Because the only people I knew who were believers in Jesus were all people in our public school who were Italian Catholic, I imagined that Jesus was Italian. And so, the understanding that Jesus was a Jew was a shock, and then to hear that the New Testament was written by Jews – I couldn’t believe it.
The other day, I boarded a bus and sat down right in front of an ad that said, “I Met Messiah: Short videos about Jewish professionals who met their Messiah.” Weird, I love short videos and I love learning about religious stuff. This ad was clearly not intended for me, but could there even be an ad more targeted toward me?
Jesus is kind of like a shortcut to quickly define a religion. What’s a Christian? Jesus is their Saviour. How do you define a Muslim? Well, they think Jesus is a solid prophet, just not the one they should pay attention to. What about Jews? They don’t believe that Jesus is the Messiah. These definitions generally seem pretty hard-and-fast and I had no idea that Jews who believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah were “a thing.” Mind = blown.
Maybe this shouldn’t have come as such a big surprise. Certainly there are many things about Christianity that I question even though I identify as a Christian (albeit a non-practicing one). The Trinity, in particular, is incomprehensible. No need tell me what the Trinity is. I KNOW what it is but I don’t understand it and I never will. Then there are all the compelling ideas in other traditions to consider and contend with.
I am so into stories about religion: coming to it, grappling with it, practicing it, changing it, abandoning it, whatever. These videos are ads for a ministry, obviously, and some of them are better than others, but overall I think they’re pretty interesting (especially, Mordechai, above). And purely on a communications studies level, I like the way they have used lighting, interesting angles and good music to package this topic up in a relevant way.