Who do you say I am? That was the question Jesus asked of his disciples and what he still asks us today.
I believe this statue is in Ho Chi Ming City, possibly from a Cho Dai temple, though the blogger I found it through was not that clear about it.
It seems to reflect an understanding of Jesus as misunderstood Buddhist. What do you think?
6 thoughts on “Jesus: A Misunderstood Buddhist?”
I guess I think God brings us the message of the truth of love in many ways. And yeah, I think there’s a reason the tao is called “the way”. I am in love with Avalokiteśvara Buddha (aka Guan Yin, Bodhisattva of Compassion), and have been since long before I fell in love with Jesus. My heart tells me that whether they are “the same” or “different” is of no consequence.
What do you think, Matt?
I have a deep appreciation for Buddhism, in fact its my favourite religion after Christianity, but its a very different religion at the very core.
Christianity says God is profoundly Christlike; and for Christ God was profoundly personal, relational and actively initiative taking. This concept of God is very different from the passive impersonal nothing of the Buddha.
Christianity is also very different in how it views the self. In contrast to Buddhist teaching, the self is not illusory or disposable; Christianity teaches the transformation and resurrection of the self. It teaches self-dethronement rather than self-deconstruction. A suble but crucial difference.
Buddhism provides an interesting perspective to look back on Christianity from, and this has enriched my understanding, but its also enriched my understanding of what is truely distinctive about Christianity and Christ.
So no, as much as I appreciate Buddhist teaching I don’t see Jesus as a misunderstood Buddhist, I see him as someone much more distinctive.
There are two things that I believe, one that Jesus rose from the dead, and two that the Buddha realised ultimate enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. And I don’t see any contradiction between them.
I don’t deny the experience of either Jesus Christ nor Goutama Buddha but ultimnately they point to two different realities. Jesus said it is impossible for a person to ride two horses simultaneously, and impossible to serve two masters simultaneously. I see the wisdom of Jesus’ words on that.
But what happens when a conflict arises (Jesus being the only way to the father/heaven)??
Well, were there are differences between the teachings of Christ and the teachings of Buddha I’d say there’s a choise to be made. Who do you listen to more? Who do you trust more? Who reasonates more?