JESUS' ENCOUNTERS AND THE HELPING RELATIONSHIP
Clarke, Harvey C.
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The purpose of this study was to contribute to the limited body of research on the interactions between Jesus and individuals. The research was based upon 26 encounters between Jesus and individuals that are recorded in the synoptic gospels. A model based upon the characteristics of a facilitative counselor presented by Rogers (1961) and Carkhuff, Truax and Berenson (1967, 1977) was constructed and the encounters between Jesus and individuals were viewed in relation to this model. Results obtained indicated that the characteristics of a counselor found in the model were generally present in Jesus' relationships with individuals, and that Jesus displayed counseling characteristics that were not found in the model. The summary indicates that, of the characteristics in the model, empathy, respect, warmth, non-evaluation, acceptance, concreteness, genuineness, self-disclosure and confronting were found to be recognizable in a majority of the encounters and these appear to be basic to Jesus' relationships with individuals. The counseling characteristics unique to Jesus were his availability, the depth of compassion evidenced in his relationships, his willingness to risk and his acceptance of the reality of the community. It is the view of the author that further research into this portion of the life of Jesus will yield significant understanding about Jesus and his relationship with individuals. This information and understanding will be important to pastors as they develop their personal patterns of counseling as well as to theological colleges whose task it is to train pastors for the parish ministry. As a result of the study the author is convinced that there can be a unique dimension to counseling as practiced by the Christian pastor.