If you’ve been following Catholic news in recent months, you may be aware that Pope John Paul II is on the fast track to beatification and eventual sainthood. The current pontiff has set a date to give his official validation of the necessary miracle required to point the deceased church leader in the direction of eventual sainthood.
Pope John Paul II, like Mother Teresa, was perceived by his followers as a good person, a good teacher, compassionate, giving, caring, and helpful.
Soon, he will likely be identified as a saint. He will be, in the eyes of many, a deity as proclaimed by humans, although Catholics typically do not label saints as deities.
I can’t help but wonder……
Is there any possibility that Jesus was just a man? A well-studied teacher? A good person? A compassionate, giving, caring and helpful human being? A natural born healer?
Is there any possibility that he never intended to become the object of worship?
Could it be that he never intended to save humanity in any way other than through his teaching them to love one another and experience the “kingdom of God within”?
Is there any chance that Jesus was no different from Ghandi or Buddha in his promotion of peaceful and passive resistance?
Could the salvation he brought possibly have been as Renae says, “…(to show) ordinary people that they were not beholden to those systems in order to ensure their fate?”
Could it be that he came to show us a God that was different from the vengeful God of the Old Testament scriptures?
Could the deity of Jesus be the result of the posthumous elevation of his character to “saint” status by his devoted followers who admired him much like Pope John Paul II’s followers do?
The tragedy in all of this is that many miss the message of Jesus while attempting to worship the death, burial, and supernatural resurrection of the Christ.
In a sense, it doesn’t really matter whether Jesus came to earth as deity or was elevated by man to deity status. It doesn’t matter whether we take communion the right way, worship on the correct day of the week, or play a piano when we sing. It doesn’t matter whether or not we are given a special bath by a designated church member.
What matters is NOT the message of Paul or Peter, or John.
It doesn’t even matter whether we believe there is a mansion in the sky somewhere or a fiery pit of torment below the surface of the earth.
The only thing that really truly matters is our demonstration of love toward everyone we encounter every single day. What matters are those things Jesus taught as a human being who lived an extraordinary life.
The deity part is irrelevant. It distracts from the real point.
No one who really matters cares whether or not you’ve been saved by the blood, recited the sinner’s prayer, or accepted Jesus as Lord of your life. They only care whether or not you care about them.
End of story.