(from The Spirit of a True Champion: A Look into the Mind of Jesus Christ
In my research for my latest Amazon book The Spirit of a True Champion: A Look into the Mind of Jesus Christ, I’m currently studying the fascinating (at least it is to me!) book ‘The Mind of Jesus’ by William Barclay (published by SCM Press Ltd, Bloomsbury St, London (first published 1960)
*Here are my brief notes that I’m sharing “in a spirit of good will and n some small way of preserving the life work and most revealing writings of William Barclay in the digital age”. (I’ve put my own thoughts, possible areas of disagreement and my queries in brackets – questions and topics for further discussion… possibly). This book of William Barclay is written from a quite “religious perspective”; so hope these notes are not too “heavy heavy” for you. Anyway hopefully, it’ll get you thinking about the person and life of Jesus. So enjoy… and grow along the last “unexplored frontier of the human mind”… as well as the spiritual journey…
In this book William Barclay, formerly a lecturer in New Testament at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, interprets the Gospels with as much psychological insight as is possible. The historical background is described so as to illuminate the whole story, and both the words and the works of Jesus are presented with a fresh comprehensiveness, always bearing in mind the questions which modern readers ask.
As one reviewer has commented, ‘he brings to his task the experience of the tried preacher, as well as the learning of the scholar’. For years Dr Barclay has cherished the ambition to write this life of Jesus.
CHAPTER 1 THE GREAT DISCOVERY
Jesus felt the need to rediscover Jewish religion. He had a unique realisation of God as his Father; and he had a unique realization that it was his life’s work to bring men to God, and to bring God to men, in a way that neither priest nor rabbi could ever do. He knew why he had come into the world.
(ie he had a great sense of purpose and a strong feeling of destiny)
2 WAITING FOR THE CALL
Eighteen years is a long time to wait, but the silent years were not wasted years, for they were years of preparation for the task no one else in the world could do. Throughout the years Jesus was learning all the time,
To Jesus the name ‘father’ (‘Abba’ in Aramaic) was the most natural and the most precious name for God. The Son of God, when he came into this world, prepared himself to save the world.
3 THE HOUR STRIKES
In the baptism we see the self-identification of Jesus with men and the self-dedication of Jesus to the purposes of God. In that moment of the baptism there was kindled in the heart of Jesus a flame of sacrificial love, which nothing in time or in eternity could ever extinguish.
4 CHOOSING HIS WAY
One of the most sacred in the whole Gospel narrative. The tempter put forth every effort he could, yet Jesus overcame them all. The tempter began by seeking to make Jesus doubt his own call from God, but Jesus was so sure of God, and of his own relationship to God, that his attack failed.
Temptations to the selfish use of power, material benefits, to seek quick results by sensational means, the temptation to win popularity by compromise and more than anything else, the temptation to distrust himself and to doubt his call.
5 A change of life must overcome a change of heart. Paul’s commission was to turn men from darkness to light (Acts 26:18)
Repentance means the reversal of life to face God. A man cannot take any of the steps of repentance without the help of Jesus Christ (??)
6 THE KINGDOM OF GOD
In the Gospels the use of the two phrases the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven mean exactly the same. Kingdom of God is not territory, it’s the sovereignty, the lordship, the reign of God. ‘ Make the Kingdom the object of all your endeavour.’
In the Lords prayer
‘ Thy Kingdom come
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’
The Kingdom is a personal issue between God and man. Any person who accepts the will of God is within the Kingdom. Through him the Kingdom had come and was to come. (???)
In Jesus the Kingdom was embodied. He alone of all who had ever lived, perfectly and completely fulfilled the will of God. The very essence of his life’s obedience to the will of God.
To do the will of God and be in the Kingdom of God are one and the same thing.
A Christ who still does things
There s little use in a Jesus who did things almost two thousand years ago, but who has ceased to do them now. What we need is a Christ who still does things….today!
Death of sin and he liberates them to life eternal. There’s little relevance in a Jesus who stilled a storm in the Sea of Galilee nine-teen hundred years ago, and who stills no storms today, there is every relevance in a Christ who stills the storms which rise within the hearts of men today, and in whose presence every storm becomes a calm within the heart.
10- THE MASTER TEACHER
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matt 23:12, Luke 18:14)
“A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions .” (Luke 12:15)
“No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
“Whoever would save his life would lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matt 16:25)
“What will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?” (Matt16:26)
12 What Jesus said about God
To the ancient Greeks the gods were detached from the world. A self-revealing God, based on love. There s a difference between knowing a person and knowing about a person. Jesus Christ s God coming to us, because we cannot go to him’. Jesus came with the good news that God s not a God who hides himself, that God is not a God whom only the philosophers may know, that God s the God who at all costs desires to be known, and who in the most costly way has revealed himself to all men. God is involved with, identified with the human situation. In Jesus the God, who was far off has indeed been brought near.
Jesus brought into the world the idea of a selfless God, a God to whom men were so dear that he bore their sins and sorrows on his heart and gave himself for them.
