Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:59 am Post subject: A simple test
What did Jesus really teach?
By some estimates, better than 40 out of every 100 people in the world believe that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior. Yet, even in regard to fundamental issues relating to their faith, each of the believers holds opinions that differ with everyone else’s.
So who is right? How well do you know Jesus, yourself? And how deeply do you understand what he taught? Take the quick test below to find out.
But no cheating now. Just answer truthfully according to how you really feel. First, complete the test before you look up Jesus’ answers at the end. And prepare to be surprised.
On the left-most blank space, type in the letter “A” if you agree with the statement and “D” if you disagree. Then scroll down twice to find the Solutions.
__ 1 We are humans and mere mortals, we cannot be a god.
__ 2 Jesus is the only son of God.
__ 3 Being only human, we cannot be perfect.
__ 4 Only Jesus can ever do the things that he has done.
__ 5 Non-believers won't be allowed to enter heaven. They must convert to Christianity before they can be saved.
__ 6 Our Church elders are the best qualified to interpret the Divine Teachings because they base their conclusions on the revelations given to the Church and their age-old traditions.
__ 7 We should censor and block all offensive programs, films, pictures, thoughts and ideas from being shown or heard so they won't corrupt or harm our young and innocent.
__ 8 Our observance of prescribed rituals and ceremonies, and the offering of acceptable sacrifices to God will guarantee our entry into heaven.
__ 9 Power, fame and fortune are the true measures of success.
__ 10 Ignorance of the law will not save us from the consequences of our bad decisions.
__ 11 First, aspire for the riches of the world. Heaven can wait.
__ 12 God will not forgive you if you do not forgive others.
__ 13 God does not want us to become victims of injustice, or suffer from wars or natural calamities, or become sick or be poor or die.
__ 14 Jesus already paid for our sins. By his stripes, we are healed. We're sure to go to heaven if we will only believe him.
__ 15 Don't get mad. Get even.
__ 16 We should befriend only those wealthy and successful people who can help us and not bother with no good bums and freeloaders or those sick and disabled do-nothings who can't repay or help us, at all.
__ 17 The voice of the people is the voice of God.
__ 18 The great men of the world are regarded as great also in heaven.
__ 19 God only knows. We humans are not allowed to know everything.
__ 20 Many are called, but only a few will respond to his call.
How the New Testament came to be written
Many believe because it is written in the Gospels. However, perhaps we should first better understand how the Gospels came to be written before we decide to place our total trust in them.
Jesus taught the people directly and he did reveal much more but only to his chosen disciples. In the early days, the gospel message could only be passed on to others by word of mouth. But in the retelling from one disciple to the next, understandably, so much was lost and the message splintered into many different versions that became corrupted, garbled and distorted. It was only a hundred years later that everything was put down in writing, not by those who heard it first-hand, but by monks to whom the message was entrusted by others before them. Contrary to popular belief, while Matthew and John were chosen Apostles, they themselves were not the authors of the Gospels written in their names, according to most Bible scholars.
Mark, Luke and Paul were not even included among the 12 Apostles and were not taught by Jesus, directly. Their appreciation of the stories and teachings relied heavily likewise on the testimonies of others. Further, while his true motivation and intent are beyond reproach, Paul's formulation of his own theology were to some extent influenced by his Roman upbringing and the high ideas taught him by his mentor, Gamaliel. These influences resulted in him departing in no small measure from the teachings of Jesus given to the Apostles. In fact, many modern scholars are of the opinion that the Christianity embraced by most people today is more Paul's than Christ's, since it was Paul who preached and spread the faith to the Gentiles.
The formulation of Church teachings
Centuries after, the whole of Christendom found itself in total chaos, confused as to what Jesus really taught. The ruling majority of early Church Fathers decided to hammer out a unified set of beliefs, later known as the Nicene Creed, that spelled out in explicit detail what in their considered opinion the teachings should be based on their chosen Scriptures and age-old traditions. And nearer our time, disagreements among the flock caused dissension in the ranks that resulted in the breaking away of multitudes of factions and minor sects based on their differing interpretations of the teachings. The confusion still persists, today.
But did Jesus really teach what his followers insist he did?
