Jesus is our example and loves us all, even when we have strayed. Sin, or the mystery of iniquity, has quenched the spirit though a polluted sanctuary. The sins of omission has weighed down even the remnant. Jesus paid that price, He is telling us to rise up and possess the land, He will make us holy in spite of ourselves, He will make us humble and filled with the kind of love that makes us our brother's keeper. The Lord is merciful and oft forgiving.

Jesus is said to have resembled the Virgin, beautiful and strikingly tall, with fair and slightly curling locks, on which no hand but His mothers had ever passed. Jesus had dark eyebrows, and oval countenance, a pale and olive complexion, and a look expressive of patience, nobility, and wisdom. The historical Jesus was described as a man of great virtue; a man of lofty stature, beautiful, noble countenance, so that they that look on him may both love and fear. He has long wavy hair, rather crisp, of the color of wine, and glittering as it flows down from his shoulders, with a parting in the middle of the head after the manner of the Nazarenes. His forehead is pure and even, and His face without any spot or wrinkle but glowing with a definite flush. His nose and mouth are of faultless beauty. He has a beard abundant and as the same hazel color of his hair, not long but forked. His eyes are blue and very bright as in the family of David. He is terrible in rebuke, calm and loving in admonition, cheerful but preserving gravity. He has never been seen to laugh, but oftentimes to weep. His stature is erect, and His hands and limbs are beautiful to look upon. In speech He is grave, reserved and modest, and He is fair among the children of men. He wore a tunic under a cloak, had sandals on his feet, and probably a cloth headdress falling over his shoulders to shield him from the sun. Unlike the prophets, the Essenes, and the Baptist, he was no ascetic. Hence a beauty in this face that defies the most cunning phrases, the beauty of a perfect soul. They said that He was meek-they were not wrong, but He was more than meek. The Jesus we know was young and bronzed and strong, clear-eyed and tanned of cheek; He wore His valor stoutly, as a shield born to a bloody field. He was firm of step and straight of limb, and tall, and level-eyed.

He may or may not have looked like that but the important thing to know is that once Jesus invades a life, that life is never the same. There is no doubt about an historical Jesus. There is much faith and much doubt concerning the personal Jesus that lives when two or more of us are gathered in His name.

The sympathy of Jesus was with the children, the poor and the infirm. He rebuked His disciples for belittling the children. The kingdom is made up of these. Jesus did not create the idea of God in His children, what he did was shine so we may see Him more clearly. "For I desire mercy and not sacrifice." Go see what that means. He was aligning with Hosea to break down the very thing that Judaism was built upon - the law. Nothing will inflame the orthodox of any religion than an appeal to their own sacred writings against their orthodoxy. Jesus had already been calling Himself the Son of Man, the Pharisees knew the expression from the scripture but now it is for this day, something special to Jesus. No living being is as alive as Jesus. To discover an obscure barbarian (Roman view) from among a "contemptible collection of slaves," versed in the Scripture, may have recalled that Isaiah had described the future Messiah as a sheep led to the slaughter for the evil deeds of others.

We see Jesus in the houses of the rich and of the poor, at meals, with women and among children. He allows his feet to be washed and his head anointed. There was nothing different or un-Jewish in his teachings. He was a true liberal, open-minded, tolerant; He was against all injustice, in the tradition of the Prophets. Because of His love for all of the people of the world, He died for all of humanity, making Jesus the greatest humanist ever born of a woman and there has been none like Him. He taught the observance of the Mosaic Law, compassion for the poor, mercy, and tolerance. He spoke in a soft voice and with a loving heart. He was an inspiring teacher who expressed Himself in crystal-clear parables. His messages went straight to the heart of the listener.

There must be something very special about this Jesus, and yet we do not want to know. Why do we shy away from Jesus? Why are we embarrassed, antagonistic even, when someone wants to talk to us about Him? So many call Him Master and Lord, they call Him Christ and Savior. He is all of those things but those who know Him best call Him Jesus. There was something very strange in Judaism, you must go to Jerusalem at the great festivals. You must keep the Sabbath Holy and go to synagogue to learn from the religious leaders. And you must study the law of God and obey it meticulously. Do this, don't do that. Jesus Changed all that. He drove the money-changers out of the temple and told the religious leaders that One greater than the temple was among them. He repeatedly healed people on the Sabbath, challenging the religious status quo.

Jesus gave His followers a new law - to love one another as He had loved them. John the Baptist had told people to turn from their sins in preparation for the coming deliverance. Jesus told them the Deliverer was here. He even brought someone back to life who had died. Now is all this an act of compassion? No. It is that of course, but it is far more. It is proof, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear that the kingdom of God has broken in, that God's rule of wholeness has taken root. He had promised that He would judge the world at the end of history. It would be He who separates the sheep from the goats and directs them to their final destiny. And the criterion would be simple. What response had they made to what they knew of Him? Jesus was a human being, not God in disguise. Jesus claimed that shared nature, that shared intimacy with almighty God.

