Over the past century, perhaps longer, the figure of Jesus has changed considerably: there is the "historic" Jesus; the Jesus as literally depicted in the 4 Gospels; the Cosmocrator Jesus both of the Apocalypse of John & of the iconic art of the Eastern Church; and there is the Crucified Jesus of the post-Nicene Church. This is just a short list. We have, through the discovery & translation of the Nag Hammadi texts, a much more accurate picture of the Gnostic Jesus--though here as well there are many varied visions of Jesus.
What we have is a multi-faceted Jesus, at times seeming to be a young man preaching in the villages of Judea, at others, the Compassionate Lord of the Universe, & so on. He is much like the Crystal of certain Grail stories, the Stone that is the actual Graal itself.
I come to write this completely unprepared. Seeing the blank space becomes a challenge & I begin to let Thought flow. William Blake equated Jesus with the power of the Creative Imagination, somewhat along the lines of Phanes is the old Orphic cosmos--the Power by which Being Becomes. In each of us that power is continuously active, insofar as we are always defining & redefining the world we experience. As such, it is an undisciplined power. Hence Jesus, the Guide, the Friend and Lover.
As one learns about Jesus, both from the texts & from the promptings of the Imagination, many transmutations occur. In my own experience, finding the connection between Jesus and the Preserving Compassion the Hindus name Vishnu has had a profound effect. Jesus became specific & universal at once. The strictures of a singular dogma fell away.
Can the multitude of Jesus figures be reconciled? I believe so.
There is a method of interpretation that comes to us from the Classics & was used by Dante in the composition of the Commedia. It is four-fold: Historic/Literal; Moral; Allegorical; & Anagogical. this last phase is where we move from the symbolic to direct vision. (The early Qabbalists named this 4-fold method Pardes--PRDS--which is, of course Paradise. Forgive me for not having at hand the Hebrew/Aramaic words attatched to each letter). Through this method/process, one is able to pass from the appearance to the Being, without losing anything of significance.
Thus the young preacher healing the sick of body & soul in the Judea of Roman proconsuls & Hasmonean puppets IS the embodied praeternatural Logos at work to awaken the Logos buried in each human heart.
I throw these thoughts out in hope that they will open a dialogue, thank you for your time. --Grant S Fisher
Whether he is God, Son of God, a plain preacher, I believe he was underplayed in the Bible. I don't believe he came "down to earth" to develop a religion; I think the world was going to hell, and he wanted to teach them how to live like human beings, not savages.
The Bible said he is the Word, and it was with God, and was God. Not to sound ridiculous, but in all my years of studying about Jesus, no one could answer which Word he was. Is that his name? Is it though him saying "Let there be light", (if it was indeed he who said it) was he called "The Word" because he spoke?
The gospels do not portray his humanity. That disgusts me. They talk about a few of his sermons, arguments with the temple priests, and mention a few members of his family. One would think in his 3 year mission he said a lot more that is quoted. I'm sure he laughed, joked, and drank too much. He was HUMAN. It wasn't until He was Enlightened that He spread the issues, "Man does not live by bread alone", "Love one another as I have loved you". It appears he lived according to what he preached. That, in itself made him a good teacher.
The way Jesus is portrayed now, is still the way he was 2000 years ago. Most of the issues are the same, but the material world has become worse. He told people" if someone asks for you cloak, give him your tunic." We could use that Jesus around now, berating disposable clothes. I lived in a large city. Every spring, people threw out brand new clothes, rather than give them to charities. Some had price tags still on them. My husband and I collected those clothes, made sure they were clean and spread them equally around the charities.
Commercials on TV: "Do you owe the IRS more than $10,000? Call us at..." What happened to "render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar's. The "Christ"ian churches that developed afterward have their own rules, own way of interpreting the Bible, and each is THE correct church. The use of the word Christ in Christian to me is misleading. Christ means anointed. It also coincides with the deeper meaning of what he taught-hence, Christ Consciousness. If one lives by Christ Consciousness and not the Bible and man-made religions, they would be less material and more spiritual, and it wouldn't have anything to due with Jesus. He isn't Jesus Christ like it's a last name. He is Jesus, THE Christ! I think that was his goal. To teach people to live with a higher consciousness, and forget the material world. I'm sure, as he watches from wherever he is, he shakes his head and thinks, "Why did I bother?" Only a few have joined his bandwagon--in the 21st Century. Humanity are a bunch of quick learners.
PS I also believe, during his "Lost Years" he travelled to India and studied with the Masters. Not so much that he could teach them, but to compare notes, so to speak. The people of India called him Issa. It is now St. Issa. What he had to say is said time and again in Eastern beliefs, which are older than He.
I feel a connection to Jesus. At times I feel sorry for him. All his hard work, and look around us. "Oh, I'm a Christian!" he/she says carrying the Bible. Then turns to his/her companion and says, "Don't talk to that person. He's bad. He doesn't go to Church, and says he's a Christian!." And that BAD man just came from helping at a soup kitchen. Who do you think would please Jesus more? He said, "Judge not, lest ye be judged." I think those Christians with their Bibles would be pulled aside and lectured; Jesus would NOT have been pleased.