The Teachings of Jesus, in his own words
1 We are humans and mere mortals, we cannot be a god.
D "Isn’t it written in your Scriptures, ‘You are gods.’" (JN 10)
2 Jesus is the only son of God.
D "Who is my mother? And who are my brothers?" Then he pointed to his disciples and said, "Look! Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does what my Father in heaven wants him to do is my brother, my sister and my mother." (MT 12)
3 Being only human, we cannot be perfect.
D Jesus said, "But you are to become perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." (MT 5)
4 Only Jesus can ever do the things that he has done.
D He also said, "All that I have done, you, too, can do." (JN14)
5 Non-believers won't be allowed to enter heaven. They must convert to Christianity before they can be saved.
D Jesus said, "I have other sheep which are not of this (Judaeo-Christian) fold." (JN 10)
"Don’t stop him, because those who are not against us are working with us." (LK 9)
6 Our Church elders are the best qualified to interpret the Divine Teachings because they base their conclusions on the revelations given to the Church and their age-old traditions.
D "‘These people honor Me with their words, but they really have no love in their hearts for Me. Their worship is a farce because they teach people man-made laws as if they were God’s laws!’ You have set aside God’s commands just so that you may keep your own traditions." (MK 7)
Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples: "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees are the authorized interpreters of the law, just as Moses was before them. So you should obey and follow everything they tell you to do. It may be best for you to do what they say; only, don’t follow after their examples, because they don’t practice what they preach!" (MT23)
7 We should censor and block all offensive programs, films, pictures, thoughts and ideas from being shown or heard so they won't corrupt or harm our young and innocent.
D Christ also said, "It is not what enters our body (what we see, hear or is done to us) but what comes out of it (the things we do) that defiles us." (MT 15)
8 Our observance of prescribed rituals and ceremonies, and the offering of acceptable sacrifices to God will guarantee our entry into heaven.
D "Man must love God with all his heart, with all his mind and with all his strength; and he must love his neighbor as he loves himself. It is more important to obey these two commandments than to offer altar animals and other sacrifices to God." (MK 12)
"You hypocrites! For you tithe down to the last mint leaf in your garden but ignore the more important things — justice, mercy and faith. Yes, you should tithe, but you shouldn’t leave the more important things undone." (MT 23)
9 Power, fame and fortune are the true measures of success.
D "Don’t waste your time accumulating the fleeting treasures of this earth which can last only for a time and can be stolen, besides. But strive for the true treasures of heaven which cannot be destroyed and which cannot be stolen." (MT 6)
"For what good is it for a man to gain the whole world if, in exchange, he loses his eternal soul?" (MK 8)
"Yes, every man is a fool who is rich in the things of this world, but not in the things of heaven." (LK 12)
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God!" (MT 19)
10 Ignorance of the law will not save us from the consequences of our bad decisions.
A "Whoever rejects me and does not accept my teachings will, nevertheless, be judged according to the truths I have spoken." (JN 12)
11 First, aspire for the riches of the world. Heaven can wait.
D "But first, seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be ours, as well." (MT 6)
12 God will not forgive you if you do not forgive others.
A "If your brother commits an offense against you, inform him of his mistake; and if he should be sorry, forgive him. And even if he wrongs you seven times in one day and, each time, comes to you asking your forgiveness, you should forgive him." (LK 17)
"The Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to update the accounts of his servants. In the process, one who owed him ten thousand gold coins was brought in. The servant did not have enough to pay his debt: so the king ordered that he be sold as a slave, together with his wife and children and all that he had in order to pay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before the king, ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will repay the full amount.’ The king felt sorry for him, so he forgave him the debt and let him go.
"Then the same man went out and met one of his fellow servants who owed him a few silver coins. He grabbed him and started choking him, demanding that he be paid. His fellow servant fell down before him and begged him, ‘Be patient with me and I will pay you back.’ But he refused; instead, he had him thrown in jail until he should pay the debt.
"When the other servants saw what had happened, they were very upset and went to the king and told him everything. So he called the servant and said to him, ‘You evil-hearted wretch! I forgave you the whole amount you owed me just because you asked me to. You should have been merciful to your fellow servant just as I had shown mercy to you.’ The king was very angry and he sent the servant to jail to be punished until he should pay back the whole amount.
