"Who do you say that I am?"

13. When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
14. And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; some Elijah; others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets."
15. He asked them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16. And Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
17. And Jesus responded, "Simon, son of Jonah, blessed are you, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but My Father which is in heaven."

Who do you say that Yeshua (Jesus) is? Myth, prophet, philosopher, social reformer, or... Messiah and son of God? Your answer determines the way you think and live your life.

"You are the Messiah,..."

To say that He was anything other than Messiah falls short. Christians most often use the title "Christ", which is taken from the Greek translation of Messiah. I actually prefer "Messiah", because I think the word communicates an idea that reaches outside of the boundaries of typically defined Christianity.

The concept of Messiah was hinted at from the very beginning, when God cursed the serpent, or Satan - "...AND BETWEEN THY SEED AND HER SEED; IT SHALL BRUISE THY HEAD, AND THOU SHALT BRUISE HIS HEEL" (in Genesis 3:15). Thereafter, within an Old Testament that spoke to us about the birth and rise of the nation of Israel, the concept of Messiah was represented in symbols and shadows. At the pinnacle of the nation's existence, Messiah was whispered between the lines of the songs and poems of King David. Later came the time of exile and captivity (Babylonian), when prophets came forth and spoke specific prophecies of Messiah's coming - even telling us when. Then, when it was time, He came to us. It took about 4000 years for humanity, a nation, no... a bloodline, to be far enough removed from the original curse to where our Holy God could literally step into humanity. The point of this readiness was Mary, but it began with Eve.

Messiah, of most importance to humanity. So many religions speak of Messiah, even though the others do so in error. To make a point, I will compare human thought to water: The great rivers of thought that we call Judaism, Christianity, and Islam diverge and then converge again at the point of Messiah. The Buddhisms are great lakes of denial for the need of Messiah - we make our own path to enlightenment. Even so, the Buddhisms speak of the rock that is Messiah, which skips across its surface creating ripples in the water. So, Messiah is denied... yet acknowledged. The flows of Hinduism are the same in this, as were/are most of the other pools of paganism. And what of this ancient sea of science, with its ever shifting tides of sensory-based conclusions? It serves humanity. But in its depths is another kind of religion, with its own "preachers" and "leaps of faith". Such damnable depths drown even the most learned among us. And now, in this age of expanding liberalism and individualism, individual drops of consciousness form an ocean of collective denial, each drop denying Messiah in his or her own individual way.

But we need Messiah. Since the dawn, even in our average, everyday tales there is the time-honored place of hero, or savior. It is imprinted on our DNA - we need to be saved! You doubt this? Look around.

"...the Son of the Living God."

If you asked the established church what this means, you will likely get a response saying that He was "begotten", along with a vague definition of the word. And the response may be coupled with a comment about how there are "mysteries" of the faith. Indeed, there are some mysteries. That aside, I think the established church sometimes finds it difficult to explain things in a way that people can relate to.

I like to look at it like this:

The universe is made of two things - matter and energy, which are the same on a subatomic level. We all have heard of Einstein's E=MC2. This equation unequivocally indicates that matter can be converted to energy, and visa versa. And we know that "life as we know it" is interplay of systems of matter that interact with energy in such a way that there is life (organic matter). So, we are both matter and energy. Earth is unique - the only known place in the universe that has this "life as we know it". But are there other types of life? Perhaps we should consider that life is not limited to entities of matter (carbon-based life forms). Why could there not be energy-based life forms? These life forms are not comprised of matter (carbon), but are made entirely of energy - complex systems of energy that interact with each other as to result in an entity, a consciousness. And these entities of energy are spoken of throughout the existence of mankind in our myths and legends, because they can... translate into forms that our eyes/minds can perceive.

Where am I going with this?

We call this consciousness of energy... spirit. The scriptures tell us that God is spirit (energy). This energy pervades the universe. It is everywhere - omnipresence. And God translated Himself (or a portion of Himself) from energy into matter, which is the carbon-based life form we call Jesus (Yeshua, Isa, Iesus, etc.).

This is why we say that Jesus is the "Son of God", yet He is God. He is the Son because He came from the Father - spirit (energy) translated into flesh (matter). Though Jesus came from God, He is also God for He is the manifestation of God - the image of the unseen God, as some say.

He often called Himself the "Son of Man" (as He did in the scripture passage at this site). This is a very old title, and it is used throughout the scriptures. Another translation of the title is "son of the human being". It is ironic that we call Him the Son of God, yet He calls Himself the Son of Man. This gives simplistic insight into His nature - He is God; He is man.

I completely understand that this explanation is off the beaten path of theology. But I do not think that it is outside of the boundaries of scripture – which is the definitive source of theology and confirms or denies any so-called revelation or personal perspective. Perhaps the view I share here is personal and only means something to me. My relationship with Jesus is actualized apart from such thinking. But the idea seemed to enhance my understanding... at least at this point in my life. One day I may out grow the need for such mental constructs.

Kyrie Eleison.

How did I make the art?

First, I draw the subject(s) in pencil (using the T-square to help with precision). I like to use one of those blending stumps for the shading. Then I scan the drawing into my computer and touch it up using black and white digital painting. Then, I paint it in layers - many layers, above and below the pencil layer.

The second picture shows some preliminary paint layers without the interaction of the pencil work.

The third picture shows the paint layers, the pencil layer, and numerous touch-up layers.

You should not view the process images as exact steps in completing the art. Though my technique is methodical, it is difficult to present process images that show this because of my tendency to go back and forth between parts and layers.