Huebscher 1 Here is the link to my performance task: https://issuu.com/att615/docs/religion_performace_task__chapter__8b7986bfedcc02 I created an online book. The unit 9 performance task starts on page 36. If you cannot open it, I created a word document version of it below, but I would be happy to bring in my computer and show you the book to receive my creative points. Thank you!
The Book of Jesus:
Who Do You Say That I Am?
Written by Mia Huebscher
Unit 7: Jesus as God’s love In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5). The paragraph above is scripture, which means words from the Bible. The scripture above comes from the first chapter of John in the Bible. The scripture states that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). In the Gospel according to John, the author makes Jesus known as the Word, which is also called the Logos. In the scripture above, try replacing each “word” with “Jesus” to understand the connection between Jesus and God.
What is love? The meaning of love is to do things for others as if you were them. For example, if a kid in your class does not understand their schoolwork, you can show your love by helping him or her do it. This shows love because you are doing something for someone else without getting any reward for it. An example of love in the Bible can be seen in The Temptation of Jesus, where Jesus is being tempted by the devil. In this story, Jesus is brought to the desert and the devil is trying to tempt, or attract, Jesus into going against his love for God. However, Jesus
Huebscher 4 protects himself from the devil by using scripture. When the devil promises Jesus that he will receive all the kingdoms of the world if he worships the devil, Jesus replies, “get away, Satan! It is written: ‘The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve’” (Mathew 4:10), meaning that the only person or thing you should worship is God, unless you want to commit idolatry (the worshipping of a false God). As Jesus says this, the devil leaves and the angels of God come to him. Jesus was tempted three times by the devil in the desert, and he never broke his love for God or God’s wishes, which shows us how to live as God’s image and turn away from temptation like Jesus did in the desert.
The Incarnation One way in which God shows His love during Jesus’ life is through the Incarnation. The Incarnation is the event where God becomes a human by coming into a human skin. Through this event, Jesus, who is known as the son of God, is created as a mediator (a person who connects two things) and a redeemer (a person who saves something from being bad).
Huebscher 5 Jesus is a mediator because he connects the human world to the divine world (the world of God), which lets God understand the life of humans. Jesus as a mediator is very important because it makes him the only being who can experience and fully understand both worlds. If Jesus was not fully human, then he would not be able to die and resurrect. Something that resurrects will die, or go away for an amount of time, and come back as what they truly are. For example, at the start of its life, a caterpillar remains a caterpillar, but after a while it goes away into a cocoon and soon comes out as a butterfly, meaning that the caterpillar has gone away and become its true self – or resurrected. If Jesus saved us, but was not fully God, then we would think that since Jesus is human like us, we could save ourselves too. Jesus as a mediator shows God’s love because He has created someone for humanity that can better understand our lives. Jesus is a redeemer because he saves humanity, which means the world of humans, from its sins. A sin is a wrongdoing against God’s word, meaning that if a person has committed a sin, he or she has gone against God’s hopes and wishes. For example, if you stole a piece of candy from a candy booth, you committed a sin because the ten commandments state that “you shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15). In the Bible, Jesus forgives our sins and therefore becomes our true redeemer by saving us from our wrongdoings. This shows God’s love because He has given humanity someone that can save us from sin.
Huebscher 6 So why is the incarnation important? The incarnation is important because it is the event where Jesus is created by God as a mediator and redeemer, which lets God see what it is like to be human (through Jesus’ mediation) and allows Him to save us, give us hope, and lead us, all through the life of Jesus.
The Joyful Mysteries The Joyful Mysteries are a group of events that brought joy and happened during the time of the Incarnation. These events include the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation, and the Finding of Jesus in the Temple. The Annunciation is the event where the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a virgin in Nazareth, which is a town in Galilee. The virgin’s name was Mary and she was engaged to a man named Joseph, who came from the family of David. The angel said “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28) and told Mary that she would have a baby and name it Jesus, even though she was a virgin, meaning she had not done what was needed to create a baby. Gabriel then said that Mary’s baby would be great and would be known as the ‘Son of the Most High’, meaning the son of God, and God would give him the throne of David and he would be in charge of the Kingdom of Jacob (the Kingdom of Israel) forever. Without any refusals, Mary
Huebscher 7 replied, “’behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:38). In the annunciation, Mary teaches us to accept and celebrate every moment a child is born, and to treat it as an amazing gift of God, even if the event is unexpected.
