On Netflix, there is a new movie "The Gospel of John", which is a reading from the King James Version. Jesus looks very intense most of the time, but since the actor does not speak he does not have many options besides looking intense.
I watched about 30 min. last night and thought about it quite deeply after. It came to me that the veracity of it all hinges so completely on the person of Christ. Was he God as John testifies and as he has Jesus self-identify? It really all depends on this.
I tried to look at it from both sides. What if John made it up (a preposterous idea from a variety of angles)? -- But what about Jesus? What does he say and do; what kind of character do we find here? Did he do, as the martyrs confessed, no wrong, but has only ever done us good, deserving our loyalty?
I must say that he has only ever done me good. I must say that the character in the Bible is just and genuine, intelligent and warm, surprising and bold, engaging and fair, loving both high and low, the sick, the healthy, participating in the community, promoting a full view of humanity. He has done and said nothing wrong, only good. And it was written down well, too. You can't make this up. The gospel witness is faithful.
I am even surer of it, after reading Plato, last year (see Plato posts). Plato is supposed to have been the most intelligent fellow around, and read what kind of nonsense he wrote half of the time, suggesting the most bizarre arrangements for family life and the sexes, to pick one major thing.
Then there are people who are real heroes to me: let's say Luther, or Chesterton. Well, they on occasion have put their respective feet in their mouths quite decisively. Or look at the patriarchs. --What a motley crew. -- I mean we won't even mention Mohammed. Half the world swears by his name and he said and did such awful things commanding his followers do the same.
So, I have to say, that even with allowing a measure of doubt, Jesus stands entirely on his own--one of a kind perfect. I will trust him, and not another.
10 hours ago