Jesus- Things we really know.

So Pogue,

I have continued my thoughts around Jesus and my search for the “Real Jesus”. To begin with I have drawn together the things that seem common in the Biblical record and are generally accepted.

Let’s start with his birth which is recorded as having taken place in Bethlehem, his mother being Mary and his Father, Joseph. Right away we run into an issue. Of the four gospels only two make mention of Jesus being born of a virgin. Now if Jesus was born of a virgin I’m wondering why only two not all four have not made a big thing of this. Curious. There are several attempts to answer this question including, believe it or not, they didn’t know about it, but really, I think someone has to do better than that. Add to this the fact that the text in the Old Testament from which the claim of a prophesy fulfilling virgin birth is drawn uses the word almah which more readily translates “young woman”, but in fairness can be rendered “virgin” and you can see why I faltered at the first hurdle.

OK, so move along 30 or so years (There is only a single mention of Jesus in the interim years) and we find ourselves with an artisan, a carpenter, the son of a carpenter living in Nazareth, a backwater in the rural north of Palestine. Whilst he would have received the same rudimentary education that all Jewish boys received, there is never a mention of Jesus receiving any rabbinical training. I mention this because, he would soon be referred to as Rabbi by many who followed him.

At about the age of 30 he sets out to tell others about, not himself but rather the Kingdom of God which was a very loaded concept. Now, bear in mind that Palestine was a country under occupation with a history of rebellion against the occupying forces. Further, there was a high expectation of a messiah figure who would arise to deliver the nation so the talk of a new kingdom would have been very appealing.

But, as we know Jesus was not about to organise an armed rebellion. Far from anything organised he seems to wander between locations, he had no base nor owned a home, at least if he did we are not told so. And that bothers me because as I read the accounts I find it’s more what I’m not being told than what I am that raises questions. Was he married? We’re not told either way. Did he own a home? Did he return to his trade between teaching in order to support himself? We actually have very little material for the three years he taught.

We are told however, of numerous occasions when he healed people of a variety of ailments using differing methods. By command, by touch, he made mud using spittle and applied it, by giving instruction. Did he heal all those that came to him? We don’t know and would the Gospel writers or those in the Church who later compiled the Bible have told us if he failed to heal any? Not good PR I’m thinking.

There is a lot made of the company that Jesus kept. He seems to have had no prejudices so mixed with the poor and the wealthy, the peasant and the rulers. No one seems to have been off limits and this may have set him aside from other religious leaders. The idea of certain peoples being unclean was very real and so would have put them off limits. But not for Jesus.

Then there is the fact that he was a Jew. For thousands of years the Jews have been a persecuted people, even more so after the Diaspora when they were scattered amongst the nations. Herded into ghettos, pogroms, alienation, extermination, the list of horrors perpetrated against the Jews is long. But Jesus was one of “those” people. If he’d lived in Germany in the Second World War would he have been sent to a camp? Would he have been persecuted in anyone of a number of European countries had he lived at various times over the last thousand years?

Yet we seem to have detached him from his “Jewishness”. He has become one of “us” and not one of “them”. Take a look at the various portrayals of Jesus in art. In European art he is invariably pale skinned, blue eyed, blonde, bearded, usually dressed in white and of course tall. In African art he is dark skinned. But he was born in Palestine and would have had a very particular look, nothing like the popular portrayal. Forbid he had been short and rounded!

Do we need to look again at Jesus and see him within context? If we do it will be a hard thing to achieve because for most of us, all our lives we have been told of a Jesus who looks and thinks like us.

So Pogue, I will leave you at this point. I think those who would seek the “real” Jesus have a hard job ahead of them because for two thousand years people have been making him to appear as best suits their ambitions. The church has certainly edited the Jesus narrative to suit their needs. And I say again, it’s more what I’m not being told than what I am that raises questions.

Imagine Jesus is short and plump. The thought makes me smile.

Yours, seeking some truth,


5 thoughts on “Jesus- Things we really know.

  1. You’re so sceptical about Jesus. But truly you’ve given us a lot of details to digest. It is out of such curiosities that philosophers are born and new knowledge is discovered.

    I couldn’t laugh better at this: “Imagine Jesus is short and plump. The thought makes me smile.” 😂
    Good humour.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Leaves a lot for faith to work its truth. I have a lot of questions build up in mind to ask Him when I see Him face to face too. I don’t question as much as I use to after years of walking with Him, studying, praying. He surely is able to answer all now but then where would the mystery be. I have a conclusion that keep my faith active, He gave us enough for what He wanted to accomplish in our lives. He alone is enough without all my questions. Love you are still seeking. did not know you have been out for a while because I have too, hope all is well. Glad I stopped by today and got several blessings as I read your post.

    Liked by 1 person

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