A New Version of Jesus

warninglabelOn a Skype call with blogging best friend, Rarasaur, we discussed how being victims of false charges sent both our lives into unexpected directions. We started naming off other good people who have been “innocent victims.”

I skyped with a dinosaur!

I skyped with a dinosaur!

“What about Jesus?” I added. “He is the king of false charges.”

Then I committed blasphemy, “Maybe we are modern day Jesuses.”

Of course, I was joking, but even jokes can go too far sometimes.

The next morning in meditation, a thought occurred to me (yeah, yeah, I know that you are not suppose to harbor thoughts in meditation, but I’m still wrestling with my “Monkey Mind”).

“Why couldn’t we be modern day VERSIONS of Jesus?”

Blasphemy again! But is it?

“The state of injured innocence…becomes a tremendous opportunity rather than a place of resignation. From the Buddhist perspective, to reach this state of injured innocence, to hold this feeling of outrage in the balance of meditative awareness, is the entrance to the path of insight.”~Mark Epstein, M.D.

I thought about all the great spiritual leaders who have been falsely charged or innocent victims: The Dalai Lama, Viktor Frankl, Aung San Suu Kyi, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Anne Frank, Nelson Mandela, Joan of Arc.

I then thought about how many of my blogger friends had been innocent victims of abuse, domestic violence, childhood trauma, death of loved ones, cancer, and other terminal illnesses. I thought about how much Light they bring into the world in spite/because of those hardships.

I’m not saying that any of us is worthy to be bumfluff on Jesus’s loincloth, but surely we can strive to be like Jesus. We can love our enemies, forgive our prosecutors, and teach peace to all we meet.

Maybe John 14-6 is not a statement that restricts access to heaven for Christians alone, but, instead, a challenge for all humankind to live like Christ: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus was a role model for the way, the truth, and how to live.

We all face hardships. At some point we are all the innocent victims of life. Two things are certain in life—change and death. Everything changes and everything dies. Another way to look at change, however, is growth. And if we truly believe in Jesus and butterflies, then another certainty of life is rebirth.

What if life is all about growth and rebirth? Jesus grew on the cross. He went from “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me” to “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

We might not all be like Jesus, but we can definitely live like Jesus. We can grow in the face of adversity. We can be reborn through forgiveness and unconditional love.

Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

At my son’s school the older kids had an assignment to make a poster of their heroes. Living in Silicon Valley, many of the posters portrayed Steve Jobs. I found this odd that young children had been “taught” to idolize Steve Jobs. Other posters had sports stars and entertainment stars. I didn’t see one poster of Jesus, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, or Mother Teresa.

So how blasphemous is it to try to be a modern day version of Jesus or Buddha? Would God rather that we focused on being a new version of Michael Jordan or Steve Jobs?

Like the Dalai Lama said, “the planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.” Above all, Jesus and Buddha were peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers.

On this Father’s Day in 2013, I want to honor all fathers who are being a role model for their children. You may not invent the next i-Toy or make billions of dollars, but, more importantly, you are peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers.

Thank you for reading, sharing, and/or smiling.

Is it blasphemous to try to be a modern version of Christ? Please share.

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49 comments on “A New Version of Jesus

  1. Kylie says:

    I love this! I grew up in the Catholic church and learned a version of Jesus that was about forgiveness and compassion. Even though I don’t believe in God, I still believe that is the way to live. This is a wonderful post, Kozo!

  2. Indira says:

    Agree, this is the way to live. Great post.

  3. 70x7agape says:

    I enjoyed reading this blog! I wondered if you had made the connection of truth about the “rebirth” the Jesus talked about. In the beginning God warned Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil because they would die. The snake Told them “You will not SURELY die.” The death Adam and Eve experienced was spiritual. Jesus gave us the opportunity for spiritual rebirth through his salvation. Salvation, I might also point out that he said meant living like him, just as you have talked about. “Go sell everything you own and follow me.” We have to remember from the story of creation that our knowledge of right and wrong makes us accountable for our wrong doings and worthy of punishment. Jesus gave us salvation by paying the price for those who believe AND follow. Too many people believe that they can live like the devil but believe in Jesus and be saved. It is our goal in life to live just what Jesus, taught to be peacemakers and a light, just as you said. I am not greatly familiar with Buddha’s teachings but what little I know is similarl. I know that heaven awaits those who strive to be like Jesus and believe him. In Israel there are winding paths climbing the hills where the sheep graze.These paths wind around and up the hill to reach the very top. The paths are called “The Paths of Righteousness” and the top of the hill is called “Hope”. Thanks for your blog, looking forward to more.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Thanks for the thoughtful and informative comment. 70x7agape. I agree with your point about the knowledge of good and evil. I believe that we all have to have a spiritual rebirth to experience on “earth as it is in heaven.” Living like Jesus brings us that peace, love, understanding, and compassion that makes our lives a heaven. This is not an easy practice and we are often cast out repeatedly, but the Way, the Truth, and the Light are there to follow. Here is to Hope that we can stay on the path to righteousness.
      {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  4. You’ve got me singing all kinds of Depeche Mode songs in my head now, Kozo.
    & There are plenty of lovers, healers, storytellers and more here. 😀
    HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!!!
    *big hugs*

