Jesus in Chicago
One would think that Jesus Christ walking the streets of Chicago would surely mean his death; and they would be correct. Jesus would be killed in Chicago but not by the people you think would kill him. It would be by the hands of those you would least expect. Read the following narrative to learn how the life of Christ relates to our lives and of many people we know and love every day.
PART 1 - His Birth, Baptism, and Calling
This message is not comical in nature; neither is it a form of theatrical satire or meant to undermine the lifestyles and culture of any certain people. It is a theoretical look at the life of Jesus as in relation to the people he most identifies with, set in an environment based on today's reality. Chicago is chosen because it is a city most mentioned when referring to the failures of Black America any time white America has to face their dark history of racial oppression.
Using Jesus and his true nature and identity from the Holy Bible, we will show how much more relatable Jesus' life was against the same type oppression during his times as it would be if he lived in Chicago today. His ministry as a man among the people of Galilee resembles a life lived in a society that neglects and stereotypes the poor, oppresses and persecutes the innocent, and that uses tyrannical laws of the land to intimidate and unjustly persecute people who cannot fight back.
To make this reading as real and as close to life today as possible, we will begin from his birth and youth and run a course parallel to the Bible as his ministry grows and expands throughout the city of Chicago instead of Galilee. Only the most relevant teachings and circumstances of his life will be portrayed within this writing so to keep the narrative short and understandable, and mostly relatable to the reality of today.
We begin with his birth. According to scripture, Jesus was born to a couple who was not married but was engaged to be married in the near future. How many times have we heard the condemnation of young, Black women having children out of wedlock from the white news media, and the failures of Black men as fathers to their families? The only difference is, Jesus' birth was ordained and inspired by God, as God made himself a body and born himself into the world. Thusly, no one can perceive God's plan until it is completely revealed. God has a way of working things out for them who love him according to his purpose.
The cycle of life is ordained of God and people have children all the time under many circumstances. Marriage is the will of God for all humanity because it is a union meant to be honored so as to be fruitful and for humanity to multiply on the earth. Sometimes people have children before marriage and many times people who are married break up and start other families, which is not of God's will. Divorce and remarriage is a system created by man to justify his failure to follow through on God's union of marriage. Thus, unless there is no one who has not dishonored God's union, there is no one who can speak against anyone else's lifestyle.
Next, Jesus lived in Egypt for some years until the death of Herod the King, and then his family moved him to Nazareth in Galilee. So it is not hard to see and understand that Jesus grew up around people of color (who were not of European descent) and learned the ways of life and knew many people in the area and neighborhood he lived. So regardless of what neighborhood Jesus grew up in when in Chicago, he lived the life of those around him and experienced the same justices and injustices they did, went to the same schools, and walked the same streets as they.
As Jesus grew in age, he grew strong in the wisdom and power of God. This led him to seek out one of the most spiritual men in the city who would present him to the people as a prophet and man of God. John the Baptist, water baptized Jesus and afterward Jesus received the Spirit of God and from then began to teach and preach among the people of the community. "John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:" (St. Luke 3:16).
After Jesus received the Spirit of God, he was led into an area of the city of abandoned warehouses by the shore of the lake as paralleled with the passage: "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered" (St. Luke 4: 1, 2).
The devil, in this scenario would be the worse person who walks and owns the streets of Chicago; a drug dealer, gang leader and murderer. This person tempted Jesus by asking him to first prove he was a man of God. Many people want to see a change in a believer's personality before they will offer them respect as a person of God. And when the guy said, "If you are a true man of God, turn this brick into a piece of bread" (St. Luke 4:3), Jesus answered and said: "It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."
In other words, the believer must use the Word of God to fight off temptation and the attacks of the devil. They must know and understand the Word as a guide to life and a way to escape temptation and remain in the bounds of reality, which means they have to study the Word and believe in its power and lessons. Material things are not the answer to all the questions and struggles in life, but knowledge of what is right and wrong sustains a person against lies and misinformation.
Again, they guy tempts Jesus by taking him to a roof top overlooking the neighborhood and dared Jesus to jump, repeating words from the Bible that God would not allow him to be hurt if he jumped. "If you have the power of God, jump from this building; the Bible says God will send angels to catch you before you hit the ground" (St. Matthew 4:6).
But Jesus, again using the Word of God, refuted the guy by saying, "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God" (St. Matthew 4.7). Many times people will try to confuse a believer by using the very words of the Bible but the believer must know the will of God and how to use the Word to ward off false doctrine. The devil knows the words of the Bible better than many preachers so it is up to the believer to study carefully the words and what they actually mean.
Again, the guy offers Jesus a portion of his own wealth and power of the drug game in the streets by taking him to the top of the Sears Tower and showing Jesus the entire city and all its glory. Jesus in turn, refused and told the guy that he served God only revealing that money and power are not the answer to the problems people face, but the power of God is the greatest power on earth; which is the power to refuse corruption and greed (St. Matthew 4:8-10). This passage attempts to reveal that it is possible to live in Chicago and in some of the worse neighborhoods and still be a servant of God. It also shows that if a person can avoid the temptations of the streets or corruption at any level, they will be endowed with an overwhelming power of God.
PART 2 - The Sermon
Once Jesus overcame and rebuked the temptation of the devil, he was empowered to go to the people of the neighborhood and teach and preach about the Kingdom of God....Read more
PART 3 - The Ministry
He healed people who came to him for help. He would always ask them if they believed he could heal them and many would say yes, they believed....Read more