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Already a young adult, Jesus devoted himself to the task of easing the health problems of his fellow men in Galilee, probably influenced by the Essenes. He was taught about the healing effects of plants and herbs, and thus the easing of the sufferings of people in the villages became his first mission, often accompanied by preaching on right and wrong, on the end of the world, and on how to prepare for the new kingdom. Gradually he earned for himself the name of prophet—one among many. He was born into a country occupied by the Roman Empire, a country whose Jewish population lived in degradation and poverty. In Galilee, where Jesus was born and where he lived most of his life, the occupation and the oppression, also by rich landowners in Jerusalem, caused social unrest and deep anger. More and more farmers lost their land, became homeless, or were forced to work as slaves on their own land. Rebellion smouldered. From time to time, rebellion leaders attacked the Romans, but they always ended up on the cross, a punishment reserved for political criminals. But the spirit of rebellion spread in Galilee. He too became a leader, Jesus, but his weapon was the word rather than the sword—a weapon often far superior to sharp metal. And as the preaching became ever more aggressive, and even political, Rome listened. His life was formed by the circumstances of his birth and by the social and political situation in the land of Galilee. Though basically unknown during his lifetime, by curious circumstances he became the spiritual focus of millions long after his death.
- AuthorHouse UK, April 2013
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