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BIBLICAL GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY

Issue No. 52

28 Dec - 3 Jan 2009

Thinking Points

by Mickey Chiang

What did Jesus look like?

We all know a lot about Jesus Christ. Isn’t he the Son of God, the “image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15), the one who calls people to follow him? Yes, he healed the sick, caused the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the mute to speak and the lame to walk. He calmed a storm and even walked on water! We know all that. Elementary, really. But there is one thing that perhaps you can tell me: What did Jesus look like?

I mean, did he have a round face or a long one? What colour were his hair, and his eyes? How tall was he? Was he slender, or stout? By what distinguishing marks can we recognise him if we meet him today? The Bible seems silent on these things. Why did none of the gospel writers, or Paul, Peter, or James describe Jesus?

The prophet Isaiah saw Jesus in a vision and reported, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isa. 53:3). Worse, he appeared as “a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men would hide their faces he was despised.” What? But surely the Son of God would have come as a beautiful baby who grew up to be a very handsome man? Apparently it was not so.

So many words written on such expensive parchment just to tell us he was not handsome or jovial, not even pleasant of face. So many words and yet … our hunger for description, for biometric information, is not satisfied.

But if external beauty was not important to Jesus, should Christian men buy all the “metrosexual” creams, lotions and make-up kits we are told we need? I would not go so far as to suggest that women also shun cosmetics and beauty aids, lest the cosmetics and perfume industry lose the billions they have been raking in each year, and go bankrupt. And we surely do not want that to happen, do we?

Say, isn’t Jesus the role model for all Christians, the kind of person we should aspire to be like? So what kind of person was he? What is it that we should emulate?

Well, Jesus was always talking about love for Mankind. Why, he even exemplified the highest level of love. He said, “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13), and then he went on to lay down his life for his friends, including you and me, to save us from eternal suffering in Hell. As his followers shouldn’t we also be full of such agape love for the people around us?

When I think of Jesus, I remember his compassion. He had compassion for the sick and healed them (Mt. 14:14). He had compassion for the crowd of four thousand hungry men and fed them in a miraculous way with seven loaves and a few fish, beside the Sea of Galilee (Mt. 15:32). We may not be able to multiply loaves of bread, but how deep is our compassion for the less fortunate, the needy, the handicapped people, the widows, the aged and the orphans we meet? How much are we doing to help them?

Jesus mixed with people at all levels in society, including sinners, prostitutes and the hypocrites among the religious leaders. He treated every person with respect and courtesy, though he was quick to lash out at hypocrisy. He did not shun the poor and even touched lepers. Why are we keeping ourselves as far away as possible from such people and from the poor, the dirty and the unkempt?

JesusJesus was filled with a great zeal to save the lost and he walked hundreds of kilometres to preach the good news of salvation to them and to teach them how to live in ways pleasing to God. How many kilometres have you travelled to do the same? Jesus lived a life without sin; so should we.

Jesus was also humble. He did not complain when his dinner host did not accord him the usual courtesies; he even washed his disciples’ feet and wiped them dry, tasks normally performed by a servant or a slave. Today the large number of well-attended leadership courses for Christians testifies to how far we have strayed from Jesus’ examples of humility and servitude. Many of us want to become leaders and be served, and treated with great respect – like the Pharisees?

This Christmas, shall we think of all these and other good things Jesus manifested, and try to emulate him?

Announcements

BGST Office, Library & Bookshop will be opened from 9am - 6pm on 31st Dec.
We will be closed on 1st Jan (Fri).

 The Library & Bookshop will resume normal business hours on 2nd Jan (Sat) from 9am -  6pm.
BGST Office will be open on 4th Jan (Mon).

Book Sale @ BGST    2 November 2009 to 2 January 2010 Don’t miss it!   

