Category: Jesus’ Teachings

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5 – Greek or Hebrew: Where do our Ideas of Hell Come From

ehenna was a valley just outside Jerusalem. Back in King Hezekiah’s day, the Assyrian army attacked Jerusalem and many thousands of Assyrian soldiers died in their camp at night. When Hezekiah found their dead bodies in the morning, the corpses were thrown into Gehenna as a type of dump, to be consumed by fire and […]

6 – Who Are Our Enemies?

rom this discussion of Jesus on Gehenna we see his view on who God’s enemies really are. They are not other nations, as the Jews supposed, and as we may also suppose today. It wasn’t the enemy nations that drove Israel out of the land, but their own unfaithfulness to God. So their real enemy […]

7 – Division: Jesus’ Problem with the Pharisees

ivision is something we humans have always tended to believe in. There is always the bad person, bad group or bad nation. This scapegoating way of handling our problems goes way back in our history, and is still our knee jerk response. Not to say there aren’t any bad guys, but is dividing and conquering […]

8 – Inclusion: The Path to Renewal

he Pharisees were busy deciding who they couldn’t fellowship with and who they had to separate from. We have developed a similar line of thought in our religious, racial and class sectors today. More and more, walls have been going up between communities, as gaps between people of different groups have grown ever wider. People […]

9 – Jesus’ Warning: Separation that Destroys

e have traditions of separation. In fundamentalism they have scriptural support. Like Jesus, when he said, “who is my mother, sister and brother, but he who hears the word of God and does it.” Especially in our Reformed tradition, we have used texts like this as a pretext for separation. We could add text after […]