What is the salvation of God

Catfish Holy Family

They wanted to throw Jesus down the mountain, they wanted to kill him. But why? Yes, well, he refers to the announcement of the Messiah by the prophet Isaiah and says: this promised time of salvation has now come, has come with me.

Basically he is saying: I am the one who was foretold for you. I am the messiah. A tricky statement, but people were amazed and agreed with him. Yes, they are excited. Jesus was already known for his miracles. And that the prophet does not count in his homeland, that is simply a fact, it is still the same today. So why should they kill Jesus?

A brief look back at the history of religion: The Jews drew their self-image from the fact that God made the covenant with them and only with them, that Israel is God's chosen people. And now Jesus comes with quotations from the Scriptures that do not confirm this at all. In the great famine Elijah was not sent to any of the chosen people, only to the widow from Sarepta - a Phoenician woman, a pagan. And of the many lepers that existed in Israel in Elisha's time, none were healed. Only Naaman the Syrian, a pagan. That was too much. God only gives salvation to Israel. If someone claims otherwise, it is blasphemy and it is the death penalty.

That's how it was back then. In our way of thinking, of course, this seems ridiculous, downright limited. Really?

The early Christians thought that too. Peter firmly believed that to be a Christian one must first become a Jew. There was a bitter argument between Peter and Paul. Paul prevailed and opened Christianity to everyone, not just to the Jews. But then the Christians took over the self-image of the Jews for themselves. Salvation is only for us Christians. In fact, about 700 years ago it was set as a dogma. Now, of course, one can argue that Jesus himself said: “I am the way and no one comes to the Father except through me”. Just what does that mean exactly. Jesus also said that we encounter him in our fellow human beings. And that whatever we do to the least of his sisters and brothers, do to him. Should that only apply to Christians? Is what a Christian does before God worth more than what a non-Christian does? Or does a person who does not believe in Christ, but does good to other people and is there for his fellow men, also do good to Christ? And doesn't this, in our eyes, unbelieving person also encounter Christ?

The examples Jesus gives show that God is different. God also gives his salvation to those who do not “belong”.

We can be grateful that we belong to this church, which shows us the way to Jesus and supports us on this way. But we shouldn't deny salvation to others, to those who don't belong. Perhaps we are closer to Jesus if we also grant these other, strangers, God's salvation with all our hearts.

Rudolf Bittmann Deacon