Jesus Remains the Same
Believing Christians often conceive of Jesus as static. Jesus was born divine in a stable in Bethlehem and remained that way for the rest of his life. While I feel that the LDS doctrine goes a bit farther than most religions, I still find myself trapped into thinking of Jesus in a very one-dimensional way. I have a hard time believing that he never “sinned,” at least, by standards of my old definition of the word. Now, I tend reflect deeper what “sin” actually means for me, free from religious input. Did Jesus never hit his siblings? Did Jesus never argue with his father? Did Jesus skip school occasionally? Did Jesus swear? Did Jesus get a crush on a girl and have thoughts about her that he might need to confess to his Bishop? Did Jesus ever feel competitive? Did Jesus ever let his ego get in the way? And if he didn’t, well, then, how can he understand me when I do all of these things? And if he did, well, can he REALLY be sinless? Was Jesus able to repent?
A static Jesus tends to serve religion because you can’t REALLY equate him with true human experience (like all the little things mentioned above). He has to be unique—the one and only Son of God—that is what makes him special, isn’t it? But, in my mind, it creates a gap that seems impossible to cross.
Think about it, “for over two thousand years millions of people have worshipped Christ with out really being transformed. With the exception of a handful of saints, Christianity has not turned believers into the ‘light of the world’ even though Jesus clearly intended the Kingdom of God to descend to earth in his lifetime. Like Buddha and every other enlightened person, Jesus wanted his followers to become enlightened too.”
Jesus was the product of transformation, and he wanted others to be transformed also. Lately, I’ve been reading books on Jesus written by non-Christians. In the most recent one, Jesus, a Story of Enlightenment by Deepak Chopra (where the quotes come from), I have thought about Jesus in a way that I never have thought about him before. What if he wasn’t really born of a virgin birth, what if his birth and life were just like mine–only he started to understand deeply his own divinity—which is JUST like mine? What if he heard prophecies of a Messiah and decided to step up and fulfill those prophecies—not because he was any different or more divine than I am, but because he was willing to act. What if his life choices and teachings were simply a reflection of the power of enlightenment, conviction of who he is, and faith in his own ability? What if everything that Jesus taught and was, I can learn and be—not in heaven, but RIGHT NOW? What if he was just a man—a man who tapped into some higher part of himself that WE ALL HAVE? Somehow, these ideas seems to spur me to action more than the idea that he was part divinity, perfect, unchanging, and always clear about who and what he was. These thoughts make me drawn to his life path as something more conceivable for me to achieve right now. What if millions of people connected to these aspects of Jesus’s path on a deeper level (instead of the concentrating on all the miracles surrounding his calling)?
“What, then, is the path that Jesus laid out? Parts of it are already familiar. Jesus told his disciples to pray. He asked them to trust God. They were to rely on faith to accomplish miracles. Their attitude toward the world was to be one of peace and love. Millions of Christians still attempt to live by these precepts, yet something crucial must be missing, because we don’t witness a large-scale transformation of human nature among Christians. Like the rest of us, they seem just as tempted to be unloving, violent, selfish, and narrow-minded, the difference being that they are tempted to use their religion to justify their behavior. (In that, they aren’t alone—every organized religion creates an ethos that covers human flaws with self-righteous rhetoric).”
There must be more to the path that Jesus outlined. There must be more to his life mission as a man on this earth. There must be a greater world transformation that can happen. There must be some part of a static Jesus that just isn’t resonating with the Christian population as it was meant to. How can we view and follow Jesus in a way that will actually bring about the Kingdom of Heaven on earth? What do you think it is?