The question for the ages – who is Jesus? It’s my question almost daily as he continues to impress and surprise me. But he also confuses me, annoys me, angers me, encourages me, and in every way…astonishes me. Who is this man?
I’m going to write a series of short blogs on this over the next weeks (as I attempt to write my new book – this is what I do when i have writer’s block, which is most of the time).
These thoughts on Jesus will be in the same progression that I would present him to someone who doesn’t know him very well. I will approach this discussion on Jesus with a few assumptions. They are:
1. That everyone would like to know Jesus if they knew the real Jesus. I do not mean, that they would choose to give up their lives and follow him, but simply that Jesus was usually a likable character when seen by an outsider. At least that’s always my assumption.
2. That Jesus was a man. We’ll get to the “god part” later. But I come into any discussion about Jesus thinking of him as a man. Fully human in every way. Just like us. All the same needs and desires. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs applied to him too.
3. That when I speak of the actual biblical Middle Eastern Jesus, he both confused and attracted people to himself. When I speak of the Western Christianized Jesus that lives in my head – not so much.
4. That I can only understand him so much. The WWJD thing doesn’t do it for me for at least two reasons: One, is that I don’t really know what Jesus would do. And secondly, most of the time I can’t even figure out what he DID do, let alone what he would do now. So I’m working off of the assumption that my very limited understanding of who Jesus was – 2000 years ago – gives me enough hints that I can make some best guesses at what he would do if he were living through my life today. But that won’t be the point of these blogs. They will focus on his earthly life.
With that, we’re ready to dive into discovering who this man was. 2000 years ago in the region of Palestine. A Jewish carpenter’s son. Who has changed my life.