Frequently Asked Questions about Jesus and Christian belief
(c) Ethan Lofton
If you go on a tour of Kerala, in south west India, one of the stops will be a beautiful beach, where it is believed the Apostle Thomas landed in the first century after Christ.
Thomas was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, the inner circle. After Jesus’ death and resurrection they scattered in different directions to preach his revolutionary message of love and forgiveness. Peter and Paul, the best known, travelled west through the Mediterranean world, and eventually to Rome. Thomas travelled east, following the trade routes to India, especially the spice route. One early document refers to his going to north India; others refer to the south.
Historians tell us it can’t be proved that Thomas actually came, but it is entirely possible. There was constant traffic between south India and the Mediterranean at that time. Plenty of Roman coins from the period have been found in Kerala. If he came on the southern route he would have had a 20 day journey by sailing ship, carrying horses and other cargo on the way out, spices on the return. Thomas would probably have slept in the hold with the horses, in smelly conditions.
He is believed to have preached on the western Malabar coast and then travelled to the Coromandel coast on the east, where he preached and was killed. San Thome Cathedral in Chennai marks the place of his preaching, and St Thomas Mount marks the spot of his death.
What was the historical development of Christianity in the Indian sub-continent?
The Syrian connection
There is clear historical evidence of the Christian community in Kerala from the 3rd century onwards, probably going back much earlier to the time of Thomas. After some initial resistance they seem to have been accepted by local society and remained as a self-contained group for centuries. They had connections with the church of Antioch, in Syria, and so became known as Syrian Christians. Today the churches in Kerala are distributed in three major divisions: the old Orthodox Syrian tradition (now divided into several groups), the Roman Catholics and a range of independent Protestant groups.
The teaching of Christ may have gone to other parts of India in those early centuries. Apart from the northern tradition already mentioned, there are fascinating parallels and connections with devotional movements in Hinduism and with writings like the Bhagavad Gita or the Thirukkural, the Tamil book of wisdom by Thiruvalluvar.
The Roman Catholics
Very little is known of any developments until the 16th century, when Roman Catholic missionaries arrived. Their mission in Goa was closely linked to the Portuguese colonial occupation. Francis Xavier, the Jesuit missionary, also preached in south India among the fishermen of the coast (1542-45 and again in 1552). Another Jesuit, Robert de Nobili, who arrived in India in 1605, settled in Madurai in the south and identified himself with the local scholars and teachers (mostly Brahmin) seeking to communicate his message in their cultural context.
The first Protestant Christian missionary was the German Bartholomew Ziegenbalg, who landed in 1705 in Tharangambadi (Tranquebar), a Danish colony on the Tamil Nadu coast. He began translating the Bible into Tamil and encouraging literacy. He also provided education and found himself increasingly drawn into the social needs of people. For example, he discovered that there was no provision for girls to be educated, except the devadasis, who learned music and dance. He started the first school for girls.
Following Ziegenbalg, European missionaries were involved in a range of social activities, along with their preaching and Bible translation work. They were not allowed to work in the territories controlled by the East India Company until 1830 (the Company feared any possible interference in its commercial enterprise).. Response to their message varied greatly, depending on social and cultural, as well as spiritual factors. A similar pattern can be seen across the sub-continent, including Sri Lanka, but not Nepal at this time.
Towards the end of the 19th century and early years of the 20th large groups of people in India became Christian, the majority from the lowest levels of the caste system.
Post independence and partition
Following the end of colonial rule and the partition of the sub-continent, Christian faith continued to grow.
Today Christians are found in all the South Asian countries. Leadership of the churches is in the hands of the local people, who continue to wrestle with the big issues of the sub-continent: inequality and religious pluralism. How do Christ’s followers work out his message both in caring for individuals and also engaging with social and economic structures? How do they express their faith through their South Asian culture, in the context of many other religions?
% of Christians in South Asian nations:
Maldives: no figures available
Sri Lanka: 7.5%
What comes into your mind when you think of the word ‘Christian’? It may have negative or positive associations for you. You may have a particular image of what a Christian looks like.
