Who is Jesus?
I’ve thought about this question a lot lately. And I don’t mean, who does religion say he is, or the “new age” movement, or historians and quasi-intellectuals. I’ve studied all of that (ad nauseum). I mean, who is Jesus to me.
Like it or not, whoever he was and whatever he did, changed the course of our world – for better or for worse, and everyone at some point in their life is faced with the question of what it all means. But it is only from my own heart and experience that I can speak.
I grew-up in a religious culture, with family split on two sides of “Christian” doctrine. I’ve seen enough fighting and severed relationships in the name of “Jesus” to last me a lifetime. The last thing this article is intended to be is an explication of doctrine, a creed, or any religious or spiritual teaching. Nor is it intended to convert anyone to my way of thinking. It’s simply a sharing of experience, and therefore uniquely mine.
The concept of Jesus as The Way was taught to me from a very young age. While I always felt a closeness to Jesus I could never fully explain, something felt “off” about the religion he was steeped in. The Jesus I read about in the scriptures seemed a far-cry from the man many around me were professing to know. And I could never quite get comfortable in the “Christian” setting, no matter how hard I tried.
I’ve been all over the place with my external connection to my internal relationship with Jesus. And to tell the truth, there has never been a “group” or philosophy concerning Jesus that has satisfied my inner-knowing. Something about my relationship with Jesus has always felt eternal – like it didn’t begin in this world, nor will it ever end, and I always felt that religion and Christian groups tried to shove my relationship with Jesus in a tight box, with only a short list of beliefs and interactions that were acceptable.
While I’ve always had a strong connection to the spirit world (seeing/hearing spirits from the time I was a child, perceiving auras, etc), Jesus always appeared to me as a friend, protector, and guardian of my heart. I’ve had many conversations with him – vivid visions of walking on white-sandy shores and feeling his energy surround me, flying with him, and seeing the multi-dimensional colors of his heart. He held me when I was 12 after my mother died, and helped me “exit” my body to protect me at times of great emotional and physical trauma.
When I got involved in the Christian religion around the age of 8, I was taught extra-sensory abilities were not something to “mess with.” The best thing to do was to turn-it off – the spirit world was “dangerous”, and I was better-off with all my attention on “this” reality. It was the first time the magic seemed to seep out of my life, and what replaced it was fear.
That fear followed me throughout all my years of religious involvement.
I have journals and journals of prayers I offered to God; almost all of which begin with “please be with me.” I look back now and wonder how I couldn’t see the Spirit with me every moment. It never left. The very words I invoked through prayer reflected what my heart truly believed: I was alone.
Suddenly Jesus felt like a being I had to please, and understand correctly, or else serious, eternal consequences would follow. Not only was my own soul’s immortal home at risk, so were the souls of my friends and family. I was taught that if they did not believe Jesus is the ONLY way, they would go to hell.
It was a terrible feeling, and it never really made any sense to me.
Yet, all my interaction with Jesus told me a different story.
In all my years knowing and communing with him, I never once felt Jesus fearful of my thoughts, sensitivities, visions, beliefs, or mistakes. He isn’t threatened by people who don’t believe in him. Even in the abyss of the darkest times of my life He would show-up and hold me, or offer gentle guidance and sound advice. He compelled me to love in times I wanted to hate. He encouraged me to forgive actions that felt unforgivable, and I never felt he desired to be worshiped.
All Jesus ever truly wanted from me was my heart. He wanted to know me, and to be known by me.
I’ve never felt him fierce about anything but freedom. Never has he encouraged me to hate, belittle, or exclude anyone who believed different than me, and I never felt him calling me to be a slave to religion, or to “save” anybody. He never told me that I am separate from God – only that we are one.
In fact, when I look back at all the fear I felt in religion, I don’t see Jesus behind any of it.
When I was in the Christian culture, something always felt “off.” I never resonated with the idea of a magical prayer that would set “sinners” free from hell, or the belief that one only need to “confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord,” in order to be “saved.” I’ve seen and heard many such confessions, most of which existed apart from any true or inspiring transformation.
The Jesus I know desires me to know Love. And to accept others unconditionally, the way he accepts me. He very specifically told me that everyone had something to teach me, regardless if they “knew” him or not. Jesus never encouraged me to live in fear.
And he has never given me an ultimatum.
Jesus never asked me to be “less” than who I truly am, to call myself a “wretch” or “a sinner,” or anything other than Divine. He has always encouraged me to go within and know my own beautiful and mysterious role to play in this grand adventure, and to stop identifying with the world’s version of who I am.
He takes joy in the magic of the Universe, and the great love of fairy tales within me. He is gentle and humble in heart, and in him I have found rest for my soul.
He told me we are capable of doing everything he did, and even greater things than these (John 4:12). Never has he pushed me in a box, or asked me to remain in brokenness.
There are other spiritual teachers, guides, and beings that have offered comfort, wisdom, and counseling at times when I’ve needed it most. I feel a strong connection (and have felt/seen) angels and other beings surround me, and protect me. Many friends and family have played an important role in helping me understand truth, forgiveness, and unconditional love.
But none of these other beings of light have ever offered me their heart, the way Jesus has. None of them know me intimately.
No other spiritual master, disciple, apostle, or teacher has walked with me in to the deepest places of darkness. No one but Jesus has called me not only his disciple, friend, and sister, but even his lover. Yes. Jesus goes there. He loves in the most intimate of ways.
I do believe Jesus is the Son of God.
But he told me that I am too. We are all of God. The great I Am is within all of creation, and it is only by identifying with my true nature, that I will ever be set free.
I’ve discovered it was never Jesus’ intention to distinguish himself from man, but rather to show us who and what we truly are. To give us a picture of a life free from the illusion of separateness – completely in relationship with the Source of our Souls.
For me, Jesus is the flesh and bone incarnate of a personable, intimate, loving God.
And I am madly in love with Him.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind. To bind-up the brokenhearted, and to set the captives free…” Jesus (Luke 4:18)
Amanda Flaker is a freelance writer, editor, news correspondent, mentor, and creator of Chakra Center. She loves to travel around the world and write about it. For more information about her writing/editing/ and mentoring services, click here.