By Donald V. Watkins ©Copyrighted and Published on February 5, 2023
People around the world know the name of Jesus and revere his life's story. Nearly 2.4 billion of the world's 8 billion people profess to be Christians who follow Jesus' religious teachings.
The American South is flooded with religious zealots who claim to be devoted Christians. Many of them hold very different religious views from the ones I learned from my childhood pastor, Sunday School teacher, and Baptist Training Union instructor -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I often ask self-professed Christians two basic questions: First, do you see a piece of yourself in how Jesus lived his life? Second, if Jesus were here today, how would you treat him?
Jesus' Social Media Profile I ask these questions because Jesus stood for everything that many of today’s appointed and elected political officials, religious leaders, business moguls, social media "influencers," and so-called "Evangelical Christians" do not. Here are some examples: Jesus was an outside agitator who led an underground liberation movement. He was homeless most of his life. He was also a minimalist when it came to his rejection of material things. Jesus loved people -- all people. His love was unconditional.
Jesus did not practice "situational ethics." He was ethical all of the time. Jesus was true to himself and to others. He was never fake and phony. Jesus welcomed outsiders and foreigners. He favored the poor and afflicted over the rich.
Jesus did not “hate” on those who refused to follow his teachings. In fact, Jesus never hated on any person for any reason.
Jesus also encouraged help for the sick and elderly. He practiced medicine without a license and healed the sick on the Sabbath. Jesus distributed food without a permit. He made wine without a license. Jesus paraded on public streets without a permit. He held numerous illegal public gatherings. Whenever children sat on Jesus’ lap, he was not molesting them. Instead, Jesus protected children and taught them in the way of the Lord. Jesus aided and abetted known prostitutes. He even stopped the execution of a woman who had been accused of adultery.
Jesus destroyed gaming equipment in the Temple (twice), in violation of destruction of property laws.
Jesus sent revolutionaries out into the world to spread his word. Nearly all of them were executed in the most gruesome way. Jesus treated the “least of these” with the utmost respect -- all of the time.
According to the Bible, Jesus performed at least 37 "miracles." Yet, nearly every one of these "miracles" is a prohibited act under governmental regulations and criminal laws in effect in the United States today.
Jesus denounced violence, even when it involved his own crucifixion. He asked God to forgive those who tortured and killed him.
Finally, Jesus was not the white man who has been portrayed for hundreds of years in American and European versions of Christianity. Jesus was a Middle Eastern Jew with "bronze" skin (Ezekiel 40:3) and other Jewish facial features. His hair was like "wool" (Revelation 1:13-14). In Isaiah 53:2, the Bible says Jesus "had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him."
Is This "Son of God" Your Jesus? With all of this historical Biblical information in mind, who among the self-professed Christian population today promotes, protects, and advances Jesus' brand of Christian values, particularly in the American South?
Is this "Son of God" your Jesus? If not, who is?