Many people think of Christians as white – Europeans or Americans – and link Christianity with Western culture. ‘If you are a white British person, you must be Christian.’ This view seems to be backed up by the results of the 2001 census in England and Wales (the first with a religion category), where 72 per cent identified themselves as ‘Christian’ (regardless of their knowledge or actual practice of the faith).
Most people would extend their view of Christians to include Black people from Africa and the Caribbean. For some, Christians are people from low caste backgrounds in South Asia, who converted in order to improve their social and economic status.
When Rajesh, a psychiatrist, was in his final year at medical school he decided to follow Jesus. When he told his father he was very upset. ‘Have you become a Christian now?’ he asked. ‘I suppose that means you’re going to eat beef, drink whisky and live an immoral life…?’
Many South Asians react in the same way. They associate Christians and Christianity with the permissive behaviour they see in the media and in Western society in general. At best it is a series of traditions practised by well-meaning do-gooders. At worst it is linked with the perceived lack of values in Western society or with an ideology bent on domination. Others point to the behaviour of Christians in the past, like the Crusades, the Inquisition, the political power of the Catholic Church, or apparently ‘forced’ conversions in South America or India. None of this really represents Jesus’ teachings. It’s not surprising that they conclude that while Jesus may be OK, his followers are not always that great.
That’s why some Christians prefer to call themselves ‘followers of Christ’. They don’t want to identify their faith with one particular culture but want to emphasise the relationship with Christ, rather than cultural and institutional structures, which can be misleading.
They also acknowledge the abuses that have been carried out in the name of Christianity, the religion set up in his name. They are trying to follow Jesus, without carrying some of the baggage that has come with the name Christian.
It seems to have been a nickname – Christianoi, ‘the people belonging to Christ’. At the beginning Jesus’ followers were mostly Jews. People did not notice any difference – they were just another sect.
But within a few years they began to share their experience with non-Jews and in the city of Antioch (the third largest in the Roman Empire) significant numbers began to follow Christ. Now they came from different cultures and faith backgrounds. People noticed them and gave them a nickname.
Gradually the nickname stuck and became the most common name. But this name was not essential. Usually Jesus’ followers were called disciples, or believers, or brothers.
So the word Christian simply means ‘somebody who follows Christ’. It did not originally mean ‘somebody from a particular country or community’. But over 20 centuries it has acquired a lot of historical and cultural connotations.
That’s why many today prefer to call themselves followers of Christ, in order to emphasise that you can follow Christ without changing your culture, because Christ is for people of all cultures. They don’t reject the name ‘Christian’, but they acknowledge that it needs to be properly understood.
The book of Acts in the Bible contains the first reference to the word ‘Christians’. It says that in the town of Antioch, ‘a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord… The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch’ (Acts 11:21 and 26).
It’s not always easy to unravel them. Many people automatically link Christianity with Europe and North America, but it is actually more complex.
On the one hand, faith in Christ is not linked to any political system or form of government, left, right or centre; monarchy, republic or empire. So it is not tied to Western culture or Western economic and political systems. Christians are found all round the world, and the majority now come from outside Europe and North America, which are in many ways becoming more secular.
‘More people pray and worship in more languages in Christianity than in any other religion’ Professor Lamin Sanneh.
On the other hand, the Christian faith has been so firmly rooted in the culture of Europe for nearly two thousand years that it has influenced every aspect of life – social, political, economic, scientific, the arts and music. The United States of America consciously modelled key aspects of its constitution on Christian values (though it has a rigid separation of church and state). The Bible has fundamentally shaped the thinking and values of the West, until very recently.
So it is true that Western culture has been profoundly influenced by Christianity. And for many people ‘Christianity’ and ‘Western culture’ are the same thing.
Some people divide the world into religious-cultural blocs, as in Samuel Huntington’s book, The Clash of Civilisations. On this basis many assume that the West is Christian, while South Asia is Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain or Buddhist.
This is an approach that links religion closely with community and culture, geography and social structure.
But this approach may not be so helpful for understanding spiritual reality. If our concern is how we can have a relationship with God, then ‘religion’ in this sense may not get us very far. Religious systems and institutions, anywhere in the world, are not necessarily the way to God.
Jesus came to open the way to God, rather than to found a new religion. His early followers were Jewish, but very quickly people from other cultural and social backgrounds began to follow, and it was recognised (though after fierce debate) that they were not bound by any single set of cultural practices.
