(This is Mark’s second imaginary interview with Jesus. You can find the first here and the third here.)
Mark: Hi. It’s good to see you again.
Jesus: It’s good to see you again too. Thanks for taking time for this.
Mark: Well. I’m not sure what to say. Forgive me for saying this but you look a little troubled or something.
Jesus:: Maybe. I am a little concerned. I do have some things that I’d like to get off my chest, so to speak.
Mark: Why don’t you start wherever you want.
Jesus: I want to clear something up. I’m not God. The last time we talked, I thought I'd made that clear, but maybe not. Some say I was a messenger for God. I can live with that. Actually, that's a good description. There's a lot of misunderstanding... a lot of myth that has been created about my life. I'm going to explain some things to you, to your readers.
When I said, "Thanks for taking time out to talk with me," I really meant it. The reason I'm saying that, is that by participating with me like this... well... that kind of makes you a messenger too. I don't know if you or other people realize what that means. It sounds romantic, but it's not.
When people like the message the messenger brings, they make him a hero. When they don't like it, they string him up. Either way, he's only responsible for telling the truth, not for the truth itself.
Mark: I know.
Jesus: I know you know. I know all about you. But I don't think your readers know... well... there's a lot of confusion about me. That my life still has meaning for so many people long after I left this plane... well... there's a lot of good that's come from that.
But in many ways, it's been very unfortunate. The misunderstandings, the lies, the manipulation of my words... to suit people who never knew me, and never understood what I tried to do here... I want to clear some of that up. It's very disturbing to me and quite frankly... well... I try to be understanding. I am understanding. I understand, but still I want to do something about it. Do you know what I'm saying.
Mark: Yes. I think I do.
Jesus: Yeah. Well first, let’s get this out of the way: Am I the messiah? Am I? Well, I think so, I hope so. How can that be if the world is still as screwed up as it ever was? You know what I’m going to say, don’t you?
Mark:: Yeah. I think so.
Jesus: Yeah. It has nothing to do with time. I am the messiah because the message I shared was what I thought people needed to hear to transform their world from a place of great sorrow to a place of true brotherhood. Did I fail? No. Would I say some things differently now, if I had it to do over? Probably. But I became what I wanted to become... I loved you. You know what I mean when I say I loved you? I mean I love you. Not just you. But every you.
Did that make me the messiah? No. Well, yes, actually. It was because of my love for you... what I shared with you... what I had been taught, what I came to know and understand. I gave you the chance... I did my best. I was not the messiah because of the things I did. I was the messiah because I became who I am. The things I did were great enough to get your attention, but not good enough to make people understand. Do you know what I'm saying? I think you do.
Mark: I think so.
Jesus: You think so! You know I read your book. You said, "Paul Revere was not the hero... anyone could have run through the streets making a ruckus just like he did. It's not just the guy who rings the bell who is the hero, it's the people who answer the call, who are the real heroes." It was Paul Revere-the messenger-who we remember. That's just public relations. But you know what? You were right. If you answer the call because of me, then I am the messiah as far as you are concerned. Or maybe I should say, when someone answers the call because of me, to them I will be the messiah. But you know what else? Personally I think there have been many messiahs... many of my brothers who became enlightened beings, who knew what I know, who spoke their truth. If people answered the call when they rang the bell--then why aren't they the messiah, too? Well, they are. Like I said, the things I did got peoples' attention, but it didn't make them understand. I can't make anybody understand anything. It's impossible.
Mark: Why impossible?
Jesus: You know why. Because I cannot make you experience what I experience. I can only tell you about my experience. I can only point you in a direction where I think you will find what you are looking for. I can only tell you about God from my own experience, but I cannot make you understand what it feels like to me to be in the presence of God.
Until you know what it feels like to you to be in the presence of God you can only believe what I tell you it is like for me to be in the presence of God. Until you know, you can only believe. And you know what--the truth believed is a lie. It's a lie because you will pretend to know what I am talking about when in fact, you only believe or have faith that I am telling you the truth.
You know what? God is with you every moment of every day. But if you don't experience it, you can't honestly tell anyone else, that what I just said is true. If you pretend that you know it's true, then you're a liar. You may have the best of intentions, but I told you not to lie. And you know what, you don't have to be a liar. Why? Because I told everyone how to become what I am. At least I told you what I think you needed to know. And if they had become what I am, they would have known who I was. Do you have enough courage to tell the truth? Maybe my path is not your path. I didn't follow anyone. Maybe you can't become what I am by following anyone either. But you can become what you strive to become. I think so. What do you want to be? You know Mark, I'm not a Christian. I never was.
Mark: Wow. I think this will confuse a lot of people… what you just said.
Jesus: But it doesn’t confuse you, does it?
Mark: Well, so what do you want from me?
Jesus: I want you to tell them who you are?
Mark: How do I know what it means? I’ve failed at everything.
Jesus: So did I.
Mark: But you told the truth. Many listened. A few minutes ago, you just said you didn't fail.
Jesus: No. I told the truth and very few listened. People think the bible is a window into the mind of God. In fact, it is more like a mirror to their own soul. I asked people to believe what I was telling them..."Tell the truth," I said. But instead they told my truth as if it was theirs and made it into a lie. I didn't fail because they didn't believe me, or understand me, or trust me. It took me a long time to understand this. I am not responsible for what everyone else does or doesn't do.