In the Visitation, Mary visits her pregnant cousin Elizabeth, who lives in the town of Judah. When Elizabeth hears Mary, her baby jumps in her womb and she is overjoyed and filled with the Holy Spirit. In the Visitation, Elizabeth’s baby shows us that we should jump for joy when we see the new life in a pregnant mother, just as the baby jumped for joy at the sight of pregnant Mary. Color me:
The Nativity of Jesus is the event in which Jesus Christ was born. The scene where the Nativity occurs is described in both the Gospel according to Luke and the Gospel according to Mathew. The Gospel is the title of the book about the
Huebscher 8 good news of Jesus. These Gospels both contain an infancy narrative, which is the section in their Gospel that describes Jesus’ birth. While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the city of David, Mary’s time had come “and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). In Luke’s infancy narrative, there were shepherds, people who take care of sheep, in the area. The angel of the Lord came to them and told them about the good news of a great joy that would be for all people. The angel told the shepherds that a savior (a person who saves) who is both the Messiah (promised one) and Lord had been born in the city of Bethlehem, and that the shepherds would find a baby wrapped in covering clothes and lying in a manger (an open box for horses to eat hay from) as a sign of the savior. In Mathew’s infancy narrative, the shepherds are replaced by the Magi. The Nativity of Jesus is thought about in the birth of every child, meaning it is the symbol of every birth because Mary the Mother of God is our universal mother.
The Presentation of Jesus in the temple describes a man by the name of Simeon who lived in Jerusalem. Simeon was waiting to see the Messiah of the Lord because the Holy Spirit had told him that he would not die until he saw the Messiah (the promised one). In the Old Testament of the Bible, it was written that an anointed messiah would come and lead the Jewish nation. When someone is anointed, they have received oils, which means they have been sanctified (made holy). When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus into the temple, Simeon took the baby and said to God, “now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation” (Luke 2:29,30). The Presentation of Jesus in the temple is important because just as Jesus was sanctified (made holy) in the temple, we should sanctify all children to Jesus’ level of holiness, purity, and innocence so they may too lead us to God.
Each year, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus would go to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, which celebrates the freedom of the Jews from the Egyptians in Exodus. When Jesus was twelve years old, the family traveled to Jerusalem for Passover as always. As it was time to leave, Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but Mary and Joseph did not know. After a day of looking for him in their group of travelers, Mary and Joseph decided to go back to Jerusalem. It took three days for them to find Jesus. He was in the temple, sitting around all the teachers, listening and asking questions, making everyone amazed at his understanding. When Mary asked Jesus why he stayed in Jerusalem, Jesus replied, “did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). The Finding of Jesus in the Temple tells us to pray for the children who are lost and to lead them back to a place where they are loved.
The Baptism of Jesus Jesus came from Galilee in Nazareth to be baptized by John in the Jordan. In the Gospel according to Mathew, the author writes that, at first, John does not want to baptize Jesus because it would mean that he has more power over Jesus. This is because it is thought that the one who baptizes you will have more power over you. Jesus then says, “allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Mathew 3:15), so John did as he was told and baptized Jesus. Just as Jesus came up from the water, the heavens opened to him and he saw the Holy Spirit coming down like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven and said, “this is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased” (Mathew 3:17). This voice, and of course the baptism of Jesus as well, shows that baptism connects people closer to God and is an important thing to do for Him.
Models of Relationships Throughout his life, Jesus formed many relationships that show us good models of friendship and care. Jesus forms a relationship with his disciples, Joseph, and Mary, showing us different benefits and lessons in each connection.
The Call of the Disciples
Huebscher 12 The basic definition of a disciple is a student. There were many disciples, but there were only twelve traditional apostles. An apostle is a messenger that preaches their teachers word; to become an apostle you must first become a disciple. Jesus gathered his first two disciples from John. As he walked past, John said “behold, the Lamb of God” (John 1:36) and the two disciples of John followed Jesus. Jesus asked them what they were looking for and they replied, “’rabbi’ (which translated means Teacher), where are you staying?’” (John 1:38). The disciples’ response is important because it means that they want to know where Jesus is and follow him. Soon, Jesus becomes a rabbi to many more disciples, who
then become Jesus’ twelve appointed apostles. Simon, who was called Peter, was the favorite of the apostles, while Judas was the most disliked because he became a traitor. Jesus’ relationship with his disciples shows us that if we follow Jesus, he will lead us down the right path and help us become better examples of God’s image.
