Who Is Jesus Christ To Me?
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It is very seldom that I face practical questions that are too difficult to answer. Life has taught me things… things that I came to answer with ease and without much self-interrogation. However, this question stunned me to a point that I am staring at my computer screen for almost half an hour just wondering how to start answering this question. Who is Jesus Christ for me? Having spent three years in a catholic school, joined various church choirs, and yes, even religious organizations like the Youth for Christ, it was only now that I answer this question with deep thought and reflection.
Based on the Bible and other records, I can say that Jesus Christ was born around 7 B.C. He was born of a human mother–which was Mary–in the land of Palestine. He ate and slept, he worked and prayed, he suffered and he died. Although countless efforts have been made for twenty centuries to reduce him to a mythical figure, it is hard for anyone to doubt his human existence. According to writings of the New Testament, which written by his early followers, Jesus was a descendant of David, the warrior-king of Israel. Born in Bethlehem, he was raised in Nazareth of Galilee. His birth was common in itself, although extraordinary happenings were reported as having taken place on this great event. Jesus began his ministry when he was about thirty years old, after his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. At first, onlookers noted nothing bizarre about him.
Remember, for almost 90% of his life he lived as a humble carpenter. Then suddenly, with no advance warning, he began to speak with wisdom and authority. Those who knew him were surprised and shocked. Early on, the people of Nazareth excluded him from their synagogue. Opposition to him continued to grow until eventually he was put to death. Once his public career began, Jesus seemed completely absorbed in proclaiming that the Kingdom of God had come! There was a consistent singleheartedness about him. It almost seemed as though his own family ceased to exist. Or perhaps it would be truer to say that the world had become his family. Never attached to any one place, he was always on the move: “I must preach there, too.” Crowds gathered around him. He healed the sick of illnesses as a sign that God’s Kingdom had come. He chose others and called them to follow him.
He told people to turn to God, to love him with their whole mind and heart and soul, and their neighbor as themselves. He taught using parables. Accessible to everyone, he treated each with a singular reverence and kindness. He was rarely alone, excepting for hours of prayer in the desert or on a mountain-top. Living one moment to the next, he didn’t seem to have any organized set of plans at all. Among those most attracted to him were society’s outsiders: the prostitutes, tax-collectors, sinners, whom he went out of his way to welcome. That disturbed some of the religious elite, who could not understand why he shared the table of sinners.
He was more than a prophet. He was the Son of God. He also professed his love for humanity by giving up what we should treasure most just to save others from sin – his life. However, this did not make him feel less about us. In fact, he encourages us all to cast all our burdens up to him, which is something no other man can do. He was scorned upon, was ridiculed, was killed point-blank, and all of these he took with not a regret in sight just because it was his mission. That mission is to show us the perfect example of the perfect love which God himself wants us to emulate.
Jesus Christ is the icon of humanity, compassion, and love. He taught me to give what I can without asking for any in return except to be loved and acknowledged. He was there when you need him and you don’t even need to ask. Being a future nurse, I will ever embrace my chosen vocation of caring because He showed me that loving your neighbors will yield a reward that cannot be materialized. Most of all, He taught me that knowing Him is enough to understand myself, and with that, I begin to understand others, and that is when I learn the greatest lesson of all — the lesson of unconditional love.