Just for the sake of clarity, can I introduce Jesus as a stranger, (since I’m not at all keen on the idea of a personal saviour ) just as I imagine he came to those fishermen so long ago. Also it seems to me, for the most part, so he remained to a large degree, even to his disciples.
So I think we can say in essence Jesus (as opposed to the crucified Christ) is only known to us by way of a collection of his remarkable sayings and principally the loose narrative of his brief ministry.
But how can one not be drawn to his words. For me they resemble explosive bullets which shatter the conscious minds status quo and invite a new form of enquiry. So I might posit at the outset, from my perspective, the higher self gets a high dose of adrenaline to shape that ongoing creation of which we are a part. At least I would like to think about it like that as one ponders the relevance to day of those ancient thoughts.
Many passages come to mind but none more so than the parable of the “Good Samaritan”, etched as it is into everyday language. One can imagine then the shock of the audience as Jesus attributed the noble act to the much hated Samaritans. That would have been extraordinarily radical, given the deep seated tribal animosity ingrained in society then. Even today, don’t you agree how easy it is for racial prejudice to bubble up in conversations of fear expressed by otherwise remarkably fine people. And so it was with many of his sayings and parables.
For the scriptures (NT) talks of an extraordinary teacher, one who does not indulge in abstract ideas, or engage intellectually but rather is focussed at a practical level on the expansion of good works and compassion in preparedness for the long awaited messianic kingdom. One can’t help but notice this thematic, in his exhortation to show compassion, in forgiveness and in not being judgmental. Notice the judgemental aspect only creeps into the narrative due to its unmistakable eschatological roots. This is evident in the warning bells prior to a soon to arise messianic kingdom. This new world order is defined in the Sermon on the Mount.
But I think one must acknowledge this eschaton was never possible as we understand the cosmos today. However this does not detract from the wisdom and practicality of his teachings. Nor does it preclude us from proclaiming “the Christ” as in his divinity in death, to add another vital link to our spiritual self. Nor does it lessen in any way his impact on humanity as the guiding light out of darkness we attribute to “the Christ”.
In fact I believe the opposite is true. As a fully human Jesus, this complements the divine risen Christ as a cosmic force for the greater good and a telos for ongoing creation.
But the ideas of the second coming and all that entails as in judgements needs to be jettisoned in my view from mainstream thinking. Surely the idea that GOD needs to return or indeed such event occurred in the first instance can be jettisoned. Such an event seems entirely unnecessary with what is visible and known in the Universe and how the divine or greater good can co- exist independent of supernatural events. Of course I am not ridiculing such concepts, only questioning why we need to believe such things, and posit that their origins in my view arise from mistranslations.
Hence over time I feel one can anticipate the dismantling of such unnecessary rituals and so called statements of faith such as reciting the current Creed, with its reference to such things as the 3rd day, right hand side, judgements and so forth. This idea of judgment, as I outlined previously (as a forewarning to the imminent messianic kingdom) has led, I believe, to many bad sermons.
So it is, that the Christ comes to us today as the lone stranger, executed with few around to lend any support, but continues on now for ever in divine cosmic memory as an extraordinary man. So I see that extension to the kingdom is now being realised and expressed as an extension in humanity’s higher self. So that his divinity, I posit, is after his death and not before. For my question is how could it be so essential that we must believe he was God on earth? One again I am not ridiculing those who do. But he talks about his Father and even at times his brothers and sisters. What I find puzzling is that we go to these extraordinary efforts to maintain credence to this idea, even though paradoxically in the first early Christian communities such diversity of views were common place.
So in summary I see room to relax dogmas with more emphasis on what you do. I think it means we can talk about Jesus, the extraordinary Man, who was not GOD on earth, but became the risen Christ. But a counter view to that is fine, so long as we don’t make that a prerequisite of calling oneself a Christian. I have deliberately refrained from mentioning the Trinity, but by now I think you would have gathered my views. The more we seek to complicate the wonderful legacy of Jesus the greater risk we have of failing to walk in his shoes as the great fisherman for humanity he remains.