"And the Lord gave me an answer, and said
Put the vision in writing and make it clear on stones,
so that the reader may go quickly.". Habacuque 2:2

#006 Person or Religion?

Matthew 4:12-17

When Jesus learns that John, the Baptist, is in jail, he comes into Galilee, the region where he had been raised. He adopts Capernaum as the headquarters for his ministry, and it is there that he does most of his signs and miracles.

Capernaum is by the Sea of Galilee, a freshwater lake about 12 miles long by 6 miles wide. When the Gospels speak of boats and sea, this lake is what they are referring to, and when they speak of fish, it probably is the tilapia species.

The prophet Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would dwell in this region and that in the Galilee of the Gentiles the people who lived in darkness would see a great light. After John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Light that came into the world, is rejected and arrested by the Jews, Jesus goes to a region inhabited mainly by non-Jews or Gentiles. By that time it is the most globalized region of Palestine, where the international trade route from Egypt to Babylon passes through.

Although his direct mission was to the Jews, the fame of the rejected King of Israel spreads throughout Syria. That is the embryo of the most international of all faiths, the Christian faith. People try to add a lot of regional and cultural bells and whistles to the Christian faith, but the fact is, in essence, it is concentrated in one person, Jesus, and not in a religion, culture or custom.

Much of what you see out there, clergy, temples, sculptures, clothes and utensils, are no more than rubbish that has nothing to do with Jesus. Those are things that Christendom borrowed from Judaism and pagan religions in an attempt to make the Christian faith identified by visible things.

But, when something is visible, there is no need for faith! If you believe in Jesus, you believe in one person, God himself, who is not subject to countries, times and cultures because he is eternal. The Christian faith is based on a fact: the Son of God came to earth, died for our sins and rose again in the third day. It is faith in a living Jesus in heaven.

The only visible part of the Christian faith on earth is the body of Christ, the church. I'm not talking about a building made of bricks or stones, but about what the Bible says the church is, the body composed of all who believe in Jesus, who were born again and saved by him.

If your faith is in a religion or in a religious organization, or anything other than the person of Jesus, you're wasting your time. Religion is the idea of doing something to reconnect ourselves to God. But what could you possibly do, if Jesus already did all that needs to be done?

Buddha's last words were "Work hard to gain your own salvation". Jesus' last words were "It is finished."

So, what do you believe in - a living Person or a dead religion?

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