LEAD Formation and Mission
“Jesus Creed” Response Paper
The Jesus Creed has really helped me to look at Scripture from what I believe is a more biblical and Jesus centered perspective. While I have read the words Jesus used from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Leviticus 19:18 many times in Scripture, I never considered how all His teachings might have stemmed from them. I did not know Jesus had amended the Shema of Judaism because I didn’t know there was a Shema before reading this book, but now knowing this I can more clearly see what Jesus was doing. He was correcting a misunderstanding how some used and understood the Torah. Most paid excellent attention to the letter of the Law; however they had failed to grasp the message that God had called them to partake in His redemptive mission. Just as the Israelites got tangled up with the letter of the Law and missed their calling, are we as the Church today also failing to answer the same call? I believe it’s far too easy to make a case that we are, especially in America. Jesus redefines what it means to love God, instead of showing love to God by observing the Torah, Jesus calls people to follow Him, and in doing so He equates loving God to having a personal relationship with Himself thereby amending the Shema, making it personal. Next, He adds to the Shema by using a Leviticus passage saying “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love of God and love of others is the core of Jesus’ Shema and loving God means following Jesus. McKnight believes the Jesus Creed is the foundation of everything Jesus teaches about spiritual formation and after having read his book I have to say I agree. Everything Jesus does is out of love for God and for others as illustrated time and time again throughout the Gospels. Jesus not only changes the Shema, but also the prayer called The Kaddish of Judaism. Prayer is communication with God; Jesus puts the emphasis on it being a...