top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Gaudie

The Wisdom of Jesus in the Modern World

A Paradigm Guided by Love


By Tomas Pizarro-Escuti



Given that we are celebrating Christmas, it seems pertinent to reflect on the message of Jesus Christ and why His figure continues to captivate hearts and minds worldwide.


In an era characterised by hostility and brutalism, Jesus proposed a revolutionary paradigm that remains relevant even today. His teachings, often misunderstood and misrepresented, offer profound wisdom on how to navigate the complexities of life with empathy and understanding.


The Humility of Jesus


Jesus demonstrated remarkable humility throughout His life. In a historical context where the social order demanded cruelty and despotism, He chose to wash His disciples' feet. A profound act of servitude that challenged societal norms and must have surely raised eyebrows. This act exemplified the wisdom of Christ, who placed the virtues of love and humility above any desire to dominate the world.


Indeed, if one starts from the premise that he was the son of God, or at least he thought so, he demonstrates a great resistance to the temptation of power. One may not believe in the divinity of Christ, but even the historical Jesus could easily have had political aspirations and inspired a violent revolt against the Roman and Jewish authorities.


In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus is tempted by the devil. After fasting for forty days and forty nights, Satan tempts Jesus three times. The third temptation occurs when Satan takes Jesus to an exceedingly high mountain, shows Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and says, "All these things I will give You if You fall down and worship me." Jesus responds by saying, "Away with you, Satan!


Jesus' humility encourages us to examine our own motivations and to prioritise kindness and compassion over personal gain.

Jesus defied social expectations by associating with those considered outcasts and sinners. In a highly hierarchical and patriarchal society, He befriended adulterous women and showed no hesitation in engaging with thieves and sinners. This inclusive approach baffled the Roman authorities, the Jews, and even His own disciples.


By embracing those marginalised by society, Jesus taught us the importance of empathy, inclusivity and acceptance.


Jesus of Nazareth in His time was called teacher, prophet, Messiah, king of Israel, son of David, king of the Jews, son of God, saint of God, Word of God, Lord, and Christ. Despite knowing His divine nature, Jesus referred to Himself primarily as the "Son of Man".


This designation, argues the Philosopher Gastón Soublette, suggests that He wanted to be the archetype of humanity. By identifying with humankind, Jesus emphasised the universal nature of His message and demonstrated that anyone could embody the principles of love and compassion. His choice to identify as "Man" highlights the role each person plays in manifesting His teachings in the world.


Love as the Guiding Principle


At the core of Jesus' teachings is the belief that love should guide our thoughts, actions, and relationships. He emphasised the importance of loving "thy neighbour as thyself", even extending this love to our enemies.


Jesus challenged the prevailing belief of "an eye for an eye" and invited us to break the never-ending cycle of violence and retaliation.

Jesus' passivity in the face of His executioners and His serenity in martyrdom represent a moral triumph. Rather than resorting to violence or seeking revenge, Jesus demonstrated the power of non-resistance and forgiveness.


His commitment to love and compassion, even in the face of persecution, challenges us to examine our own responses to adversity.


Jesus' example teaches us that true strength lies not in dominating others but in embracing humility and forgiveness.


Over time, the institutionalised church has often deviated from the true message of Jesus Christ. Instead of following Jesus' example of love and compassion, it has resorted to force and oppression, sometimes even by the force of arms. This has nothing to do with the gospel of Christ.


The miracle, however, is that somehow faith in Christ has been maintained over the centuries, despite all that has been done to abolish His message, sometimes by the church itself, led by men who have been objectively evil.


Jesus' Message Today


In our modern society, characterised by a relentless pursuit of wealth and power, Jesus' teachings hold crucial relevance. Our neo-liberal society is one that lacks harmony with nature, where a few seek to enforce their will on the environment in pursuit of money and unlimited growth.


Unregulated capitalism, driven by unlimited growth and the accumulation of wealth, is incompatible with the teachings of Jesus.


You cannot build an economic empire on the gospel. Christ is anti-imperialist, He is anti-power.

In my view, we are invited to seek a more just and equitable society, one that lives in harmony with nature, as shown in Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato Si.


Jesus' teachings invite us to confront our most negative instincts and strive for balance within ourselves. He encourages us to overcome our predatory essence, which Lao Tsu refers to as Wu wei , "the force that does not fight."


Jesus' approach mirrors the softness of water, overcoming the hardness of stone. His refusal to engage in violent acts demonstrates once again a moral victory over our most basic instincts.


The metaphor of the expulsion from paradise serves as a powerful reminder of the consequences of not living in harmony with nature and ourselves. The serpent who tempts Eve to bite the fruit of knowledge, as well as Cain, the entrepreneur who kills his brother out of pride, represent civilisational barbarism; the breaking of the natural order by the pursuit of greed and ambition.


The expulsion from Eden leads us to the calvary of building a world that has lost its divinity.

I believe Christ does not invite us to be passive, but to actively construct a better world and seek inner harmony, which must necessarily follow harmony with our neighbours, nature and the cosmos.


In a world plagued by complex problems, economic crises, environmental degradation and war, Jesus offers a paradoxically simple solution: LOVE. His message transcends religious boundaries and speaks directly to the core of our humanity.


Love has the power to heal divisions, bridge gaps, and inspire positive change.


Comments


bottom of page