Geza Vermes on the Synoptics

“From the very moment of his proclamation of the imminence of the Kingdom of God, he showed himself, and exhorted his followers to be single minded, absolute and decisive, concentrating on the inward aspects, and putting the accent on the root causes of every religious action.

The best summary of the programme pursued by Jesus, presenting also the quintessence of his religious persona, is the resolute determination to do all that is required for the fulfillment of the plea, ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. And the absence of a literal fulfillment of his belief does not detract in any way from the fundamental truth that no religious attitude is real without an all pervading sense of urgency which converts ideas into instant action. (pg 210, ‘The Changing Face of Jesus’, Geza Vermes) 

Not sure why that stood out to me – but it did. Maybe I see Geza affirming something I continually re-ittirate concering the synoptics (namely Matthew)…we are dealing with the ‘here and now’ in the message of Jesus – not the ‘there and then’ so much. Also, our actions are important and the teachings of a teacher (ie: Jesus) are not recorded for lip-service – but for the actual idea of ‘converting ideas into instant action’.

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