And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl sitting on her own in a small caf in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.
Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone about it, a terrible stupid catastrophe occurred, and the idea was lost for ever.
This is not her story.
- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Borrowing from one particular Judaic-sprung cult -- we know that Jesus was not really popular among the powers of his day, nor, when it came to the decisive point, with the majority of the people.
Yet the Second Coming continues to grip imagination. People continue to see the return of Christ to this world as a highly desirable thing ... yet there are some very interesting passages in the New Testament that suggest it might turn out otherwise at least for some. (The scene with the vendors and moneylenders in the Temple comes to mind.)
So, say Jesus were upon this earth, here, today. Not suddenly appearing, but growing up as one among many.
What, specifically, would Jesus do today, in this world as it is? How would he be received? Would he even be recognised, let alone accepted? Would he again keep secret his identity as the son of the living God? Why or why not? What would be the (short-term) reaction? from which sectors of society? (I avoid "long-term" because that could get into questions of belief in the wider patterns of Daniel and Revelation.)
I am throwing open the question completely, no holds barred. I ask only that it be considered seriously -- even by the atheists among us ;) (how would an atheist react?).