The Teaching of Jesusby Rev. George Jackson B.A., Desmond Gahan (Editor)
It is natural and fitting in an attempt to understand the teaching of Jesus that we should begin with His doctrine of God. For a man's idea of God is fundamental, regulative of all his religious thinking. As is his God, so will his religion be. Given the arc we can complete the circle; given a man's conception of God, from that we can construct the main outlines of his creed. What, then, was the teaching of Jesus concerning God?
Christ, we must remember, did not, in His teaching, begin de novo. He never forgot that He was speaking to a people whose were the law and the prophets and the fathers; throughout He assumed and built upon the accepted truths of Old Testament revelation. To have addressed elaborate arguments in proof of the existence of God to the Jews would have been a mere waste of words; for that faith was the very foundation of their national life. Nor did Christ speak about the "attributes" of God. Again that was not His way. He chose to speak in the concrete rather than in the abstract, and, therefore, instead of defining God, He shows us how He acts. In parable, in story, and in His own life He sets God before us, that so we may learn what He is, and how He feels toward us.
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