Jesus and Joseph Although not much is written about Jesus’ relationship with Joseph in the Bible, it is obvious that their connection is much like any other father and son. Even though Jesus is not Joseph’s son by blood, Joseph readily accepts Jesus and cares for him. He raises Jesus just like any father would raise a son and truly cares for him. This relationship shows us how to care for one another and take them in, even if they are not related to us by blood.
Jesus and Mary The most important thing we can know about Mary is that everything we say about her must lead us back to Jesus. This means that anything we answer about who Mary was, must give us an understanding of who Jesus was. To start, Mary is
both Christotokos (“Mother of Christ”) and Theototokos (“Mother of God”). Calling
Huebscher 14 Mary only Christotokos means that Jesus is only Christ and not God. To be Christ, you do not need to be divine (like God), you only need to be rubbed with holy oils. Therefore, calling Jesus only Christ would mean that he is not divine. The danger of calling Mary only Theototokos would be that it would break the most important thing we can know about Mary, which is everything we say about her must lead us back to Jesus. Through Mary’s assumption, she is taken to heaven –body and soul- by God. God does not allow her to decay because she is the undying mother of God, and therefore the undying mother of all. Another important thing we must know about Mary is that she was born through Immaculate Conception, meaning she was conceived without original sin. God prepared Mary to carry his word (Jesus) by protecting her from sin and filling her with grace. However, even though Mary had never sinned, she still needed Jesus to save her from future sin. The Immaculate Conception shows us that God will always try to find a way to save us from sin. All these facts about Mary help us to better understand Jesus and God. Marry willingly accepts to birth God’s child and look after both beings, playing the part of a loving mother. She is also an important character in the Bible because she
Huebscher 15 additionally plays the part of an unending mother. Therefore, Jesus’ relationship with Mary teaches us about care, love, and most importantly Jesus.
God’s Love Through Jesus If you pay close attention to each section in this chapter, you will notice that each event in Jesus’ life has a purpose that teaches us an important lesson. Through Jesus’ life, God protects us from sin and teaches us how to love, care, teach, and exist more purposefully, which most completely shows God’s love.
Unit 8: Jesus’ Showing of the Kingdom of God What is the Kingdom of God? The Kingdom of God, which can also be called the Reign of God because they mean the same thing, is the control of God over the hearts of people. Because of this, a group of people is created that live a life filled with never ending love. In fact, the Kingdom of God can also be explained as an example of our response to God’s love as caritas. Caritas means love as “willing the good of others as other”. For example, if your mom packs your favorite snack of all time in your lunch, but you see a kid that does not have a lunch, you can give him your snack and truly show your love as caritas, which will bring you closer to living in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God starts on Earth, but its fullness cannot be understood until the end
Huebscher 17 of time. To become a part of the group of people that live to enter the Kingdom of God, you must live in Imago Dei, meaning the image of God. This means that you must follow God’s word, follow Jesus’ actions, and listen to the ways in which Jesus describes the Kingdom. For example, if you forgive your friends, love everyone (even people you think are your enemies), and try your best to listen to all the things God wants you to do, you will be taken care of in the Kingdom of God�. The Kingdom of God is revealed by Jesus through many events in his life. As you read through this chapter, you will learn about some of the ways Jesus reveals the Kingdom of God to us. Color me:
Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God Before we learn about the actual events Jesus uses to describe the kingdom, we must first understand the main idea Jesus wants us to know about it. The
Huebscher 18 Kingdom of God is not only a physical place, it is a spiritual and emotional one too. We learn this fact through Jesus’ changing of the laws in the Old Testament. Jesus changes these laws by forbidding the thing that causes the sin, rather than only forbidding the sin. In Mathew chapter 5, the author writes that Jesus says, “you have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘you shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgement.’ But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother is liable to judgement” (Mat 5:21-22a). This passage explains that in the Old Testament, the law said that it was a sin to kill. Jesus changes this law by saying that the real sin is feeling the emotion of anger because anger causes murder. Color us:
Signs of the Kingdom of God The signs of the Kingdom of God are shown by Jesus through many events including his miracles, the parables, and the Beatitudes. Along with these events,
Huebscher 19 we see the signs of Jesusâ€™ divinity, or his likeness to God. We can see these signs because as Jesus performs magical events that surprise humans (these show the signs of his divinity), we also see that God has brought down His Kingdom to Earth for Jesus to share with us though events in his life (these show the signs of the Kingdom of God). As Jesus finishes each event, we understand the Kingdom of God a little more and how we must act to enter it.
