(NaturalNews) Whether or not you are a believer, you can't deny that Jesus and his chroniclers made an impression upon the world. Some critics claim that the popularity of Christianity in the Western world is due to an embellished fairy tale that preys upon the naive.
If you use the fairly tale scenario to discount Jesus, however, then you must use it to discount everything. Buddha, Mohammad, and the Vedas must suffer a similar fate. And so must Darwin, modern science, quantum physicists and contemporary cosmologists.
Ultimately, every major religion, science or philosophy reaches, sooner or later, a frustrating lack of irrefutable proof, beyond which certain scientific or spiritual assumptions must be made to hold the evidence together.
At any rate, I think Jesus inspired such faith and a committed following because of his revolutionary attitude and in-your-face style. He was provocative, to say the least.
Given my area of expertise in personal development, I offer the following commentary of some of Jesus' most powerful questions, according to the Bible.
1. Are you so dull? Mark 7:18
Perhaps Jesus foresaw the addition of fluoride into the water. Regardless, he certainly recognized people's tendency to be lazy-minded and not think for themselves.
Life is demanding. Are you willing to think things through, keeping your eyes bright and open? Are you awake and alive to your challenges, as well as your strengths and opportunities?
In my experience, people are at least twice as intelligent and capable as they act. They just need to be awakened. This question is more appropriate now than ever.
2. How is it you don't know how to interpret this present time? Luke 12:56
Another eerily appropriate question for modern times. Amazing that we can look around, stare at the obvious and fail to see it. Walk down any grocery store aisle and you will see loads of attractively packaged poison. In many cases food manufacturers don't even need to disguise the facts on the packaging. Yet, people buy it, eat it, and give it to their children.
Vaccines, cell phones, cigarettes, alcohol, skin care products and more are filled with hazardous materials. Manufacturers are counting on people misinterpreting the truth. It is actually a safe bet.
Jesus seems to be asking here: Are you looking around and not seeing what is going on in the world around you?
3. Is that your own idea, or did others talk to you about me? John 18:34
Most people blow around in the wind of public opinion. Given that public opinion is often dead wrong, this is a critical question. Are your beliefs your own, or were they handed to you by someone else?
Even if your perspective on life is determined by a well-intending parent, it is often inappropriate for you. Individual character in a social world makes all the difference.
Jesus asked this question to Pilate, the one who sentenced him to death. Pilate did not take the time to think for himself, but let public opinion win the day and washed his hands of the matter. For Jesus, it was a life or death matter. It is for us as well, both in terms of quality and quantity of life.
4. Do you want to get well? John 5:6
Therapists, coaches and healers understand the necessity of this question. The most highly skilled healers never assume the answer is 100% yes. The truth is, while so many complain about being unhealthy, they don't congruently want to get well.
Most people are spinning on a treadmill of unapplied knowledge. They don't necessarily need to know more, but to do more. This is not a matter of information as much as a matter of informing the will and putting an end to self-sabotage.
5. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?
Spiritual growth is real work. In addition to being a gift, love is also a skill. Like a muscle that needs to be worked in order to grow, love needs to be practiced. It's relatively easy to practice love toward those who love us. What about the people who are difficult to love?
Here Jesus seems to inviting an interesting insight: If you only make room in your heart for people who are easy to love, then perhaps you are one of the difficult people to love.
6. Why do you look at the spec of dust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Mathew 7:30
This classic question about hypocrisy has certainly stood the test of time. Jesus had a huge problem with hypocrites, as most of us do. The only hypocrite we tend to forget is the one in the mirror.
Yet, the hypocrite in the mirror is the only one you can change. And the most difficult part of changing yourself is 1) understanding that you are the one who needs to change and 2) confronting the part of you that clings to problems and childish ways of being.
7. Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right? Luke 12:57
Is Jesus really asking us to just grow up? In other words: No, you can't have everything you want. No, others are not responsible and do not necessarily know what's best for you. Yes, you are responsible for your character and choices.
Every decision we make is a risk and requires some sort of sacrifice. To say yes to one thing means we say no to other options. There is risk in this. To judge what is right means we risk being wrong.
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