A TALE OF REVOLUTION
In attempting to seek the truth of the story of Jesus we are led astray
by the redaction of early authors and the spiritual spin of Early Church leaders.
This camouflage has merely been exacerbated by the netting of ages
and the self-protective devices of more recent priests.
Yet we can see a clearer, more practical, vision
of the mission and message of Jesus,
if we delve with open eyes
into the Gospels.
After his meeting with John, the Baptist, and the inspiration derived from his message:
Jesus retired to the desert to think it through and returned with a new revolutionary message:
"The Kingdom of God is at Hand!" calling for people to make it real in the here and now.
It was a cry that touched the heart of the people, the down-trodden, poverty-stricken peasants;
the people whom Jesus met as he travelled on what were basically recruiting drives.
so we read of individual conversions, interpreted as divine miracles,
and mass rallies of thousands in the deserted hillsides of Galilee.
People were recruited for a radical new lifestyle of sharing.
"All for one and one for all" they might have cried.
We read of problems with local authority, a problem that recurred again and again,
and of negotiating a base for the organisation both in Galilee and in Judea (Luke 10).
We read of escapes across the lake, taking shelter in the neighbouring province, the Decapolis.
We read of village recruitment gatherings in the dusk, after the work of the day is done
and of problems whilst trying to put his message over in the local synagogue.
We read of interaction with different classes of society and even with the military.
Another thread is of those who are raised from the dead, implying rescue from arrest or some other fate.
Crowds seem to follow everywhere, and the effect of the Message is reported as miracles of shared food,
where poverty stricken people share in enough to feed four or five thousand people at a time.
In the same way as healed people, caught fish become symbols of conversions to the cause.
People who are blind to the truth are healed, as are those who will not speak of their allegiance.
Every form of allegory is used to identify the impact of the revolutionary doctrine.
Perhaps this form of code was used in telling the tale,
for security in the squares and market places of the towns,
the places where Jesus could no longer go without fear of arrest.
Perhaps this is why the Gospels tell the tale in this parabolic way.