The Truth Who Lives
The teaching of Jesus was inseparable from his person. In the Gospel, we do not find our Lord appealing to universally available religious truths, truths that could stand on their own, truths accessible to man’s mind apart from his teaching of them, truths that could outlive the person who spoke them. It is
essential to grasp this fact, because it indicates an essential difference between Jesus and other “religious founders.”
To illustrate this difference we may take the example of Siddartha Gautama some six centuries earlier. When Gautama gathered his disciples to listen to his Deer Park Sermon, he certainly appealed to his own experience of a “revelation.” He referred to his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree and expounded to his followers the meaning of that experience. He defined Dependent Causation and explained how to be delivered from it.
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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).
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