Miracles Miracles are things that happen but cannot be explained by the human world. For example, you are walking home from school in a thunder storm. You are scared, but suddenly the storm stops, and the clouds go away, making it a bright and sunny day. This is considered a miracle because something divine (god-like) has happened
Huebscher 20 that you cannot explain. In the Bible, Jesus performs four types of miracles: 1. The Nature Miracle, which involves the natural world, 2. The Healing Miracle, which involves making a person healthy again, 3. The Restoration Miracle, which involves bringing a human back to life from death, and 4. The Exorcism Miracle, which involves bringing in light to get rid of Evil. In each of his miracles, Jesus teaches us a lesson about the things the Kingdom of God can do for us if we simply have faith in it. Bag fries: faith is not something you do, it is something you have inside of you. To get a miracle, you need to have faith (your heartâ€™s whole belief in something). Color me:
The Nature Miracle
Huebscher 21 In his Nature Miracle, Jesus and his disciples cross the sea in a boat. On their way to the other side, there is a storm that causes waves to crash on the boat. His disciples then say to Jesus, “’Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, ‘Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?’. (Mark 4:38b-40). This passage explains that the Kingdom of God will always protect you if you have faith in it.
Can you make this?
The Healing Miracle
Huebscher 22 In his Healing Miracle, Jesus is on his way to restore a twelve-year-old woman from death. As he walks, there is a large crowd that follows him. In this crowd, there is a woman who suffers from hemorrhages (the escape of blood from a broken blood vessel in the body) that she has had for twelve years. In the Gospel according to Mark, the author writes of the girl, “she said, ‘If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.’ Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction” (Mark 5:28,29). Jesus asks his disciples who has touched him. When he realizes it was the woman who has just been healed, he says, “’daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction’” (Mark 5:34). In this miracle, Jesus teaches us, once again, that if you indeed have faith in the Kingdom of God, it will heal you. Color me:
The Restoration Miracle After Jesus heals the woman of hemorrhages, he continues his journey to restore the twelve-year-old woman from death. Many people believe that there is
Huebscher 23 nothing Jesus can do to save the woman from death, but the woman’s father keeps his faith. When Jesus enters the house, he sees a crowd of people crying and asks, “’why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.’ And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum,’ which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise!’ The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. [At that] they were utterly astounded.” (Mark 5:39-42). In this miracle, we are taught again that if we continue to keep our faith, no matter what, our souls will live forever in the Kingdom of God. Bag fries: In this miracle, it is important to remember that Jesus did not resurrect the woman, instead he restores her. This difference is important because the word “resurrect” means that the woman would come back to life and never die again. Jesus “restores” the woman, which means that the woman has come back to life, but she will eventually die like all the other creatures on Earth. Color me:
The Exorcism Miracle In the Exorcism Miracle, Jesus crosses the sea to the territory of Gerasenes. As he gets off the boat, a man with an unclean spirit walks up to him and begs Jesus to release him of his unclean spirit. The man says that his name is “Legion”, which means many, referring to the large amount of evil spirits within him. Meanwhile, a large herd of swine is eating in the hills and Jesus sends Legion to go to them. Legion does what Jesus says and as he walks through the herd, the evil spirts inside him are released into the swine. The swine go crazy and rush into the sea to drown, but Legion is now in a good state of mind. The swineherds (people who take care of the swine) spread the word about what has happened, and the people beg Jesus to leave their area. “As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. But he would not permit him but told him instead, ‘Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.’” (Mark 5:18,19). Once again, this miracle teaches us that if we have faith in the Kingdom of God, it will protect us from the evil within ourselves.