The God of Jesus is love – and love is always selfless, when it is true love.
Countless thinkers have called God by various names: Supreme God, First Cause, Creative Energy, the Life Force. And all these descriptions of God have one characteristic in common – they are impersonal. Jesus always spoke and taught of a God who is a person. (?? Will have to ponder and do a bit of study on that one)
There is the extra-ordinary rarity that Jesus uses the name ‘Father’, as well as his extra-ordinary intimacy with ‘Abba’, his father (Mark 14:36). (My comment: He had a unique relationship with God, the Father; yet we ‘ordinary’ people can also choose to have a “very special and intimate direct relationship” with the Ground of all Being, God, the Ultimate Source. It’s like being in “a partnership and co-creating in/with “another dimension , that one chooses through the outworking of ones faith”. A feeling, a presence – perhaps not continual, but as in the words of the “late, great” racing driver, Ayrton Senna: “I am able to experience God’s presence on earth.”
12 WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT MAN AND SIN
All sin is against God
According to Jewish thought the Holy Spirit had two supreme functions:
1 to bring God’s truth to men and women (from outside)
2 to enable people to recognise God’s truth when they were confronted by it (from the inside)
Jesus sternly condemned self-righteousness, as well as the sin of hypocrisy
“It’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me,”
13 WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT HIMSELF
Jesus regarded himself (primarily) as a preacher. Early in his ministry he said to his disciples : “Let us go unto the next towns, that may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” (Mark 1:38) To preach was the primary object for which he came into the world (at least it was in his early years???)
It s clear that Jesus regarded himself as having come to men with truth such as the world had never heard before. He was the teacher par excellence.
So then he regarded himself as the preacher, the herald of god, the prophet, the one with the secret confidence of god, the teacher, the one who could bring men wisdom from heaven to meet the problems of earth, as teacher.
Jesus regarded himself as the Divine Physician who had come to enable men to be healed of the universal human disease of sin. He came to be the Divine Physician who has the cure for sin.
The Son of man came, not to be served, but to serve
(Matt 20:20-28), Mark 10:35-45)
He came not for his own sake, but for the sake of men, he came not to dominate like a conqueror, but to serve like a servant.
He came to be a seeker of the lost.
He came to be a Fulfiller of all that was best in the past.
Here’s Jesus’ claim that in him there are fulfilled the highest hopes and dreams of the past
He came as the Savour of men – In his own words the Divine Physician come to cure men from the universal human disease of sin.
The great Fulfiller of all the hopes and dreams and visions, which have lodged within the hearts of men (and women, of course).
He had very high standards – and uncompromising demands
* Jesus came with the demand for implicit obedience
* He came with the claim for complete loyalty
* As an agent of judgment (?? He didn’t directly claim to judge, I think!)
If anyone makes a claim (or claims) like that, he’s ether a deluded megalomaniac or the Son of God; he s ether mad or divine. So which was Jesus?
14 THE SELF CHOSEN TITLE OF JESUS
By taking and using the term Son of Man expressed his own certainty that as the Suffering servant he must accept the Cross, and that as the Messianic King he must enter into glory.
15 THE MEN AGANST JESUS (The Law)
RELIGION AND LEGALISM
The scribes and Pharisees.
The Pharisees believed in angels and spirits; the Sadducees did not. The Pharisees believed in the freedom of the will and in individual choice; the Sadducees did not. But there was one basic difference between the P’s and S’s . The scribal or oral law was to the P’s the greatest and the most sacred thing in the world; whilst the S’s rejected the whole of it. The S’s did not accept the mass of rules and regulations on which the P’s founded religion and life.
The scribes worked out all the rules and regulations and it was the Pharisees who devoted their whole lives to the keeping of them. This they believed was what God desired and to keep these rules and regulations was to serve God
Then there were the priests and the high priest.
To the scribes and Pharisees the attitude of Jesus to sinful men and women was shocking and incomprehensible. If Jesus was right, then the priests were wrong.
To the Pharisees he was an inveterate, deliberate and blasphemous Sabbath-breaker. Jesus in their presence deliberately broke the law through healing on the Sabbath day (see Matt 12: 10-14, Mark 3:1-6, Luke 6:6-11, Luke 13:11-17, Luke 14:1-6 , John 9)) All on the Sabbath day!
Jesus’ point of view was quite simple. He believed that human need takes precedence over any ritual rule or regulation. It was Jesus’ conviction that no human being must suffer for an hour longer than was necessary to keep the ritual law. .
16 THE RECOGNITON OF JESUS BY MEN
Jesus saw ahead (foresaw) the certainty of the cross.
Jesus Christ is still gloriously and triumphantly alive. The old faiths dead; the old kingdoms fell; but the Kingdom of the homeless Galilean still stands and still enlarges its borders throughout the world.
So then, it was here that Jesus asked his all-important question. He began by asking what people were commonly saying about him.