"And Jesus concluded, "So shall my Father in heaven do the same to all those who refuse to forgive their brothers." (MT 18)
13 God does not want us to become victims of injustice, or suffer from wars or natural calamities, or become sick or be poor or die.
D "As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" (MT 7)
"Father," he prayed, "my Father! All things are possible to You. Take this cup of suffering away from me. Even so, not what I want but what You want." (MK 14)
"Wars must come. " (MT 24)
"You will always have the poor with you." (JN 12)
14 Jesus already paid for our sins. By his stripes, we are healed. We're sure to go to heaven if we will only believe him.
D "Not everyone who calls me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do." (MT 7)
"Settle disputes with your adversary, amicably, before it is too late; otherwise, he might drag you into court and the court would hand you over to the authorities to be thrown in jail. I tell you, you won’t be released from there until you have paid the last penny." (MT 5)
"‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; naked and you clothed me; sick and in prison and you visited me.’
"Then, the righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you anything to drink? Or a stranger and help you? Or naked and clothe you? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
"And the King will tell them, ‘When you did this for the least of my brothers, you were doing it for me!’" (MT 25)
15 Don't get mad. Get even.
D "You have heard it said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But now I tell you: Don’t resist evil. But when you are slapped on one cheek, offer the other also. And if someone takes you to court to demand your shirt, let him have your coat, as well. And if anyone compels you to go a mile, go with him two miles." (MT 5)
16 We should befriend only those wealthy and successful people who can help us and not bother with no good bums and freeloaders or those sick and disabled do-nothings who can't repay or help us, at all.
D "Instead, when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind; and you will be blessed, because they won’t be able to pay you back. And you shall be rewarded when the righteous are brought back to life." (LK 14)
17 The voice of the people is the voice of God.
D Jesus turned on Peter and said, "Get away from me, Satan. You are an abomination in my sight because you look at things only from the worldly point of view and not from God’s." (MT 16)
18 The great men of the world are regarded as great also in heaven.
D "As you know, the kings and great men of the earth lord it over the people. But in your case, it is different. Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant. And whoever wants to be the greatest of all must be the servant of all." (MK 10)
19 God only knows. We humans are not allowed to know everything.
D "I have used proverbs to tell you these things, but the time is coming when the truth shall not be so veiled and I will speak to you plainly about the Father." (JN 16)
"If you adhere to my teaching, you will really be my disciples; and you shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free." (JN 8)
"Oh, there is so much more I want to tell you, but you cannot understand it now. When the Spirit of Holiness and Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth." (JN 16)
20 Many are called, but only a few will respond to his call.
A "Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near.
"I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Be as wary as serpents and harmless as doves. But be careful of men. For you will be arrested and tried and whipped in the synagogues. And you must stand trial before governors and kings for my sake. This will give you the opportunity to tell them about me. But when they arrest you, don’t worry about what you are to do or say for you will be given the right words at the proper time. For the words you will speak will not be your own; they will come from the Spirit of your Father Who will be speaking through you.
"If anyone publicly acknowledges me, I will openly acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But if anyone publicly rejects me, so will I reject him. Don’t think that I have come to bring peace to the world. I have not come to bring peace but a sword. I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law; a man’s worst enemies shall be the members of his own household.
"Whoever loves his father or mother, son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up his cross and follow in my footsteps is not fit to be my disciple. If you cling to life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for my sake, you will save it.
"Those who welcome you are welcoming me. And when they welcome me, they are welcoming God Who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet because he is a man of God will share in his reward. And whoever welcomes good and godly men because of their godliness will share in their reward. And you can be sure that whoever gives even a drink of water to the least of my followers, because he is my follower, will certainly receive a reward." (MT 10)
1 These are Christ's thoughts, his teachings in his own words. We should listen. If however, you should favor the teachings of your Church more than these words of Jesus, then forward this email-test to your Priest or Pastor to let him know. And perhaps, you might want to stop claiming that you are Jesus' follower, because you really are not. Don't you see this, yet?
2 If you believe in Jesus more, then you should do as he asks. Openly acknowledge him to others. Pass this email on to your friends to help them resolve their own confusion.
3 If you want to take up more advanced studies, click the link below to avail of our free study courses.