Jesus Visited India?

Jesus’ “Lost” Years

By Grantley Morris


Jesus Visited India?

Jesus Visited India?

Jesus’ “Lost” Years

The people of India are of extreme importance to God – so much so that the eternal Son of God visited this planet in human form specifically to offer his sinless life as the only sacrifice holy enough to atone for human spiritual shortcomings so that Indians could have full access to the terrifyingly holy Almighty God of the universe. The same is true for every tribe and language and people group on this planet:

    Revelation 5:9-13 They sang a new song, saying, “You are worthy to take the book, and to open its seals: for you were killed, and bought us for God with your blood, out of every tribe, language, people, and nation, and made us kings and priests to our God, and we will reign on earth.” . . . (more)

As the risen Lord, Jesus not only visits India but reigns in the hearts of large numbers of Indians – and Chinese, Africans, Europeans and so on.

But did Jesus visit India sometime within the short period between the time he reached maturity and the age of thirty when he commenced the ministry in Israel that lead to his sacrifice in Jerusalem?

Ground Rules

I have a dilemma. Things I wish I could instantly download into your mind take decades of study to fully appreciate. I am keen to avoid weighing down anyone with details and yet it is ignorance of those very details that causes people to entertain notions that do not fit the facts. I have relegated most of these details to links scattered throughout the webpage but if you really want truth, these links need to be read. Then you will be armed with the unadulterated facts on which to build your own conclusion.

Unless you prefer a meaningless fantasy trip, I am forced to keep citing the most ancient, most attested and most historically accurate documents we have about Jesus. There are several criteria one must consider:

    * How soon after Jesus’ death the document was written

    * The time gap between the writing of the account and the earliest surviving manuscripts

    * The number of surviving ancient manuscripts

    * The degree of agreement among the ancient manuscripts

    * The extent to which geographical, cultural and historical details in the account agree with facts known from other sources

    * The reliance upon eyewitnesses and careful investigation of the facts (a rarity in ancient times).

The documents that stand head and shoulders above any other contenders happen to be the ancient library now known as the New Testament. For an example of the care taken, see Luke 1:1-4. For confirmation that these documents are without rival, see F. F. Bruce The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?

To avoid giving an inflated impression of how frequently Jesus did or said various things, I have striven to avoid citing additional accounts of the same event in other Gospels.

Although in authenticity and dependability, no other source of information about Jesus remotely approaches the diverse writings that now form the New Testament, a few skeptics wonder whether all this detailed documentation of Jesus’ life and teaching might have somehow been doctored by Jewish sympathizers to remove all reference to India and to Indian influence on Jesus. We will see later why it is not feasible to suppose such doctoring of multiple accounts (all of which we now know were completed close in time to the events they record and accurately preserved since then). But here’s the clincher: how could those who compiled these records think of themselves as faithful followers of Jesus – as the writers clearly considered themselves to be – while being so ashamed of Jesus as to deliberately mutilate accounts of his teaching?

More disturbing still: it is an insult to God himself to suppose that these ancient accounts of Jesus’ ministry might have prejudicially removed reference to key aspects of Jesus’ life. If Jesus’ staggering claims are true, such as “No one comes to [God] the Father, except through me” (John 14:6), for Almighty God to have allowed the record of Jesus’ message to have been lost or distorted for subsequent generations would be a tragedy beyond belief. Moreover, Jesus declared, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Mark 13:31).

What makes it such an insult to query the accuracy of the records is that Jesus, after devoting considerable prayer, handpicked the twelve apostles to personally train them as the custodians of his message and he commissioned them to “Go into all the world, and preach the Good News to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). See Documented Proof. To them he declared, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

If being Jewish created a bias that Jesus objected to, why did he entrust exclusively to them the responsibility of being the earliest, most critically important custodians of his message? In fact, Jesus kept insisting that it was no historical accident that certain people were the original carriers of his message. “You didn’t choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you . . .” (John 15:16) he told the select few of whom he said, “Yes, and you will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the nations. But when they deliver you up, don’t be anxious how or what you will say, for it will be given you in that hour what you will say. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you” (Matthew 10:18-20). For more documented proof, see Chosen. And at the end of his earthly mission it was to them that he said, “. . . As the Father has sent me, even so I send you. . . . If you forgive anyone’s sins, they have been forgiven them. If you retain anyone’s sins, they have been retained” (John 20:21, 23).

