Life and teachings of Jesus

Conscious TV

January 17, 2022

Jesus, also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity and the Son of God for most Christian communities. Christianity considers him to be the expected Messiah of the Old Testament.

Due to the lack of accurate historical records, there is some controversy about the details of his life and teachings. The most widely used source is the four canonical gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They are believed to have been written between 70 and 200 after the death of Christ. Jesus' parents were Mary and Joseph of Nazareth. According to the Gospel of Matthew and Luke, Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem.

It also noted that Mary was a virgin and that the birth was a miracle of the "Holy Spirit". According to the Gospels, the birth of Jesus was announced to shepherds in nearby places. Later, three wise men from the East saw Jesus and offered him gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Not much is known about the early years of Jesus' life. The Gospels focus on the last years of his life, when he preached his teachings. However, it is believed that Jesus followed in his father's footsteps and trained as a carpenter.

Some have suggested that during this period Jesus traveled to India and Persia, where he became acquainted with the Indian spiritual tradition before returning to Nazareth to spread his teachings. All three synoptic gospels note that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. This symbolic baptism marks the beginning of Jesus' ministry.

After his baptism, Jesus spent 40 days in the desert where he was tempted by the Devil. However, he overcame the test and rejected any temptation to acquire worldly wealth or gain.

Teachings of Jesus

Jesus' teachings are characterized by brief, concise statements that evoke images to capture the attention of his listeners.

His best known teaching is the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5: 1-7: 29):

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek and lowly, for they shall possess the earth. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake or because they are righteous, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they curse you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you for my sake".

One of the main characteristics of Jesus' teachings is that they focus on forgiveness and unconditional love. They represent a departure from the Old Testament of an eye for an eye. Jesus taught his disciples to "love their enemies" and "turn the other cheek".

Let's look at some excerpts from the Gospels that illustrate this: "But I say unto you, resist not him that is evil: but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also" (Matthew 5:39). "Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you". (Matthew 5: 38-44).

Jesus Christ also taught us that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us. To attain it he told us that it was necessary not to cling to the world, to maintain humility and simplicity and to be like children. "The Kingdom of God is not something you can see. Neither can you say 'it is here or it is there' because the Kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20).

The radical nature of his teachings and the growing number of his followers aroused the suspicion of the authorities.

Jesus was also a healer

The Gospels record numerous miracles in which Jesus healed the sick and even raised the dead (Lazarus).

In the last months of his life, Jesus went to Jerusalem and was enthusiastically revered by the crowds who shouted "Hosanna". Jesus entered the temple and overturned the tables of the merchants, criticizing them for doing business in a holy place, claiming that he had turned the temple into a "den of thieves." That same week he celebrated the Passover with his thirteen disciples. He predicted that he would be betrayed by one of his disciples and handed over to the authorities.

His prediction came true. Judas betrayed Jesus to the temple authorities by kissing him on the cheek. He received 30 pieces of silver for his betrayal. He later repented of his action and hung himself on a tree. The Jewish authorities asked him if he was the Son of God. Jesus replied, "You have said so."

The Jewish authorities handed him over to the Roman authorities to be charged with blasphemy. Pontius Pilate did not want him executed because he did not see that he had committed any crime against the Romans. His wife had a dream in which she felt he was innocent, so she tried to convince Pilate to release Jesus. Pilate ordered him to be scourged in the hope that this would appease the Jewish authorities.

However, they still wanted to execute Jesus. At the Passover feast it was customary for the Roman authorities to release a prisoner. However, the crowd preferred to release Barabbas, a condemned criminal. Pilate washed his hands of Jesus' death by declaring his innocence. Jesus was then led to Calvary to be crucified. He had to carry the cross and at one point along the way he fainted and was helped by Simon of Cyrene.

The three synoptic gospels state that Jesus died on the cross and that a Roman soldier pierced his side with a spear to show that he was dead.

The nature of Jesus Christ

In the early years of Christianity there was much controversy about the nature of Jesus Christ. Some thought that Jesus was the direct incarnation of God and others that he was both divine and human. Different Christian communities and sects emerged that emphasized different aspects. For example, the Gnostics emphasized the immanence of God and the ability of his followers to relate directly to him. In 325, the Council of Nicaea compiled the teachings of the Christian Church about Jesus.

They accepted the 4 canonical gospels and rejected many other gospels. The Council of Nicea also gave great importance to the writings and letters of St. Paul. St. Paul stressed the divine nature of Jesus Christ and the importance of the crucifixion and resurrection.

Different views of Jesus Christ

Numerous key figures of the Enlightenment and Renaissance thought Jesus was a supreme teacher of morals and religion, although they rejected that he was divine and miracles, such as that he was born of a virgin. For example, Thomas Jefferson wrote "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth" (known as the Jefferson Bible). Benjamin Franklin also saw Jesus Christ as a moral teacher, but he did not accept all the doctrines of the Christian Church.

In the Indian or Hindu tradition, Jesus Christ is considered a realized Spiritual Master or a person who has attained self-realization or the Divine Self.

Jesus Christ is also considered an Avatar: a realized being with a special mission to awaken souls. Many Indian spiritual masters see Jesus Christ as an "incarnation of God", but do not accept that Jesus Christ was the only one to achieve self-realization. In the Islamic tradition, Jesus Christ is considered an important prophet of God.