Faith: An imagined Jesus by Mark T. Wuggazer
WOW! 90% of Americans have a positive view of Jesus! See our blog below for more commentary, but first, here's a snippet from the article:
"Jesus is a very likable character in 21st century America. Despite the fact that only 70% of Americans identify as Christians, and less than 20% of Americans attend church on a given week, a whopping 90% of people have a positive opinion of Jesus himself. That figure includes all people of all faiths. The reason for this likeability is that people and groups in our society have fashioned a Jesus in their own imagination that is likeable and agreeable to their sensibilities."
Click to read the whole article
In this article, Jesus is discussed as a sort of "rabble-rouser"; the author cites the cleansing of the temple, rebuking the Jewish leaders of the day, and generally disturbing the peace of the establishment. The author wants us to know that Jesus was not all sweetness and light - that he meant business, too.
And he did - no question. And we still remember those events from Jesus' life. But, what is it about Jesus that makes him so likeable to 90% of Americans? I suspect it is because Jesus is well-known for his teachings - Jesus is well-known for his great love of mankind, for his teachings to love God and each other, even our enemies. He sets a high bar for human conduct - a high ideal that all people find appealing, even 2000 years after his appearance on our world. And even with the scanty accounts of his life through the gospels of the Bible, people still revere this God/man. Imagine if we could know him better!
Imagine No More
Readers of The Urantia Book love Jesus for all of those reasons, and even more. In Part IV of The Urantia Book, we are gifted with a modern-day restatement of Jesus' life from his birth to his death; we gain a comprehensive understanding of his teachings, and we find out the real reasons that he came to our world.
But The Urantia Book tells us more: it tells us more than we've ever known about Jesus the man, Jesus the human being. His rich life is detailed for us and familiar stories we've come to know and love from the Bible are fleshed out; details of well-known events in his life are elaborated so that one is left with a new and thrilling understanding of just who Jesus was, what he did, and the religion he lived.
Jesus had an amazing personality
But as to the details about the actual personality of the Master, The Urantia Book eclipses all other stories ever told about him.
For example, in The Acme of Religious Living we learn:
The unfailing kindness of Jesus touched the hearts of men, but his stalwart strength of character amazed his followers. He was truly sincere; there was nothing of the hypocrite in him. He was free from affectation; he was always so refreshingly genuine. He never stooped to pretense, and he never resorted to shamming. He lived the truth, even as he taught it. He was the truth. He was constrained to proclaim saving truth to his generation, even though such sincerity sometimes caused pain. He was unquestioningly loyal to all truth.
Jesus was consistently cheerful, notwithstanding he sometimes drank deeply of the cup of human sorrow. He fearlessly faced the realities of existence, yet was he filled with enthusiasm for the gospel of the kingdom. But he controlled his enthusiasm; it never controlled him. He was unreservedly dedicated to "the Father's business." This divine enthusiasm led his unspiritual brethren to think he was beside himself, but the onlooking universe appraised him as the model of sanity and the pattern of supreme mortal devotion to the high standards of spiritual living. And his controlled enthusiasm was contagious; his associates were constrained to share his divine optimism.
Jesus was great because he was good, and yet he fraternized with the little children. He was gentle and unassuming in his personal life, and yet he was the perfected man of a universe. His associates called him Master unbidden
Click to read that entire section...you'll be glad you did.
"As he passed by..."
And in As Jesus Passed By, we read more about how Jesus lived his life, as well as clues to how we can follow his example in our daily lives:
Here is that section in its entirety:
Jesus spread good cheer everywhere he went. He was full of grace and truth. His associates never ceased to wonder at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth. You can cultivate gracefulness, but graciousness is the aroma of friendliness which emanates from a love-saturated soul.
Goodness always compels respect, but when it is devoid of grace, it often repels affection. Goodness is universally attractive only when it is gracious. Goodness is effective only when it is attractive.
Jesus really understood men; therefore could he manifest genuine sympathy and show sincere compassion. But he seldom indulged in pity. While his compassion was boundless, his sympathy was practical, personal, and constructive. Never did his familiarity with suffering breed indifference, and he was able to minister to distressed souls without increasing their self-pity.
Jesus could help men so much because he loved them so sincerely. He truly loved each man, each woman, and each child. He could be such a true friend because of his remarkable insight—he knew so fully what was in the heart and in the mind of man. He was an interested and keen observer. He was an expert in the comprehension of human need, clever in detecting human longings.
Jesus was never in a hurry. He had time to comfort his fellow men "as he passed by." And he always made his friends feel at ease. He was a charming listener. He never engaged in the meddlesome probing of the souls of his associates. As he comforted hungry minds and ministered to thirsty souls, the recipients of his mercy did not so much feel that they were confessing to him as that they were conferring with him. They had unbounded confidence in him because they saw he had so much faith in them.
He never seemed to be curious about people, and he never manifested a desire to direct, manage, or follow them up. He inspired profound self-confidence and robust courage in all who enjoyed his association. When he smiled on a man, that mortal experienced increased capacity for solving his manifold problems.
Jesus loved men so much and so wisely that he never hesitated to be severe with them when the occasion demanded such discipline. He frequently set out to help a person by asking for help. In this way he elicited interest, appealed to the better things in human nature.
The Master could discern saving faith in the gross superstition of the woman who sought healing by touching the hem of his garment. He was always ready and willing to stop a sermon or detain a multitude while he ministered to the needs of a single person, even to a little child. Great things happened not only because people had faith in Jesus, but also because Jesus had so much faith in them.
Most of the really important things which Jesus said or did seemed to happen casually, "as he passed by." There was so little of the professional, the well-planned, or the premeditated in the Master's earthly ministry. He dispensed health and scattered happiness naturally and gracefully as he journeyed through life. It was literally true, "He went about doing good."
And it behooves the Master's followers in all ages to learn to minister as "they pass by"—to do unselfish good as they go about their daily duties.
Read the Revelation!
The Urantia Book is a revelation for everyone. In its pages you will read about God, about cosmology, about angels. Adam and Eve, life after death...and SOOOOO much more - including the complete Life and Teachings of Jesus.
So, even if you have imagined Jesus for yourself up 'til now, reading this revelation of his life will ignite even more of your imagination about him - and you'll find ample reasons to love him even more...