WHY IS THE JESUS OF FACTUAL HISTORY IMPORTANT
The answer is because Jesus was and continues to be God’s Word spoken to man through a human medium. “And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” He can only be perceived through human endeavor which in the 21st century means through history. “He who has ears to hear let him hear!”
The humanity of Jesus, a doctrinal mainstay of the Christian faith, had been lost sight of up to recent times in its practical spiritual consequences because in the faith of believers the historical affirmation of his divinity has outweighed his human presence. The oral tradition in the early church and eventually the gospel narratives with respect to his humanity could not compete with the powerful impact of his resurrection from the dead until modern historical scholarship made that possible. Through the quest of the fathers of the Vatican Council II for pastoral guidelines in the modern era this imbalance of emphasis has been righted. The recovery of this foundational Christian belief has turned out to be an indirect byproduct of the Council’s efforts to seek ways to bring the Church into the world of the twentieth century, without adventuring into the area of doctrine. However in a process of discernment on their experience with peoples of different colors, culture and traditions garnered from the far corners of the planet they were forced to reflect on both man and his/her Creator against the backdrop of a new historical and theological knowledge base provided by the council’s theological and scriptural experts. Unbeknownst, it might appear, they rediscovered and sharpened their understanding of the meaning of the pinnacle of God’s communication to humankind.
The Creator God of Israel had communicated the momentous good news that the birth of Jesus in Galilee sometime during the reign of Caesar Augustus was his/her divine son and a bona fide member of the human family. The Jesus of history was well into manhood when he started his public life as an itinerant prophet, not to rail against the sins and infidelities of his listeners, but to convince them how God loves and cares for them as a father. Extensive scholarly research into the Quellen (See Lost Gospel), fruit of modern scholarship, portrays a Jesus that speaks from the experience of his human heart initially molded in its filial devotion to Joseph when he speaks of his father/God. He encouraged his listeners to find God everywhere in this world as he had learned to do and look to God beyond a Creator who had entered into a Covenant with them. God was more, he was a father and mother, soul-stirring human symbols meant to elicit strong reactions of intimacy and love.
The experts calculate that Jesus waited until full maturity, indicating somewhere near twenty years of intimate communion with God, to proclaim to his fellow countrymen that they should also relate to God as children. And, as becomes more evident by the day of the current evolutionary calendar, Jesus intended under the same benevolent care of a father/mother God that all other created things that make life fuller and happier be used and enjoyed in the Kingdom by this entire human family.
The great gift of life in and with God through sonship of human beings became factual history when God made Jesus’ one of us. All the entire past, existing, and future evolving human family are members of one evolving, interdependent existence enjoying the favor of human as well as an adopted divine sonship through Jesus. The almighty and awe-inspiring Unknown Other, Creator of the stars of the heavens, the earth and sea, wants us to look to him/her as a father/mother and live our life of the spirit in a loving trustful cooperation as sons and daughters.
The council fathers concluded that a new paradigm demanded a new formulation of how God over the ages has communicated with us, an updated look at revelation, one capable of stimulating an adequate spiritual response of the community of faith. The sending of God’s divine representative, a human Jesus with a message of an intimate human bond, was a momentous event in the I-Thou love relationship to be cherished as a historical divine communication to a human world racked by growing pains. It took two thousand years of human development for the world and in it Jesus’ followers to fathom in a filial relationship only a speck of the fullness and breadth of God’s infinite love of humankind. God over the centuries appears to be courting us, but it is up to us cooperating as a family, to assimilate the fruits of the Ecumenical Council Vatican II and respond to divine overtures.(Link: A RISING TIDE OF SILENCE)
It is in this context that the historical, human Jesus after centuries, in God’s plan it has to be said, can be rediscovered. He taught us many lessons about his father whose presence he felt and recognized in the birds of the air, the lilies of the field, and even the number of hairs on a created head. His humanity, still probably the deepest mystery of our relationship with The Unknown Other, brought with it, a new intimacy with the Creator God who becoming part of our history through Jesus has and continues to share him/herself with us as a father/mother.