The person of Jesus - restoration prophet

Notes on the person of Jesus focus on restoration prophet

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The person of Jesus ­ restoration prophet
In Matthew's account of the triumphal entry the crowds think that Jesus is a prophet from
Nazareth and in Luke after the raising of the boy at the Nain the crowds were filled with awe
thinking a great prophet had appeared before them so it is possible that Jesus was interpreted
as a prophet in his lifetime.
There were numerous other prophets around at the time such as the Egyptian and Theuduas
however his illfated attempt to part the Jordan shows he was trying to recreate the exodus
whereas Jesus did not try to recreate events in Jewish salvation history and so fits much more
into the rile and pattern of an oracular prophet such as john the Baptist.
John the Baptist:
Jesus' baptism by John functions as a call similar to that of the great old testament prophets
Isaiah and Ezekiel whilst also suggesting Jesus was closely connected to John who was no
doubt a prophet.
John's message was thoroughly eschatological looking forward to imminent judgement and
emphasising the need for repentance which Jesus certainly shared and so it was likely that
Jesus held John in high esteem.
It is likely that Jesus was heavily influenced by John and this point towards Jesus having a
prophetic role and outlook.
Restoration of the temple:
EP Sanders thinks that Jesus demonstration in the temple shows him as a restoration prophet
as a key part of Jewish eschatological belief was that the restored community would worship
in a new, heavenly and splendid temple.
The temple scroll from the Dead Sea scrolls contains a blueprint for a vast and bejewelled
sanctuary and many texts such as Tobit look forward to a time when the Temple is rebuilt.
Jesus' demonstration is certainly ambiguous as many think it was a swipe at the corruption of
the priesthood but his kingdom focus could well be a sign of future destruction which would
naturally be followed by a divine rebuilding.
The twelve:
A key and generally undisputed feature of Jesus' mission is that he called 12 disciples and for
the Jews the number 12 is associated with the 12 tribes of Israel, scattered and broken up
over time. Part of Jewish longings for the end times was the gathering together of these tribes.
Many texts look forward to the time when there would be mass repentance and a return to
God however repentance does not feature heavily in Jesus' teaching but it is there and we may
assume since it was a feature of early Christian life then it must have some importace.
Mark's summary of Jesus' gospel includes it and he seems to drive the message home in Luke


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