Trip Start Mar 21, 2005
351Trip End Ongoing
In the afternoon, I walked to the Israel National Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls, passing a wide variety of characters and people barbequeing in the sunny parks.
In the evening, I went to a service at an Episcopal Church with one of the folks from the Palm Hostel. Turns out later he developed the Jerusalem Complex, writing "I am the Messiah" on walls. A fellow hosteller tried to convince him otherwise, but to no avail as he responded: "you are the anti-me" (i.e. anti-Christ). Another man called Al Gore the anti-Christ because he's trying to stop climate change which will lead to Armegeddon.
The Jerusalem Complex may have roots in the way the Holy Spirit acts in the hearts of believers. Maybe in some it becomes too strong, which can lead to delusions. "God speaks through me," said one American, who happens to be president, yet we deny him as a prophet.
At the same time, all the past prophets faced the same problem. All were condemned at one point or another, unpopular for any negative prophesies. Jesus was considered a false prophet by his own people. Moses felt the grumbling of his people. "You will go to them; but for their part, they will not listen to you," said God to Jeremiah, who felt the burdens of his prophet status, because most of what he had to say was bad news, and who likes bad news, even if you know its' true.
But no matter how you look at it, the teachings of Jesus and the meaning behind the New Testament changed the way we think in the Western world. The East already had its Buddhism and Hinduism, which already had a focus on love and compassion and other realms such as heaven and hell following death. Bhakti yoga allowed practitioners to devote themselves to God through a personification (Krishna), and Jesus fit nicely into this for Hindus as well, who consider him part of the pantheon. But in the West, this concept was new--although prophets spoke of its coming--and Jesus allowed God to enter our hearts and expanded the definition of God so temples and sacrifices were no longer necessary.
If Jesus returned to earth, would we call him a false prophet? Would he be sent to an insane asylum in today's world?
Spring was here in Jerusalem, with wildflowers in the parks and on the Mount of Olives, under blue skies, a perfect day to celebrate rebirth, renewal, and life.