveness of sins. Let us go and be baptised by him.”

–The Gospel according to the Hebrews (quoted by St. Jerome)


With John

Mark 1:5; and Mark 1:9 - see also Lk 3:12; 3:14

Mark 1:12

John 1:32

John 3:23

Baptism in water

Baptism of oneself in running (living) water in order to gain ritual purity (Num 19:11-12; Mark 7:2-4);

The plunging into running water by John the Baptist as a sign of conversion and repentance in preparation for the kingdom of God;

Christian baptism (Rom 6:3-4)

Matt 3:14-15


Why did Jesus do it? The baptism is an acceptance of death for the sins of humanity;

Mk 10:38 - Jesus calls his death “baptism”.

The water as the tomb

The water represents Hades, the underworld, or hell;

Jesus’ descent into this watery tomb is the anticipation of the mystery of the Holy Saturday - the act of descending into the underworld.

“When he [Jesus] went down into the waters, he bound the strong man” (Lk 11:22) - Cyril of Jerusalem.


1. Heaven tore open - By fulfilling all righteousness - the will of God - Jesus opens heaven, the place where God’s will is perfectly fulfilled.

2. You are my beloved son.

Mark 1:11 is full of references also or stringed from passages in the Old Testament:

Psalm 2:7 - You are my Son,

Gen 22:2 - whom I love,

Is 42:1 - with you I am well pleased.

In order to grasp the message lets us look at the context of those texts.

The Three Quotes

Psalm 2 and Isaiah 42 were understood as messianic prophecies. In Psalm 2, God makes a royal proclamation announcing his Son, the King of kings who would rule over the whole earth. In Isaiah 42, God speaks about his “servant”. Paradoxically, the Messiah is both king and a servant.

The reference “whom I love” is likely drawn from Gen 22 then points to the sacrifice of Isaac. Thus, form the very beginning Jesus is presented as God’s “Isaac”, the beloved, who will carry the wood of the cross for the salvation of the world.

In just three brief quotes from the Scriptures, God speaks of Jesus as a king, a servant, and his Son, who will become a sacrifice.

The entire Bible

When God speaks, he packs a lot into his words!

notice where these three passages come from:

1. The Torah (Genesis 22);

2. The Prophets (Isaiah 42);

3. The Psalms (Psalm 2) (Remember Luke 24:44)

By quoting all three, he is proclaiming that the entire Scriptures point to Jesus as their fulfilment.


3. The mystery of the Trinity - (Matt 28:19);

By being baptised in the name of Trinity we enter into Jesus’ own baptism - that is the way to become a Christian.

The descent of the Holy Spirit.

By the anointing kings and priests and prophets in Israel were installed in office.

Is 11:1-2; 61:1 - Lk 4:18

The Temptation of Jesus


It is a test (Heb 2:17-18; 4:15).

Mk 1:13 - Is 11:6 - Rom 8:19 - creation is restored to its original harmony;

Mark 1:13 - Ps 91:11

Matt and Luke

The heart of temptations - pushing God aside because there are more urgent matters.

Politics and economy are more important than theology.

The tempter does not show is evil - he shows us a better way - to make the world a better place by our own doing.

Power and bread - that is real.

Spiritual? God? That just an illusion or secondary.

If you are the Son of God

Matt 4:3 - Matt 27:40 - Wisdom 2:18;

Jesus is called to prove himself.

“God, if you exist”, then “…”

The problem of hunger

Should the first priority of the Messiah be to solve the problem of poverty?

If you claim to be the Church of God solve the issue of hunger in the world.

John 6:1-14;

John 6:48; 12:24 - Jesus as the bread dies so we may live.

Deut 8:3

Deut 8:3;





But, what happens when "bread" becomes the most important aspect in life?

“If man’s heart is not good, then nothing else can turn out good, either. And the goodness of the human heart can ultimately come only from the One who is goodness, who is the Good itself.”

Benedict XVI

Two Bible scholars

Matt 4:6;

Ps 91:11-12 - see Mark 1:13;

The devil as a bible scholar/ theologian.

Deut 6:16 - Ex 17:7

Submit God to an ‘experiment’. He is ‘tested’ just as product is tested. If he does not give us protection now like Ps 91 says, then He is not God. He would be false to his own word.

Christ did not do it - He also did not go down from the cross.

Trust in God’s will and God’s way is the message of the Scripture.

Kingship over the world

Matt 4:9:

In Matt 28:16-18 - we have another mountain and Jesus’ words about His power and authority, It was given by the Father after the Cross (see Phil 2:9-10).

“Only when power submits to the measure and the judgement of heaven - of God, in other words - can it become power for God.”

Benedict XVI

Jesus has this power in virtue of His Resurrection. That means that before was the Cross, His death.