Huebscher 25 Now that you have read the four types of miracles Jesus performs in the bible, it is clear that we must have faith to become a part of the Kingdom of God and build it with our love and faith. If we do this, we will be saved, healed, restored, and cleared of all evil in the Kingdom of God! Color me:
Parables In its easiest definition, a parable is a metaphor or simile (something that compares one thing to another). Parables are set in daily life and usually have a surprise ending, however each parable can never be fully understood. In the Gospel according to Luke, the author tells many parables (stories about Jesus telling a story). Each parable is meant to teach the reader a lesson about how we should act in order to enter the Kingdom of God. A parable contains four parts: 1. The introduction in which Jesus introduces the parable (a parable is commonly introduced when one of Jesusâ€™ disciples asks a question), 2. The conflict, which is the part in the story where the characters face a problem, 3. The twist in which the characters do something you did not expect, and 4. The resolution where the
Huebscher 26 problem is fixed and the reader has learned a lesson about how to enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus tells many parables in order to teach his disciples. As you read some of the parables he tells, you will also be taught some important life lessons that can be applied to your life. Do me:
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant In the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, the introduction occurs when one of Jesusâ€™ disciples (Peter) ask him "Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him?" (Matt 18:21). Jesus then replies with the introduction of a parable about a master that is collecting money from his debtors (people who owe someone money). The masterâ€™s first debtor does not have enough money (which represents the conflict of the parable) and the master threatens to sell him and all his family and properties, but the master later shows mercy and forgives the debtorâ€™s debt (the money a debtor owes) and lets him go. Later in the day, the first debtor goes to collect money from his fellow servant, who is in much less debt than the first debtor was to his master. However, when the second debtor says he
Huebscher 27 does not have enough money, the first debtor shows no mercy and puts him in prison until he pays, representing the twist of the parable. When the first debtorâ€™s master hears of this news from his other servants, he ridicules (talks bad to) the first debtor and hands him over to the torturers until he pays back his whole debt, which represents the resolution of the story. In the beginning of the parable, Peter asks the Lord how often he must forgive the people who sin against him. Jesus answers this question through the telling of his parable. The masterâ€™s actions represent the way God wants us to act as forgivers, while the first debtor represents the way you act if you want to ignore Godâ€™s word. At first, the master forgives the first debtor of his debt, like in the way God forgives us of our sins. However, the first debtor is not protected from his debt once the master finds out he has not forgiven the debt of another, like in the way God will not forgive us of our sins if we do not forgive others. Therefore, on the surface (because we can never fully understand the meaning of parables) this parable explains that the Kingdom of God will forgive our sins if we forgive the sins of others. Do me:
The Parable of the Good Samaritan The introduction to the Parable of the Good Samaritan occurs when a scholar of the law (someone who is talented in the subject of the law) asks Jesus, “and who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29) in reference to the greatest commandment which states that “you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:28b). Jesus then replies with the introduction to a parable about a Jewish man walking from Jerusalem to Jericho. The conflict is brought about when the Jewish man is robbed, stripped naked, beaten, and left half-dead in the street. He was not circumcised, which could be seen by everyone because he was stripped naked. This meant that the man was breaking God’s covenant (a
Huebscher 29 serious agreement between God and another in which commitments are made by both people in the agreement) with Abraham. The covenant ordered that all of Abraham’s descendants (the Jewish) must be circumcised. As the Jewish man is lying in the street, a Jewish priest and a Levite (one who is in the Hebrew tribe of Levi and is therefore Jewish) see the injured man and walk on the other side of the street because they realize the man is not circumcised. However, a Samaritan (an enemy of the Jewish) later walks by and helps the Jewish man with his injuries, representing both the twist and resolution of the parable because the man was helped by an enemy of his people. The scholar of the law asks who his neighbor is at the beginning of this parable. At the end, Jesus replies and asks the scholar, “’which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?’ He answered, ‘The one who treated him with mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise’”. (Luke 10:36,37). This parable teaches us that the Kingdom of God wants us to love our God, our neighbor, ourselves, and even our enemies.
