We are not alone

A question this gets put forth is why didn’t Jesus show how much he loved people by enduring in this world longer? Didn’t he just pack up his bags and go? He showed his love for a few years and then left? Is this a God of love? I thought about this for a moment and I understood the concern. We show love by how much we hang around. Love spells time, as they say. But, didn’t Jesus die, then? And that was that? But, then, I realized, that Jesus was human. I think he would not have died if he wasn’t punished. He was unable to die naturally. So, to answer the original question, Jesus could have hung around as it was. He could have stayed, I think. But Jesus had another destiny, to be human, to die in a human grave, and to be seen risen from the dead until he went back to heaven from where he came. I guess Jesus could have stayed longer here, but he was leaving the rest of his work to his disciples and he did not leave them. As, effectively what Jesus done when he died and rose from the dead (theologically speaking which I cannot explain here) is to give to his disciples and followers his presence and a promise that Jesus would be with them forever, if not physically on earth, but spiritually. Jesus was then with them through his Spirit–the Spirit which acknowledged that Jesus came in a body. They even felt Jesus with them when they went about spreading the Christian message, a task which Jesus gave them to do. So, after all this time, the true Christian message still goes out–and Jesus is with those who spread it–and this message can come with the presence of Jesus, to comfort, to help, and to heal. Christ did say there would be people pretending to be him, and that there would be false preachers and brothers, but there is only one true Christ, who did not leave his followers.

Taking sides

Reality is, that somebody is going to upset someone. Even Jesus, in the first century, seemed to be aware of this.

Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.

Luke 12:50-51 (NIV Bible)

Jesus seemed to saying here that different people had differing views of who he was and what he stood for, so upsetting the table cart. Some views of Jesus were in opposition to other views. So, that is one reason why there have been different churches.

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Jesus: known or obscure?

In a brilliant film, Van Gogh, in At Eternity’s Gate (2018), says Jesus became known thirty years after his death. Before then Jesus was obscure, he says. I have a problem with this. The gospels says about Jesus is that he was well-known to the people during his lifetime, and known soon after his lifetime, as Jesus’ message and Spirit spread immediately after his death and resurrection. One of things that get overlooked at times, is that the gospel narratives and the story of the early church in Acts are reliable. It may sound like one of those disagreements Van Gogh and Gaugin had in this movie–but this is me, a viewer, disagreeing with what Van Gogh says. Sounds strange, but it’s the point of view here I’m pointing to that’s a problem, not the movie itself.

Being worthy

The passage I mulled over recently seemed to be the inspiration for a classic movie title, but it is not really. By-passing that entirely, let me get to the point: the verse that stood out for me the most. Of course, all of the passage is beautiful, but one verse tended to illuminate something for me:

[The men and women who are worthy to rise from death] will be like angels and cannot die. They are the sons of God, because they have risen from death. Luke 20:36 (Good News Bible)

Being worthy. That’s the point for me. The New Testament teaches that the

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