So people can and do express their faith in Jesus within their own culture.
‘Changing your religion is the greatest sin on earth,’ said a listener to a Radio Leicester phone-in programme on conversion. ‘It is like changing your mother.’
Religious conversion provokes strong reactions from people of many faith backgrounds, particularly Hindus and Sikhs. Some are totally opposed to it:
‘I believe that to seek to convert already God-loving people to another faith is a sin, an evil act done simply to advance one’s own club,’ said Anil Bhanot, General Secretary, Hindu Council UK. ‘I believe it should be made a crime under international law.’
All kinds of motives are ascribed to those involved in the act of conversion:
> ‘They’re just doing it to gain material benefits.’
> ‘They are exploiting those poor people.’
> ‘It’s emotional hysteria; they will soon get over it.’
> ‘It’s brainwashing – some kind of cult.’
Why are there such strong feelings? Shouldn’t people have the right to change their personal beliefs and convictions? Are those who seek to influence their thinking or persuade them doing something wrong?
Changes in people’s thinking and attitudes are taking place all the time. Few now believe that women are incapable of making political decisions or casting their vote – although that was the majority view just 100 years ago. We are constantly being urged to change our views and exercise choice on everything from fashions in clothes to the way we treat the planet. Responsible choice is considered something good. So why the strong reaction when it comes to matters of faith?
Conversion is unsettling
Religious conversion, in any direction, can be unsettling and disruptive, both for those making a decision to change and for the community around them.
What makes a person change? It could be a genuine change of belief, or it could be for material gain – or even both. Or did somebody persuade them or put some pressure on them?
When a young person tells their parents that they have begun to follow a different faith, they usually become concerned. ‘Be careful not to get into something extreme,’ is a typical comment. ‘Was there something missing in the way we brought you up?’
Sometimes the hardest thing to accept is the feeling that the person is rejecting their culture, and therefore their family and community. This is because religion, culture and community are often closely linked.
But most people – even those who don’t agree with the concept of conversion – accept that if a person’s beliefs have genuinely changed, without pressure, they should be free to follow their conscience. Nobody should stop them, however much they may personally disagree with their choice. And on the other side, nobody should be under pressure to change. They should be free to be left alone, if they wish it.
This seems a healthy approach, and in fact it has been the basis of agreement between people of different faith backgrounds: no pressure or coercion, either to stop people from changing or to force them to do so.
Conversion need not mean a rejection of community or heritage. It may be hard, for both sides, but it is not for that reason wrong.
But many who accept this approach are still concerned about the consequences and implications of conversion, especially in close-knit communities.
Conversion can have multiple causes and sometimes unexpected effects. They could be both inward, in people’s spiritual and personal identity, and outward, in their social relationships and economic situation. For example, they might begin to work harder, or stop spending money on drink. Or they might develop different attitudes to the practices of their former faith, and become alienated from other members of their community. The effects can appear both positive and negative.
Conversion is a complex phenomenon. So it needs careful reflection and honest discussion, on all sides.
Like the connection with Western culture, the answer is not simple. The most recent major period of colonialism, in the 17th to 19th centuries, was from European countries to other parts of the world. The European powers were all in some sense ‘Christian’.
As they encountered people of other cultures, defeated them in battle or gained the advantage economically, they were tempted to assume that their own culture and civilisation was superior. In different ways, almost all Europeans assumed this and for some it was explicitly part of their mission to spread what they saw as the benefits of their civilisation.
Many of them included Christianity as part of these benefits. So there was a link between Christian mission and the Western colonial enterprise. However, two things need to be remembered…
> Many European Christians were critical of the colonial enterprise.
Though they might have welcomed its benefits, their aims were different and their close contact with people brought changes in their attitudes as they learned more about their culture and language (missionaries often pioneered the translation and preservation of local languages). They did not approve of what they saw as against the teaching of the Bible. Some found themselves caught between the failures they could see in both cultures – their own culture and the culture of the people to whom they had come.
Others openly opposed the colonial powers, especially in economic and social matters. For example they opposed the injustices of the indigo traders in India, the opium trade in China and above all European participation in the slave trade. This was abolished in the British Empire in 1807 through the continued pressure of Christians, both black and white.