Here is the difference between the kingdom of Christ and the kingdoms of the earth.

The splendor of the earthly kingdoms is an illusion - today it is, tomorrow it is gone. Christ’s kingdom lasts forever.

What is expected of a Saviour of the world?

see Matt 16:22-23;

The world wants progress and prosperity;

Jesus speaks about the Cross as the way to resurrection (Lk 24:25).

But, one can ask:

If Jesus brings neither world peace, Nor universal prosperity, Nor a better world, Then what did He bring?


Now, we know God’s face

Now, we know our origin;

Now, we know our destiny.

Jesus gave us faith, hope, and love that are stronger than any earthly kingdoms.

The kingdom of God

The Gospel of the Kingdom of God

Mk 1:14-15

Evangelion - Good News

Mark got it from Isaiah (Is 40:9; see also Nahum 1:15).

In Greek it is a noun and a verb.

But, in those times the annoucements issued by the emperor were also called in Latin “evangelia" (pl) - in singular "evangelium".

The Kingdom - meaning

1. Jesus Himself is the Kingdom (Origen);

2. The kingdom of God is within us - those who accept faith in Jesus (Rom 6:12);

3. The Church - the Kingdom of God on earth.

The Kingdom - meaning

The kingdom is not a static term but a dynamic - it is the action of the Lord. Thus, we can see the action of Jesus as King in many aspects:

Various healing;

Forgiveness of sins;

Expelling demons;

Raising the dead;

Feeding the hungry;

But the most powerful event is the defeat of death.

When Jesus speaks about the kingdom of God

He proclaims that:

(1) God exists;

(2) God is really the living God; He can act concretely in the world and history and is even now acting.

(3) You can see the face of God in Him!

The message of God’s reign

It is written in the entire Bible; from Genesis to Revelation; From Adam to Jesus. More concrete: in Psalms, in Jewish piety, and in hope.


Ps 47:3; Ps 47:8-9 Ps 93:1; 93:4; Ps 96:10; Ps 97:1; Ps 97:9; Ps 98:6; Ps 99:1;

In Jewish piety

Deut 6:4-5

The recitation of this prayer meant the acceptance of God’s lordship, which through this surrender enters the world.

In hope

Daniel 7:13-14

The Son of Man is charged with ushering in God’s lordship.

Summary: The reign of God is proclaimed in Psalms; It comes into this world in liturgy and personal prayer; And it is hoped to be established once and for all.

Something New

1. It is at hand (Mk 1:15);

2. It has already come upon you (Mt 12:28);

3. It is in the midst of you (Lk 17:21).

Thus, it seems imminent.

4. It is like a mustered seed (Mk 4:30-32); - it has small beginning;

5. Grows within the world hand in hand with the weeds, but the final division will be at the end (Mt 13:24-30);

So it is not so imminent.

6. Like a treasure - Mt 13:44-45;

7. Needs to be taken by force (Mt 11:12).

Why Now?

Mk 1:15

In Jesus it is God who draws near to us.


The village of Nahum

Mt 4:12-14

It was a frontier town - not far from the Jordan; It had between 1000 and 1500 inhabitants; A garrison of mercenary soldiers under the supervision of a centurion was also stationed there. They served Herod Antipas. (Mt 8:5-13; Lk 7:1-10).

The city was located near the Via Maris - that connected Egypt with Syria and all the way to Babylon (Iraq). There was also a house of tax-collector.

Jesus probably lived with Peter (Mt 8:20) and adopted it as his own town (Mt 9:1).

Many things happened in Caparnaum

Mk 1:23-26;

Mk 2:2-12;

Mk 2:13-14;

John 21:4;

Mk 6:31-44;

Mt 5:1 - the mount of Beatitudes is near the city.

The Sermon on the Mount

The beauty of nature and the Gospel

Mt 5:1-2; Luke 6:20-23 - on the plain

The Beatitudes

Psalm 1:1-6, Jer 17:7-8;

Some think that they describe the actual condition of Jesus’ disciples (Lk 6:20). This condition become a vehicle for a promise. The standards of the world are turned upside down.

Jesus brings joy into the midst of affliction; 2 Cor 6:8-10; 4:8-9.

What Jesus promises is experienced by Paul (1 Cor 4:9-13). And yet, he is full of joy. He would not exchange his life for any other.

In Paul, Christ’s sufferings and resurrection both are present.

A similar paradox is in John - the Cross as exaltation (Jn 12:32).

The Beatitudes express the meaning of discipleship.

They express our unity with Christ (Gal 2:20). They express the Cross and resurrection in our lives.

