By Rev. Doc Lowrey
Allow me to extrapolate on this idea and first point out that although I consider myself a disciple of Jesus, he never taught anything unique to himself, but all that he taught he quoted from teachers of truth that came before him and who were familiar to his listeners, primarily Isaiah.
Now days, many scholars question whether Isaiah was the actual author of much of the book ascribed to him and others have similar doubts about Jesus, even to the point of questioning whether Jesus was even an actual living character.
To me, these issues simply do not matter. What does matter is the truths that are taught, not the person who taught them. In Jesus I find a simple, cohesive and self-evident exposition of the truths I need to grow spiritually and to be truly free, productive and self-realized. Jesus is a teacher central to my culture and upbringing and this enables me to more easily function with my beliefs within my own culture.
I think it is much more valuable for me to believe Jesus than to believe in Jesus and I find that most of my contemporaries who claim to believe in Jesus, really have no idea (if you can judge by their behavior) what Jesus was really saying and what his mission to them was really about.
It does not matter if you find truth as taught by someone other than Jesus; perhaps Krishna, Buddha, Lao Tze, Gandhi or the Dali Lama are more to your preference. What matters most is that you do find truth and the freedom that truth delivers.
It also matters that you learn to distinguish truth from error and even more importantly that you discover a simple and universal standard of truth by which to avoid deception, as a small dose of truth to open your mind to be filled with a large dose of lies is standard operating procedure for those who seek to deceive and manipulate you to their own greedy ends.
Those who consider Jesus the only teacher of truth, perfect and without blemish, fail to hear Jesus describe himself, Matthew 19
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
To “enter into life” is to rise above animal instinct and to live in joy instead of fear – to live by principle and purpose rather than by instinct alone.
The choice is yours – and the consequences of your choice – are of your own making.
[this is part 1 of a series about Jesus and Discipleship]