Brijraj Singh examines these issues closely in his study: Ziegenbalg; The First Protestant Missionary to India. He concludes that Ziegenbalg, ‘though not without colonial leanings, [was] not a colonialist.’
> When the European colonial era came to an end after the Second World War, the spread of Christian faith actually increased, now that it was freed from the colonial connection.
In his book Whose Religion is Christianity? Lamin Sanneh, a Gambian who teaches at Yale Divinity School, distinguishes post-Western Christianity from European Christendom. He calls it ‘World’ Christianity, which has emerged with explosive force in the last several decades. It is made up of previously non-Christian societies and cultures who have accepted and adopted the Gospel in and through their own unique idioms. This has happened mostly since the post-colonial period began, and ‘without Western organizational structures, including academic recognition, and …amidst widespread political instability and the collapse of public institutions.’
In other words, Christian mission and the Christian faith were not simply equated with the European colonial enterprise.
‘Christianity’ is a word with many connotations. It is clearly linked to Jesus Christ, but it is also the name for a religious structure that many see as a cultural and sometimes political system.
In that sense, ‘Christianity’ is not always the most helpful word.
Jesus told the story of a jewel trader who came across a pearl that was the most beautiful he had ever seen. He sold all his property and assets in order to acquire this one jewel – beyond price.
Jesus was referring to himself. The implication was that all should turn to him and follow him.
Followers of Christ believe that Jesus is the ‘pearl’. Through Jesus we receive God’s love and forgiveness, and acknowledge God’s direction in our lives. Jesus is ‘good news’ that followers of Christ want to share. They would like all to be able to experience Jesus for themselves, within their own cultural context, without distortion, so as to form their own judgement and make their own response.
What will that look like? It may look very different from what Christians have been used to, as people attempt to follow Jesus within their own cultural and community boundaries.
Christians have supported apartheid and slavery, based on the Bible. Does the Bible teach racism?
The South African apartheid regime was backed and supported by Christians. So were the transatlantic slave trade, slavery and segregation in the southern states of the United States. Racism and slavery are not the same, but have been closely linked, as we see below.
White Christians opposed efforts of the Civil Rights movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. African-Caribbean and Asian people who came to Britain faced discrimination in the churches as well as in society. Christians in Europe over the centuries have engaged in anti-Semitic activities. Mahatma Gandhi was deeply alienated by the racism of white Christians in South Africa.
These monumental historical events would appear to suggest that the Christian faith not only supports but sanctions racism. Yet the Bible teaches the most radical and revolutionary message of unity: ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:28). The Bible opens with the same message: all human beings were created equal by the one God. Early churches such as the one in Antioch had members and leaders from different ethnic and social backgrounds (Acts 11:20; 13:1).
Why have this teaching and practice been turned on their heads in the various events listed above? Of the many books addressing this issue, one of the most helpful is The Curse of Ham by David Goldenberg. He makes the following key points…
1. No negative evaluations of black people were found in either biblical or post-biblical sources.
2. While the colour black symbolised sin and evil, this did not lead to antipathy toward black Africans.
3. Since many black Africans in Arabia, Greece, Rome and Israel were slaves, this created a ready association of black and slave. The association of black with slave led to an erroneous re-reading of the Bible in a way that led people to believe that when Noah cursed his grandson Canaan – “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers” (Genesis 9: 25) – God subjected all dark-skinned people to serve as slaves.
4. The curse was known as the curse of Ham and was relied on more and more as black slaves increased in number.
5. Originally, skin colour was used to describe an individual or community’s complexion. Later, as Arabs began to conquer people of darker complexion, skin colour was used as a visible marker to differentiate between ethnic groups. In the 16th century, the English also did this when they encountered non-whites; it was a way to distinguish between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ This ethnic designation by colour was forced into the biblical text.
6. As white European Christians captured and colonised other parts of the world, and as they traded in black African slaves, they conquered and subjugated people of colour. The very act of conquering those of a different skin colour led them to justify their economic, political and cultural domination and exploitation of the ‘other’ with darker skin.
It is a universal human tendency to seek power and resources for ‘our’ people, and to exploit those who are different. As part of this process it is convenient to use their supposed inferiority as justification. Examples can be found throughout history.
