Gospels Week 10: The Resurrection

Reading

Various

Questions

  • Why must Jesus come back?
  • How does Jesus prove it’s really him? Why is that important?

At the end of Mark, Jesus promises that he’ll be with his disciplines “always, to the end of the age.” What age? What is “always”? What is “being with” someone? This week, we discussed the miracle of the Resurrection, and whether it’s important that it be a miracle at all.

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Gospels Week 9: The Passion

Reading

Mark 15; Matthew 27; Luke 23; John 19

Questions

  • Why must Jesus die?
  • What proof can we demand from God?

This week…Jesus died. For our sins, allegedly (although it’s quite unclear in the Gospels whether this is actually what’s going on). It’s a highly pathetic scene, as in, there’s a lot of pathos. Matthew tells us that as he is tortured to death, Jesus of Nazareth cries out, “Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani!” My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Our discussion this week covered free will (of course), anti-Semitism, utilitarianism, Dune, the raising of saints, and snakes that eat their own tails…

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Gospels Week 8: The Last Supper

Reading

Matthew 26:17–29; Mark 14:12–25; Luke 22:7–38; and I Corinthians 11:23–25

Questions

  • Why food and drink? Jesus as food(ie)?
  • Is transubstantiation real?

Jesus’s final meal has spawned a whole host of interpretations. What does it mean to “eat God”? Are we really eating Him? What is “remembrance,” and who must remember? Does Jesus know the significance of what he does? Is this just kind of a weird bro meal that Christians are doomed to relive?

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Gospels Week 5: Parables (Seeds & Virgins)

Reading

The Parable of the Seed (Matthew 4:26–29)

The Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1–12)

Questions

  • Why teach in parables?
  • Why is Jesus obsessed with seeds?  

Today we read three parables in our first week on Jesus’s parable teaching: the Seed, the Mustard Seed (apparently a different seed?) and the Ten Virgins. Jesus teaches in kind of opaque, short stories, a technique that’s mysterious but also highly effective (“Jesus was a freaking genius,” says Azazel).

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Gospels Week 4: The Sermon on the Mount

Reading

Matthew 5–7

Questions

  • Is Jesus a good public speaker?
  • What is prayer?

This week, we read Jesus’s most famous speech: the sermon on the mount. For anyone who’s remotely familiar with Jesus’s teachings, it’s kind of a Top Hits: we’ve got good stuff on the poor inheriting the earth, justice, turning the other cheek, and loving one’s neighbour.

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Gospels Week 3: Temptation

Reading

Matthew 4

Luke 4

Questions

  • Is this Garden of Eden part 2: Revenge of Satan? Is it Jesus having hallucinations from dehydration?
  • Is this a flood parallel, a fasting ritual, a cleansing? 

In Mark, the testing of Jesus in the desert is limited to a single verse:

And the Spirit immediately drove [Jesus] out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

Mark 1:12 (NSRV)

Matthew and Luke—the two gospels that derive from Mark plus the speculated Q-source—both elaborate on this desert-testing in interesting ways. They seem to respond to the same questions we might have when we consider the sparse Markan verse above: What was Jesus up to for forty days? What did Satan say to him? and how did he respond?

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Gospels Week 2: Baptism

Reading

Matthew 3:13–17

Mark 1:9–11

Luke 3:21–22

John 1:29–34

Questions

  • Water vs. blood… which is thiccer?
  • How do we begin anew?

The gospels differ in the amount of detail they give about Jesus’ early life. But all four feature a baptismal scene in which Jesus is baptised by (or at least meets up with) John (the Baptist…of Jesus, and many other people apparently).

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Gospels Week 1: The Core Four

Reading

Matthew 1:1–5

Mark 1:1–5

Luke 1:1–5

John 1:1–5

Questions

  • Why are there four different gospels?
  • Who are the evangelists?

This week, we began our exploration of the Gospels. Each week we’ll look at a different theme, reading all four Gospels simultaneously and comparatively across different events in the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. But this week, we zoomed out again, to ask: What exactly are we reading?

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