The Beatitudes

They present a kind of biography of Jesus:

1. Poor (Mt 8:20);

2. Meek (Mt 11:28-29);

3. Pure in heart (John 1:18 - can see the face of God);

4. Peacemaker (Eph 2:14) - Jesus is the Son of God;

5. Merciful (Lk 23:34);

6. Persecuted - Jesus’ passion;

7. Mourn (Jn 11:35; see also Mk 16:10)

8. Hunger and thirst for righteousness - (1 Cor 1:30)

Poor in Spirit

Meaning is “pious” - a true Israel;

They do not flaunt their achievements before God (see Lk 18:9-14);

“Theirs is the Kingdom of God” = Theirs is Jesus.

Saint Francis - the best interpreter of this beatitude.

Saint Francis and Poverty:

1. Freedom for service, for mission;

2. Trust in God who cares not only for thee flowers of the field but especially for his human children.

3. But St. Francis accepted also a “third order” (1 Cor 7:29-30).


Ps 37:11 - Greek “meek” is a translation of Hebrew “anawim” - described as God’s poor.

Numbers 12:3 - Matt 11:29;

Zech 9:9-10 - a meek king - an opposite of the great kings of the world (Mt 21:4-5; Jn 12:15).

Inherit the land

“Land” - a promise to Abraham; “Promised Land” - a destination of Israelites; “Land” - an image of heaven.

Why Land?

It was a space for obedience to God;

The right to freedom of worship - to their own liturgy.

How about the Diaspora - those living outside of the land?

It did not set Israel free from their obligation; Wherever they went they should create a space for God and thus fulfil the purpose of creation. But, it is not just about the space.

It is also about time. Sabbath is the goal of creation - there is also need for a holy time to worship God.

Meek and history

Conquerers come and go; those who cultivate the land, the meek and humble remain (see 2 Kings 25:12).

Zech 9:10 - from sea to sea -

Jesus is truly meek, the earth belongs to Him (Ps 24:1) and to those who follow Him.


Jesus as the true Solomon (1 Chron 22:9-10).

Establishing peace as the essence of Sonship.

again, we are called to follow christ in this as god’s children.

1. on personal level (2 cor 5:20);

2. wider level - Lk 2:14 - peace on earth.


Different kinds of mourning:

1. One that lost hope - Judas;

2. One that leads to conversion - Peter.

3. Ezek 9:4 - they mourn over evil that is happening around them and this mourning saves them.

4. We can also add Luke 23:27; John 19:25-26 - mourning over Jesus. The last two groups cannot avert the disaster but by their mourning they side with those who suffer, they place themselves on the side of good. Moreover, both groups were comforted.

So what is the meaning of mourning?

Nonconformity with evil; Refusal to accept something because “everyone does it”;

But the world cannot tolerate this kind of resistance. And so, this beatitude moves us to another one - suffering for the sake of righteousness.


Fidelity to the word of God;

Righteousness in OT becomes Faith in NT.

Faith is walking with Christ; Faith unites us with the righteousness of Christ.

Hungry for righteousness?

Looking towards the future for true justice. They are those who are not content with things as they are. They look for something different. Think about Abraham and Sarah, Zachariah and Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph. Think about Paul and his passion for Christ.

Persecuted for righteousness or faith?

170 thousand die for Christ every year. Why?

A man of integrity and faith is always a “problem” to the world (see Wisdom of Solomon 2:12-20).

Pure of heart

Heart is in the Bible the organ to see God. Mind is not enough.

How to purify one’s heart?

Ps 24:3-6;

Ps 15:1-5;

Phil 2:5 - having the mind of Christ till we reach Gal 2:20.

The path to purity passes through the Cross. Before we can ascend to God, we have to descend like God (Phil 2:6-9).

Pure heart = service and obedience after the manner of Christ.


The best explanation is the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37).


Lk 6:24-26;

Is it really bad to be rich, and so on?

Psalm 1, Jer 17, Wisdom of Solomon 2:1-20 - there are always two ways in the Bible. Those who acknowledge their dependence on God; other who claimed that they do not need God. Those living for God and others; other who live only for themselves.

The point of these woes is not condemnation but a warning that is intended to save.

They warn against this worldly attitude:

Get the most out of the world and what life has to offer now; Seek heaven here; And do not have any scruples while doing so.


Jesus did what he preached here.

The saints followed this path.

Now is our turn.

The Torah of the Messiah


You have heard that it was said . . . But I say to you. (see for example Matt 5:21-22).

The messiah was expected to bring a renewed Torah.

Paul speaks about “the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2), which according to Paul is “Freedom” (Gal 5:1; 5:13).

This freedom is from the old law and for the Spirit of God - being led by the Spirit (Gal 5:18).

Problem with Torah


Kosher food;



Should these things be kept? What does “Yes” mean?

All should become like the Jews!

What does "No" mean?

What does “No” mean?

The God of Israel has been brought to the nations;

New Israel embraces all people - Jews and no-Jew alike.

