Nasir Khan, September 1, 2015
The message of Jesus of Nazareth (c. 7-2 BC – c. 30-33 AD) was viewed as a challenge to the Roman Empire and a threat to the Jewish religious establishment. He was a great teacher and revolutionary of those times. Even though our knowledge of this unique person is limited due to the lack of original sources but according to a critical analysis of the contents of the Christian Bible we see him to have been on the side of the poor, the sick and the marginalised people. For his activities he was branded as a criminal, a subversive rebel and then eradicated.
Even after the lapse of two thousand years, his message of hope and the possibility of creating a just and righteous world order (the Kingdom of Heaven) is still alive.
In my view that message will never die, no matter how difficult the problems confronting the human race. There will always be some courageous people to pick up the message and carry on the struggle against the exploitation of humans by humans, against oppression, ignorance, injustice and poverty.
The appeal of the message lies in the universality of human values for a worthy life. History has seen the oppressive religious rulers of the Middle Ages, the autocratic monarchs of the bygone ages, the great dictators of the twentieth century and the fall of great empires. The present global imperial world order headed by the US military-industrial complex will also come to an end in the future. But the message of hope and justice will live on.
Incidentally, I am not discussing any theological beliefs or views around Jesus on whose name a world-religion arose and now has over 2-billion followers. We know how the vast array of his followers in the world see him. However, many ignore the revolutionary content of his message.
It is important for us see the universal and revolutionary content of his message. Human values existed long before him and they still do. Moreover, history bears the testimony that some of the most gruesome crimes have been committed in his name and the name of Christianity. For all that, he bears no responsibility. Instead, I point to the positive side of his message for humanity in general.