Jesus: And so now we have how many different religions all based on my so-called teachings. And then there are all these different versions of the bible. And each person who calls him or herself a Christian, decides what passages are the truth as far as they are concerned. Some say the entire bible is true... but of course, those same people pick and choose which passages they want to read and quote to others.
Mark: Yeah, I know. Anias Nin said, “We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. “
Jesus: Exactly! Exactly right! That's what makes the bible such a holy book. It is a window into your own soul. It doesn't tell you what I thought or what God thinks... it tells you what you think, how you think, what you want to believe, what you are ready to believe. And what the authors wanted to believe or wanted you to believe.
But it doesn't necessarily tell you what I believe, what I know, what I have become, what my relationship with God is like, or what I tried to share. Listen: they did the best they could. Everyone does, in a way.
Let me tell you something else: if practicing religion helps you to forgive, to love, to tell the truth, then it's worthwhile participating. If that's not what's happening, then it's not my teaching. What I see today is just so much confusion. So many people telling other people what to think. A lot of foolishness. It's a mess.
Mark: Yeah, well. I see messes everywhere I look.
Jesus: Well, let’s not get too maudlin. There are a lot of interesting and good things that are happening even though it’s hard to see them.
Mark: What do you mean?
Jesus: I mean, for example, this war in Iraq. You know what I think? Well, first of all, I know how you feel... it's been a great horror, a great tragedy. So much pain, destruction, and sorrow. And yet you know something... I feel that too. But it also offers a great revelation.
Mark: And what’s that?
Jesus: Take a look at all the effort, all the money, all the human and psychic energy that has been devoted to pursuing and executing this war... the lives lost, the tears, the sorrow, the news reports, the email and letters written, the books written, the interviews, the discussions, the courage that has been demonstrated-the political courage, the physical courage, the moral courage, the sacrifice, the tears, the transformation, the lies told, the truth revealed, the disappointment, the fear. All of it. And for what?
Just think... now listen to me and listen carefully... if you or I would have suggested that there was enough resources or passion in the world to end hunger and starvation on the planet, or to end the suffering from all of the curable diseases in the world, to improve the education of all children, to give everyone a place to live, food to eat, hope for the future... do you know... that if I said that there could be peace on earth... do you know what I would have been told?
I would have been told that it's impossible, a pipe dream. We don't have the money or the resources, no matter how you define them, to do any of these things. But you know what... your country just demonstrated that you do have the resources to do all of these things...RIGHT NOW. Ask any of your true experts what it would take to end hunger and starvation of the planet... ask them how much money it would take. I mean to end hunger forever. If they tell the truth you will see that it would take only a fraction of what has already been spent in Iraq. Remember you don't have to buy fish for everyone forever with the money and the expended effort. "You only have to help them... show them how to fish... from a place in your heart that really and truly wants them to succeed." All you have to do is find that place... that place in your heart... that loves, that forgives, that strives.
Why is this good news and not reason to shed your tears? Well maybe it is a reason for both. For both. Now you know. Now everyone knows, that if you wanted to have this world be the kind of place I had in mind--the world I spoke about--you now know that you have all the resources and tools that it takes... The only thing missing is the will of people to make it their personal goal in life to have it happen. But no longer can you hide the fact that there are enough resources to do it. The truth is so blatant that you can almost see it written on the sky.
There could be peace on earth and goodwill towards all if people who say they believe in me would only pay attention and think about what I have just said. What if they really cared, spent some real psychic energy on that? Do you realize what a great opportunity this is... Am I the messiah? Yes. But a messiah, I am sorry to inform you, is not someone who will make you do anything. That's one of the greatest and perhaps one of the most pernicious myths or lies about me. I'm not coming back to judge anyone or make anyone do anything. You have free will. Do you really think I would take your free will away from you? Do you really think, if I could, that I would send you away to someplace horrible forever? If you think so, you don't know me at all. And you don't know our Father either. I love you. I wouldn't do that. God wouldn't do that.
If you want to transform the world into the place I came to tell you about, it is up to you. I told you all about God from my first hand experience. I told the truth. All that's missing is your will to make it so. And you know... when I use the word you, I am using it in the broadest sense. But I am talking to you. I look into the deep tragedy of war and I see hope. I'm sorry that it takes war and such anguish before people will open their eyes to see the truth, but I just told you the truth.
Mark: Well you know, our Congress right now is being asked to spend another $100 Billion dollars on more war. Now that we've spent all this money maybe what you say is no longer true. Maybe, it's only possible for most people to believe that... well, NOW we really don't have enough money and resources to do what you say. We've already squandered what we had. We had to spend it to see that we always had it, but now that we've spent it, it's gone.
Jesus: No! I'm telling you that you do have all the resources. You spent some to open the eyes of people everywhere on the planet. Everybody can see how much money is available to accomplish the fruits of greed and other human deficiencies. But consider, what might be accomplished if the money and all those resources (on both sides of the fence) were used to make the world a better place to live? Do people believe in me or not? Do people believe in God or not? Mark, tell them. Be a messenger. Be my messenger, if it helps.
Mark: Yeah. But why don’t you tell them yourself? Why me?
Jesus: You know why?
Jesus: Yeah. I see the sadness in your eyes. But I am your brother and your friend. You don’t need to cry.
Mark: I know. Ok.
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