In commemoration of Christmas…2014th year of birth
Mission and Message of Jesus Christ—in order to comprehend its outfall for the human race, its impact, the need to scan and study pre-Jesuit era, the era he lived in and the post-Jesuit era is imperative. In commemoration of Christmas…2014th year of birth of Jesus Christ, one of the greatest ever born, apart from physical landmarks, we might have to move into spiritual realm. Jesus Christ remains a revered Prophet of our faith. Vis-à-vis the prophetic lore, the line of descent, Islam does not stand in denial. Rather, acceptance of prophetic line from Adam down to Syedena Ibrahim [A.S] and the last messenger—Prophet Mohammad [SAW] remains the Islamic norm, a matter of faith.
Jesus was born amongst Jews. The Jews had a belief that their redeemer–one who would deliver them from the bondage of Romans…the ‘Messiah’ would be a King from the family of David. The root word of Messiah is ‘Massah’ which means massaging the body with a rubbing substance. Massaging the body with olive oil was a sacred custom of Jews. However, it had a deeper implication. In Jewish days of glory, the King on coronation has had to have a massage of olive oil. Jews had a deeply divided society when Jesus was born, in a world where Romans and Iranians were contending for power and global domination.
In Jesuit era, Jews had five main sects Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes, Galileans, and Samaritans. Amongst these Sadducees were considered to be quite important, being supporters of the ruling regime. They formed the elite and were conservative in approach, as such, inclined to preserve political and religious order. In Torah, they stuck to edicts of Moses only. This was the sect most opposed to Jesus, as they had much at stake in preserving the prevailing order. Pharisees on the contrary though large in numbers had hardly any political or religious influence; hence they were vehement in opposition to the prevailing order. Complex of their uprightness made them suffer the impact of exclusiveness and poor interaction with other social groups. Jesus Christ roundly criticized their misplaced sense of pride.
Essenes formed a significant sect of naturalists. They would explore minerals benefiting humanity and herbs to treat the sick free of costs. It is believed that before the advent of his ministry—the Prophethood, Jesus sought solace from being a member of this sect. Galileans, also called Jalili’s were once ideologically akin to Essenes, however they broke away due to extremist views. Considering obedience to Romans as an act bordering infidelity, they turned unruly. Samaritans were a mix of Jews and Assyrians, opposing traditional religious order. Their opposition extended to the extreme act of having a separate sectarian temple. Persistence in conflict with other Jewish sect resulted in much bloodshed.
The temple of Solomon [Heikel-e-SuleimanI] continued to be center of Jewish religious activity. However, it acted as an agent of political authority. The priestly order in the temple had to be from none else than the family of Aaron, brother of Moses. This resulted in political as well as religious repression. In desperate straits, the idea of a deliverer to lift Jews out of a miserable situation grew up. A deliverer, who would help restore the lost glory of David’s empire. Hence they presumed the Messiah like David had to be a King. Jesus, as he assumed the charge of his flock on being invested with Prophethood, did not opt to become the king the Jews wanted. Instead, he talked of kingdom of God.
Trespassing all realms of humanity in their opposition to the appointed messenger, Jews set up soul shaking accusations. The slander extended to calling the holy birth the result of an illicit relationship. In obtaining the verdict of crucifixion from the Roman Court of Pontius Pilate—the Governor of Palestine, the Jewish Rabbis—the custodians of Temple of Solomon resorted to lies and slander. They accused him of blasphemy. The ministry—the Prophethood was short lived, lasting barely three years. However within those years, the wandering Messiah pronounced edicts that are related world over, 2000 years ahead of Jesuit era. Edicts that soothe the mind and comfort the soul, he talked of mercy—blessed are the merciful, for they shall have mercy. Mary Magdalene, the wayward woman became one of his chief disciples after he asked the crowd pelting stones at her that only those who haven’t ever sinned may do so. He talked of turning the other cheek in the face of violence.
He was blessed with healing touch that made the paralytics walk; rationalists of Christian west though relate it to extra sensory phenomenon—a subject of intense research. The Christian west over the last three to four hundred centuries subjugated much of the world, justifying it as white-man’s burden. Colonial era over, the Christendom has taken upon itself to dictate how the rest of world shapes up. There is no shortage of invoking the civilizational conflict.
If Christ were to walk in the modern epoch, he would without a shade of doubt be siding with the deprived and the dispossessed, as he did in flesh and blood while carrying his short-lived mission in the hills and slopes of Galilee, and in urban Jerusalem. The message however lives on…of turning the other cheek, of being merciful, of providing the healing touch!
Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival]