The Real Jesus I have grown up in a solid Christian home and spent my whole life reading the Bible. I have loved and served Jesus for my entire life. But roughly tens years ago, I began to discover a Jesus that remarkably different than the image I had been presented with time and time again. This Jesus became perceivable to me when I began to notice the things that Jesus never said: Jesus never asked anyone to question their eternal destination. Jesus never challenged anyone to ask themselves where they would go if they were to die in the next instance. Jesus never explained to people that their good works would not get them into heaven. Jesus did not teach any of the five points of Calvinism.
If we are to understand Jesus accurately, we must start here: Jesus was a Jew whose ultimate passion was for the arrival of God's Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. Unless we start here, we cannot understand Jesus. Jesus' aims were to establish Gods kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven and everything thing He says and does should be seen in that light. Anything less is simply reconstructing a different Jesus. Our urgent questions about Heaven and Hell, judgment and salvation, the end of the world and the land of Israel, need to be recognized for what they are: our questions. If we are to understand what Jesus is doing and saying and what the Gospel writers believed that it all meant, we need to understand what questions were being asked in their day and by their culture. Why should we imagine the Gospel writers to be addressing our questions and not those of their own community? We shouldn't. The questions that the Israel of Jesus' day were asking were things like: "When is God going to finally bring about the renewal of His people and after that, the renewal of the whole cosmos?" They were asking, "When is God going to forgive our sin of idolatry and relieve us of the oppression of pagan governments?" They were asking, "How long will plagues and evil spirits be the companions of God's people?"