  5. yogaleigh says:

    Thought provoking. The way I understand Buddhism, the ultimate point is to realize the Buddha nature within because we are all Buddha. I kind of think of Jesus the same way — and in the Unity Church teachings we are all part of Christ Consciousness. I believe we’re all God, all Jesus, all Buddha — we just forgot who we really are. To me the spiritual path is in large part about remembering my true nature. If we’re all one aren’t we one with “Them”? How can we not also be them? Maybe that’s just me.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Exactly, Leigh. I was going to use the terms Buddha Nature and Christ Consciousness, but I wanted to maintain the personal aspect of the Path. I agree that we just need to re-Member ourselves to the whole which includes all divine beings. How easy it is to forget. Just had an argument this morning that made me realize that I forgot, AGAIN. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

  6. rarasaur says:

    Dave & I need that warning sign on our door, haha. Between the two of us, you’re bound to see some dinosauring and some blaspheming– by one definition or another. 🙂

    This post is chock-full of great thoughts– providing better rolemodels for kids is a particular goal of mine. Kids are sponges and incredibly empathetic– the only reason Mother Teresa isn’t on their posters is because they are told by adults that Steve Jobs lived a more worthwhile life.

    I also loved this: “We might not all be like Jesus, but we can definitely live like Jesus. We can grow in the face of adversity. We can be reborn through forgiveness and unconditional love.” Well said! 🙂

    Here’s to the survivors, healers, storytellers, restorers, peacemakers, and lovers!

    Happy Father’s Day, Kozo!! 😀

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Here’s to you, Rara. You spread so much love and joy, that you should be featured on those posters made by kids. You can’t tell me that Grilcheesaurus wasn’t partially due to your influence. 🙂
      I love the term you use in regards to Steve Jobs–“Worthwhile.” Our culture seems to be confused about what is worthwhile. We seem to see net worth as the dominant factor while worthiness in terms of honorable falls by the wayside.
      Thanks for making blogging worthwhile. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  7. Kelly Kuhn says:

    Wonderful post. Given that we are all One and Good (according to my belief system), then, yes, we most definitely should be striving to be more like Jesus, which is actually striving to rise to our highest selves and be who we are meant to be. It is not blasphemous to have any of those thoughts, yet many people would say it is. Good for you for having and sharing them!

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Thanks, Kelly. I am relieved that friends like you got the gist of what I was trying to say. So often people get hung up in the superficial words without delving into the intention or spirit behind the words.
      I completely agree that our Path is to strive towards our highest selves. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  8. kenajos says:

    Excellent work Kozo as usual. One of the things I have taken away from Amy was being able to identify with the avatars, masters, and great beings of the past…we think it’s blasphemy to believe we’re anything like Jesus or Buddha but Jesus and Buddha would have had no problem with it..it’s just the conditioning that makes us think we’re being “blasphemous.” Hell, Jesus and Buddha were blasphemous! So even in our blasphemy, we are still just like them. Can’t avoid it. Happy Father’s Day Kozo-Jesus.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Love that, Kenajos, “even in our blasphemy we are still just like them.” Funny how that works. And the people who get offended and hate us for our blasphemy are continuing to mentally crucify the Lord. So wise. Life is so intelligent.
      Happy belated Father’s Day to you, my friend. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  9. merbear74 says:

    Happy Fathers day dear Kozo..{Hugs} MB

    Dinosaurs are awesome.. 😉

  10. Lead Our Lives says:

    Beautifully expressed, Kozo. God is in all of us and we are all in God. Jesus, Buddha and many who walk among us today seek to show us what is possible within ourselves. As a part of the All That Is, we have the greatest power ever…that is the power of love. Blasphemy is used as so many other things – to make us afraid of the greatest power, God – who is love, only love. The rest of it is fear. Be well…love your blog.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Yes, Carrie, the power of Love is all the we are and all that we need. God is love, we are love. We just need to remember. Thanks for reading and loving. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  11. lauriesnotes says:

    I think maybe we don’t tell anyone what we are doing 🙂 HAHA! Maybe they will figure it out, maybe they won’t. I love the quote about what the world needs. I love it every time I see it.
    I totally get what you are saying and am with you.
    So thankful that you started B4Peace.
    Happy Father’s Day,
    Love –
    Laurie

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Thanks, Laurie. Yes, the best way to follow the Path is just to do it without opening our big mouths. Unfortunately, I need to write to put down “on paper” what I will try to accomplish. This motivates and guides me.
      Hope you have a wonderful week. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  12. goldfish says:

    I think Jesus, not what religion turned him into, but the man himself, is a good role model. If only more people lived like him, in his spirit of goodness, this world would be a better place.

    Happy father’s day, Kozo.

  13. yaussiechick says:

    I don’t see it as blasphemy because if people are truly Christian they should be striving to live by Jesus’ example. There is a song I want to share which I think exemplifies what you are trying to say..
    Great blog Kozo as per usual! Happy Father’s Day!

