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What Is Jesus Role For You?


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This topic is broken off from a discussion we were having on Burl's Lectionary thread.


What role does Jesus play for you today?


God to be worshipped?
Divine rescuer?
Jewish sage?
Jewish spirit-person?
Giver of eternal life?
Forgiver of sins?
Spirit guide?


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All of the above.


Before Jesus, there was a firm separation between mankind and God. God only reached mankind through the prophets. At Pentecost, we see this separation destroyed and mankind capable of developing a direct relationship with God.


Jesus is not a matter of belief. Jesus enabled our ability to directly connect with God.

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I tried linking to this before it is a summary of what Rex Weyler thinks are the words we can reasonably ascribe to a historic Jesus.


I have no skill in asserting the accuracy of his statement, but having said that it would be really unusual if everything in the New Testament is a verbatim record of Jesus's words (and actions).


Read into that what you will.


But I think the question we are asking is what do we make of the myth of Christ?


And here I think the various scribes have added on their own perceptions or perhaps spin.


If Jesus did actually say something that is equivalent to:


Otherwise, avoid rules and follow the truth you discover yourself.

Act from awareness, not habit or convention.

This I think is sage advice.


ps The summary talks about the divine kingdom

Edited by romansh
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I believe I apply a persona to the Jesus of today that probably didn't exist in the real Jesus. I think the Jesus of history was a dedicated Jew who was preaching a personal connectedness to God that Judaism had lost. Whereas the priesthood had become the mediators for people and God, Jesus was saying no mediator was required (himself included). He explicitly preached that no mediator or intercessor was required for people to have a relationship with God.


And I can't see Jesus as sacrifice or a forgiver of sins. There is nothing to forgive and no need for a sacrifice.


So what am I left with?


For me, I see Jesus as a religious Jew who was coming at relationship with God from a different angle than the current climate he was experiencing. I can use some of his teachings in the modern day but I must acknowledge that these teachings probably weren't meant for me, a non-Jew some 2000 years into the future.

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I was, for lack of a better term, in love with Jesus for many years. But I eventually came to see that the Jesus I was attached to wasn't very much like the Yeshua portrayed in the scriptures. So, for me, Jesus' role is much like that of a teacher or example of a spirit-filled human life. But I don't claim that the resurrected Jesus lives in my heart, as if there are two people living inside me.


On the other hand, I have come to appreciate the mystical strain in Christianity that suggests that we can experience some of "Christ within", which I interpret to be an awareness of our connectedness to God and to others. This, to me, is the "anointing" that the original word references back to, where we, as humans, become God's agents for justice and compassion on earth. But, speaking only for myself, I don't consider Jesus to be some kind of ghost or physical being sitting next to God on a throne somewhere. He is, rather, a symbol of a spirit-person, something that I can develop and enjoy in my life here and now.

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I think that Jesus is a character in the story of life for a practicing Jewish man of the First Century CE, and has been imbued with elements of some type of radical reformation of the religious life of the times.


If I call myself a "follower" of Jesus, then, I would expect to do the same thing within my culture and time - keeping in mind, of course, that the bulk of the story is fiction.



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