When Jesus first came to me in a vision, over 20 years ago, it was a shock. Not only that he was in the business of appearing to Jews like me, but that he didn’t look anything like the pictures I had ever seen of him! He wasn’t blond haired and blue-eyed. He wasn’t white. He didn’t have straight hair. He wasn’t tall. He wasn’t somber. He was curly-haired, olive-skinned, short and handsome! And most definitely Jewish. Just like a close reading of the New Testament would later reveal to me.
What’s your picture or image of Jesus? Maybe it’s time to be open to a change!
A recent Christian Century article, Jewish and Pacifist, made the case that “The separation of Jesus from his Jewishness is what led to the accommodation and eventual support of racism by traditional theology.” Not to mention centuries of church sponsored anti-Semitism!
It led to a “generic” or universalist Jesus that turned out to be white, European, and Christian!
Having a new experience of Jesus can refresh your faith. And shake the cobwebs out of your assumptions. It sure did mine.
I like the idea that getting the particulars of Jesus right–ethnicity, culture, religion–actually combats racism and anti-Semitism. Maybe all the isms!
This year, as you resolve to evolve, resolve to get to know Jesus, again. To help you…
- Read and discus The Jew Named Jesus. Pub theology groups, Bible studies, book clubs, others are reading and discussing this in a variety of settings.
- Host a wonderful Passover Seder, replete with Matzah, Hebrew blessings, and the cup of Elijah.
- Dig into whether the day of Jesus’ death was a Good Friday or Bad Friday.
To help you get into Jesus’ world, I’ve got another quiz for you with 3 questions:
What is the name of the calendar the year 2014 is based on? What calendar did Jesus follow? What is one of the main differences between the two calendars? The first one to answer all 3 questions correctly gets a free autographed copy of “The Jew Named Jesus.” Send us your answer, along with your name and address to claim your prize.