According to the New Testaments perspectives, the overall basic teachings and accomplishments of Jesus of Nazareth were a way to follow the Torah and to praise one God, but in a more inward and loving way, incorporating Jesus as the true son of God. (Module Notes,2020). The general theme of Jesus’ teachings was the kingdom of God and the standards of conduct that would prevail in the lives of those who followed the standards that are the will of God. Jesus proclaimed that Gods perfection was the only standard by which personal conduct could be measured (Module Notes,2020). Along with these standards of conduct and the commandments, Jesus developed a tremendous following in Nazareth and in nearby communities. (Matthews,2013). His teaching through parables, miraculous events, and treatment of sinners and undesirables were a refreshing new way of worship for most gentiles and well as many Jews. Jesus preached primarily about love, loving God, loving your neighbor as you love yourself, and to forgive others who have wronged you. Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and that through belief in him and his message, that they will inherit the earth. (Matthews,2013).
Jesus lived among humans and was privy to the life and suffering of the people. He taught through example and through relatable stories (parables) about human problems and how God would want people to behave. He was loving and forgiving and especially kind toward the sick and outcasted members of the society, often healing the sick through miracles. During his ministry he built up a loyal following. He enlisted the help of 12 main disciples (Matthews,2013). These disciples as well as other converts such as Paul helped to spread Jesus’ Christian message throughout the middle east. Jesus also made many enemies in his time. Many powerful leaders were very threatened by him and ultimately arrested and crucified him. (Matthews, 2013). The third day after his death it is believed that he was resurrected from the dead. This affirmed his relation to God and his message, convincing believers that he paid with his life on earth for the sins of mankind. (Matthews, 2013). The resurrection was a sign of God’s salvation offered to all people. These events strengthened this new religion greatly and Jesus message was to be carried all over the world. Many Christians made extreme sacrifices to spread Jesus good word. One important such person was Paul, formerly Saul of Tarsus. (n.d., 2020)
Saul of Tarsus was a Jew and an avid persecution of Christians. He was raised Jewish and found the Christian beliefs to be wrong. However, one day while traveling to Damascus Saul encountered the risen Christ. This encounter disrupted Paul’s beliefs and he quickly converted to Christianity and changed his name to Paul. (n.d., 2020) For the rest of his life Paul worked feverishly to carry the Christian message and find converts. He was skilled at traveling through rough areas and blending in the cities with both gentiles and Jews. His technique was to quickly visit all synagogues and towns preaching his message. He used native language to preach and was relatable to many. Paul was instrumental in bringing Christianity to Greece, Asia Minor, Turkey, and into Europe. (Matthews,2013). Throughout Paul’s ministry he wrote many letters to converts and congregations as a mechanism of instruction on the Christian message. Paul’s letters, called the epistles, are the oldest literature in The New Testament. (Module Notes,2020). In them Paul tried to outline new, Christian ethics for those not raised by the Torah. Christianity because of Paul became a religion for all nations and people, and it included Jews but without the strict requirements of Judaism, such as circumcision. (Matthews,2013). Paul implored Christians to live according to the spirit rather than the Law of the Torah.
Paul continued his great ministry until he was persecuted like many other Christians in Rome circa 64 C.E. Paul’s missionary work, devotion to Jesus, an letters left a prominent impact on Christianity Christians recognized Paul’s importance by preserving his letters which remain part of The New Testament(Module Notes,2020). Paul was chosen by Jesus to go against his own people and beliefs and spread Jesus message throughout the world. (Matthews,2013). He obliged Jesus with remarkable devotion and success, earning him Sainthood and adoration by Christians for centuries to come.
A value that Jesus and Paul preached was to “love thy neighbor”., particularly the sick and the poor. Modern people like myself embrace this value by rendering care to the sick (myself as a nurse) and helping the poor. Charity work is important in out society and Catholic missions and Charities are always at work assisting millions of people globally.
- Matthews, W. (2013). World Religions (Seventh Edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth
- Paul of Tarsus: Saints Resource. (n.d.). Retrieved 2020, from http://saintsresource.com/paul-of-tarsus