Here’s a snippet from what is the best all-around book on Jesus that I’ve read.
This is relevant in all kinds of ways.
Faith in Jesus Christ was from the beginning more than mere interiority. Where the issue is the Gospel of Jesus it is always about the world and transforms the world. The widespread notion that within the church Christians learn faith in order to apply it in the world is a perversion, to the very root, of what Jesus actually wanted. Faith is from its first second about forming and transforming the world, and the church is the placewhere the material of the world is grasped and redeemed by faith.
From Gerhard Lohfink’s Jesus of Nazareth: What He Wanted, Who He Was, pp. 237-8. Very nicely translated from Lohfink’s original German by Linda M. Mahoney.
Lohfink has such a keen sense of history as well as literature, he understands what the Gospels are doing, he is faithful to the realities of 1st-century Judaism, and he has clearly soaked himself in the personality and significance of Jesus, to whom he is as just as clearly lovingly devoted.