Economics played a key part in reinforcing racism as the subjugation and exploitation of those of a different skin colour led to the increasing wealth of the West. Bernard Lewis, emeritus professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton, makes the point that racism, ethnic purity, economics and white European conquest of people with darker skin led white people to acquire a sense of their superiority over those of darker skin colour.
The classification of ‘races’ from the Enlightenment period endorsed such beliefs. These in turn further reinforced erroneous biblical interpretation and justification of black slavery.
But we must remember that Christians played the major role in bringing an end to the transatlantic slave trade, an end to segregation in the American south and the dismantling of the apartheid regime. White Christians in America, Britain and South Africa have recognised and repented of their racism. In Britain, many churches are working hard to overcome racism and to embrace and enjoy ethnic diversity. They want to demonstrate the Christian message of reconciliation, not just in words but action as well.
Sadly, there are still some Christians who have racist attitudes, but most know and understand that there is no room for racism within Christianity. The Christian message condemns racism and embraces the diversity that God created. So Christians need to work hard to practise Christ’s message of reconciliation.
Christian mission is to follow the example of Jesus Christ, and to share the good news of his coming, by word and action.
Jesus came into the world to demonstrate God’s character of love and justice and to open the way to God. He did this by telling people the good news about God’s love, declaring God’s rule, healing the sick, showing solidarity with the poor and marginalised, and confronting injustice and wrongdoing. He gave his life on the cross to show God’s love and open the way to God, by bridging the great gap between us and God.
Christ’s followers celebrate this good news of Jesus. They want to obey his command to ‘go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone’ (Gospel of Mark 16.15). They also want to follow his example and teaching by serving people as he did.
They do this with respect for people of all faiths and none and they also look for ways of working together for the common good. Domination, superiority or forcing one’s views have no place in this mission.
How has it worked out in practice?
History shows both the power of this loving message to transform individuals and societies – and the mistakes that have been made by those proclaiming the message.
People have had their personal agendas. Or they have sought power and prestige for their institution or their country. Sometimes they have exercised cultural domination (consciously or unconsciously). Or they have been paternalistic. Sometimes Christians have used coercion, or even military force, in the name of faith.
All this shows how easy it is to lose sight of the message and of the purpose of serving others. DT Niles, a Sri Lankan preacher, once said that the work of Christian mission is ‘one beggar telling another where to get bread’. The missionary has nothing to be superior about. He or she is just as much in need of forgiveness as anybody else. That is why Jesus died – for all people.
Christian mission and Christian service begin from this perspective. Those who follow Christ need to remember this and pray that they will follow his example in practice.
Christians serve others because Jesus did. It should be a natural outcome of their commitment to Christ. He expects his followers to respond to fundamental human needs of every kind – spiritual, social, physical.
Jesus told his followers to follow his example by preaching the good news of God’s kingdom (Matthew 9:35; 10:7-8), and also by feeding the hungry, welcoming strangers, visiting the sick and those in prison (Matthew 25:35-40). Serving others demonstrates God’s love for all. It points to the greatest demonstration of that love in the death of Jesus.
What kind of service?
This service takes different forms according to the situation. In the UK’s welfare state, for example, it isn’t always obvious – many people are affluent; most health and social needs are taken care of. But there are in fact many different needs and the challenge is to know how best to respond to them. In South Asia, physical and social needs are sometimes the most obvious.
Everyone has spiritual needs. These are in fact the deepest needs. But the challenge is to serve people as whole people, not neglecting any aspect. Concern for spiritual needs alone can leave people struggling because of their social or economic situation. But social and economic change isn’t only external. Outside intervention may be needed to initiate and catalyse change, working in partnership. But for long term change to take place people’s inner motivation and self-understanding are involved. And that ultimately includes the spiritual.
So we need to care for people as a whole.
Isn’t there an ulterior motive?
Sometimes service can be misunderstood. When people are looking for spiritual change, especially those who are disadvantaged economically or socially, there can be temptations:
> Those who are serving can take advantage of others’ needs.
> People outside can misunderstand motives: ‘These people are responding because they simply want benefits.’ Or, ‘These people are exploiting the poor. Their real motive is to change them to their own beliefs and way of thinking.’ Some people in countries such as India and China became known as Rice Christians, based on this perception.
