Jesus & Friends
By John O.
It's impossible for anyone to get a detailed account on Jesus' ministry. We have so few records on Him - four novella accounts, and three are almost the same - but the few details we have, has given rise to the most incredible speculations and exaggerations about any person who has ever walked on this planet. If Jesus were ever to look at the plethora of legends, stories, the books about Him, and the attributes ascribed to Him, He - more than anyone - would be utterly flabbergasted.
"I never started any of that stuff," He would croak.
The simple teachings of the humble carpenter of Nazareth all changed in 325 A.D. at the council of Nicaea, and then Jesus suddenly became profitable. The truth didn't matter. Here was a commodity that could be exploited, and the Catholic Church made full use of His name and the legends that followed.
Most who are reading this website know by now that the Bible was not "canonized" until around 380 A.D. and many parts of the Catholic world didn't recognized that "Textus Receptus" until around 800 A.D. This canonization took place (according to the Interpreters Bible Dictionary) on the basis that any text included must conform to the doctrines of Catholicism which they had already decided to accept. The question of truth or honesty never entered the picture. And "God" was certainly NOT included. It didn't matter if the accounts about Jesus were the most preposterous or even filled with lies. Those accounts had to conform to the doctrines of the "church" and pave the way for the most profitable monetary empire in history.
Unlike most people, I don't buy the idea that the Whore of Babylon in Revelation 17 is the Catholic Church. In fact, I don't even believe it's a church at all. So, I'm not going to get into the doctrinal details of the "daughters" of Catholicism, but from what we've all seen, the protestant, etc., churches over the years have been just as screwed up as their progenitor in Rome.
Anything the Catholic leadership found, in those days, that was acceptable to their belief system, was used in their doctrine. Of course, like Paul and others, they added their own concoction of confusion and rules that dominated continents for multiple centuries. It is interesting to note that the Catholics claim to have strong evidence that in 45 A.D. it was really Peter the Apostle that came to Rome, presenting himself as a disciple of Jesus. This evidence has been researched by independents as being quite true, and maybe - in this case - the Catholics are right. It's possible therefore, that Peter (and maybe others) went bad, much like Judas. The fact that Paul never addressed or referred to Peter in the Romans epistle, might be for the reason that Peter had indeed left the fold. Maybe Peter had, in reality, taken over as the first bishop of Rome. Or Peter was already dead. Anyhow, it's a strong possibility, because there's nothing to say that most of Jesus' flock stuck around with His teachings until every one of them died. There's no absolute historical or quotable proof . . . only legends.
So, all we have left to read about the life of Jesus is what the Catholic Church has deemed to pass onto us, and that information does not contradict their own doctrines in any way. We are presented with a Jesus, as the business of Catholicism sees Him, and one who is quoted as saying nothing to undermine that Catholic authority. The gospels and epistles are a highly redacted (Biblical editing) group of works. And they are redacted with the slant toward the Catholic viewpoint.
We don't even know the half of what Jesus did, or anything about His character, because the records are so sparse. And that lack of facts is combined with a bunch of second hand legends from adoring followers. He was accused of being a glutton and drunkard - a charge He never denied as He did other charges. He had one disciple who he loved, and it wasn't John, because John was NOT at the feet of the cross when Jesus died. The disciple that Jesus loved actually watched Him die. Jesus, Himself never claimed to be anything more than the "Son of man," and never deified Himself. He always claimed that whatever He could do, we could too. He said that His Father was the same Father to all. Granted, His philosophy was eternal, but He always said that we too could walk in and understand the same path. His teachings were a parallel to Buddha's, and this latter man died some 500 years before Jesus' birth. Jesus was just one of the average people who lived at the time and had an expanded understanding of life. And this is the Jesus that churches worship today.
From whence comes all this nonsense?
I'm not knocking the real Jesus in any way. We have very few direct records, in the gospels, about Him, but IF they are all true, then what He said about Himself makes sense and the wisdom that He taught is immortal. But what about the rest of it? The men that followed Jesus have fabricated the most incredible tales and legends imaginable, none of it was confirmed by Jesus Himself, but it all conformed with the Catholic idea of "Jesus promotion" and the garnering of a massive income and capturing the undivided loyalty of millions.
Jesus never said that He came to save mankind. He never said that He would save men from their sins or by His stripes they were healed. Jesus never said to believe on Him or confess your sins to Him in order to be saved. And the list of expanded theological nonsense goes on and on. Even the horseman in Revelation that has "King of kings and Lord of lords" on his thigh, is NOT identified as Jesus. That's just an assumption.
