Much of my faith in Christ has been based on the fact that his life has clearly played a pivotal role in human history. Since Christ, the world has changed in dramatic ways. Since Christ, every philosophy, from Islam to communism to secular humanism, has arisen has arisen in reaction to Christianity. All of today’s science and economics are base on Christianity. “Joining the world community means basically accepting Christian values in human relationships that were unthinkable before Christ.
One of the ways that it has changed is in the meaning of our words. How we understand Christ’s words, especially in translation, has itself been changed by how Christ changed the meaning of words. By the time the English translation of the Bible, this change was well on its way. We see evidence of it in the innumerable places in the English translation where Greek words are rendered in a way that would be completely unthinkable to a Greek-speaking person of Christ’s era.
While I doubt neither the faith or even the divine inspiration of those who did the English translation of the Bible, my mission is simply to expose others, if they are interested, to the original meaning of Christ’s words before he change history.
This brings me to the topic of miracles. The apostles saw Christ’s miracles and resurrection. Because of their experience, they were willing to die for their faith. They knew from the testimony of their eyes (a concept important in Christ’s teaching) that Christ was Lord. Speaking of miracles, isn’t in interesting that none of the apostles died from disease or accidental injuries? During an age when the average life span was about 28 years, the apostles all lived until they died at the hands of others, some at quite advanced ages.
Do you notice that all of Christ’s miracles heal the body or the mind (casting out devils)? However, there is a third realm that Christ taught about, that of relationships and emotions, but Christ is never recorded as directly miraculously healing relationships. He never laid his hands on a husband and wife and restored their love. When a man came to him with a dispute with his brother, what did Christ do? He gave advice. He taught. The closest he comes to using a miracle to smooth over a relationship was when he told Peter to catch a fish to find a coin to pay their temple tax. However, even this was symbolically a miracle of the mind not of relationships. Christ identifies money and wealth with knowledge and intelligence, that is, the realm of the mind, not the realm of relationships.
Why didn’t Christ heal relationships? Christ’s lack of activity in this area is more than significant. It is the pivotal fact in his life and it defines the nature of our relationship with God. It also explain why Christ has played such a pivotal role in human history.
Christ talks about four realms. The realm of spirit is beyond human understanding, though it is the force behind the other three realms. The other three realms–the physical, the intellectual, and the emotion–are where we experience life. However, God directly controls much of two of these realms. We control what our physical bodies do, but we do not in any way control the physical processes that keep our bodies alive from moment to moment. We direct our thoughts, but the processes by which our minds work and create new ideas are unknown to us.
The third real is the realm of emotions and relationships. It is also the realm of free choice. It is completely artificial in the sense that we create these systems of relationships for ourselves, from families to states are shaped by man’s decisions not God’s. It is in the realm of relationships that we must make our choices. These emotional choices in our relationships are pivotal in our lives. Could God control our emotions, how we feel about things and therefore the choices we make in our relationships? Of course, but that would defeat the whole purpose of creating souls with free choice.
Christ demonstrated his control of the physical world, from the wind, the human body, to the nature of reality (loaves and fishes) through his miracles. He also demonstrated his control of the intellectual world, from mechanics of the human mind (by curing people of their “demons”) to demonstrating knowledge no one could have known naturally (the fish with the coin in its mouth, a man carrying water, a waiting horse, foreknowledge of his own death).
However, it was through people’s free choices that Christ would play a pivotal role in human history. During his life, his powers over physical reality were probably the most important factor in people believing in him. After his death, the power of his teaching and idea transformed people’s hearts. Both through his physical miracles and intellectual miracles, Christ put people in touch with the hidden world of spirit and that act is what transformed our relationships with each other and eventually changed to the world.