Too easily we forget that Jesus was not a Christian! Jesus was an itinerant Jewish rabbi whom some link to the Essenes, a Jewish splinter group with extremely demanding spiritual practices. His words were not recorded until 70 to 100 years after his death, with all the inevitable distortions this implies. Historians of the New Testament estimate that only about one fifth of the affirmations attributed to Jesus are really his own words. All the statements concerning the Last Judgement, Peter being established as the supreme authority of the Church, the fire of hell and many others were created by the Church to establish its authority.
Thus it is fitting to give to Jesus the place he deserves: that of one of the most universal spiritual beings who ever trod the earth, steeped in one of the purest nondualist teachings ever preached, based on total unconditional love.
In the famous parable of the Prodigal Son, this avatar who belongs to no particular religion offers what I believe is the most extraordinary spiritual affirmation ever pronounced. The elder son reproached his father for having not only forgiven his younger brother who squandered his inheritance abroad carousing with prostitutes, but for not uttering a single word of rebuke when the repentant son returned home. Even worse, the father had placed on his finger the ring signifying their restored oneness and clothed him with a white robe symbolizing his total innocence. And to top it all, the father had organized a banquet to celebrate his return! For the elder brother, who had served his father faithfully for so many years, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. But the father tells him: “My child, you are ever with me and all that I have is yours …”
These incredible words, the Source (or use the term that appeals to you, infinite, cosmic Love, the universe, etc.) is saying them to each and every one of us at every moment. Yes, we may claim our state of total original innocence, the limitless abundance which is our heritage, the peace “that passes all understanding”, and the joy that dances like a mountain stream. All this is perfectly free. We do not have to “deserve” it through a certain behavior or special rituals. It is without preconditions. All we are required to do is accept and live what we already are: beings of light, totally good, filled with love, capable of great things beyond our imagination.
Am I ready to accept this?