Who Is Jesus?
My first job after college was working in an insurance company and I had to wade through the hundreds of claims that were sent in daily by people who were claiming compensation for an accident they had suffered. Now some claims were really funny like: " I pulled into the wrong driveway and crashed into a tree did not possess", or " An old lady crossed the road and I kept swerving until I finally hit her!"
One day whilst I was reading a particular claim for a car accident, I noticed that both the cars involved in the accident were insured by our company. So I went to retrieve the other car owners file to read his report of the accident and guess what I found? I found that the 2 people involved both blamed the other person for causing the accident. Surely the same event can't be explained differently by different people? But sure enough that is what happens!
Another example is when you watch a soccer game and someone is tackled in the penalty area. Have you seen how the attacker throws up his hands and screams "PENALTY!" whilst the defender gets up and accuses the attacker of feigning a foul and of diving in the area? Both of these above examples conform to something known as The Rashamon Effect. This effect says that the same event can be interpreted in a number of ways depending on factors such as culture or distance from the event or previous experience.
Matthew 16 is an example of this Rashamon Effect. See how people viewed Jesus differently. The people described in this story related Jesus to things they were familiar with. They didn't actually believe that Jesus was John or Elijah. . . They were using these characters, whom they were familiar with, to describe Jesus. It almost like giving people nicknames. I used to have a friend in school who was 6'8" and we used to call him Lofty. Then there was a chap in our church who was completely bald except for a little tuft of hair in the front of his forehead a ...
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