Jesus, however, saw the world through Middle Eastern eyes, and his words and teaching style fit much better into the traditions of early Judaism.
What difference does this make? Sometimes a lot. We often miss nuances if we aren’t aware of the way things were said in his first-century Jewish context.
Below are articles and links that explore how Jesus’ setting might cast light on his words to us today.
What Did Jesus Mean by “Do Not Judge”? – Other Jewish sayings on judging unlock Jesus’ words and yield practical ways to apply them to our lives.
Measure for Measure – Jesus used a classic rabbinic form of reasoning called midah keneged midah, meaning, “measure corresponding to measure.”
Loving Your Neighbor, Who is Like You – Jewish interpreters in Jesus’ day emphasized a slightly different message in the commandment to “love your neighbor” than we do today.
Jesus’ Messianic Surprise: A Kingdom of Mercy – The Jews of Jesus’ time were longing for a messiah, but Jesus didn’t fit their expectations. What were they looking for? A look at Jesus’ message in light of his Eastern culture.
Jesus’ Most Radical Teaching – The command to “love your enemies” went beyond any other teaching of his time, yet characterized his life and Messianic Kingdom.
Jesus’ Strange Teaching About a “Single Eye'”– Jesus’ words are much more clear when we understand the cultural idioms that he was using.
Jesus’ Surprising Answer – When a man discussed with Jesus how he could have eternal life, why did Jesus accept what seems to be a wrong answer?
Links for further study: