Jesus (Letter 19)

Sir Tom,

SMASH in all it’s fullness,

Sometimes you make it very hard to reply as you nail it all first time. I have to say I agree with you in pretty much everything.

It’s a fascinating concept, that Jesus has been misrepresented by the church for it’s own agenda. As you say there is a political slant given and I’m frankly surprised at how many politically right wing Christians I meet. I would have thought a left leaning agenda would be more in line with Jesus’ message (especially in terms of the poor). What would be fascinating in these letters would be to put out how you think Jesus has been re-purposed so that we can strip that away.

My only issue comes with your first paragraph. I don’t think Jesus was leading the Israelites through the desert. I think we have another issue of ‘who is Jesus’ and that is that He is not God (the Father). I think when you say something like this you are falling into your own trap of reading the Bible through the Jesus lens. God led the Israelites through the desert, not Jesus, the Bible makes that clear. For all our Jesus and God are the same dude, the Bible goes to great lengths to show they are separate. And apparently no one in the Bible had any issue with that. It is only 300 years later that anyone has an issue with it and run to Greek philosophy rather than the Bible to solve their issue (again an issue that no one in the whole Bible has).

I’ve said this in a previous letter, but I am still of the belief (no one has shown me my mistake) that Jesus did not exist (as the Son) until His birth.

I agree with your summary that He is God’s word, God’s voice, but I think that is in the limited role of what we see Him do in the Evangelion; after that He is granted the place at the right hand of God to be judge of the World. I think the crux of Jesus comes in what we are thinking about this Easter Saturday (as I write), that Jesus defeated death. What does that mean? I won’t answer that here fully, but I think it revolves around the idea that no one can see God and live. I think that might apply even in the Kingdom. Surely to behold God is to be as powerful as He? Are we to gain that in the Resurrection? I can’t think of a verse off the top of my head. Jesus, with His human body can still play the role of mediator even through eternity.

So I take your first paragraph a little differently; that we shouldn’t see everything through the Gospels because we should see God where it is God and Jesus where it is Jesus, though I do believe we should see both the OT and NT through the lens of Jesus’ teachings, particularly the Golden Rule (Love God with all you heart, soul mind and love your neighbour as yourself). If your understanding of an OT passage does not fit within the Golden Rule, then you are reading it wrong.

And I think we should read the Revelation passages on Jesus before we record to keep them fresh in our minds, because that is who Jesus is now. Not a vagrant teacher, but the one who already sits on the right-hand of God, the One in power, no longer in humility.