God is the God of all.

The flesh - physical descent - is no longer what matters;

What matters is the spirit: (1) belonging to the heritage of Israel’s faith and (2) life through communion with Jesus Christ (Rom 4:11-12).

Jesus’ teaching

Alarms people (Mt 7:28)


He spoke with the authority of God.

The Torah of Jesus indicates that He is the Son of God.

Jesus over Sabbath

The Sabbath - third commandment;

Mk 2:27 - Mt 12:5-8;

Sabbath - The imitation of God. He rested, the Jews also rest.

But in Mt 11:28-30 Jesus give us rest.

Rest and labor and burden - are the theme of Sabbath. The Jews rest to imitate God.

But here, Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, gives rest. Both indicates that Jesus is God.

Jesus and Family

The fourth commandment (Ex 20:12).

Mt 12:46-50;

Jesus brings the God of Israel to all nations. And he also creates the new family, centred around Jesus (Mk 3:34-35).

Jesus has brought the gift of universality, which was the one great definitive promise to Israel and the world.

This universality, this faith in the one God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - extended now in Jesus’ new family to all nations over and above the bonds of descent according to the flesh - is the fruit of Jesus’ work.

The lofty ethics of the Sermon

One immediately recognises the high standards that Jesus places before his followers (Matt 5:20).

In the Old Testament we find rules and principles (see Exodus 20:22-23:19; notice Exodus 22:20; 23:9-12)

In Mt 5:21-48 - Jesus challenges certain rules and sets up principles.

For example, in the case of divorce (Matt 5:31-32), he would root the principle in the book of Genesis (Mk 10:2-6; Genesis 1:27; 2:24).

The Lord’s Prayer

In Christian prayer we use God’s words to teach us how to pray. Why?

So our mind may slowly become in accord with our voice. Rom 8:26

God provides the words of our prayer and teaches us to pray. When we pray “the Our Father”, we are praying to God with words given by God.

“Our Father” has origin in Jesus’ praying (Lk 11:1).

Seven petitions in Matthew’s version;

Two sets of petitions - two tablets of the Decalogue - Two commandments of love. First God, then men, but both related.

Abba, Father

We can only say this prayer because of our identity as Christians (Gal 4:6; Rom 8:15). Jesus became our brother.

But, the word “Father” has to be understood the way revealed it to us (for example Mt 5:44-45; 7:9-10); Jn 14:8 (Lk 11:13) - The main “gift of God” is God himself.

God is our Father in the sense that he is our Creator (Ps 33:15 - “He who has fashioned the hearts of all, considers all their work”).

Christ is the “image of God” (2 Cor 4:4; Col 1:15).

We are not ready-made children of God from the start, but we are meant to become by growing more and more deeply in communion with Jesus. Lk 15:31 - see John 16:15; 17:10.

Is God also a mother?

There are some metaphors referring to mother (Is 49:15), but never in the Bible God is addressed as mother. Why?

Israel and early Church was surrounded by mother-deities. These deities imply some form of pantheism in which the difference between Creator and creature disappears.

“Father” expresses the difference between Creator and creatures and the act of creation.

"Our" not “my”

Only Jesus prays “my Father”, we pray “our Father”.

“Our” leads us to community. Through communion with Jesus Christ we become “children of God”.

It is the acceptance of the Church - as the community of the believers.

Who are in heaven

“Heaven” does not mean a “space” but a mode of existence.

Our Father is not somewhere else but He is “above everything”.

We are on our way to the house of the Father, to that mode of existence.

Heaven on earth - when God dwells in the hearts of His children.

Hallowed be thy name

Hallowed be thy name

Ex 3:14 - I am who I am

John 17:6 - Father

God’s name can be misused (Rom 2:24).

We are called to treat God’s name with reverence.

As God’s children, we are “ambassadors of God”.

Very often, the way people see us, the way they think about God.

Thy kingdom come

“Where God is absent, nothing can be good. Where God is not seen, man and the world fall to ruin” (Benedict XVI).

Mt 6:33

We ask that God reign comes, and not human reign.

It means, “Jesus come!” - He is the Kingdom of God in person. Where Christ is present there God’s kingdom is present.

Thy will be done

1 Tim 2:4 - that is God’s will.

Eph 1:9-11 - to unite everything in Christ.

Hebr 10:7 - Ps 40:7; Jn 8:29, Lk 22:42.

Gal 1:4 - Hebr 10:10.

Jesus and Father’s Will

John 4:34;

Mt 26:39,42 - Heb 5:7 - Ps 40:7-9.

Jesus himself is “heaven” - in Him and through God’s will is wholly done (Benedict XVI).

Thus, we pray that we become like Jesus, “heaven”, when God’s will be fulfilled in our lives.