What has confused many people is the miracles that Jesus supposedly worked. Other ancient writings from the far East have given us a possible scenario. If, as they claim, Jesus did travel to the far East in his early manhood, he could easily have learned some of the techniques that have been used there for centuries. There is nothing evil about these events, but some people simply learned to use the God energy the way It was intended. Those techniques have now been forgotten to much of the world. There is nothing evil or even miraculous about it, but it's a simple using of the universal principles that have been known forever. Far Eastern records have come to us, even today, about healing miracles, telekinesis, the discerning of dark spirits, and the basic philosophy of a peaceful life that simply teaches: "Love one another." If people preach and live that doctrine of love to their fellow man, then the fruits are good. Anything else that follows is NOT evil running rampant.
And this is how Jesus got the title of "Master."
This would account for some of the things that were attributed to Jesus, but as He said, "The works I do, you shall do . . . " showing that there was nothing magical or weird about His behavior, and we could emulate the same lifestyle . . . even to the so-called miracles. Jesus never called His works "miraculous," but instead, He always made the people feel that He was doing nothing special, and that they could do the same . . . IF they only believed it were possible. There was nothing magical here. Only faith.
We have so few accounts of the life of Jesus and that of His followers. Since many of the accounts have been so redacted or destroyed, it's difficult to quote from them at times. I've quoted Jesus, Paul, and others in these articles, but only when what was reportedly said by the individual actually bore witness to the truth. We can only assume the quotes came from the people named, since we have no other records. Personally, I don't care where the truth comes from; I'll quote truth from any document that comes along if it can help people.
Since I'm not religious in that sense, and I go to no church, then I'm trying to stand back and take an honest look at each philosophy that has come down to us, and judge each with an open mind. We can all do that now, as we not frightened by being "grabbed" by those evil spirits which would materialize if we ever dared to think about any other ideas except churchianity.
Should people follow Jesus? He never said so. He always said to look to the Father (or God). Should people listen to what He said and follow in His footsteps and in His teachings of love? Sure. Why not? His philosophy would change the world if it were implemented. But so would the philosophies of Buddha, Lao Tsu, Confucius, King Hammurabi, and the ancient Egyptian vizier, Ptah Hotep.
But the world isn't listening to these other great Masters. The world doesn't give a damn, any more than do the religions of today. With religion, it's nothing more than a business that seeks profit, even at the expense of people's lives, honor, security, and mental stability. But there is a BIG difference between regular business and religious business. With regular business, you always produce a viable product/s for the consumer. With religion, there is NO viable product. The only product is deadly and has no redeemable features. Would we pay money to drink arsenic? Cults and most religions are a totally empty proposition for the seeker . . . and they're utterly destructive in the long run.
Believing on Jesus means nothing more than taking the man's word for what He said, and trusting His philosophy. People do, because it makes sense. But that's the end of the matter. We don't have to open a corporation to "reverence" the sayings or the teacher.
It's the height of insanity to make organizations out of simple teachings for the express purposes of garnering profit and ruling over peoples' lives. On that basis, we could go out and start a new religion on George Bush's famous saying: "Read my lips . . . " Now, we could go out and register a corporation to the "lips," make buildings to the "lips," write books about the "lips," then pray to the "lips," sing songs to the "lips," and give tithes to the "lips." To make a regimented religion out of a simple set of beliefs and then try to control peoples' lives as a result, is utterly diabolical.
If Jesus could see what's actually happening in His name today (if He were interested), then one appropriate Biblical expression made about Him would certainly come to pass.
So, who does Jesus speak to today? Anyone who will listen to His philosophy. Is Jesus the Messiah? No, and He never said He was. If that was God's plan, then God must be the biggest klutz in the universe, because over 95% of all people born in the last six thousand years have never even heard of Jesus. Someone really blew that plan of salvation!
Who does Jesus speak through today? No one in particular. That was not His intent. He simply passed on the information (like the sower and the seed), and let the chips fall where they may. If people wanted to follow His sayings, then they would live in peace. But the problem came when people wanted to follow the messenger (Jesus) rather than the message . . . EXACTLY the same as it is today.
Since people followed Jesus at that time, they no longer tithed to the Temple, and this resultant "disloyalty" from the Temple followers got Jesus killed. He threatened the established religions of the day, and the money they garnered into their coffers. And IF he would return today in the flesh, the progeny of those Pharisees - i.e. modern day religiosity - would again kill Jesus. This time, they probably do it with a .44 Magnum.
Jesus has become immensely profitable over the years, but His intent was a simple message of love to our fellow man, nothing more. And look what's happened.
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