So far as we know, Jesus did not write anything, nor did anyone who had personal knowledge of him. There is no archaeological evidence of his existence. There are no contemporaneous accounts of his life or death: no eyewitness accounts, nor any other kind of first-hand record. All the accounts of Jesus come from decades or centuries later; the gospels themselves all come from later times, though they may contain earlier sources or oral traditions. The earliest writings that survive are the letters of Paul of Tarsus, written 20-30 years after the dates given for Jesus's death. Paul was not a companion of Jesus, nor does he ever claim to have seen Jesus before his death.
Let me paraphrase what Paul is saying here: Jesus married the Church - Christians, you and me, us. The Church is His literal bride. He laid His life down for the Church. And Paul writes that husbands should love their wives in the same way that Jesus loved The Church, and vice-versa. What a daunting task. But what is made clear in this passage is that marriage was designed to display the love that Jesus has for the Church, His bride. It's the closest thing we can get to tasting the kind of love that He has for us - a sacrificing love, a serving love, a selfless love. Do you see what this means? Marriage isn't really about us. It's not. It's about God. It's about the Gospel.
Our hope doesn't rest on our finally getting it together. Our hope rests in Jesus. Jesus in us. It's Christ in us, the hope of glory. Paul says, 'To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory' (Col 1:27). We won't be perfect on this side of heaven. But Jesus is perfect. Always. We are becoming more holy and true. Jesus already is. His name isn't 'Becoming.' It is 'I Am.' Perfection isn't the goal. Jesus is.
And when Jesus declared, 'It is finished, ' He meant it. God's punishment for our sin was paid for, permanently settled, finished- 100 percent. If you have responded in faith to God's free pardon through Jesus, then God will never punish you for your sin. It's finished. No more. If you screw up today or tomorrow (which you will), it's already been paid for through Jesus. 'There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, ' Paul said (Rom. 8: 1). None. God will not and cannot condemn you after He has already condemned Jesus for you. It's impossible. God will never be angry with you since His anger was poured out on Jesus. All of it. One hundred percent. Charis: God's Scandalous Grace for Us (p. 169).
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, / To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul says in Philippians 4:19, 'And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.' Our needs won't be met according to the destitution of the world or to the poverty of our own faith in the moment but according to the riches in Jesus. There's no one richer than him!
I argue that the Jesus of the Gospels is essentially a myth. The Gospels are largely fiction. They were created around the turn of the first and second century in order to give concreteness and substance to the Jesus who, as the Messiah, had appeared to Paul and his fellow apostles in ecstatic visions.
In Ephesians 5, Paul shows us that even on earth Jesus did not use his power to oppress us but sacrificed everything to bring us into union with him. And this takes us beyond the philosophical to the personal and the practical. If God had the gospel of Jesus's salvation in mind when he established marriage, then marriage only 'works' to the degree that approximates the pattern of God's self-giving love in Christ.
Bruce has always been so nice to me, which is crazy, because he's one of my heroes. I'll never forget being at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony the year Bruce and Paul McCartney were inducted. We were at the bar, and Bruce was talking to Paul, and he turned to me and said, 'I can't believe I'm talking to Paul McCartney!' I thought, 'I can't believe I'm talking to Bruce Springsteen, who's talking to Paul McCartney!
The author sees Luke's loyalty to the apostle Paul "depicted architecturally in the great church at Rome known as St. Paul Outside the Walls. There, a statue of Luke holding a writing stylus commemorates not only his work as a Gospel author but his faithfulness to Paul.
Jesus treats patriarchy the way he treats much else of the law and custom of his time: ambiguously, suggestively, and sometimes subversively, but never immediately revolutionarily outside the central matter of his own mission and person... The main scandal of Jesus' career is properly JESUS - not Jesus and feminism, or Jesus and the abolition of slavery, or Jesus and Jewish emancipation, or Jesus and anything else. Those other causes are good, and they are implicit in Jesus' ministry. But they are incipient at best, and Jesus' accommodation to these various social distinctions needs to be acknowledged and then accounted for in one's paradigm regarding gender.
It's only when we understand [Jesus'] presence in the church as being the fulfillment of God's promise in Zephaniah 3:17 to "quiet you with his love" and "rejoice over you with singing" that a crucial aspect of our salvation comes into perspective. Jesus didn't coldly settle accounts for us. He doesn't bark us into improving ourselves. He united us to himself in the glorious communion he has enjoyed for eternity with his heavenly Father. He resides within us to heal the broken places and refresh cauterized hearts. He sings us into a new mode of existence... When, as Paul does, we imagine Jesus singing nations into submission to his rule, our hearts come joyfully under the sway of a love that is infinite and powerful.