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Love the video, Dianna. I watched it with my sons, and although they didn’t understand the lyrics they learned to help others in need.
      Yes, we need to strive to live by Jesus’s example. That is what I’m trying to say and do. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  14. Happy Fathers Day, my friend and I Loved this writing and will share with my Dad!

  15. Rohan 7 Things says:

    Great post Kozo. I most definitely don’t think it’s wrong to attempt to live and act like Jesus. I always thought that was the whole point of Christianity lol. I especially like the Gospel of Thomas and the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew and I actively try to keep these in mind, and emulate the examples. I fail of course lol, but it’s the movement toward that counts.

    And not to be too pedantic but I wouldn’t say Nelson Mandela was falsely charged or an innocent victim. He pleaded guilty to planning and engaging in 156 acts of public violence including bombings that killed many innocent men, women and children. Even Amnesty International would not take his case because he was not a political prisoner but, according to Amnesty, had committed numerous violent crimes and had had a fair trial and a reasonable sentence.

    There’s no doubt his South African Communist Party were right in opposing a grossly unfair apartheid system, but it was far from a peaceful struggle.

    Well just me nit picking lol, sorry 😉

    Agree with everything else!! Hugs Kozo, and if it’s blasphemous to aspire to be just like Jesus then I’d happily take that title 🙂

    Rohan.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Glad I’m not the only one who fails. haha. But you are right, it is not the movement toward that counts.

      Good point about the judicial details of Mandela. I read his autobiography and he obviously has a different point of view. I would simply state that all black men in South Africa during apartheid were falsely accused of being less than human. Once again the breadth of your knowledge never ceases to amaze me.

      {{{Hugs]} Kozo

      • Rohan 7 Things says:

        Ah yeah, didn’t mean to be too fussy or take things too off topic, but it was a bloody struggle alright. Yup, it was a very wrong system, and thankfully the pressure from the international community combined with the internal struggle finally put an end to it. Sadly SA remains in a terrible state, the black population are still well below their white compatriots in terms of just about everything and it remains one of the most racially divided nations with nearly 50% of the population rarely or never making contact with a person of another race.

        I’m totally against racial oppression and it’s really quite sad to see it so alive and well in many countries across the globe!

        Perhaps with a few more Jesus’s around we might have a better chance at tackling the problem globally 🙂 Well, the main thing, and the Jesusy thing, to do (I think) is to bring peace first to ourselves as much as we can, and then let it spread to those close to us and outward and onward!

        Hugs back, buddy 🙂

        Rohan.

  16. 1EarthUnited says:

    Kozo, you intuited the message perfectly! We ARE all modern day versions of Jesus – thru Christ Consciousness, the 2nd coming is US! As our awareness and consciousness grows, Jesus’ message of Love & Compassion will reawaken the people – not sacrilege at all, in fact u’r living what the master preached.
    John 14:12 Jesus said “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father.”

    The purpose of great spiritual leaders is to empower every one of us, so we can embody the spirit and be that vehicle for change. Isn’t that the real gift, and legacy they left for us?

    Happy father’s day dear friend, thanks for spreading the wealth. ♥

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Verily, Verily, I say unto you that a wise woman speaks here. Listen to her words carefully. Cherish her presence. Many will hear, but few will listen. Those that do listen, however, will receive all that is good and proper.

      You empower me, Maddy. {{{hugs]}} Kozo

      • 1EarthUnited says:

        Aww kozo, you honor me with your presence (spirit). You make me feel like Mary of Magdala – The Madeline to your modern day Jesuses LOL. Hey it’s all good! {{{Love & Hugs}}}

  17. What an amazing meditation session, in my opinion! 😉 xoxo

  18. BroadBlogs says:

    I would think that Jesus et al would likely WANT us to be like them.

    Also, Jesus did say, “Even as ye have done unto the least of these ye have done it unto me,” suggesting that he wasn’t about being SO GREAT and we are also small.

  19. Archita says:

    Great post. “We can grow in the face of adversity. We can be reborn through forgiveness and unconditional love”.- How true. A week back, I wrote about this for Rara’s Monet prompt. I thought of sharing with the world how I finally wanted to be like my parents. 🙂

  20. Geo Sans says:

    upgrade

    ~

    be

    version 2.0

    of yourself

  21. Sunshine says:

    belated Father’s Day wishes to you, Kozo…ha ha, i like Geo Sans comment: upgrade, be version 2.0 of yourself. ☺

    blasphemous would be if we choose to blatantly disrespect/desecrate/curse anything of a Divine nature. if we are searching to perfect ourselves whether in Christ, Buddha or any other chosen spiritual teaching, then, striving to live in the ideal can only be thought of as a very good thing.

    let goodness reign. ☼sunPEACE+HUGS, Kozo!

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      “Let goodness reign.” That is all we need to follow in this life, Sunshine. If we could just get out of the way and let the goodness that is who we are take over.
      I love the sunPEACE. It reminds me that peace is as simple as sunshine on my face (or on my blog). {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  22. Tracy says:

    I agree with you and the Dali Lama Kozo, the world would be a better place if there were more peaceful, loving, considerate and benevolent people. We all need to try to be more like Jesus. Sending hugs and happiness 🙂

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