Who Was Jesus?

A Humanities Essay That Teaches The Study of The Bible As
A Historical Document

I felt a very positive impression of who Jesus was after
finishing the Book of Matthew. I had a new image of someone who
was a down-to-earth, caring individual. I did not find quotes of
Jesus that claimed being superior to the common man, of whom
sinners could not look upon (a view that most people had of their
Gods for centuries before). Matthew 12:49-50, Jesus announces to
multitudes that they are his mother and brothers. In that way,
he puts himself at an equal level to the people, rather than
claiming to be a God above them. This reflects the whole
attitude of the book.
Chapters 6-7 of Matthew quote Jesus as he is presenting
rules to live by to the multitudes. To me, all of these sounded
like hints to leading a happy life for yourself. Jesus reflects
a God that does not expect virgins or animals to be sacrificed in
His name; but, a God that is pleased by followers that love not
only God, but each other also. These seem like simple, logical
rules to live by. But, they reflected a time in history where
that kind of love for one another was hard to find because of the
hardships inflicted upon the people.
I find some conflict in Jesus\' actions, however. Jesus
never (as far as I know) says to ignore to commandments of God in
the Hebrew Scriptures; however, constantly breaks the Sabbath
(Matt 12:13 and others), and gives VERY flimsy and unconvincing
explanations for it. I am not sure what his message was in those
actions. Perhaps he didn\'t care?
In general, Matthew was a good, entertaining story to read,
with a very dramatic ending, and great character development (a
little sarcastic humor here)!
I was very surprised to find much of the Book of Mark a
repeat of what was written in Matthew, but with a little less
detail, and a few stories omitted.
Jesus goes a little overboard on the parables! Most of the
parables needed to be explained to his disciples, and some of
them I wasn\'t able to understand either! Although many parables
have a good, inspiring morals to them, I would question Jesus as
to if they were an effective way to witness to common people.
Even today, too many people read parables as TRUTH, rather than
"just a story." Plus, they are misinterpreted.
But, I have to tell you that an amazing coincidence happened
to me after I finished reading the Parable of "The Pearl of Great
Price." A couple of hours later, I was watching an old episode
of Star Trek on TV, and \'Scotty\' had actually quoted the same,
exact parable at the end of the show! Funny that the writers of
Star Trek predict the future to still hold the same religion as
now, and 2000 years ago.
Both Matthew and Mark write about the part of Pilate in His
crucifixion. It seems to me that Pilate was a "good-guy", and
did not really want to have Jesus killed because he did not see
anything that He did wrong (as compared to Barabbas, the
murderer). (Mark 15:1-15) As a matter of fact, I see that Pilate
tried to give Jesus another chance by asking the crowd to choose
to punish the Murderer, or Jesus. Then, \'washed his hands\' of
this crucifixion after the decision was made. Why is Pilate
portrayed as a \'Good-Guy\' in these books while we know,
historically, that Pilate was NOT a friend to the Jews?
After reading these books, I get the feeling that Jesus was
here to save the Jewish people, not the gentiles (like most of
today\'s Christians). I can\'t find the spot, but Jesus seemed
reluctant to pay attention to a sick gentile, but finally healed
her because of her faith. Yes, he is the king of the Jews, that
is said in many places. But, was Jesus here to save only Jews, or
the people in all the world (like Rome, the Sumarites, etc.)?
That kind of makes me feel unsure of why Christianity has become
the primary religion of Non-Jewish people. My God, the
expansion of the Church was incredible from the