Passages overlooked by al-Kadhi
What is Jesus' understanding of himself?
- The one coming with the clouds
- The Parable of the evil tenants
Muslims are prone to say statements like
Jesus was no more a son of God than any other prophet ...
Muslims are questioning the religious authority Jesus has in the view
of Christians. This is legitimate. However, in chapter 21 of Matthew's
gospel account we find the religious leaders of the Jews coming
and question Jesus regarding his identity and authority. Jesus has
to say a lot to them. I trust it will be important for all of us
to pay attention. I would suggest you read all of the chapter. I will only quote here only one parable.
- "Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey.
- When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.
- "The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third.
- Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way.
- Last of all, he sent his son to them. `They will respect my son,' he said.
- "But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, `This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance.'
- So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
- "Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?"
- "He will bring those wretches to a wretched end," they replied, "and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time."
- Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: "`The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone [or cornerstone]; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?
- "Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.
- He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed."
- When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus' parables, they knew he was talking about them.
- They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.
Al-Kadhi has shown great sympathy for the unbelievers among the NT scholars.
The interesting thing about this story is that even most of critical
scholarship holds this parable to be authentic teaching of Jesus. This
should give some motivation to think carefully about its meaning.
Please ponder what or whom Jesus means by
* the landowner
* the vineyard,
* the tenants,
* the servants,
* the son.
What is Jesus' claim about himself?
Compare the terms Jesus uses to describe
* his own relationship to the owner
* the relationship of the other messengers to the owner.
What does this difference say about his and their status
in relationship to God? What is Jesus' self-understanding?
In the light of Jesus' own words, would it be correct to see him
as "only a messenger" like the messengers before him?
The Rebuttal to "What Did Jesus Really Say?"
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