Christmas greeting

 Courses commencing in January, Term 3, 2009-2010

Biblical Studies OT & NT
Introduction to Biblical Archaeology (OT/NT186, 1.5cr);
Jan 2, (Sat 2 - 3.30pm) (Time & other dates to be announced)
Lecturer: Dr Quek Swee Hwa

New Testament Foundations II (NT102, 3cr);
Jan 11, 18, 25, Feb 1, 8, 22, Mar 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Apr 5, 12, 19, 26
(15 sessions) (Mon 7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Mr Quek Tze-Ming

Old Testament Foundations II (OT102, 3cr);
Jan 15, 22, 29, Feb 5, 12, 19, 26, Mar 5, 19, 26,
Apr 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14 (Fri 7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Dr Philip Satterthwaite

The Gospel Of Isaiah (Isa 40-55) (OT363, 1.5cr);     
Jan 7, 14, 21, Feb 4, 11, 18, Mar 4, 11, 18
(9 Sessions) (Thu 7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Dr Augustine Pagolu

The Parables of Jesus (NT216, 1.5cr); 
Jan 22, 29, Feb 5, 12,
(Fri 7.15-10.15pm)
Lecturer: Dr Aquila Lee

Biblical Languages
*NT Greek Basic Research Tools (BG214, 1.5cr) (Group Tutorial);
Jan 9, Sat (Time & other dates will be announced)
Lecturer: Dr Quek Swee Hwa

*Greek Exegesis I (BG211, 3cr); 
Jan 11, 18, 25, Feb 1, 8, 22, Mar 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Apr 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3 (Mon 7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Dr Aquila Lee

*Biblical Hebrew II (BH112, 3cr);
Jan 4, 11, Feb 1, 8, 22, Mar 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Apr 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10 (Mon 7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Dr Augustine Pagolu

Christian Education & Spiritual Formation
Facilitating Adult Learning (ECF512, 1.5cr)(MTh 2cr); Jan 12, 19, 26, Feb 2, 9 (5 sessions) (Tue 7.15-10.15pm)
Lecturer: Dr Ng Peh Cheng

Spirituality For Christian Formation (ECF503, 3cr);
Jan 20, 27, Feb 3, 10, 17, 24, Mar 3, 10
(Wed 7.15-10.15pm)
Lecturer: Mr John Chong Ser Choon

Church Ministries
A Philosophy of Church Ministry (CM101, 3cr) (Group Tutorial); Jan 9, Sat
(Time & other dates will be announced)
Lecturer: Dr Quek Swee Hwa

Counselling
*Counselling Skills: Working with Children (ECF515/CO235, 3cr);Jan 18, 25, Feb 1, 8, 22,
Mar 1, 8, 15, (Mon 7.15-10.15pm)
Lecturer: Mr Yam Keng Mun

Theological Studies
Theological Foundations I (TS211, 3cr);
(Group Tutorial); Jan 12, 26, Feb 9, 23, Mar 9, 23, Apr 6, 20 (Tue 7.30-9.30pm)
[Required for MDiv & MCS]
Lecturer: Dr Douglas Milne/Tutor: Dr Edwin Tay

Apologetics (TS230, 3cr); (Group Tutorial);
Jan 13, 20, 27, Feb 3, 17, Mar 3, 10 (final session to be announced)
(Wed 7.30-10pm) [Required for MDiv]
Lecturer: Dr Douglas Milne/Tutor: Mr Brian Thomas

* Courses marked with an asterisk are not offered on audit basis.

Reminder on Course Fees Revision

As announced earlier in June 2009, the course fees will be revised w.e.f. 02 Jan 2010 to $110/credit i.e. $330 for 3 cr course; $165 for 1.5 cr course; for audit $230 for 3 cr and $115 for 1.5cr course. Visit http://bgst.edu.sg/pdf/fee_revision.pdf for full details.

If you register & pay your fees before 31 Dec 2009 for any course commencing between 2 Jan – 13 Mar 2010 , you will get to enjoy the current rate of $100/credit for courses

ACT now to enjoy savings!

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Tel: 62276815 Fax: 62276816  Email : bgst@pacific.net.sg
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