We and the Father's will

In the Old Testament "just man" is the one who searches for God's will in God's word (Ps 1:1-6);

Consider what we said about Saint Joseph in the first part of the course.

Daily Bread

“Give us this day our supernatural bread” (Matt 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4)

In Greek there is a unique word in this prayer:

“Give us this day our ‘epiousios’ bread” (Matt 6:11);

“Give us each day our ‘epiousios’ bread” (Luke 11:3)

“epi” means “on, upon, above”

“ousia” means “being, substance, or nature”.

Daily Bread

Thus, St. Jerome translate this word in his Latin Bible (Vulgate) as “give us this day our ‘supersubstantial’ bread”; The bread of the Lord’s Prayer is super substantial because “it is above all substances and surpasses all creatures” (St. Jerome);

“Common bread is not supersubstantial, but this Holy Bread is supersubstantial” (St. Cyril, bp of Jerusaelm, 4th century - Mystagogic Lectures, 23:15);

Any ancient Jew who heard a prayer for bread that was both ‘daily’ and ‘supernatural’ would have immediately thought of the manna of exodus.

Notice that regarding ‘earthly food’ Jesus tells us not to worry (Matt 6:25-33; Luke 12:22-31);

Daily Bread

The Eucharist is our daily bread. The power belonging to this divine food makes it a bond of union. Its effect is then understood as unity, so that, gathered into his Body and made members of him, we may become what we receive. . . . This also is our daily bread: the readings you hear each day in church and the hymns you hear and sing. All these are necessities for our pilgrimage.

The Father in heaven urges us, as children of heaven, to ask for the bread of heaven. [Christ] himself is the bread who, sown in the Virgin, raised up in the flesh, kneaded in the Passion, baked in the oven of the tomb, reserved in churches, brought to altars, furnishes the faithful each day with food from heaven (CCC 2837)


We pray for “our” bread - not for “my” bread - community aspect;

“Give us today” - (Ex 16:16-22) - it is a call to live in trust (Mt 6:31-34).

“On this account we pray that ‘our’ bread, Christ, be given to us every day, that we, who remain and live in Christ, may not depart from his healing power and from his body” (St. Cyprian).


The key in this prayer is “as”.

In case of injury, revenge or retaliation is the way of the world or (Ex 21:24).

But what happens if we do not forgive others? (Mk 11:25-26).

Mt 18:23-35

“ως” - as, like

Mt 5:48; Lk 6:36; John 13:34;

Mt 5:43-44; Lk 23:34; Acts 7:60


This prayer calls for a discerning spirit.

We ask God to help us discern between:

(1) a test that is needed for our growth (Mt 4:1);


(2) a temptation that leads to sin and death (James 1:14-15).

Job and Rev 12:10

Satan claims that Job’s piety is just a facade.

Satan claims that we - humans - are selfish, and this selfishness extends even to religion.

We serve God because we gain something out of it.

Satan’ case: man only cares about his own well-being.

By his faith, proved through suffering, Job restores man’s honor.

Why temptations?

To dampen our pride;

To prove, like Job, that we are not selfish, but can be selfless.

To be united Christ, the way Christ was united with us (Hebr 2:18; 4:15).

In tests and temptations, always remember 1 Cor 10:13.

God. I know I need to be tested but please do not overestimate my capacity. “Don’t set too wide the boundaries within which I may be tempted and be close to me with your protecting hand when it becomes too much for me. (Benedict XVI).

Deliver us from evil

John 17:15

Evil here is not something abstract but a person of Satan (John 8:44, Rev 12:9). See also 1 John 5:18-19.

Evil one wants to take our faith in God away from us. That is why we pray, “deliver us from evil”. We can lose everything, like Job, but as long as we hold on to our faith, we are the winners.

“When we say ‘deliver us from evil’, then there is nothing further left for us to ask for. Once we have asked for and obtained protection against evil, we are safely sheltered against everything the devil and the world can contrive. What could the world make you fear if you are protected in the world by God himself?” (St. Cyprian)

Those who surrendered to God, should not be afraid of Satan;

(see Rom 8:31-33).


The message of the Parables

Parable brings distant realities close to the listeners as they reflect upon it; Parable also leads the listeners to a journey. It invites them to go beyond their horizons, to grasp something previously unknown.

Through the parables Jesus leads us to the mystery of God. He shows how the divine light shines through in the things of this world and in the realities of our everyday life. Through everyday events, Jesus shows us the direction we have to take if we want to go the right way. Jesus does not show us an abstract God but the God who acts, who intervenes in our lives, and wants to take us by the hand.

But that is also the problem of the parables: What if I do not reflect upon those realities? What if I do not let myself be guided by the parables beyond my horizon?

