Jesus the Prophet of Peace: The Language of Peace in the Christian Scripture

Jesus the Prophet of Peace: The Language of Peace in the Christian Scripture

Today, I presented my paper, “Jesus the Prophet of Peace: The Language of Peace in the Christian Scripture”.  My presentation was made at San Diego State University, sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, as part of a is 2-day “Symposium on Scripture, Hermeneutics and Language.” The event involved scholars from the Islamic, and Christian faiths, each presenting papers on their sacred scriptures. Speakers came from far away as Saudi Arabia to present their ides.

Following is the summary of my paper and you can download the PDF below.

People of the the three great Abrahamic religions acknowledge the truth of God has been revealed to Man in the Hebrew Bible. For the Christian, that revelation extends to what the Christian believer knows as the Greek New Testament. One area of agreement among those of different faith traditions is that Jesus was a prophet of God. The fulfillment of Jesus’ prophetic office was evidenced in both his earthy life and in the work of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus sent after ascending to heaven. From the beginning of creation recorded in the book of Genesis, God ordained humanity for peace, but the sin of Adam and Eve brought chaos and conflict. All men and women of peace, now look for a restoration of that order through Jesus of Nazareth, the Prophet of Peace.

Download PDF of Paper
Conversations on the Crapper

Conversations on the Crapper

I don’t know about you, but I could use a break from all the serious stuff.  So here’s the deal, I made a little animation to go along with a somewhat true story.  How many puns can you find?

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I was recently at a conference and during the break I went into the bathroom. Upon entering, I heard a man talking in one of the stalls. At first I thought maybe he was helping his kid. I was soon flushed with embarrassment when I realized there was only one voice talking. “Maybe the bathroom talker was crazy?” Nope. It turns out that he was on his cell phone. Apparently this guy was such an important person, that he could not even spare a few minutes to sit and ponder life’s great issues. Since that time, I have come across at least three other men working their flapper on the potty. It really bowled me over to discover so many people talk on the phone while using the john.

Thomas Crapper, Inventor

How important can any one person be that they must have their conversations on the crapper?

Maybe the guy was a brain surgeon helping guide his colleague through an intricate procedure to transplant a brain?

Could it be that he was on the line with the President trying to talk him out of dumping a load of nuclear bombs on Iran?

Maybe he was helping his mom bake a loaf and she needed instructions on how to work the oven?

Maybe the IRS was auditing the guy’s assets, and this was his last chance to talk with his accountant?

Come to think of it… nobody is so important that they cannot put a lid on it for a few minutes of private time in the water closet. I can’t imagine Thomas Crapper* or Alexander Bell thought their commodious inventions would lead to such ends. Do people really feel so overwhelmed in life that they must have conversations on the crapper?

 

You can’t handle the truth!

One of the most powerful movie scenes of all time puts us in the middle of a courtroom showdown between an apathetic JAG lawyer Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) who is in a battle of wits against Col. Nathan R. Jessup (Jack Nicholson). In 1992 classic, “A Few Good Men” Lt. Kaffee demands answers from Col. Jessup regarding the accusation of illegal orders he gave that resulted in the death of a young Marine. Lt. Kaffee, risking his own career, screams at Col. Jessup, “I want the truth!” Col. Jessup retorts with a simple yet powerful line, “You can’t handle the truth!”

Two-Thousand years ago, Jesus stood in the courtroom of Pontius Pilate, the Roman Prefect ruling over Judea. There was no yelling or screaming in this courtroom, yet this trial for the life of Jesus was just as tense . Here we encounter a real-life drama centered around this same issue of Truth. In the Gospel of John we pick up at the pinnacle of this scene.

John 18:33–38 (ESV)

33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him.

Truth is something that matters to all of us. Whether it is in a court of law where we seek justice, or with our kids as we seek to raise them well.. truth matters. However, we also live in a time when the “truth” is considered very transient and personal. For Col. Jessup, truth was something he could abuse to serve his own goals, to Pontius Pilate, truth could be shaped to suit the best end, but for Jesus.. truth was an absolute reflection of the Father and His will for humanity.

As we move toward Easter Sunday, consider each of these verses below. This is every occurrence of the word “truth” in the Gospel of John from the ESV translation. Read each verse and respond to these questions.

  • What is the relationship between God, the Father, and truth?
  • What is the truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection? Why does it matter?
  • What role does the Holy Spirit play in bringing truth into your life?
  • How would you answer Pilate’s question, “What is truth?”

John 1:14

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:17

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 4:23

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

John 4:24

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 5:33

You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.

John 8:32

and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:40

but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did.

John 8:44

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

John 8:45

But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.

John 8:46

Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:17

even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

John 15:26

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.

John 16:7

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

John 16:13

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

John 17:8

For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.

John 17:17

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

John 17:19

And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

John 18:37

Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

John 18:38

Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him.

John 19:35

He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe.

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