Have you ever played this game? As a child or with a child? The question might be "why" instead of "what if", but the idea is the same: there is an insatiable appetite in all of us that when unleashed cannot stop asking questions. Sometimes we keep asking before answers are even given. Perhaps it is just the fact that we are allowed to ask the questions that we are excited about.
Asking questions is not a new tradition. In fact I would argue that the art of learning how to ask good questions is a lost tradition we desperately need to revive. Men have done it for centuries and it has produced some of the world's great thinking....women, well we do not have much documentation as to what questions women have asked until recently. As a community, we all have the right to ask questions and a right to live without having the answers.
Yet this is all a subject for another time. For now, I want to play and invite you to play along with me. Finding answers is not important....just allowing yourself to ask is. So without further ado, here I go with my questions...hope it sparks your own!
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What if Jesus was not any special version of God? What if he was born not of a "virgin" as we know it, but of a young girl...and his father really was Joseph? What if there were no angels nor shepherds, no kings nor drummer boys on the night of his arrival...but that was all stuff that was added years later for other reasons we might never know or understand?
What if Jesus, having had a normal birth, was just a man like other men? Just a human like me?
What if Jesus, being like me, struggled with an internal desire to love met with an external reality contrary to love?
What if Jesus, being like me, struggled with this life and how to live it according to the doctrine of his tradition?
What if Jesus, being like me, realized the words of his tradition - such as sin, sacrifice, rebirth, kingdom, purify, law, etc. - were words carried over from the myths that had prevailed on earth before his time?
What if Jesus used those words and the language of his tradition in order to paint not a concrete reality, but an abstract painting? What if his abstract painting was never meant to be turned into absolute truths, but simply a means of opening up another world to people?
What if Jesus woke up one day to an "aha" moment that allowed him to stop closing himself off to his own divinity and instead open himself up to the divinity that was in him at birth? What if that "aha" moment was what allowed him to call himself both a "Son of Man" and the "Son of God", realizing that we all are just as this? What if this "aha" moment was what allowed him to live a "sinless" life going forward...living a life of Love?
What if Jesus realized that this divinity was in all of creation, in every single living being in the known world of that day?
What if Jesus realized that this divinity that ALL had did not come upon us as some external rebirthing experience, but as an internal experience of the body and mind reconnecting and awakening as one? What if Jesus meant that the rebirthing experience is one of looking inside and seeing what is ALREADY written into the very DNA of ALL living?
What if this internal rebirthing allowed Jesus to step outside of the doctrine of his day into Spiritual Truths for ALL TIME?
What if this new way of looking at his tradition allowed him to view himself as a messenger of God, of Truth, of Light, of the Way, of Love?
What if Jesus was never taught about "original sin" since it was never a concept in Judaism...even to this day?
What if Jesus never knew about the doctrine of salvation?
What if Jesus, when he talked about his father's kingdom, wasn't talking about a world beyond this one, but a world that is here and now, perhaps at this same time, just in a different dimension?
What if Jesus wasn't saying that he was the only way, the only truth, the only life as doctrinal superiority...but that he had found A way to cross over from the world of power and abuse that enslaves all...into a world where kindness, compassion, love, gentleness, etc. watched and guarded the planet...and that he was using his language as a way to describe how to follow him not to a figurative place in the future, but a literal one now?
What if the reason Jesus was so radical and hard to understand is because Jesus lived in this other world amongst those who live in this world?
What if the reason so many who call themselves Christians are still in oppression because they are totally missing the points Jesus was trying to enlighten them on?
What if the reason people flocked to Jesus was because of his love...not his doctrinal dogma that he wasn't even aware of that he was creating?
What if the reason people flocked to Jesus yet left him frustrated was because they didn't see the door in this present world that leads to the other world?
What if even Paul did not get the full message of Christ and that is why he continued to struggle with the "thorn in his flesh" and call himself "wretched" and the like?
What if we make Jesus a scape goat for our sin by making him die on the cross for us?
What if Jesus was really teaching us to take ownership of our sin because no one else can be held responsible for what we do except ourselves?
What if the world Jesus lived in did not start people off as sinners, but as divinity waiting to be enlightened in order to Light the world?
What if much about what we truly know about Jesus is not more than a few men's attempt to share their own versions of who they wanted Jesus to be, of how they wanted history to remember Jesus? What if this Jesus they portray in the bible is as much a mythical figure as Zeus or Hercules?
What if Jesus is really nothing more than a mythical symbol representing internal aspects of each of us, as was common with the stories of his day? What if this symbol is really pointing us to an internal trait we each need to identify and claim however we can in order to save ourselves from ourselves, to usher ourselves into another "kingdom"?
What if we only see the true Jesus but in part in the Bible when Spiritual Truth shows up...and the rest of what is seen is simply what the winners of history want us to see about a man they once hated until they learned to use him to their advantage within their System/world to gain power and control?
What if the reason Jesus is not reflected in the one group that says he is their Lord is because Jesus never meant to be Lord of our lives...but simply wanted people to see the Way to live a life outside the System of hierarchy and in the System of Love?
What if the reason Jesus is not reflected in the one group that says he is their Lord is because we are trying to fit Jesus into a world he never lived in?
What if we are making Jesus stand for things Jesus never stood for in his own life?
What if Jesus never lived in a system/world of Church Hierarchy and an age of Doctrine...but in a completely different world altogether?
What if Jesus is the round peg and the Church with its hierarchy and doctrine is the square hole?
What if we stop trying to fit Jesus into our own world/system and join him in his?
What if you allowed yourself to write some of your own questions?