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A Humanities Essay That Teaches The Study of The Bible As A Historical Document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
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
My God, the expansion of the Church was incredible from the time of Jesus!
After reading Matthew and Mark during the time of Jesus on earth, and then
reading Acts, I was shocked at the change! A few things that happen in Acts are
strangely different than what I had expected after reading about Jesus and His
As I said before, I felt good about what Jesus had said in the previous