Chapter 5 Assignment:      Chapter 5 Assignment Adobe.pdf

Chapter 5 Major Concepts and Notes

Concept A: The Infancy Narratives

The  infancy narratives in Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels can be properly understood in light of the Evangelists’ intentions, which were to provide faith-filled responses to the early church’s interest in Jesus’ birth and early life.

Question. Define infancy narrative and name the Gospels that contain an infancy narrative.

Answer. An infancy narrative is a story about Jesus' birth and early life. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke each contain an infancy narrative.

Question. List the major intentions of each writer of the infancy narratives. Give an example of how each intention is reflected in the writer's narrative.

Answer. Matthew wanted to show his Jewish readers that Jesus was the Messiah they had been waiting for, so he provided a genealogy of Jesus to demonstrate that Jesus was from the line of David. Matthew also wanted to show his Jewish readers that Gentiles often accepted Jesus as the Messiah even though many Jews rejected him. He did this by including the story of the Magi, who were non-Jewish men. And Matthew wanted to portray Jesus as "the new Moses." In Matthew's Gospel the Holy Family flees to Egypt and is called out after Herod's death, reflecting the Exodus.

Luke wanted to show that the Good News is for everyone, especially those who are poor and downtrodden. He brought this point out with the shepherds in his story. [Another possible response is that Luke demonstrates the universality of Jesus' message by offering a genealogy of Jesus that goes back to Adam, who is the father of all people, not just the Jews.]

Concept B: The Hidden Years of Jesus’ Life

With some reservation it can be said that Jesus of History experienced life as a typical Jew of his day.

Question. Why must we be careful about the images we have of Jesus during his early life and hidden years?

Answer. Fanciful images of Jesus can make him sound like a freak of sorts, rather than what the church has continually claimed him to be-the Son of God, certainly, but also a human who was one with us in all things but sin.

Question. Identify at least four influences on Jesus' life while he was growing up.


• He was raised in the Galilean village of Nazareth. It was a community of just a few thousand people and its location led to contact with the languages and ideas of other cultures.

• He probably worked along with his father, who was a carpenter.

• He likely attended school in a room attached to the synagogue, studying the Scriptures and the faith and history of his people.

• He had a faith-filled family life.

Concept C: The Beginnings of Jesus’ Public Life

The stories of Jesus’ baptism and his temptation in the desert provide us with important insights into his self-understanding.

Question. Describe the significance of John the Baptist in the story of Jesus.

Answer. John's task was to prepare the way for Jesus' ministry by calling people to an awareness of their sin and to repentance. John baptized Jesus among others.

Question. Why was the early church uncomfortable with Jesus' accepting baptism? How did Matthew respond to the church's concern?

Answer. The early church was uncomfortable with Jesus' accepting baptism because it seemed to suggest on his part a need for repentance of sin. In response Matthew stated that John was reluctant to baptize Jesus and explained that Jesus accepted baptism "to fulfill all righteousness" (3:15). Jesus' acceptance of baptism was not an admission of sin but, rather, an indication of his willingness to completely immerse himself in the life and concerns of his people.

Question. What two chief lessons did Jesus learn from his baptism?


1. That he was chosen in a special way to proclaim and begin a new kingdom

2. That he would be given the power to fulfill his role through the Spirit of God

Question. What does the story of the three temptations in the desert tell us about Jesus' understanding of his messiahship?

Answer. Jesus rejected the messiahship expected by his people. He refused to use economic, magical, or political power.

Concept D: Wandering Preacher, Unique Teacher

Jesus’ message and the way he shared it clearly set him apart from other teachers of his day. Jesus’ relationship with his disciples, especially the twelve Apostles, was also unique, and it signalled a special role for those who would follow him.

Question. In what ways was Jesus the teacher both similar to and different from the rabbis of his day?

Answer. Jesus was similar to the rabbis of his day in that he roamed from place to place teaching and was accompanied by a band of disciples. He taught in the synagogues or wherever people were willing to gather to listen to him.

He was different from the rabbis in several ways:

• He proclaimed a truly different notion of the Kingdom of God.

• He claimed for himself a special role as the one who would personally establish the Kingdom and embody it.

• He claimed himself as the sole judge of the truth of what he taught.

• He used parables and performed miracles.

Question. Briefly describe Jesus' relationship with his disciples.

Answer. Jesus' relationship with his disciples differed from the relationship that was common between rabbis and their followers:

• The disciples did not choose Jesus; he called them.

• Jesus did not simply share a body of teachings that his disciples were expected to memorize; he called them into a lasting relationship with him.

• The disciples were not only expected to watch and learn from Jesus; they were actually called to share in his mission.

Question. What connection can be made between the twelve Apostles and the early history of the Jews?

Answer. The Israelites at one time consisted of twelve tribes, each descending from one of the twelve sons of Jacob. The early Christian community recognized exactly twelve Apostles to suggest that they would be the foundation of a new community of faith, a new Israel, what we recognize today as the Christian church.

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