Even as kids, we were puzzled by the notion that Jesus of Nazareth was human in all ways except sin. Did this mean that Jesus couldn’t cheat at cards, or copy off a friend’s homework? Could he not complain when a Roman soldier cut him off the road? Could he laugh if one of his playmates made a fool of himself?
As we grew a little older, we realized that Christ wasn’t Jesus’ last name. Nazareth was still Jesus’ hometown. But now he was a rabbi with a band of brothers. And, he was performing miracles.
Much later, I came to accept the notion of a Jesus of Nazareth as separate from Jesus the Christ. That Jesus of Nazareth, a living breathing human being, became the Christ Jesus. My novel At Cana presents this theme of transformation – one step at a time – in a very human way.
How do you recognize the transformation of Jesus of Nazareth to Jesus Christ? Do you think it was a gradual dawning upon the young man’s mind? Was it a moment such as his dramatic Baptism in the River Jordan? Was it, maybe, a time when his mom told him about his miraculous birth?
How does Jesus of Nazareth relate to Jesus the Christ? What do you think?