Jesus: Who is Jesus

Jesus lived under the reign of the emperors Augustus and Tiberius. The Roman Empire enjoyed the Pax Augusta, a period of stability characterised both by its inner tranquillity and external security.

In this historical context he sowed the seed of a religion aimed at all human beings, universal, and transcending concepts such as homeland or race: Christianity.

He lived in Nazareth with his family until travelling to Capernaum to begin his ministry.

There, crowds began to turn out to hear his teachings, and others in the hope that he might cure their maladies.

Jesus gathered a brotherly group of apostles around him, amongst whom there was to be no hierarchy, although some, like James, John and Peter, formed part of his innermost circle. Jesus told them that he would make them fishers of men.

He used parables to explain his teachings, such as that of the prodigal son, in which the father’s love for his son who returns home signifies God’s mercy towards repentant sinners.

And that of the Good Samaritan. The inhabitants of Samaria were scorned by the Jews, both for their idolatrous customs, and because they mixed with outsiders. Jesus chose a Samaritan, precisely, to teach a lesson about charity and helping those in need.

In addition to parables, he also used expressive aphorisms such as; “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also”, and

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged”, and

“whoever is free of sin, let him throw the first stone”.

Among his most loyal followers there were also women, such as Mary Magdalene, Martha, and Mary, who welcomed Jesus into their home when he visited Bethany. 

Children had a special place in his heart. 

One day he took a child, put him in the middle of the crowd around him, and said: “Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”.

Once, during his visit to Jerusalem to celebrate Easter, he saw how the temple, a sacred place of prayer, had degenerated into a den of thieves.

Furious, he knocked over the exchange tables and whipped the merchants. 

His teachings made him a dangerous figure for the religious authorities. They tried to set traps to deliver him to Pontius Pilate: “Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”  With his response “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s”, Jesus established a separation between the spiritual and the earthly worlds.

He also said: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise up another, not built by the hand of Man”.

The high priests thought that their temple was in danger, and, with it, their riches and privileges, so they soon seized him and handed him over to the Roman prefect, Pontius Pilate, to have him sentenced to death.

Pilate, fearing a popular revolt, agreed to crucify him on Easter, and, in a symbolic act, washed his hands to release himself from his responsibility for this act.

But Jesus had already created around him a circle of faithful disciples to whom he had imparted his doctrine, which would then sweep across the entire Earth.

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