A Paradigm of Oneness: Part 8
Click for audio: Who is Jesus?
The paradigm of separation sees the person of Jesus as the exclusive means by which the believer is united with God. There can be no doubt that many of the New Testament writers presented Jesus in this light. The question of whether or not Jesus thought of himself in this way is another issue entirely. The paradigm we hold, whether it is one of separation or oneness, determines how we view the role and the teachings of Jesus. There are a sufficient number of scriptural passages to support either approach. The reason for this mixed message is simple: we do not have a gospel according to Jesus. We, therefore, do not know who Jesus was and we do not actually know what he accomplished. We know only how the Gospel writers and people like Paul wanted their readership to think of him.
However, the meaning of Jesus is not to be surmised from the scriptural accounts but from our trinity of core values, the paradigm of oneness. The deeper we delve into our own spirituality, the more we recognize which of those sayings attributed to Jesus are reflections of his own spiritual awakening. Viewing Jesus from the paradigm of oneness we can see him as one who lived with a perpetual awareness of his own divinity and encouraged others to awaken to theirs as well. His message of new wineskins for the new wine was an admonition to shift from an outer to inner orientation, from practicing the letter of the law to an experience of the spirit of the law.
From the paradigm of separation, we view Jesus as the theology of separation dictates. From the paradigm of oneness we view Jesus from the core value of unity with God. From this point of view we see him as a Wayshower, as one who understood and demonstrated the ultimate awareness we seek in our own experience.
For Jesus to have relevance to our spiritual journey, we must take him at his word: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father” (John 14:12).