Gordon Robinson, Contributor
I've repeatedly tried to explain my viewpoint that Jesus was a saviour of the world, but His method was education, not bloody sacrifice.
Everything he did, including his bloody sacrifice, was in furtherance of his objective of educating us in how to know God. There's no better proof of his intent than his famous "I am the light" assertion (John 8:12). Depending on which Bible you read, the full text of that assertion is: "I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Which places in the proper context these further assertions:
Jesus' task on this Earth was so obviously to teach us how to find our way to God through love, meditation and reflection that sometimes it's painful and tragic to see and hear his words twisted and manipulated by a multiplicity of religious sects (none of whom have ever met the Man) for the purpose of exerting mundane mind control over fellow human travellers.
Imagine there's no heaven.
It's easy if you try.
No hell below us;
above us only sky.
Imagine all the people living for
"I am the light ... " is an exhortation to come out of the darkness (misunderstanding) and learn by following Jesus' words: "He that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Previously, nobody had the consciousness, ability, vocation or inclination to advocate for a way of living other than the acquisition of material things or conquests of other humans. That's the darkness of greed, self-centredness, and war. That is not "life". That must be death because, when we follow the light that is Jesus, the promise is that we "shall have the light of life". Jesus was the first to teach that the path to God is love.
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
and no religion too.
Imagine all the people living life
You, you may say I'm a dreamer
but I'm not the only one.
I hope some day you'll join us
and the world will be as one.
So, this "light" of which He speaks is life itself. His teaching is the way to the light of life. Jesus also said: "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid." (Matthew 5:13). So, He is the light. When He shows His students the way and they realise their full potential, they will be the light for the rest of the world - brighter than any city on any hill. Once Jesus succeeds in teaching us "the way", then it's up to us to carry on after "I go unto my Father."
TEACHING BY EXAMPLE
Jesus was all about education. He taught by word and he taught by example. But, over the centuries since his death, this simple Jewish rabbi who was more aware of his origins than any other before or since; who repeatedly denied his own divinity; who insisted he was no better or worse than the rest of us; has been used to create the persona of a tin God to be worshipped in graven image by a herd of sheep.
The purpose of this worship is very familiar to those of us who recognise man's inhumanity to man. It's all for the glory of some religious sect claiming to be able to read Jesus' mind and to proclaim on his behalf regarding routine realities like religion, abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and birth control.
The weird consequence is that the end result, whether intentioned or not, is the glory of the leaders of each religious sect who end up wearing the finest raiment, living in palaces and driving luxury vehicles while the poor flock who give (and give) every week are comforted by being told how blessed it is to give rather than to receive. Pastor selflessly takes upon himself/herself the sinful burden of receiving while generously allowing the flock to reap the myriad blessings that come from giving.
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing
all the world.
Religious sects get away with these blatant misrepresentations of Jesus' message with the help of the authors of the Gospels, who also never met Jesus and are all writing decades after Jesus' death from hearsay and using pseudonyms. This will shock many senior churchgoers, but not one single author of one single 'Gospel' was ever a disciple of Jesus. Then these charlatans, probably with good intentions, try to craft, in Aramaic/Hebrew, the words of Jesus without a single footnote to point out that Jesus may well have been trying to describe 'otherworldly' phenomena in a mundane language incapable of fully so doing.
So the misrepresentations become deeper, like a Chinese telephone game, through various translations and versions, resulting in fodder for misleading the public, oftentimes deliberately. So that "I am" becomes "I am God", something that Jesus NEVER claimed. "I am the light" becomes a Holy Trinity, another mystical duppy story that Jesus NEVER TOLD. All the better to frighten you with, my dear. If I can keep you in fear, without regard for your real needs, I can control you. Soon, you'll give me your very soul if I ask for it. But, first, your cash, please.
If you can imagine that our apparent differences (in gender, colour, creed, shape, size) are all man-made illusions (after all, we're ALL created in God's image), you'll better understand how Jesus is the light; we are the light; and He (and we) just 'am' or have always 'been'. One last time, we are the ones created in God's image. That old grey-bearded man sitting behind a desk in the sky sending down lightning and thunder; fire and brimstone upon sinners is somebody we created in our image.
If you open your minds to these exciting possibilities, you'll get an inkling of a humankind without limits (just light); of a God who has no shape, colour, size, gender or facial hair (just light); of a world with only man-made borders (just light). The 'light' is knowledge. The world was made for us to experience relativity away from perfect light (God). The twinning of the light and worldly experience produces wisdom and awareness of Who We Really Are, which Eastern religious sects sometimes call 'God-consciousness'. Jesus understood all of that.
You, you may say I'm a dreamer
but I'm not the only one.
I hope some day you'll join us
and the world will live as one.
John Lennon was happily playing the giddy ass with three friends from Liverpool singing songs like 'She Loves You (Yea, Yea, Yea)' and 'Please, Please Me' when he met Yoko Ono and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi from whose teachings he developed a deep devotion to Eastern spirituality. Eventually, Yoko Ono convinced him he was 'better' than the foppish love songs he was writing with McCartney. This led to the demise of the Beatles and Lennon's penning of iconic songs like 'Give Peace a Chance' and 'Imagine', both of which could easily have been written by Jesus himself.WAITING IN VAIN
Instead of accepting inspiration from Jesus' Word, we're still waiting for Him to wheel and 'come again' and to apply some sort of discriminatory 'judgement' separating 'good' from 'evil'. Jesus' exhortation that we can do whatever He could by simply coming to know the Father within us has come to naught because it doesn't further the religious dogma our churches require to keep our minds enslaved.
I was recently subjected to yet another tedious surgical procedure (the gazillionth in my long, dissolute life) at a nearby medical centre. Upon arrival, a nice young lady (NYL) took my 'history'. Normally, I give way to The Old Ball and Chain at these moments in order to retain my sanity and the interrogator's goodwill. However, NYL caught me off-guard, so I sat in the small chair under the bright lights.
After taking the standard information, she asked me "Religion?" Now, I was raised Anglican at St Margaret's Church under the cold, uncompromising gaze of the late great Rev Brian O'Brien Wright, but my spirit suddenly made me answer, "None." NYL was shaken to her core. "But you must have a religion?" she insisted. "Don't you believe in Jesus?"
"Yes, I do," was my swift reply, "so I tell you what you can do if it makes you feel better. You can put down that I'm a member of the same religion of which Jesus was a member." It was too much for her. I was going to say more, but Old BC came to her rescue and banished me from the hot seat.
We don't seek God. Why should we? He's coming to us (again) one of these fine days. He'll do all our work for us (when He comes). In the meantime, while we wait, let's make as many church leaders as possible as rich as possible? That'll get us into Heaven for sure.
Peace and love.
Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to