Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Human Side of Jesus

There are the Gospels which became the written word of the oral version of the life and times of Jesus Christ who was the founder of "The Way". The four gospels we are left with are considered "divine words" after a council examined all the books that were around such as The Gospel according to St. Thomas or St. Peter and decided after consideration and much prayer, I hope, that only Matthew, Mark, Luke and John merited to be considered as inspired by the Holy Spirit. Other books such as Acts, various Epistles and Revelation are considered to be inspired as well. Only the Gospels however reveal the human side of Jesus and very little of that I might add. Each Gospel was written with an audience in mind, Matthew and Mark were writing to Jewish readers while Luke was writing to a Gentile audience as John maybe did. Therefore some of the writings may be skewed in a certain manner to make the message more understandable. However there are only cursory insights provided as to the human side of Jesus. Yes they talked of the Virgin birth but only had a little mention St. Joesph his foster father who had to play a major role in the development of Jesus as a man . He provided a father figure who was always there way before Jesus could have had any inclination that he had a Divine Father. To some of the early writers St Joesph presented more of a problem than a virtue. There are many today who don't accept the Virgin birth as a reality and consider St. Joesph as the biological father. To realize how important St. Joesph was to the family just remember that no matter how strong and faithful the Blessed Mother was back then she had very little standing in the community and was regarded as property of her husband. St. Joesph was the bread winner, protector and good father figure for Jesus to look up to. I wonder when Joesph and Mary told Jesus that St. Joesph was not his biological father and what impact it had on him. How was Jesus affected by this new information that the seed in Mary was impregnated by the mighty one of Israel. Maybe he was never told. Maybe he was left to find this out for himself. The writings of the Gospels seem to indicate that he had to struggle to come to the conclusion who he was and what his mission was. All this must of had a great impact on the human side of Jesus.


He seems to be a good Jewish son who maybe sassed his mother and father when they lost him when he was twelve and subsequently found him. I guess they didn't get too angry with his answer since they were at fault in losing sight of him in the first place. Between twelve and thirty there isn't anything in Gospels about Jesus. However we can put together some pieces. Joesph died and for a while Jesus was the main support of Mary probably working as a carpenter, Joesph's trade. He was a tradesman, blue collar. He spent some years as an Essene which was a monastic sect of Judaism that believed in the common holding of assets and were conservative in their prayerful approach. Perhaps that is how Mary was taken care of when Jesus set out as a preacher unless he had saved some money for her support. Just a few things to consider from a human standpoint.


There are some things we can draw from the Gospels about the human side of Jesus. He seemed to like some of his followers better than some others. John seems to be close to him as well as Peter. My Grandmother seemed to feel he played jokes on the Big Fisherman because he was so likable and at times full of life. Jesus had friends outside of those who went from town to town with him. There were Martha, Mary and Lazarus who he raised from the dead. He seemed to stop at their house and have a good meal whenever he was near their town. He seemed to have a special affection for Mary Magdalene even after he rose from dead since she was the first one he appeared to. Some writers outside of the Church even say he loved her in a special way that men love women. He could have. He could have remained celibate. The whole relationship could have been very difficult purely from a human standpoint. Jesus seemed to have a soft spot in his human heart for women. He wasn't going to throw any stone at the prostitute brought before him. The fact is he saved her with a soft admonition of not to sin anymore which could have a warning that next time he wouldn't be there to save her. He seemed to enjoy parties, went to any dinner when asked and sometimes invited himself along with his band of followers. He didn't like the establishment especially the Jewish establishment. He seemed to play politics at times. When asked if they should pay taxes to Caesar he skirted the issue when he said, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.". He knew his mission would have been aborted right there and then if he said what I feel he really wanted to say, "Hell no!", but the prudent thing was to say what he did. He was able to continue with his mission while teaching an important lesson to his enemies who were trying to entrap him.


When he was put to death he suffered great physical pain and humiliation. All human traits. I will never understand why there had to be such a bloody and painful death for the gates of heaven to be opened but that is a divine subject the human side is it HURT and seemed to go on forever in human terms. When he came back he stayed with his friends, ate breakfast and I bet had a glass of wine or two. Jesus of course is God but for me he was very human with all the hurts and good feelings I and you have. He had the same problems we have and had to die just the way we have to die. He was really like us in more ways than we can imagine. And if I might not be struck down for blasphemy, I love him just as much if not more because he is just as human as I am and can understand how I can screw up so badly while trying not to screw up.
        


 
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