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What Does the Jesus of Mitchell's Gospel Have to Say to Those of Us Living in the Year 2000?

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Essay title: What Does the Jesus of Mitchell's Gospel Have to Say to Those of Us Living in the Year 2000?

What does the Jesus of Mitchell's gospel have to say to those of us living in the year 2000?

The true test of a literary work is the test of time. If a work has a universal theme, if it has a universal lesson that can be learned, it will last and be referred to as a classic and generation after generation of students will read and discuss it in school. While the Gospels are not necessarily considered classics, they have, indeed stood the test of time. Almost 2000 years after Jesus lived, people still talk about him and study his life. Perhaps this is why Stephen Mitchell was compelled to write The Gospel According to Jesus. If one looks carefully, the message of the Jesus of this gospel is universal; therefore, even though the stories were written quite a long time ago, they still have a lot to say to those living in the year 2000. To see what the Jesus of this gospel has to say to those living in the year 2000, one must look at its two major themes: inclusivity and not judging others.

First, The Gospel According to Jesus is an inclusive gospel. If one looks carefully, one will see that Jesus is preaching a message of equality. While this can really be seen throughout the entire gospel, it is best shown in the following passage: "Everyone who hears what I say and does it is like a man who built his house upon a rock; and the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it didn't fall because it was founded on rock. And everyone who hears what I say and doesn't do it is like a man who built his house upon sand; and the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was its fall. (sic)" Notice that this passage does not say "every white man," or "every Catholic person," or any other discriminatory type of classification. The passage says "everyone." This message of equality can also be seen in the healing stories. Jesus does not discriminate against any group when he heals; anyone that asks him to help them, Jesus helps. It is as simple as that. Yet another example of this message can be found in the following: "… ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?' And looking at those who sat in the circle around him, he said, ‘These are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.'" This message of equality and inclusivity is extremely important to those living in the year 2000 because it shows that Jesus was not interested in social status, race, or gender. Though today's society seems to be striving for equality, it still has quite a long way to go.

The other theme that seems to stand out as having huge significance to the year 2000, is the theme of not judging others actions. While this theme can also be seen all throughout this gospel,

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