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Who is Jesus?
 

Remarkably, in spite of severe criticism, Mel Gibson's movie 'The Passion of the Christ' continues to draw large crowds.

The fact that it is impacting people cannot be denied. Even in my own church this weekend, a teenage girl came to our service because of the impact of this movie upon her and her friends.

It is ironic that there is so much controversy concerning this movie when the movie presents the controversy that surrounded Jesus Christ 2000 years ago. It would seem, even in the 21st century, that many people's emotions, subjective opinions and prejudices become ignited when the truth about Jesus Christ is told.

Perhaps the reason for this is that many people are afraid of facing up to the possibility that Jesus Christ might actually be the person he claimed to be.

There are some that have accused Jesus of being a 'Con Man'. That he was a deceiver of the people. In fact that is one of the accusations they used in Jesus' illegal trial.

I struggle with this possibility for the following reasons.

If Jesus was a 'Con Man' then he was not very good at it. It is my understanding that 'Con Men' manipulate people for their own gain and success. Jesus ended up being crucified at the young age of 33. In addition, Jesus had very little material possessions when he died. He was concerned for the poor and gave away to help those who needed help.

The other reason is that Jesus said some very strong things to the crowds. On one occasion the crowd left him because of what he was teaching. That is odd behaviour for a 'Con Man'.

If Jesus was a 'Con Man' then he clearly failed.

Someone emailed me and said that Jesus was just another 'Freedom Fighter'. Well, that cannot be true because Jesus never spoke against Roman rule. In fact he said 'Give to God what belongs to God, and give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar'.

When arrested Peter used a sword and attacked one of the men arresting Jesus. Jesus Christ responded by rebuking Peter and healing the man who had been wounded. This is odd behaviour for a 'Freedom Fighter'. Jesus said 'Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.' (Mat 26:52).

It was common in Jesus' day for a Roman soldier to compel a Jew to help carry his bags for a mile. In the sermon on the mount Jesus said to his listeners 'If someone forces...to surprise the soldier and willingly carry his bag two miles instead of one.'(Mat 5:41). Again another odd statement for some one who is a 'Freedom Fighter'.

Then there are others who have suggested that maybe Jesus was a deluded individual. That he was mentally unstable.

Perhaps Jesus was mental. Jesus taught on subjects like forgiveness, hope and love. He taught about how God welcomes back the prodigal son. He taught how we should care for others. Jesus taught on generosity. In addition, Jesus Christ helped people. He healed people. He comforted people.

Let's take a realistic look at the world, our countries and our communities. Loving people, caring for people and healing people is very opposite to the general vibe of our world. So compared to us I guess we could say that Jesus was 'crazy'. I think I would rather have the values of Jesus and suffer being called crazy than have the selfish values of society and be called normal.

Finally, Jesus Christ could be who he claimed to be. Jesus said of himself 'I am the way the truth and the life.'

The trouble with any religion is that there is a set of rules or principles we are told to follow to improve our spiritual condition. But Jesus challenged that concept. Jesus basically said that the way to eternal life, being right with God, is through him.

In Australia we have a saying 'It's not what you know, it's who you know.' If you want a better job, it's good to know someone who can help you. In the same way, eternal life comes through knowing some one on the inside of heaven itself. That person is Jesus Christ.

Check out the movie 'The Passion of the Christ' and then check out your local church.

You are welcome to give me any feed back on the above article.

 
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