Huebscher 32 The last way in which Jesus defines the Kingdom of God is through the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are the laws people must follow to be happy and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. They were first introduced by Jesus while giving his discourse (long speech) on the “Sermon on the Mount”. Each beatitude starts with the words “Blessed are”, meaning that if we follow the law in each beatitude, we will be blessed and welcomed into the Kingdom of God. For example, it is said that when Jesus’ was crucified (nailed on to a cross) he was the happiest man because he was doing the will of his father and following the eighth beatitude which states, “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mathew 5:10). This beatitude states that the ones who are persecuted (tortured or harassed) for their belief and pride will be sent to the kingdom of heaven, which makes us understand why Jesus is so happy to be carrying out this beatitude. The Beatitudes include the following: 1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 2. Blessed are they who mourn for they will be comforted. 3. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. 4. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. 5. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Huebscher 33 6. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. 7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 8. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The first and fourth beatitudes state that the poor in spirit and they who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed because they are the ones who need God and are not attached to materials, making them unable to commit idolatry (the worshipping of a false god, such as the worshipping to a phone) and become filled with greed. The second and sixth beatitudes state that the clean of heart and they who mourn are blessed because they cannot be influenced by pleasure. The third and seventh beatitudes state that the meek and the peacemakers are blessed because they will follow God and not be influenced by power. Lastly, the eighth and fifth beatitudes state that the merciful and they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness are blessed because they show pride and love and cannot be influenced by the need for honor. These beatitudes are important because they protect us from the influence of bad things. Therefore, if you follow the eight Beatitudes you will be blessed, happy and protected from influence by the Kingdom of God. Do me:
The Purpose and Ideas of the Kingdom of God In this chapter, we have learned the ways in which Jesus teaches us about the expectations (how we should act, think, and feel) we must carry out in order to enter the Kingdom of God and build it through our response to Godâ€™s love (his will to help us do what is right in order to benefit us). God creates these expectations in the kingdom to help us become better people and live better lives, which would only benefit ourselves. Therefore, our response to Godâ€™s love (the way we act to
Huebscher 35 obey God’s word) will help to build his kingdom and make a bigger impact on the world. As Jesus introduces the Kingdom of God to the world, we get a deeper understanding of God’s love for us. He only wants us to do the right thing simply because it will benefit us. However, we will never fully realize the Kingdom of God until the end of our time when we finally enter the gates to the Kingdom. As stated before, the Kingdom of God is not only a physical place, it is a spiritual and emotional one too that helps us live a better life on Earth through our response to God’s love, that is what the kingdom is all about!
Unit 9: The Church’s Response to God’s Revelation
How does God reveal himself to humanity? God reveals himself to the human world through the holy Trinity. The Trinity is made up of three persons who are together one, distinct (separate from each other), and equal. The persons of the Trinity include the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Together, these persons make up the one, true God. REMEMBER: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all one, distinct, and equal persons that make up the nature of God (who He is on the inside)! The Shield of the Trinity:
Can you create the same picture?
How does the Church respond to Godâ€™s revelation? I know you may be a little confused, but do not worry, it took a while for the Church to understand Godâ€™s revelation through the trinity too. In fact, many heresies (false teachings of who God is) were created before the Church realized the truth about the true nature and being of God. Heresies were created by people
Huebscher 37 trying to understand how one God could be three persons (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) at the same time. Furthermore, since the Trinity is made of three, people were afraid that if they worshipped the holy Trinity, they would carry out polytheism (a sin which is the worshipping of more than one God). Because of the many misunderstandings about the Trinity, several heresies were created to try to explain what the Trinity truly was. However, these heresies quickly turned into very wrong ideas about what the Trinity truly is and how God reveals himself to us through it. Some of these heresies include: Arianism, Modalism, Gnosticism, Adoptionism, and the Prosopic Union.
Arianism According to the Arianism heresy, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not divine, and they are not God, but they rather were created by the Father. It states that only the Father is God and divine, and Jesus is simply an angel sent by the Father to save us from sin. To better understand the meaning of this heresy, imagine that you are in class and need help with your math. You ask your teacher for help, but instead of the teacher coming, he or she sends another kid over to help you because he or she does not have the time to help you. While this heresy solves the problem of carrying out polytheism (because it states that there is only one Godthe Father), it has some major flaws that go against the knowledge of who God is.
Huebscher 38 This heresy states that God sent down an angel to save us from sin, rather than coming down to save us himself. This fact would mean that God does not have time for us, thus meaning that God does not love us. THIS FACT IS SOOOOO WRONG!!!!! Furthermore, this heresy explains that the persons of the Trinity are distinct, but it denies (does not agree) that they are one and equal.