> People can become dependent or manipulate those who are seeking to serve them. We can see this in any culture, including the modern welfare state.
Whenever individuals or communities experience change, especially through outside intervention, there is a whole range of factors at work. Those who seek to intervene must be sensitive to these factors and the possible consequences of their intervention.
Such questions arise wherever aid or development workers are involved. There are no simple answers. This is particularly the case when the question of religious conversion comes up.
Is the Bible just for Christians? Has it been corrupted? What kind of book is it? Is it reliable?
Is the Bible just for Christians? Most of the Bible is in fact a holy book for both Jews and Muslims, as well as for Christians. Mahatma Gandhi was also a devoted reader of the Bible.
How is the Bible structured?
The Bible is a collection of writings in two main parts.
The first part was originally written in Hebrew and contains the Law (Torah), the Prophets (Nebi’im) and the poetic Writings (Kethubim or Zabur), which are authoritative for Jews, Christians and Muslims. Christians call these Hebrew scriptures ‘the Old Testament’. We know the names of some of the writers, including the lawgiver Moses, king David and some of the prophets.
The second part – the New Testament – is about Jesus and his followers. The story of Jesus is found in the Gospels (Injil) – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The story of his followers is in the Acts of the Apostles, also by Luke. Then there are letters written by Paul and other followers of Jesus.
The Bible is not simply a book of great principles and ideas about God and life. Of course, it does contain stories and ideas. But its central theme is the story of what God has done. It has been described as ‘the Book of the Acts of God’.
So we need to read it with care and attention. It contains a message of great spiritual power, which can change our lives as God speaks to us. But it has come to us in the words of human beings. So we need to study and analyse it, to understand each kind of writing in its original context. The Bible contains history, law, poetry, prophecy and wisdom writing.
Are the records reliable?
Has the Bible text been corrupted in some way? The books of the Old Testament were written over a period of about 1,000 years, from around 1,300 to 200 years before the birth of Christ. The Jewish scribes used to make new copies of them from time to time. Did the copies get changed?
In the days before printing, all documents were copied by hand. It was a recognised craft and careful copyists were well known. Each copy would be made, as far as possible, from an original, and closely supervised.
In 1947 a boy looking after sheep on the hill slopes above the Dead Sea found a collection of scrolls hidden in caves. They date from about 100 BC and are known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. They include copies of all the Old Testament books except one. The Dead Sea Scrolls are dated around 900 years earlier than the standard Hebrew manuscripts that were available before. Remarkably, they confirm in almost every case the later texts that we have. The few differences (about 5 per cent) are mainly obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling. No essential truth was corrupted or distorted. This shows how carefully the manuscripts had been handed down.
The New Testament was originally written in Greek. There are several thousand manuscripts, both in the original Greek and in early translations. It is possible to work out how the different copies relate to each other and to the originals from which they were copied. This is called textual criticism, which has been developed to a high level of scientific study. There are more manuscripts for the New Testament than for any other ancient text of any culture or period. As with the Hebrew manuscripts, there are minor differences but no major truth or belief is affected.
What about other writings?
What about other books, such as the Gospel of Barnabas, or the Gnostic gospels, which have some important differences from the New Testament gospels?
Does this prove that the Bible has been changed? Does it mean these other versions of Jesus’ story were suppressed by the ‘official version’ in the New Testament Gospels?
The best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code, is based on the thesis that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and they had children, whose descendants are still alive today. The writer, Dan Brown, argues that this version of the story was suppressed in the 4th century AD. History is written by ‘the winners’, he argues. But Brown’s method of writing puts historical facts, possible theories and inaccurate statements side by side as if they were all equally valid. Few scholars of any religious background would accept his arguments.
Research into its origins has shown that the Gospel of Barnabas is a forgery produced in the first part of the 14th century. The other earlier writings claimed to be the work of early Christian teachers, but were never regarded as authentic and were not included in the Bible by the early followers of Jesus. The collection of the writings which were regarded as authentic began very early and by the second century after Christ was virtually agreed, though the final agreement came later. There were careful criteria for selection, which linked writings with the original apostles of Jesus.