In the Old Testament "glory" belongs to God alone "I am God. I shall not give my glory to another. And now father, glorify me with the glory which I had with you before the world was made." Not just the Messiah, but God in person. No wonder the chief priest tore his clothes and cried blasphemy! For one thing, the enormous popularity of His mission was rocking the stability of the fragile peace with Rome and was likely to bring down savage reprisals that would embroil the whole nation. Look at the company He keeps, showing that God cared for bad characters as the respectable, but the Jewish clergy was scandalized. The preacher seemed to go out of His way to provoke the authorities, to make them angry, to make them foolish. He gave offense, he ruffled feathers, he pricked pomposity in high places, he showed no respect for the Establishment. No wonder they killed Him. And Jerusalem wept, and jeered, and stayed at home, and went in their thousands to the execution, like people everywhere. He could forgive any fault but unbelief.

The Lord's great public journey from Galilee to Jerusalem when He now openly assumed the dignity of the Messiah, and was accompanied not only by His disciples, but by a multitude of followers. Jesus commonly regarded the Scriptures as the "Word of God." We know that Jesus goes to Jerusalem to make reparation for the sin of the world, and we know that there is no room for second-best service in that movement.

Caesar hoped to reform men by changing institutions and laws; Christ wished to remake institutions, and lessen laws, by changing men. The central theme of Jesus' preaching - the coming Judgment and Kingdom - was already a century old among the Jews. The law had long since inculcated brotherhood. The priest of the Temple and the members of the Sanhedrin watched his activity with suspicion; like Herod with John, they saw in it the semblance or cover of a political revolution; they feared lest the Roman procurator should accuse them of neglecting their responsibility for maintaining social order. Wherever you see a crowd there is Jesus at the center of it. As long as they said Jesus could not save them, they were belittling God an his saving power. Exactly how he healed we do not know, but it is unhistorical to stress Christ's teaching without equal emphasis upon release from human suffering.

Jesus was a democrat, who loved the common people and taught social justice. Jesus was a rebel, sensitive to every wrong, a Teacher of truth in which love must triumph. Jesus was a revolutionary, fighting injustice all the way. He was a radical of fiery faith because He dug down deep to divine wells, tearing down the high places like no other. The thing that tore His loving heart was suffering and sorrow in earth's hells. Our Jesus came as a seeking shepherd.

The teaching, and example of Jesus are essentially pacifist - and He was gentle, but the word falls short of one lone man who drove the money-changers from the Temple court. "And he found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise."

Jesus is accessible as communicated by his followers, no more and no less. Jesus is always available but you must take advantage of the availability. Think of Jesus being by your side all through the day. Talk with him frequently in the midst of your occupations. When you think of others, think also of Jesus. The perfect sign is the man Jesus. He shows us in an historical way the need for mediation in the presentation of God to humankind and in man's gaining access to God. Who other could have inspired such dedication and self-sacrifice?

Muzorewa - Why worship Jesus, a European God? Today my reply would be called "Liberation Theology". I explained that Jesus was not from Europe, but from the Middle East. His people were themselves in bondage, and Jesus announced that his mission was "to proclaim release to the captives and set at liberty those who are oppressed." "My mystery is for me, and for the sons of my house" (attributed). His glance had read their innermost souls. The Scribes and Pharisees stood silent and fearful.

The apocryphal History of Joseph mentions Esther and Thamar as daughters (sisters of Jesus) who in due time married and went to their houses. James and Joses, and Judas, and Simon were the brothers of Jesus. Some words attributed to Jesus: "For those that are sick I was sick, and for those that hunger I suffered hunger, and for those that thirst I suffered thirst. In whatsoever I may find you in this will I also judge you. Never be joyful, except when ye shall look on your brother in love". Jesus the son of Mary said, "He who longs to be rich is like a man who drinks sea-water; the more he drinks the more thirsty he becomes, and never leaves off drinking till he perishes."

Koran - When Jesus found unbelief on their part He said: Who will be my helpers to God?." Said the disciples; we believe in God, and bear witness that we are Muslims. Nay, God raised him up unto Himself; and God is exalted in Power, Wise; - and there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment He will be a witness against them.

We cannot present Christ accurately if we present Him merely as Teacher, or Leader, or Healer, for He was all of these and much more. From the beginning, Jesus' concern was not merely for the nation in general, but for the needs of individual persons. Simon's mother in law: The immediate cure of this woman with which Christ had a personal connection, led naturally to the coming of many other distressed people. For him the Kingdom of Heaven did not await death and eternity but might open before the awakened soul at any moment. Wisdom was indeed justified. Jesus undermined the knowledge of the learned, the pride of the powerful, the morals of the virtuous; he was that sin and imperfection, with their self-humiliation and self-criticism, were far less dangerous to life than complacency; for sin might pave the way for an inward change which raised life to a higher pitch than unblemished virtue was capable of reaching. This inward change, the grace of the Holy Spirit as it was to be called, was all important: repentance must precede regeneration.
[97, John, 125, 135, 189, 190, 309, 314, 315, 322, 324, 326, 327, 35, 330, 338, 340, 347, 371, 373, 15, 383, 384, 400, 401, 402]

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