The ministry of Jesus lasted for three brief years of radical preaching.
He appeared from an unknown origin of seeming religious bent,
to join, follow and be commissioned by John the Baptist,
before retiring to meditate in the desert.
He emerged as a firebrand of religious renovation from the barren desert.
He addressed the injustices of the "system" and the people loved him for it.
He preached against religious intolerance, corruption, and hypocrisy.
He told stories with dangerously subversive revolutionary intention.
He took up the prophetic cudgel and lambasted the state of Judaism.
He redefined the meaning of true religion.
Legends built up around him, and were exacerbated by his demise.
The simplistic myths of a peasant people became focussed on him;
tales of miracles and of healing and of special unearthly powers,
concealed the reality of a call for social and political reform.
concealed the gathering of a following ripe for revolution.
His family took on a special status, despite their poverty.
His disciples took on his mantel, his aura, his fame.
He preached of the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven,
and pointed out that it could be here and now.
It can be all around us, if we allow it to be.
He described that kingdom in his teaching
which Matthew consolidated as
the Sermon on the Mount.
But, in all of this, he did not, could not, claim divinity.
The concepts of later ages were foreign to his thoughts.
He was a Jew, committed to a single God, monotheism.