Don Edwards Literary Memorial

May 17, 2006



You write that you would give high grades to Jesus for his life. Interesting comment; let me think about this.

The life of Jesus: what do we know? He was born and raised in a small rural town, his education was minimal, and he worked for a living. He left his work to live the life of a street preacher, sponging off the hospitality of others. He made up simple fictional stories, which he recited in public to illustrate his moral views about life. In the course of his wandering, he attracted a few people who left their jobs to hang out with him full time. Because his views about the morality of living were far removed from the mainstream, but ever-more appealing to the people who came to hear him preach, he came to the attention of the local religious establishment – they were not amused. They publicly challenged his unorthodox view of religious morality, the historical authenticity of his preaching, and the kinds of people who made up his entourage. These public confrontations dramatically increased the size of his audience, and the numbers of full time volunteers who became part of his traveling road show. More and more people in the audience were attracted to this new morality and openly began to question traditional moral codes of conduct. The tension between the followers of Jesus and the religious authorities ratcheted up to such an extent there was no hope for a moral accommodation of any kind – the views of Jesus were too extreme, he had to be removed from society. Ultimately, events were staged and arrangements made by local authorities, both religious and civil, to bring him to trial and judgment. After the death penalty was executed, his audience was dispersed and his fulltime followers fled for their lives. The public street preaching of Jesus lasted only a few years.

Jesus left no written record behind; likely he could not write. Because he did not beget children, his family name was extinguished, and he left no estate because he had no possessions. Jesus came and went, or so it seemed.

Don, how can you grade a life like this, especially when so little is known about Jesus? On its face, it seems like a complete failure to me, yet several thousand years later I find myself writing about it – and not only because you seek to give high marks to Jesus but because this short and tragic life changed the course of mankind and its history. I have to think about this some more.

Let me change the subject by saying this: hardwood floors will dramatically improve the quality of my life in 2006 – why did I wait so long?

Take care,


Filed under: LEROY POSTS — LeRoy @ 5:36 pm

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