Fun Fact: This is Saint Nicholas (the man we get the name St. Nick [Santa Clause] from). He punched Arius (the man who created Arianism) in the face because he got tired of hearing Arius speak.
Modalism Modalism states that there is in fact one God, but that He puts on different masks when He acts as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In this way, God takes on different forms to fulfill the responsibilities of the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. To help you understand this heresy, think of it like this: your mom
Huebscher 39 goes to work and acts as a worker, wearing her work clothes. When she gets home from work, she acts as a mother and changes into a different role, carrying out her responsibilities as a mother. She drives you to soccer, but she is also the coach, giving her another role of coaching other kids to become better soccer players. Like in the Arianism heresy, Modalism also solves the problem of not committing polytheism. However, Modalism does deny the fact that the persons of the Trinity are distinct. This heresy states that God is fully the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son, meaning that there is no distinction between the three persons of God and that God is only one. This is very wrong! God, along with the Trinity, is all about love. If we remember the definition of love (if you do not remember, check out pages 3 and 4), we can see that to create love, we need more than one person. Love is all about willing the good of another, meaning that we must have another. If Modalism states that God is only one person, it would mean that there is no love within Him. The Trinity reveals God as three persons who love each other. It is not only about 1 person!
Gnosticism This heresy believes that the Father put his divine spark into Jesus, which made Jesus divine. Furthermore, it states that when Jesus died, the spark went back to the Father. For example, imagine Jesus as a piĂąata, with his body being the piĂąata itself and the divine sparks being the good candy inside. This heresy agrees to the fact that the persons of the trinity are distinct, but it denies that they are equal. This heresy describes the spirit of Jesus (his divinity) as good, but the body of Jesus as bad. If this heresy were true, it would mean that the body of Christ, as well as the bodies of all humans, are evil. In communion, we receive the body of Christ as something sacred (holy) and not evil. Humans need our bodies to survive. So how can something so important be evil? Therefore, this heresy cannot be true.
Huebscher 41 This heresy states that Jesus was once man, but he was adopted by the Father and thus became partly divine through his baptism. To better understand Adoptionism, imagine that your parents have just adopted a child from China. This child was born Chinese, but through its adoption, the child became American. Although this heresy agrees that the Son is distinct from the Father, it also denies the Father and the Son as being one and equal. Furthermore, it denies Jesus as being fully divine and states that he only became partly divine through his adoption. This heresy states that Jesus was a regular human like us and was simply adopted by the Father. In a way this could mean that a regular human being could be adopted by the Father and become God too, however that can never happen.
The Prosopic Union
Huebscher 42 At first, the Catholic church had many questions when it came to the idea of who God was and how he related to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. A common question asked during this time was: did God die when Jesus died on the cross? To answer this question, the Prosopic Union was created by Nestorius of Constantinople (in the past, the capital city of the Roman Empire). Nestorius believed that Jesus was half human and half divine, rather than being fully human and fully divine. This heretical (incorrect) theory answers the question of “did God die when Jesus died on the cross?” by saying that only Jesus’ human side died on the cross. It also explains how Jesus carried out his divine actions and human actions separately. For example, this theory states that when Jesus got an ice cream with three scoops, his human side jumped with joy. However, when Jesus performed his miracles, his divine side was in control. But, this heresy, like all others, has a major problem in agreeing with who God is as the Trinity. If only Jesus’ divine part resurrected, and his human part remained dead, then we would have no connection with Jesus or the resurrection (a symbol of hope). This heresy also states that God remains separate from the human part of Jesus, and the human world itself, but we know that God is always with us and remains a part of us forever.
The Hypostatic Union Now that we have learned all the things God is not, we must now understand most of what God is. The Hypostatic Union, like the Prosopic Union, was created in response to the question: did God die when Jesus died on the cross? However, the Prosopic Union is heretical (wrong), while the Hypostatic Union is orthodox (correct). The Hypostatic Union states that Jesus is fully human and fully divine. It states that all of Jesusâ€™ actions were carried out by both his humanity and his divinity. This would mean that God stays with us through the whole of Jesusâ€™ life and truly experiences everything with us, including life and death. The Hypostatic Union states that God died on the cross with Jesus and has always been with us!!! This theory, unlike the other heresies, agrees with the facts we know about God and the Trinity. God as the Trinity is three persons in one nature. Jesus is God!
