In 1955 a film classic, Rebel Without A Cause starring James Dean and Natalie Wood made American cinematic history. It was the story of a young man of privilege and his companions who were in rebellion without any just cause.
2000 years before there was another classic drama being enacted that similarly focused on a young rebel. But instead of being the spoiled offspring of wealthy parents, this rebel was a hard working carpenter and his companions, commercial fishermen. The companions were a sun burned, soiled, tough talking, 2nd Amendment supporting lot, without any formal education. Ultimately this rebel and nearly all of his companions would pay with their lives for rebelling against tyrannical government and religion and for standing for truth and justice.
The world has since come to know this rebel as the person Jesus. In the last few years of his young life he was a “street preacher” who when he wasn’t provided shelter and food by followers, slept in the countryside and existed off the land. As we shall see in the articles to follow, this Jesus was unique in all of history. He was an anti-hero who turned existing paradigms on their head with his “he who is first shall be last and the last shall be first” teachings. He was a true rebel, totally different than everyone else around him.
The political, social and religious environment of this day is a striking parallel to the times in which we live. Unemployment was high, poverty the norm, the rich, powerful and corrupt ruled the church, the courts and the political sub-structure, while tyrannical, global minded Rome engaged in endless wars of empire and ruled the conquered at home with an iron fist.
No attempts will be made to “convert” anyone, or to argue Jesus existence or divinity. The libraries of the world are filled with these discussions. Whether Jesus was a fact, fiction or fantasy is not at issue here. We will view him solely as a literary figure, but since his world and the issues he confronted were so much like ours, it is hoped that we might learn valuable lessons that will enable us to cope and survive as did he with class, wisdom, nobility, integrity and love, all the while standing for the right though the heavens fall.
To be continued….