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He was the greatest man who ever lived A carpenters son with no wealth and little worldly education he stands as the dominant figure of Western civilization and towers over all world history Yet he is not well understood According to the Christian religion he presented himself as the Savior from sin and the way to eternal life And the corollary to his teaching was that those who did not believe in him would be damned to hell forever But would the messenger of Gods compassion have taught such a brutal doctrine It is doubtful According to modern theological scholarship he was one of many possible things a failed eschatological prophet a failed revolutionary an itinerant miracle worker who healed nothing more that psychosomatic illnesses But could such an ordinary even pathetic figure as presented by modern scholarship have inspired his followers to such heights of devotion And could such a one have changed the world forever It is unlikely So exactly who was Jesus and what did he teach Jesus came proclaiming the Kingdom of God But unlike John the Baptist or many others of his day he did not envision the Kingdom of God descending miraculously from Heaven The arrival of the Kingdom would not mean the end of the world or the destruction of Israels enemies Instead he said The Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed nor will they say Lo here it is or There for behold the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you Luke 172021 The Kingdom had already arrived and it was a spiritual community consisting of Jesus and all those who centered themselves in God Yet there are many contradictory passages in the Gospels in which Jesus was said to have predicted an apocalyptic arrival of the Kingdom For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other so will the
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