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For many people Jesus Christ was a mystic healer who lived and taught on the shores of Galilee two thousand years ago. His growing appeal to the populace of a large province under Roman rule, led to his arrest and crucifixion as a subversive. His teachings, simple in form and rich in metaphor, were considered revolutionary, which in essence, they are.
Viewing Christ through the prism of history, transforms Him into someone who lived and died like any other human being. Such a view lodges Jesus in the remote, distant past.
The Son of God is eternal; He stands beyond time. Assigning Him to temporality deprives Him of his divine nature. Christ is the truth of God and appears to all people in all ages. He has no preference to a specific period in history. He wants to save every single one of us from evil because He knows how easily we are misled.
Jesus Christ will lead us on the way of truth as long as we keep seeing Him as a real presence. The gaze of the Roman centurion at the Man dying peacefully on the cross granted him salvation. A mere gaze.
The Son of God is not expecting us to go through the martyrdom He suffered at the hands of those who ridiculed and mocked Him. He is not expecting us to go through the physical trials and torture that no human being could possibly sustain without breaking down, let alone finding the power to forgive his tormentors, nailed on the Cross.
Christ simply wants us to open our hearts to Him and let His light shine through. He is certain of the effect that His radiance will have once we surrender to Him. Is there a person on this Earth who would turn his or her back to the light of the Truth when it shines all around? But to put the Son of God in our hearts, and let him fill our dark corners with his mercy and forgiveness, we must, first and foremost, feel Him among us ― a contemporary, benevolent, selfless friend who stretches his hand to us, asking us to hold it. How can we hold the hand of someone who is far away?
To see Jesus Christ as our contemporary we must first become eyewitness in faith. The word “eyewitness” is the key term here. An eyewitness swears by his testimony because he was actually there, on the very spot. He saw the event with his own eyes. Likewise, the believer sees with the eyes of his faith, and does not for a moment doubt the truth and reality of what he sees or hears. Such was the faith of the twelve Apostles whom the Nazarene selected among the common lot and said: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).
They were His true contemporaries and became His devoted disciples, out of their own free will. They spread His word through peaceful open talks to gathered crowds in foreign lands. They captivated audiences simply by preaching love, charity, and forgiveness. There was no political motive in their speech, no scheme or intention other than the utter faith to their Teacher.
Only faith can erase two thousand years of arguments and doubts, and present the Son of God to each one of us today, as the Truth in the Present, the Eternal Now.
By becoming contemporary with Jesus Christ, we are rewarded with His grace. A reward that exceeds by far any human expectation, for as the Lord said to Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
by Costas Nisiotis
Athens, Greece - firstname.lastname@example.org
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