Monday, October 7, 2013

Who Is Jesus?

[Someone might look at] “scholarly research and say, ‘That’s all very interesting about Jesus’ itinerancy, his challenge to conventional lifestyle, his open meals…but nothing I want to organize my life around.’"

"It’s possible to accept the historical facts but to conclude that Jesus was utopian, or mistaken, or flaky, or whatever."

John Dominic Crossan, biblical scholar

And, historically, there are about as many interpretations of "who Jesus is" as there are versions of what a human is.

Many have dismissed Jesus as wrong even though they knew historical facts about Jesus. Consider Marxist revolutionary Che Guevera's infamous statement: "I am all the contrary of a Christ...I fight for the things I believe in, with all the weapons at my disposal and try to leave the other man dead so that I don't get nailed to a cross...In fact, if Christ himself stood in my way, I like Nietzche, would not hesitate to squish him like a worm."

In contrast to many such modern views, Crossan continues:
"So faith goes beyond the historical facts to wrestle with their meanings. But faith cannot ignore or bypass the historical facts. What we believe in by faith is the ultimate meaning of what we know by history."

"Christian faith means finding in the picture of the historical Jesus the power and wisdom of God—and then getting serious about its implications for our lives, now.”

John Dominic Crossan & Richard G. Watts, from Crossan’s short book Who Is Jesus?

Crossan, a brilliant scholar, has been considered controversial because of some of his more speculative statements regarding the origins of the Bible.

But Crossan's quotes about the historical Jesus and Jesus' relationship to us are gold. They get so clearly to the heart of what being a follower of Jesus means. One's life depends on whom one sets one's focus and goal toward.

Who or what do you follow?

In the words of Scripture: Jesus asked them, "But who do you say that I am?"

Peter answered, "You are the Mashiah!" Mashiah is a Jewish term meaning "the anointed," a reference in the Hebrew Bible referring to one who is chosen as a leader, an expected deliverer, a liberator.

Who is Jesus according to you?

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

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