The message of the Parables

Mk 4:10

Each parable has its own context and its own specific message. But, the main message is:

The kingdom of God as coming and as having come in the person of Jesus.

Isaiah 6:9-10 - the meaning

Prophets fail. Why?

Their message goes too much against general opinion and the comfortable habits of life. [And yet] it is only through failure that their word becomes efficacious [producing desired results].

The same goes for Jesus. He ends up on the Cross. But that very Cross is the source of great fruitfulness.

The parable of the sower

Mk 4:1-9; 4:13-20

Seed - the whole of Jesus’ message

The time of sowing and of the seed - the time of Jesus, the of disciples.

The Kingdom of God is present in seed form - very small, but there is everything in that seed to grow.

John 12:24 - 12:32.

The Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25-37;

Deut 6:5; Lev 19:18

Fhe parable of two brothers

Lk 15:11-32; Mt 21:28-32

Father - Hosea 11:1-9

Where is Christ in this? - in the Father. By the way Jesus acts He reveals the merciful Father who welcomes those who return to Him through Jesus.

Rom 5:8 - God shows His love for sinner through the death of His Son on the Cross.

Sinners and those who consider themselves righteous - that is our world.

Sinners come to God, and the righteous feel offended (Luke 15:2).

2 Cor 5:20

The Rich Man and Lazarus

Luke 16:19-31

The background of the parable:

Psalm 44:15-23 (see Rom 8:36)

Psalm 73:3-11, 13-14, 20, 22, 23,25,28.

Psalm 77:44-45.

The Rich Man and Lazarus

The rich man is in Hades - a temporary place (our purgatory?). But, the main point of the parable is the rich man’s request for a sign.

‘If you really want us to believe in you and organise our lives in accord with the revealed word of the Bible, you’ll have to make yourself clearer. Send us someone from the next world who can tell us that it is really so’ (B XVI).

The Rich Man and Lazarus

The demand for a sign is a constant issue in the Gospel.

See John 6:30

See John 11:45-53

Compare Lazarus to Jesus from Hebr 13:12 - who suffered outside the city walls. (Ps 22:7).

Jesus, the true Lazarus risen from the dead and came to us to tell us about the other world. But do we believe it?

Mt 12:39-40; Lk 11:29-30 - the sign of Jonah.

Treasure and Pearl

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Mt 13:44-46).

Peter’s Confession Jesus’ response Transfiguration

Caesarea Philippi

Mk 8:27-30, Mt 16:13-20; Lk 9:18-21; John 6:68-69 - You are the Christ

Mk 8:31-9:1; Mt 16:21-28; Lk 9:22-27 - lose one’s psyche (life);

Mk 9:2-13; Mt 17:1-13, Lk 9:28-36 - transfiguration;

Jesus begins his journey to Jerusalem. And the time has come to ask the most important question: “who do you say that I am?”


John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah.

Those names were associated with a radical change - both with hope and fear.

Elijah - a restoration (Mal 3:23-24)

Jeremiah - the end of old covenant, and a promise of a new one (Jer 31:31-34)

You are the Messiah

Mk 8:29; Lk 9:20; Mt 16:16; John 6:69

The meaning of the Messiah. He has to die before he can enter into his glory. Mk 8:31; Lk 24:26

Are you the Messiah?

Mk 14:61 - Ps 2:7; Ps 110:1

Luke 2:26 - Luke 9:20 - connect these two verses; Then add Lk 23:35.

Lk 2:26 - childhood; Lk 9:20 - the turning point in Jesus’ ministry; Lk 23:35 - the Cross.

John 6:68-69

John 6:68-69 - is in the context of Eucharist.

The Holy One of God (See Ps 106:16 - Aaron is “the Holy One of God”).

The uniqueness of Jesus:

1. He put himself on an equal footing with the living God himself;

2. He was not a political messiah - like Barabbas and later on with Bar - Kokhba. If Jesus were a political messiah he would never be hand over to the Romans. Even Pilate sensed that there was something special about Jesus.

Then, comes Easter and we have John 20:28 - the proclamation of Thomas.

We also have apostolic letters - where divinity of Christ is clearly stated (Phil 2:6; Col 1:15-20).


Six days - Mk 9:2.

Only five days separate the feast of atonement (Yom-ha-Kippurim) and the feast of Tabernacles (last one week).

Thus, Peter’s confession of faith would fall on the feast of atonement.

Six - eight Days (Luke 9:28)

Transfiguration is connected with the feast of Tabernacles.


Liturgy remembers and expects and through these two action becomes life. All Jewish feast contain three dimensions:

Creation - rooted in agricultural experience;

History - rooted in God’s action that took place in concrete moment of history;

Future - hope for the final fulfilment of history.


