The Historical Jesus: A Context for Christ’s Earthly Teaching

The Person of Jesus: Ken VanHoose's blog

The current series at Spirit Life Church is titled, The Person of Jesus: The historic Jesus, the Exalted Christ. The crux of the first half of this series is understanding the context in which Jesus carried out the earth-bound portion of His ministry. I believe too many Christians and churches have moved away from the simple, powerful message of the Gospel delivered by Jesus and have moved towards formulas, recipes and self-serving doctrines that lack the power of Christ.

According to John 16:13, one of the Holy Spirit’s assignments is to “guide us into all truth concerning Christ.” Therefore as Christians, we should rely on the Holy Spirit to give us the revelation of Jesus. Beyond the Holy Spirit’s guiding and Christ-shaping in our lives, it is vitally important that we study the message of Jesus, as it was recorded during His ministry here on earth by the Gospel writers. As we study God’s word, there are a couple of things to keep in mind if we want to understand the full meaning and comprehend the entire message behind Jesus’ teachings.

There’s a saying that the past is like a foreign country itself. The greater the amount of time that has passed between then and now, the more foreign the culture, customs and normal behaviors of that time seem. This idea is significant, particularly when studying the word of God, because without a proper context, subtle nuances and the full impact of the message of Jesus can become muddled or lost entirely.

Without some understanding of the Civil War era, the speeches of Abraham Lincoln and his powerful words, which stood in bold defiance of the racism and prejudice of the day, would lose some of their power. Consider Martin Luther King’s message which spoke directly to the social structure of the Civil Rights Movement. If you were to move the words of these great men to a different time and place, and didn’t understand where and when they were spoken, the great wisdom and insight contained in them could change dramatically.

The same rule applies to the words and messages of Jesus. We know the Bible is for all people at all times, but there still remains an important social component to the words spoken by Jesus. I urge you to pray and seek understanding about Jesus, His truth and His power in your life.

– Ps. Ken


The Person of Jesus: The historic Jesus, the Exalted Christ is the current series at Spirit Life Church. You can listen to the messages in this series and more on Spirit Life Church’s website or by subscribing to the weekly Spirit Life Church podcast.

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