How do I get closer to Jesus

Jesus' message

Jesus was not a founder of religion. He did not want to preach a new doctrine of salvation or found a new religious organization. He emphasized the redeeming and liberating elements of the Jewish religion. Jesus was keen to get his message across in a language that everyone could understand. He often chose the pictorial form of the parables, the meaning of which he spoke to the audience. In them he proclaimed the love of God, which he himself realized by seeking closeness to the poor and people who have been cast out from society.

Law of love and Beatitudes

The Jewish commandment of love and the Sermon on the Mount are part of the central message of Jesus. The double commandment of love (Matthew 22: 37-40) reads:

    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your thinking and with all your strength. And the second is this: You should love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and all power depend on these two commandments. "

The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) contains, among other things, the so-called Beatitudes (Blessed are the merciful ...), which describe the basic order of the rule of God. In his speech, Jesus also deals with Jewish legislation. He renews or radicalizes Jewish commandments in order to make the underlying original will of God more effective. He does this by virtue of immediate authority in a power of attorney (It was said to the ancients ... but I tell you).

Interpretation of the Jewish commandments

Jesus' message and ministry were entirely related to Israel. He lived in anticipation of the imminent end of the world, as announced in the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible. (The Hebrew Bible was only later referred to by Christians as the Old Testament.) What was special about the teaching of Jesus also became clear in the examination of Jewish teaching and the Jewish understanding of the law. Jesus differed from the other rabbis because he interpreted the statements of the Tanakh very freely. For example, he reduced the abundance of the 613 individual commandments to the one Jewish commandment to love God and one's neighbor. His aim was to re-grasp and uncover the meaning of the law. He took the law as an indication of the original creative will of God and his love for human beings, but criticized it where it obscured this will of God. So he repeatedly violated the strict Sabbath rules, which forbade any work on this day and, for example, only allowed the sick to be healed in emergencies, with the words:

“The Sabbath was created for man's sake, and not man for the Sabbath's sake”. (Mark 2:27)

Jesus' self-image, in particular his claim to power with which he reinterpreted Jewish teaching, brought him into conflict with representatives of Jewish law. In the eyes of the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus' behavior was considered a blasphemy.

Image of God

Jesus did not see the end of the world and the associated coming of God as a judgment (like John the Baptist, for example), from which one could only be saved with radical obedience to the law and asceticism. Rather, he proclaimed the rule of God as an event that transforms the present conditions in a salutary way and brings people into communion with God. This event was already present for Jesus.

Jesus' message reads: God is devoted to people like a Father. This image of God is made clear in the main Christian prayer, the Lord's Prayer. The prayer in the Jewish tradition also represents the most important connecting prayer between Judaism and Christianity. In his parables Jesus repeatedly proclaims the Heavenly Father.