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Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
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Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
Plaque with the Ascension
Plaque with the Journey to Emmaus and the Noli Me Tangere
The Temptation of Christ by the Devil
Portal from the Church of San Leonardo al Frigido
Tabernacle of Cherves
The Adoration of the Magi
The Presentation in the Temple
Annunciation Triptych (Merode Altarpiece)
Stained Glass Panel with the Visitation
Baptism of Christ
The Last Supper
The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes
The Flight into Egypt
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When studying the synoptic Gospels it becomes quite apparent that God is eager to establish a personal, loving relationship with all people through His Son, Jesus Christ. And Jesus is patiently waiting for all the people of the earth to accept His invitation: “I have been standing at the door and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and have fellowship with him, and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20) This passage illustrates Jesus as a door through which we all must enter. And also that Jesus is willing to accept all people who turn to Him. Man or woman, rich or poor, empowered or enslaved, Jesus was sent here by God so that anyone who hears His message and believes in Him will be saved.
One of the key points of Jesus’ ministry was how the Kingdom of God is accessible to all people. This underlying theme is especially apparent in parables like “The Good Samaritan”, “A Lost Sheep”, and “A Lost Son”. These parables are used to explain how Samaritans, the lost, and sinners all can find their way back to God, and how they will be greeted and embraced by a loving Jesus. These stories illustrate one of Jesus’ main teachings, that all people who have faith in Him, will be accepted and embraced by God in heaven.
Jesus accepted all different types of people to be a part of His table fellowship. Many of His early followers were Gentiles, women, sinners, and tax collectors. The Pharisees often tried to call Jesus on this fact, asking him why he would surround himself with such people if he were truly the Son of God. Jesus replied to them, well people do not need medicine, but those who are sick do. Jesus Christ is willing to accept all people regardless of their sins. That is why He visited the home of the hated tax collector and promises eternal life to the dying criminal. Jesus is forgiving, and loving, and he came to save all the people of the world.
Even before Jesus’ birth, John the Baptist was announcing Jesus’ coming as, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Again Jesus’ universality is proved, it is the sin of the world that John the Baptist mentions, not the sin of the Jews. Through the constant usage of “the world” in these bible scriptures it becomes even more evident that Jesus Christ was sent to “the world”; to be a Savior and a Redeemer for both the Jews and the Gentiles. Jesus Christ broadened God’s acceptance of people. These new Christians, did not need to become Jewish, or obey “the law” in order to be accepted as a Christian, rather all they had to do was accept that Jesus was Christ and Lord, and that he died to redeem the world of its sins. This is the key to finding salvation in Christianity.
Jesus’ sermon, which appears in two Gospels make it clear that all people are blessed. It is notable the both the “poor” and “the poor in spirit” are mentioned. In Luke’s Gospel it meant the materialistic definition of the term, but in other Gospel refers to the “poor in spirit” meaning the Jews. The monotheistic people that still only believe in God, and not Jesus, and this makes them poor ideologically. But yet, this sermon goes on to bless all the different types of people, especially those who have had a hard life. Jesus is saying to have faith in God as He knows your needs and your troubles, and all will be taken care of in the Kingdom of God.
This theme that was recurrent throughout Jesus’ life and ministry becomes even more apparent after His crucifixion and resurrection. It is the resurrected Jesus who sends out the disciples with the Word for all the nations to hear. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke all close with Jesus sending His disciples on a mission. Luke’s gospel concludes that “All people of every nation must be told in My name”. Mark’s Gospel closes with “Go and preach the good news to everyone in the world. Anyone who believeth in me and is baptized will be saved”. Matthew quotes the risen Jesus as saying, “I have been given all authority in Heaven and on Earth! Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples”. When considering the repetition and placement of these verses within each Gospels , the main theme of both Jesus’ message becomes strikingly evident. Even the resurrected Jesus was concerned with saving the world. And that is why He sent out the disciples to all the nations.
After the crucifixion and resurrection, the Holy Spirit was sent to the Apostles. This Spirit was always present to remind the disciples that Jesus came to save both the Jews and the Gentiles, and that God wants people from every nation and race to become His children. The work of the Holy Spirit is especially apparent in Acts, when Phillip took Jesus’ message to Samaria for the first time, and also in the conversion of Cornelius, a captain from the Roman army. Who has an encounter with the “Holy Spirit” he was blinded for three days, upon regaining his sight he knew the truth.
Jesus Christ’s message has now spanned the globe. All countries, all nationalities have now heard the Word of God. Christianity has become one of the most dominant religions in the world, and the time for the Kingdom of God draws near. After studying the Gospels it becomes apparent that God wants all His children to come home, and so He made obtaining this redemption easily accessible for all people. To obtain God’s love one must first realize that Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. It is only through Jesus, that one can come to know God personally, and experience God’s love. Every person must individually receive Jesus Christ through faith as Savior and Lord: it is only then that one comes to know God personally and experience His love; a love that through Jesus Christ was extended to all the people of the world.
Despite Jesus’ love being so easily obtainable, many people do not accept Him as the “Son of God”. Most of these people believe Jesus to be a great moral teacher, but do not accept the divinity of his claim. They do not believe, because they have no faith. This is increasing evident in our modernized technological society. Faith has been traded for science. This is even noticeable in our current dating system. For two thousand years, the humankind used B.C. and A.D. as a timeline for the world. It was only recently that it was changed to the less secular C.E. (common era) and BCE (before common era). These latter terms could almost be considered blasphemous from a Christian perspective. This dating system was not made simply to show the year of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, but to illustrate that Jesus Christ was the most important man that ever lived, and that his very presence renewed the world. The life and death of Jesus was the basis for our calendar system for over two millenniums, and now Jesus life and message has been forgotten by so many.
With the Christmas Season swiftly approaching, people’s lack of faith becomes ever more apparent. Most of the western world still celebrates this holiday, and it is still marked on calendars by its traditional name “Christmas”, but the true meaning of this holiday has been long forgotten over the years. It is a holiday that had originally celebrated the birth of “Jesus of Nazareth”, “The Christ”. There were festive songs that rejoiced in His name, “Hark, the Herald angels sings, Glory to the new born King”. But most of these traditions have come to pass. In Canada, due to our embracement of multiculturalism we have destroyed our national religion, Jesus’ religion. Some people are willing to accept some aspects of Christmas, just not the divinity of the holiday. And thanks to political correctness no one wants to offend these people, for example, the Canadian Postal Service is no longer calling December 25th “Christmas”, but rather now have it advertised as “The Day of Giving”. Day of Giving! And this is from a crown corporation. This is evident even more locally with the McKenzie Art Gallery’s Festival, in which they open refuted not to mention the word Christmas, but rather celebrated the Holiday Season. The western world has made a full circle with the acceptance and rejection of Jesus Christ. More people are denying him than ever before.
Jesus Christ is for all. This question has been repeatedly answered through Jesus’ life, ministry and message. The question that should really be asked is “Is there anyone for Jesus?” And how do these people who have turned their back on Jesus think they will be recognized in Heaven? If you’ve never called on Jesus name, then why should He know yours. The people of the world must realize that Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me’. All that people must do is accept Jesus into their lives, it makes so much sense in our present day world, a world filled with contempt, with greed, and with faithlessness, to turn away from technology and look back unto faith for the answers of this life. As it is only through this faith that people will realize that the story of Jesus of Nazareth is true, and that he died for all of us. He died so that all people: the young and the old, the sick and the healthy, the rich and the poor would all have a place in the Kingdom of God.
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