Mk 9:2 - Mk 14:33 - Exodus 24:9

Mountain - (1) creation aspect - fresh air, liberation from the burden of life;

(2) historical aspect - a place of revelation (Abraham, Moses, Elijah ).

Mk 9:2-3; Mt 17:2; Lk 9:28-29 - “light from light”;

Moses (see Ex 34:29-35); Jesus shines from within.

White light garment

Baptism (see Rev 7:9, 13; 19:14; Rev 7:14 and Lk 15:22)

What do they talk about?

Exodus in Jerusalem Lk 9:31;

Notice the original meaning of Exodus.

How about Jesus’ exodus.

John the Baptist - Elijah

1. There was a tradition among the Jews that Elijah escaped martyrdom, but when he returns he too has to undergo death as others.

2, Since John the Baptist was preparing the way for the crucified messiah he also had somehow ‘prepare’ that way through his own suffering.

Mk 9:13

Tents - Tabernacles

Creation - a prayer for rain and a liturgy of water libation;

History - remembrance of Israel’s wandering through the desert (Lev 24:43); huts symbolising God’s protection.

Future - the huts also prefigured that hope when the just shall dwell in the age to come (see Lk 16:9).

Peter seemed to sense that the future has arrived (Lk 9:27).

But, he missed the point again. The journey to that future leads through the Cross.

Tents - Tabernacles

“For the true Feast of Tabernacles had not yet come. According to the words of the Prophet, however (Ps 118:27), God, the Lord of all things, has revealed himself to us in order to complete the construction of the tabernacle of our ruined habitation, human nature” (St. Gregory of Nyssa).

For the meaning of the “Tent” think about Origen

See also John 1:14


The holy cloud - symbol of God’s presence.

“Beloved Son” - Mk 1:11

“Listen to Him” - Jesus is the Torah.

Jesus' Identity

Jesus and Christ

Jesus - is His name;

Christ - is His office - anointed.

In Jesus Christ, the name became one with the office;

Jesus’ ministry (task) and His person are inseparable.

Jesus - see CCC 430-435

"God saves." It expresses both his identity and his mission. (Lk 1:31).

Since God alone can forgive sins (Mk 2:7), it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, "will save his people from their sins" (Mt 1:21).

Jesus - Our mercy seat

The name of the Savior God was invoked only once in the year (Lev 16:15-16; Sirach 50:20; Hebr 9:7).

The mercy seat was the place of God's presence (Exo 25:22; Lev 16:2; Num 7:89; Hebr 9:5).

When St. Paul speaks of Jesus whom "God put forward as an expiation by his blood" (Rom 3:25), he means that in Christ's humanity "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself." (2 Cor 5:19).

What a powerful name

Jesus' Resurrection glorifies the name of the Savior God (John 12:18), for from that time on the name of Jesus fully manifests the supreme power of the "name which is above every name". (Phil 2:9).

The evil spirits fear his name (Acts 16:16-18; 19:13-16);

In his name his disciples perform miracles (Mk 16:17), for the Father grants all they ask in this name. (John 15:16).

Christ - see CCC 436-440

The word "Christ" comes from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Messiah, which means "anointed".

In Israel kings (1 Sam 9:16; 10:1; 16:1, 12-13; 1 Kings 1:39), priests (Exo 29:7; Lev 8:12) and, in rare instances, prophets were anointed for God’s mission (1 Kings 19:16).

Jesus fulfilled the messianic hope of Israel in his threefold office of priest, prophet and king (Is 11:2; Zech 4:14; 6:13; Is 61:1 - Luke 4:16-21).

The one who anointed is the Father, the one who was anointed is the Son, and he was anointed with the Spirit who is the anointing.'" (St. Irenaeus).

"God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power" (Acts 10:28), "that he might be revealed to Israel" (John 1:31) as its Messiah.

However, this title was misunderstood (see Mark 8:27-33; John 6:14-15).

Jesus is Lord - CCC 446-451

In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the ineffable Hebrew name YHWH, by which God revealed himself to Moses, (Ex 3:14) is rendered as Kyrios, “Lord".

The New Testament uses this title "Lord" for Jesus (1 Cor 2:8). Thus, Jesus is recognized as God Himself.

Throughout his public life, Jesus demonstrated his divine lordship by works of power over nature (Mk 4:35-41), illnesses (Mk 1:40-42), demons (Mk 1:23-26), death (Mk 5:39-42; Luke 7:11-15, John 11:39-44) and sin (Mk 2:5).

Faith in Jesus as Lord - Consequences

1. Jesus gets the same power, glory, and honor as the Father (Rev 5:13);

2. Jesus is the Lord over the world and history (Rev 5:6-7;1:17);

3. We own our freedom to God alone (Mk 12:17; Acts 5:29);

4. 1 Cor 12:3 - it comes from faith in Jesus’ divinity.

