Most scholars in the fields of biblical studies and history agree that Jesus was a Jewish teacher from Galilee, who was regarded as a healer, was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified in Jerusalem on orders of the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate under the accusation of sedition against the Roman Empire. The story of the life of Jesus is well-known. His impact on history is obvious and enormous. Jesus had an extraordinary personality, and made a deep and lasting impression on the people he met. He was charismatic in the deepest sense of the word. Jesus heralded the coming of a new age where all people would live as God’s children. He taught the basic ethics of brotherhood and kindness which became central themes of Christianity.
Christian views of Jesus, though diverse and complex, center on the belief in Jesus as the Messiah or Christ promised in the Old Testament and in his resurrection after his crucifixion. Most Christians believe in Jesus as the Son of God sent to provide salvation and reconciliation with God by atoning for the sins of humanity. Most Christians also believe that Jesus performed miracles and fulfilled biblical prophecy. Although the Buddha and Jesus lived hundreds of years and cultures apart, there are striking parallels to the sayings attributed to them. It is not that they said exactly the same things, it is rather that their distinctive and independent sayings pierce the veil of illusion, reminding us that God, or truth or whatever word that we choose to call that which is ultimate, binds us together in a timeless and infinite garment of mutuality. The life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth remain sources of deep inspiration to countless people worldwide.
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
“Blessed are the Pure in Heart, for they shall see God.”
“Seek, and you will find.”
“Love one another.”
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
“He who rules his spirit has won a greater victory than the taking of a city.”
“The kingdom of God is within you.”
“When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty, and it is you who are that poverty.”
“Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do.”
The “ReJesus” website (UK): http://www.rejesus.co.uk.
The “New Advent” Catholic Encyclopedia entries on Jesus: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08374c.ht.
The “Jews for Jesus” website: http://www.jewsforjesus.org
The Jesus Institute — helping people learn about the person of Jesus: http://www.jesus-institute.org/.