Who was the real Jesus Christ?
Posted Sunday, December 29 2013 at 02:00
Last week, hundreds of millions of Christians flocked to churches around the world to commemorate the date traditionally believed in Western Christianity to be the birth of Jesus Christ. Eastern Christianity (the Orthodox and Coptic) celebrates Christmas on January 7.
But the important question is: Who was Jesus Christ exactly, in personality and other details? The popular image we have of Him is of a usually blond-haired, bearded man with gentle, warm eyes surrounded by small children.
The primary text on which the Christian religion is based is the holy Bible, one of the most revered and best-selling books.
However, what strikes one is that apart from His preaching ministry, there is very little about Christ in the Bible. The four Gospels cover His birth, baptism, teachings, arrest, crucifixion and resurrection in some amount of detail. But after his birth and dedication at the Temple, it is silent until He is aged 12 and visits the Temple with His parents where he amazes the Teachers of the Law with His wisdom and scriptural knowledge.
After this incident, the Gospels go silent about His life over the next 18 years until He starts His work with his baptism and temptation in the wilderness by Satan.
When you really think about it, is that possible? The child whose special birth was foretold hundreds of years in advance, even Persian astrologers (the Three Wise Men) had this birth and date worked into their telling; the child who would pay the price with his life for the atonement for mankind’s sin --- this child whose life would have provided the best possible guide on how parents thereafter would raise their children, nothing about his boyhood and teenage years?
In the same Bible, the life from childhood to old age of Moses, David, Samuel and Joseph in the Old Testament is well-documented, and yet these men were a mere foreshadow of the Christ.
Something must have happened to the records about Christ. But what was that? My guess, although I have no way of being sure, is that people who compiled or edited the Bible must have deliberately left out these crucial parts of Christ’s life because the true image of Christ is very different from the gentle one we are familiar with.
According to the Islamic holy book, the Qur’an, when the angel Gabriel appeared before Mary to announce to her that she was to have a baby while still a virgin, one of the things Gabriel foretold was that this child would speak while still a baby.
The Bible does not mention it. But in Chapter 19:30 in the Qur’an, Mary is recorded as being questioned by several people about having a baby and yet she was not yet married.
When Mary pointed to her baby, suddenly the infant, barely two months old, shocked bystanders by declaring: “Lo! I am the slave of Allah [God]. He hath given me the Scripture and hath appointed me a Prophet.”
Even in its current form, the Bible records incidents about Christ that are difficult for the average person to accept, since we are more familiar with the image of Jesus as a gentle, loving, tolerant man.
In one such incident (Mark 11:12-17) for no apparent reason and some might say unfairly, Jesus curses a fig tree and it subsequently dries up and dies.
Shortly after cursing the fig tree, He arrived at the Temple where he came upon traders conducting business in the holy place and angrily kicked them out, overturning their merchandise.
Some people familiar with Jesus’ childhood were not surprised by this. They had seen Him do such things since he was a small boy. Among these is the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, one of the writings that were left out of the final version of the Bible because they were deemed spurious and not the inspired word of God.
According to VI. 1 of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, “After that again he [the young boy Jesus] went through the village, and a child ran and dashed against his shoulder. And Jesus was provoked and said unto him: Thou shalt not finish thy course. And immediately he fell down and died.”
The parents of the dead child came to Jesus’ father Joseph and begged him to restrain Jesus, saying: “Thou that hast such a child canst not dwell with us in the village: or do thou teach him to bless and not to curse: for he slayeth our children.”
From the age of about five, Jesus’ miraculous powers that were later to draw huge crowds after Him as an adult were already in full force. He would miraculously heal neighbours bitten by snakes, heal sick people by a few words, miraculously repair his father’s defective carpentry work.
When he was eight, Joseph took Him to their field of wheat to plant. Jesus multiplied the wheat by a hundredfold and invited the whole village to come and enjoy -- the first incident that would later become common, from turning water into wine and feeding a crowd of five thousand people after multiplying a few loaves of bread.
When Joseph took Jesus to school, it was not long before this Wonder Child started causing a commotion. When His teacher tried to teach Him the alphabet, Jesus at that time around five or six, said “If thou be indeed a teacher and if thou knowest letters well, tell me the power of the Alpha and then will I tell thee the power of the Beta.”