5. It affects our prayer - “the Lord be with you; through Christ our Lord”; (see also Rev 22:20, 1 Cor 16:22).

Son of God

In ancient times, in Egypt and Babylon, the king was given the title “son of God”. A ritual ascension on the throne was considered the king’s “begetting” as the son of God. It was understood as a divine adoption.

Ex 4:22-23.

The nations are God’s family but Israel is the “first-born son”. It has a special statues and special privileges. This privileged statues is evident in Israel’s king (2 Sam 7:12-13; Ps 2:7-8; Ps 89:27-28, 37-38).

Here, “begetting” means election.


There was a promise of dominion over the nations, but the king on Zion was actually an insignificant ruler in the ancient world.

Thus, such promise had to refer to someone else and to certain future. God’s promise was a word of hope.

Christians took over that hope and saw its fulfilment in the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 13:32-33).

Jesus’ resurrection was that long awaited God’s “today!”


But, Jesus’ reign is different from the rule of earthly kings. He rules from the right hand of the Father (Phil 2:9-11) and rules in a different way.

Moreover, when a claim of earthly power to “divine sonship” collides with Christian proclamation that Jesus is the “Son of God”, then there is only one outcome:

Persecution and Martyrdom.


We hear this title, during the baptism, transfiguration, and during the Passion. This itself is amazing.

The Church understood this title as indicating that Jesus is “of the same substance” with God, the Father.

Mt 11:25-27; Lk 10:21-22

To know God presupposes oneness of being with him (John 1:18).

John 6:44 - Who comes to Jesus? The simple, not the wise (see Is 29:14; see also 1 Cor 1:18-19; and 1 Cor 1:26-29).

And what about the so-called wise? (1 Cor 3:18).


Jesus calling God “Abba” (Mk 14:36) and teaching us to pray “Our Father” (Lk 11:2-4) reveals to us the mystery of the relationship between Abba and the Son.

And so, we can only say “Abba, Father” (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6) because we are in Christ and have the same Spirit.

But, only Jesus is “the Son”.

The Son of Man - The title Jesus preferred

Only Jesus is using it, with an exception in Acts 7:56 - the fulfilment of Mk 14:62;

Used by Jesus, the title was new and surprising. It was not connected with the messianic hope.

It means “man” (see Ezekiel 3:1).

But Jesus gave it a deeper meaning (see Mk 2:27-28). Who is the Lord of the Sabbath in OT?

Notice also that in Mark we have both terms: “Man” and “the Son of Man”.

“Man” should look to “the Son of Man” to see who he ought to be.

Daniel 7

Four earthly kingdoms that behave like beasts;

Final kingdom established by a mysterious Son of Man (Dan 7:13-14).

A kingdom of “humanity”.

The beasts comes from the depths of the sea; the Son of Man comes from above.

The coming of the Son of Man

Mk 13:24-27; 14:62

They speak about the future glory of Jesus; About his coming to judge and to gather the righteous.

Mt 25:31-46 - here the judge identifies Himself with the least of this world (see Acts 9:4).

But, when we look at it, we truly see in those people Jesus (Mt 8:19; Lk 9:58; in prison, naked on the Cross).

Final Words on "the Son of Man"

Mk 2:5,10-11;

Mk 10:45 - Is 53:10-12;

Jesus comes from God and is God. But, by becoming one with us - he shows us what it means to be truly human.

Hebr 10:5 - Ps 40:6, and 2 Cor 5:18-20;

John 13:10, and 1 Cor 15:45-49

I am

Two types:

“I am” - or “I am he”;

“I am [something]” - for example: [vine, way, life].

John 8:24

Ex 3:14 - Is 43:10-11 God simply “is”. And so is Jesus (Jn 14:9).

The cross is the real burning bush; It reveals who God truly is.

Acts 2:37

3000 people, cut to the heart, knew that Jesus is He, and got baptised (Acts 2:41).

See Rev 1:7

I am

John 8:56-58 - one among the most revealing statement of Jesus.

We come and go, but Jesus ‘is’!

Mk 6:45-52 - John 6:16-21

Mk 6:50 - “I am”

Walking on the waters is a divine prerogative (Job 9:8; Ps 76:20 LXX, Is 43:16).

The question from Mk 4:41 applies also here.

John 8:28. So who is he?

The one who is love (1 John 4:8);

The one who loves to the end (Jn 13:1)

“I am […]

The Bread of life;

Light of the World;

The Door;

The Good Shepherd;

The Resurrection and the Life;

The Way, the Truth, and the Life.

The True Vine.

These statement seem to be a variation of one theme (Jn 10:10). Jesus gives us life because he gives us God. He can give us God because he is one with God, he is the Son.

Jesus of Nazareth - Judea