Jesus as Wisdom Teacher
I follow the way of Jesus. In a sense I am hesitant to use the name Christian simply because of all the baggage that comes with it in this day and age. Images of fundamentalists condemning or evangelizing can turn many people off to Jesus. Sadly, looking at the scriptures, one gets a different picture of who Jesus was than what many churches require belief in. In the gospels, both the canonical and non-canonical-we see the viewpoints of the author. They are writing with an agenda of a Jesus that fits their belief system. That said, one thing stands out in all of them. That is Jesus as a wisdom teacher. In many ways he operated somewhat like a Sufi sheik or a Indian Spiritual Teacher. He takes students, and invites some to a deeper level of relationship with him. He speaks in parables and often in ways to jar the common understandings of the time. Perhaps in that way he is akin to a Zen Master as well. He is one who has attained Gnosis, Enlightenment-however you describe this union with God. He now radiates a vision of God. He challenges those who would seek to know God to constantly move beyond their comfort zones. He is a mystic and expects his followers to be mystics too. He does not advocate the path of righteousness as religious works but rather the path of love. His is the path of lovers. Loving God and loving God in all people. He did not judge any except those who judged and claimed to be religiously right. It is this human Jesus that I follow. I am his student, his disciple.