Some said he was one of the Prophets. Then Jesus asked the crucial question.’ You, he said, ‘who do you say that I am?’ And it was then that Peter made his great discovery and affirmed his faith that Jesus was none other than the Messiah and nothing less than the Son of God
Peter had just made the great discovery that Jesus was the Messiah.
No sooner had Peter made his great discovery than Jesus made to him a great series of promises. These promises have been the subject of much and embittered controversy, and we must seek to find the mind of Jesus in them.
1 There s the promise to Peter: “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church.”
Peter’s initial faith is the spark which kindled the flame and fire of faith which was ultimately to burn in the world-wide Church. Peter was the first man to discover and publicly to confess who Jesus was; and therefore, Peter was the first member of the Church of Christ, and therefore, on him the Church is founded. He was the first to experience and to confess the Church’s faith in Jesus. Nothing can take from Peter the honour of being the first stone in the edifice of the new people of God. Peter was to be the man who opened the door to the Kingdom, and indeed he did.
Peter had just made the great discovery that Jesus was the Messiah, and the one thing of which the mind of Peter was totally incapable was to connect Messiahship with suffering and death. Rather than ‘the voice of love’.
17 THE RECOGNITION OF JESUS BY GOD
What Jesus was seeking? He had to be very sure that the way which he was taking was the way which God wished him to take (??). When Jesus withdrew to pray, when he went up to the mountain top, such action was never for him escape, it was always preparation. The experience of the glory of God did not prompt Jesus to remain withdrawn on the mountain top; but sent him to walk with an even more certain tread the way that led to Calvary
On the Mount of Transfiguration Jesus received the assurance that, however much he differed from the popular and orthodox view of the Messiah, it was his view which was the real fulfilment of all that the law and the prophets foretold. On the Mount of Transfiguration Jesus received the approval of God, before he went on to his cross and his crown.
William Barclay (and shared by craigL
(“information and inspiration distributor, incorrigible encourager and people-builder”)
And each ONE of us can choose to have the mind, the mindset …in a word the consciousness of Christ… to achieve what may appear impossible things in youir own life!
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” – Romans 12:2
“Spirit controls your mind.” Romans 8:6
“Let this mind be in you, which is also in Christ Jesus.” – Phillippians 2:5
“But we can understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 2:16
“Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.”
from The Spirit of a True Champion: A Look into the Mind of Jesus Christ
‘The Spirit of a True Champion: A Look into the Mind of Jesus Christ’ is already available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007E2WXW0
A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”
““Change YOUR world and you help change THE world…for the better
“Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, empower, uplift, encourage … and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials.”
What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light
“God is a mystery, the ‘mystery of life’, a Creative Presence, Who/That allows me to be who I really want to be and become.”
“God, the Essence of Life, is the great mystery in the vast unknown; yet He(??) is understandable.”
“God, The Essence of Life, the Ground of All Being, is leading us to the light.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
“But we have the mind of Christ
“Let this mind be in you, which is also in Christ Jesus.”
– 2 Timothy 1:7
“Having pursued the goals, the dreams set before us and run the race with persistence and endurance, after giving it all. Then one day standing on the summit of life, breathing in the pure sweet oxygen of achievement, totally satisfied in running the greatest race, the race of life one that ANYONE can run and win.”
“As we live and move and have our being, so from this vision, we can create heaven in our own lives… and perhaps even heaven on earth.”
– craig (as inspired by Ephesians 2:14, as well as the words of Felicia Searcy)
“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”
– Og Mandino
“Get your next ‘fix’ from Jesus. It costs you nothing…except for his life!”
– my good friend, Lindsay ‘The Prophet’
“Jesus is the human face of God”
PPS: COMMENTS PAGE
Thanks for the feedback to you all, and this article and web site has really “seemed to have struck a chord” with so many of you “out there in cyberspace.”. However, it also means that I’m being swamped by “spam mail” (most of comments are great, but some people are abusing the system, just trying to promote their own products….and so spoiling it) Since this blog went viral about a month ago, I’ve spent most of my time going through mail and sorting out genuine comment. However, its taken me from my main focus writing books. I’ll continue reading as many comments as I can each day (leaving that option available, but WON’T have time to approve and publish any more (perhaps a few “exceptional” ones).
Sorry about that, but web publicity brings its own problems to overcome.
THanks for the understanding and all the best
The various books that Craig ‘felt inspired to write’ are available at:The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B005GGMAW4_sr?rh=i%3Abooks&field-author=Craig+Lock
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 http://www.creativekis.com/amazon.html and http://goo.gl/vTpjk
‘The Spirit of a True Champion: A Look into the Mind of Jesus Christ’ is already available at
All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children –
“Together, one mind, one soul at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, empower, encourage and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials. Change YOUR world and you help change THE world…for the better”
- craig lock Says:
May 19, 2012 at 8:50 am editEUREKA. An idea, a solution to being swamped by comments! This is YOUR web site to comment on my blog (I appreciate the feedback).Enjoy posting your comments on http://commentsonsharefaith.wordpress.com/and “thanks for the thanks”craighttp://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4