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ANTIOCH BIBLICAL SEMINARY & COLLEGE

Academic Paper

By

I EBINEZAR

SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE COURSE

BIBLE & ECO CONCERN

AS A PART OF REQUIREMENT FOR THE PROGRAMME

Master of Divinity

TO

Pr. Eslish Bhuyan M.Th

ON

12.08.20
JESUS TEACHING ON ECOLOGY

Introduction
Bible says in the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the
earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a
wind from God swept over the face of the waters. In every part of the life is
made up with the nature which is created by the Lord. The living and non-living
things are created in this world. We want to tell the story of Jesus' healing of the
deaf and dumb man found in Mark 7:31-37. We are amplifying the story by
adding information derived from study of the Aramaic language which Jesus
spoke, by using the Hebrew tradition of expanded rendition ("midrash") of
biblical texts, and by adding information about the ecological aspects of
Galilee. After telling the story, we will explain reasons why we believe this
story in particular and the gospels in general portray "Jesus of Ecology.‖
Ecology: Ecology is a branch of biological science that deals with the
interrelationships of all living organisms including man and their environment.
And the scripture have a great deal to say about life on earth.The
word ecology was coined by the German zoologist Ernst Haeckel, who applied
the term oekologie to the ―relation of the animal both to its organic as well as its
inorganic environment.‖ The word comes from the Greek oikos, meaning
―household,‖ ―home,‖ or ―place to live.‖
Thus, ecology deals with the organism and its environment. The concept
of includes both other organisms and physical surroundings. It involves
relationships between individuals within a population and between individuals
of different populations. [Genesis 1:1-2 says: In the beginning God created the
heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was
over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the
waters.]
When the Lord prepared the earth for habitation and placed plants and
animals therein, he pronounced it all good and gave Adam dominion over it. In
spite of the fact that ―all things which [the Lord] had made were very good‖ ,
and even though it is said that his preparations for the earth were finished , it is
interesting to note that he put Adam into the garden of Eden ―to dress it and to
keep it‖ and to subdue the earth . Such phrases suggest that the earth needs to be
looked after and that man has the responsibility to dress, to keep, and to
maintain the earth as a habitable place.

The indication is that in the beginning the Lord placed upon man the
responsibility for the use he makes of his environment.This is how the
Importance of ecology is understood.

Jesus and Ecology:


In new testament we could see the concern, that Jesus shows on
ecology(nature). He has given many descriptions and comparisons with the
nature through which we could understand or in other words He demonstrated
His love, concern and care for the human lives.Let us consider some examples
from the Bible as follows.In Matthew 5:34-35, Jesus says, But I tell you, do not
swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for
it is his footstool.

Comparison with the nature:


Matthew 6:26-30. 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap
or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not
much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single
hour to your life? 28 ―And why do you worry about clothes? See how the
flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.29 Yet I tell you that not
even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.30 If that is how
God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown
into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?Jesus
appreciated the beauty of nature and showed respect for nature in his parables,
which are rich in nature imagery.Jesus compares our lives with the nature.

He compares with the Birds, and He says that they do not sow or reap,
but they are been fed by the heavenly father. Similarly He elaborates the life of
the lilies and grass of the field, while they do not labor and which is here today
and tomorrow is thrown into fire, but the God clothes even them, how will He
will leave you forsaken. This shows how each and everything in the ecology is
being noticed, and taken to be concerned by God.
True & False Prophet Comparison with Nature:

Good tree bears good fruits:

Matthew 7:17-20 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree
bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear
good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown
into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
This passage is given to identify or recognize the false prophets which
Jesus had demonstrated with Tree and its Fruit. As we have a deeper look, a
tree depends on its root, which must have a good weather, well watered so that
it could bear good, healthy fruits. If it doesn’t taste good or if it is not well
grown, it is not useful. Likewise you can recognize if a tree is healthy or good
through its fruits that pop out. But an unhealthy tree, however produces
unhealthy fruits.

Unfruitful Fig tree:

Jesus made us understand about visual parable of judgment on people


Unresponsive to God by making an unfruitful fig tree wither

Jesus and nature:

Climatic condition:

Matthew 8:26 He replied, ―You of little faith, why are you so afraid?‖ Then
he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
This shows that nature reflects the activity of God and does not operate
independently. He brings a view of the climatic conditions that is opposite to the
ecological condition. The climate was good when they started the journey but
there’s a sudden change in the climatic condition in between. The stormy
condition was suddenly became came as He rebuked it. Here Jesus relates this
with faith.

Illustrates as Shepherd:

Mark 6:34 When Jesus landed saw a crowd, he had compassion on them,
because they were like sheep without a shepherd

Jesus used nature metaphorically. The people of God are sheep that God
cares for and those who would destroy them are wolves. As ecology is based on
all living organisms, Here Jesus used metaphor to teach us, as a sheep needs a
shepherd to take care of them, to feed them, to safeguard them from evil, Jesus
demonstrates Himself as a Shepherd. And as such when dying on the cross, He
exhibits Himself as a Lamb. Jesus is the good shepherd who gives his life for
his sheep as in (John 10).

