Herald C. Cruz January 16, 2008
Reflection #6 SP 94.1 - Family Spirituality Practicum
Being a student of the Bible in my tradition as an evangelical, I am used to reading books
which would include different disciplines including Bible interpretation. Though I have heard of
Albert Nolan before, this is the first time that I have actually read any of his books. It was a
pleasant surprise that he knew what he was talking about in terms of the Bible. I am amazed
with the kind of insight that he has about Jesus in a way that is very objective and not confined to
the traditional perspective of Jesus, which is often colored by the subjectivity of a specific group.
As he started his book, I liked how he described the different religious groups, the
Pharisees, the Sadducees, and Essenes, in a way that is not negative, but simply objective in its
place in history. I have often thought that Jesus had himself baptized under John the Baptist
primarily because of the relationship as cousins. It never occurred to me that Jesus was in fact
showing to the people, through the baptism, that he stood for what John the Baptist stood for.
Though I know it is also an act of humility, it was primarily a stand for what he believed in.
Who is Jesus? As I was growing up, my understanding was limited to what I learned in
church and what I have learned in my training in the seminary. I thought what I believed in was
the only right way to know Jesus; that to accept Jesus, you have to say the “sinner’s prayer”,
which, at this stage of my journey in Christianity, I realized, was no where to be found in the
Bible, but was simply a prayer made up by man. As John the Baptist preached, “Repent and turn
from your sins”, I guess I need to reassess how I do ministry.
A book by Philip Yancy called “The Jesus I Never Knew” has given me a head start on
understanding Jesus from a new perspective. He was criticized and persecuted by his own
people in the evangelical circles because he tried to present Jesus from the historical perspective.
His writings have shocked me a number of times. I believe this book will also shock me in a
pleasant way. I really want to know more about Jesus. With all humility, I think I need to undo
a lot of my preconceived notions about who Jesus is. This “husk” must be ripped from me one by
one so that I can see the real fruit of the person of Jesus. I don’t want to preach something that
Jesus did not stand for. I don’t want to proclaim what He did not believe in. I just want to be a
follower of Jesus in the truest sense of being His disciple.
I want my family to be Jesus-centered. I believe this is the best legacy that I can leave to
my children. Being a pastor, I cannot provide much for my family, I cannot give what a
businessman can provide for his family, but, I can give them Jesus, the Jesus that the Bible
proclaims. I want this intention to be clear. I don’t want them to be raised on empty traditions
but I want to enrich their experience of God from what I now know.
In my own tradition, having new perspectives and world views about faith and conduct
will be like walking on a tight rope. There are many traditional beliefs that have already been
embedded in the hearts and minds of people, such as evangelicals having the “franchise” for
salvation. What a mockery to the work of Christ. He came to save and to seek that which was
lost and the grace of God can cover the multitude of sin.
I know I will be learning more about this book in the days to come. I hope that I will be
very objective in knowing Jesus more and more. I really appreciate all the readings that Father
Tanseco has been giving because it has enriched my Christian experience as a pastor and as a