What You Will Learn...
Jesus’ life and teachings are as essential to our faith as the cross. Learn about: Jesus’ teachings concerning the Kingdom, prayer, money, enemies, inclusion, renewal, and poverty all within the context of a divided 1st century Israel.
It has often been the case that the teachings of Jesus haven’t figured largely in our own emphasis. There are various reasons for this. The work of Christ on the cross, as essential as it is, has been at the forefront. And that is how it should be. His cross though highlights what Jesus taught. The cross is Jesus saying, “Follow as I do, not just as I teach.” What is needed today is an emphasis that merges the teachings of Jesus with his cross. It isn’t the case that we should emphasise the importance of his teachings, rather than his cross, or visaversa. We need an understanding of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) that sees the teachings and the cross of Christ as explaining, commenting on and proving each other.
It has also often been the case that we have suggested that the real gospel message is found in Paul. It is claimed that Jesus taught prior to the gospel age, and was ministering under the law. It wasn’t until after his resurrection that the gospel began and was then revealed to the church, most notably, to Paul. Or, it has been said that Jesus ministered to Israel and not to the church. Passages like the Sermon on the Mount, then, do not apply to the church age. The passage would then apply to some future age, when Israel is returned to Gods favour, say, in the coming millennial reign of Christ in Jerusalem. This reasoning is not correct.
There is a range of ideas used to support our ignoring, or relativising the things that Jesus taught, making them less important than other things we would like to emphasise instead. Someone said that theology is the art of getting around discipleship, meaning making up ideas that allow us to change or ignore what Jesus taught. This is clearly a wrong practice. Jesus is our Lord. What Jesus taught should be the corner stone of how we interpret everything else. It is through Jesus that we interpret the Old Testament and through him that we interpret Paul. So how do we bring Jesus’ teachings back into the middle of our understanding of the will and gospel of Christ?
Each lesson includes part of, or all of the following:
- Audio Lectures from Prof. Kent Hodge
- Essential reading from Prof’s handout: Jesus’ Teachings
- Further reading from other authors (chapters, articles, blog posts)
Assignment & Exam...
To complete this course and earn credit hours with Christian Faith Institute you must:
- Complete an assignment paper – you will be given a number of essay topics. You must choose ONE topic and write a 1,500 word essay including references to your curriculum and other authors. There are no deadlines; submit when you are ready.
- Complete an exam – this exam will be carried out at either: CFI in Jos, or through one of our partner churches throughout Africa. You will be asked to write short responses to all the topics given for your assignment. Exams are always supervised and timed.