Who are the persons of the Trinity?
Huebscher 44 We now know a little more about who God is as the Trinity, but do we really know about the persons who make up the Trinity, and therefore God. The Trinitarian belief states that the Trinity is made of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Together, these persons make up the nature of who God is. They are all equal, distinct, and one God. This belief is the correct teaching of who God is, and most importantly, it is the central belief in the Christian faith. The Father is the loving creator of an ordered and good Earth and heaven. Through the Father, we learn that God makes himself known as the creator. Through him, we learn that God simply is. Through the Hypostatic Union, we learn that the Son is fully divine and fully human, as the Creed of Chalcedon (created by the Council of Chalcedon) says of Jesus, “the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons”. This creed states the truth that Jesus’ divinity and humanity are not separated, but are rather joined together. REMEMBER: Although we are all children of God, Jesus is the only begotten son of God. God created humanity, however our parents truly begot (birthed) us and gave us life. It is in this way we realize that Jesus is the only begotten (born) Son of God. The Holy Spirit is the divine inspiration of God. The root word for inspiration is “spirate”, which in Latin means “to breathe”. In
Huebscher 45 essence, the divine inspiration is the holy breath that inspires us and gives us life. Throughout this whole book, we have learned that God is all about love, therefore the Trinity and the persons of the Trinity are all about love too. Through our research on the persons of the Trinity, we learn that the Father is the Lover, the Son is the beloved (one who is loved), and the Holy Spirit is simply Love. Therefore, the persons of the Trinity show us that God is truly LOVE!!!
The Nicene Creed In 325 CE, Constantine (the Roman emperor at the time) ordered a group of people to gather in Nicea (modern-day Turkey). He gathered this group because he wanted them to establish who Jesus really was and how he was connected to God. Since the group met in Nicea, they were thus referred to as the Council of Nicea. To help you understand, imagine the council in this way: you are watching TV and the news comes on. The TV reporter says that the President of the United States
Huebscher 46 is going to have a very important meeting with congress (the law makers of the country) about how a new law should work. In a way, the President’s meeting is like the meeting carried out by the Council of Nicea because they are both trying to solve an issue. The Council of Nicea was split into two disagreeing sides. On one side, the people agreed with the ideas of Arius (the creator of the Arianism heresy), and the other was led by Bishop Alexander. Some of the problems the council had to deal with were the problems the many heresies tried to explain: 1. The Trinity states that God is three separate and equal persons in one God, but how can there be three separate people in one? And 2. If we are supposed to worship the Trinity, which holds three persons, how do we not commit polytheism (the worshipping of more than one God)? It took the Council some time to figure these issues out, but they did it!!! The Council of Nicea established the Nicene Creed, a piece of scripture explaining how God reveals himself in the form of the Trinity. Furthermore, the Nicene Creed correctly answers all the questions the heresies were meant to explain. The fear of carrying out polytheism is relieved by the Creed’s statement, “I believe in one God” (1). The question of how there can be three persons in one God is answered through the Creed’s remark, “for us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man” (12-14), which explains that the Father came
Huebscher 47 from heaven and by the Holy Spirit, he became man, thus showing that God is three distinct and equal persons in one. Furthermore, the Nicene Creed corrects all the heresies and proves they are wrong. This is extremely important because it shows that the Nicene Creed teaches Catholics everything that God is, meaning that the Creed is truly the center scripture of the Christian belief: God is revealed by the Trinity, which is made of three equal and distinct persons who together form one.
Review Throughout this whole book, we have learned that everything God does, shows his unconditional, selfless, and true love for us. Through the Trinity, we learn that God is love Himself. Since God is all about love, doesnâ€™t that teach us that we should love like Him? Godâ€™s divine revelation (His showing of Himself to humanity) is seen through two ways: scripture (his word) and tradition (his teachings). Together, scripture and tradition make up our deposit of faith (where
Huebscher 48 we put our faith). To accomplish our deposit of faith, we must learn and live through both scripture and tradition; we cannot have one without the other. Therefore, to fulfill our Catholic faith and life, we must truly live by the scripture and traditions created by the all-loving God!
How will you act like a child of God?
In loving memory of Mr. Lopez: Religion teacher Freshman year 2017-2018