Teaching of the basic needs:

He is the bread that gives eternal life (John 6:25-40). Jesus used natural
objects to illustrate moral and spiritual lessons. Bread and wine were acramental
symbols of the new covenant instituted through Jesus’s redeeming death on the
cross. The Holy Spirit is the water that gives life (John 4:14). But whoever
drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will
become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

Here Holy Spirit is compared with water as because, water is the basic
need for every living thing in the world. As such Jesus says, someone who dinks
water will be thirsty again – here he teaches the ecological balance that happens
in a human being.

Farming & Fishery:

Jesus uses many parables that utilize nature to teach spiritual truth.
Parables featuring seeds, weeds, wheat, yeast, fish and trees teach about the
kingdom of God.
Teaching on Sowing:

Matthew 13:3-8 the parable of the sower:


Varied results from sowing seed in different kinds of soils illustrate diverse
responses to Jesus’s message. Even though this is a parable, Jesus teaches along
with scripture, how to plant. You have to careful in sowing the seeds. The land
must be ready for the sowing season. It must be worked before it is sowed. It
must be fertilized etc, so that it could produce good crops in abundance. That is
what Jesus refers to good soil.

Similar teaching:
Parable of the mustard seed:

The growing of the mustard seed, may be found small among all seeds,
but grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches
that the birds of the air can perch in its shade. Smaller it may be, but ecology is
far wider than it is seen.

Teaching on harvest:
Matthew 13:24-30 the parable of the weeds:

In this parable Jesus teaches us to be careful in sowing and even if it is


found to be in failure, you have to cautious in harvesting it. He gives an
overview of the owner and his wisdom, when the servant comes and asks to pull
them up, he cleverly, says that, let it be grown until harvest. Let the harvesters
collects the weed first and put into fire. And then collect the wheat.

Teaching on Fishing:
Matthew 13:47, 48 the parable of the net:

Here Jesus teaches about the kingdom of heaven & fishing techniques,
through the fisherman who went out for fishing. And meanwhile when they
throw the net and caught fishes and pulled up on the shore, they had to work by
only keeping the good fishes by them and throw away the bad fishes back.

Teaching on accountability:
Here Jesus teaches about the accountability you have to be concerned off.
We should be accountable of all ecological organisms which he relates to the
sinner who reconciles with God.

Jesus’s concern towards nature:

All created things have worth in God’s eyes. Nature has intrinsic value
whether it provides human benefits sheep, Matt 12:11 or has little utilitarian
value to humans grass, sparrows, Matt 6:26; 10:29-31 Even rocks glorify God
(Luke19:40). God knows what happens to sparrows and provides for them (Matt
6:26; 10:29-31). He taught the moral imperative of properly caring for animals
(Luke 13:15; Matt 12:11).Several of Jesus’s teachings have indirect
implications for environmental stewardship.Hence human dominion over nature
(Gen 1:26, 28) should be exercised for the good of creation, not the selfish
destruction of nature.

The parable of the talents and the parable of the wise steward imply the
earth is a stewardship for which humanity is accountable to God (Matt 24:45-
51; 25:14-30). The earth belongs to God not humanity (Matt 11:25) (Matt
25:27) Humans are accountable and will be judged on the condition in which
they return God’s possessions.In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches his followers
to pray that God’s kingdom would reign fully on earth (Matt 6:10). Although
God is Lord of heaven and earth (Matt 11:25) The Lord’s Prayer asks that
God’s purposes be fulfilled in both physical and spiritual realms.

Ecology under Him:

Miracles show Jesus’s divine power, glory and authority over nature
and encourage faith in Jesus. Below are few miracles among many that Jesus
performed miraculously over nature. He performed creation miracles such as
multiplying loaves and fish to feed the hungry and transforming water into wine
(Mark 6:34-44; 8:1-9; John 2:1-12; 6: 1-13).
Jesus’s Words & actions over nature:

Simply by speaking a word, he calmed storms, much as God created with


a word in Genesis 1.

He healed numerous diseases with a touch or word (Matt 4:23-24; 8:8)


and raised the dead, including a man who had been dead four daysThe return of
Christ will be preceded by cosmic disasters, including earthquakes, plagues,
famine, changes in the courses of astronomical bodies and the darkening of the
sun and moon Heaven and earth in its present form will pass away (Matt 5:18;
24:35). This is does not imply the destruction of the world, but the transition to
God’s universal reign over creation (Matt 13:37-43). Although Jesus does not
explicitly refer to a new or transformed earth.

Conclusion:

Nature is one of God's beautiful creations. Through nature, God is able to


teach us, speak to us, and provide for us. For this reason, we can find in cripture
that we humans are called to protect all which is of He has created. These
interactions between individuals, between populations, and between organisms
and their environment form ecological systems, or ecosystem. Ecology has been
defined variously as ―the study of the interrelationships of organisms with their
environment and each other,‖ as ―the economy of nature,‖ and as the biology of
ecosystems.‖As we see in the beginning, God tells Noah to take account of all
the living organisms with him, which shows God is concerned for all that He
has made.Genesis 8:21, 22 21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said
in his heart: ―Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even
though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never
again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
22 ―As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
summer and winter, day and night will never cease.
This clearly puts the scenario of the of the beautiful ecological
balance.
This would have impacted Jesus in the New Testament, to teach people
through the ecology.
Bibliography
James A. Duke, Medicinal Plants of the Bible (New York: Trado-Medic Books, 1983).
Charles R. Page II, Jesus & the Land (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995).

Michael Zohary, Plants of the Bible (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982).