On top of that, Jesus proclaimed that after his death he would always be with them through God’s Spirit and that they would be divinely empowered with special abilities that would supernaturally equip them both to accurately recall Jesus’ message and to understand its spiritual meaning:

    John 14:16-18, 26; 15:15, 19-20, 26-27; 16:12-13, 15 I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever,— the Spirit of truth, whom the world can’t receive; for it doesn’t see him, neither knows him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you. . . . But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you. . . . No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you. . . . If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his lord.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will keep yours also. . . . When the Counselor has come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will testify about me. You will also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning. . . . I have yet many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. However when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth. . . . he takes of mine, and will declare it to you. (Emphasis mine.)

If their Jewish background gave them a bias that Jesus objected to, why did he entrust exclusively to them the responsibility of being the earliest, most critically important, custodians of his message? Furthermore, in one of the only recorded instances of Jesus ever conversing with a non-Jew, he declared, “You worship that which you don’t know. We worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22). Since Jesus opted not to leave behind any of his own writings, almost nothing in the universe was as critical as the responsibility of those he chose to transmit his message to subsequent generations. There is even a sense in which their role was greater than Jesus’ because if they failed it would have rendered Jesus’ life and death a waste. If Jesus got wrong his choice of people to transmit his message, he is not the eternal Son of God but a fallible human who could neither foresee nor influence the future. This would make him unworthy to be followed as a spiritual leader, much less worshipped.

In reality, Jesus always knew exactly what he was doing. He knew, for example, that Judas would betray him and that Peter and the other disciples would deny him but afterward be faithful (Documented Proof).

To zero in on the bare facts of Jesus’ teaching and shun Christian interpretation or bias, I will primarily cite the actual recorded words of Jesus and mostly side-step mentioning comments in the Gospels make by the authors. I will also largely avoid mentioning other significant early Christian writings (the rest of the Christian Bible). This voluntary restriction is despite the fact that:

    (1) they reinforce my arguments

    (2) besides the Gospels themselves, these are the writings of people who were more familiar with Jesus’ life and message than anyone else from whom we can gain information and the ones to whom Jesus entrusted the transmission of his message.

    (For more see The Unique Value of the Apostle Paul’s Writings to Understanding Jesus.)

Although I have primarily limited myself to the words of Jesus himself, it turns out that there are no obvious contradictions between his actual words and the Jewish Scriptures and the rest of the New Testament.

I should confess my own bias. I am not in any sense a Jew; neither (to my knowledge) by remote ancestry, nor by religion. Neither am I an Indian.

It might at first seem strange but one does not have to study Jesus’ life and teachings for long before discovering that no genuine examination of whether Jesus visited India can avoid frequent citations of the Jewish Scriptures. These are the writings that today are commonly called the Old Testament; the part of the Bible written before Jesus was born.

I don’t expect anyone to accept what I say until carefully considering the evidence presented deeper in this series of webpage but, as surprising as it might initially seem, it turns out that what makes an extensive understanding of the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament) so critical is not only the unique role Jesus assigns to it as the prime source of spiritual truth, but there is a real sense in which these Jewish Scriptures are the dictionary containing all the definitions of the words Jesus used.

The Plunge

If we let our imaginations run wild, we might guess that Jesus did spectacular things prior to age thirty – when the records say he was anointed and empowered for ministry by the Holy Spirit of God. Such flights of fantasy, however, are not supported by the facts.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Proof), which by his contemporaries’ standards was a long way from Nazareth, and he spent his early days in Egypt (Proof), yet he spent so long in Nazareth before he turned thirty that much is made in the historical accounts of the fact that that he was known as Jesus of Nazareth (Eighteen Ancient Examples). Nazareth was in the province of Galilee and so there are other references to Jesus being from Galilee (Several Examples). Galileans had a distinctive accent that differed from other parts of Palestine (proof). I spent just a few months in an Asian country and returned home with a different accent but there is no hint that Jesus’ accent differed from other Galileans.

Reincarnation teaches a much closer connection between animals and humans than most other religions teach. It is partly because of this that although there is a huge range of conflicting Indian religions, vegetarianism is fundamental to most of them. So if Jesus were not a vegetarian he could not be accepted by those religions. And if Jesus rejected vegetarianism, he would not only be indicating that he disagreed with those religions for which vegetarianism is a fundamental tenant; it would be hard to claim that he was even mildly influenced by them. This makes another webpage in this series vitally important: Was Jesus a Vegetarian?

The time for the truth about Jesus to be fully revealed was not in Jesus’ younger days, nor even his latter earthly years but after his death and resurrection. This applied even for Jesus’ inner circle, who were granted spiritual insights, interpretation of parables and so on that were denied everyone else (Mark 4:10-11).

He told them:

    John 14:19-20, 25-26; 16:7, 13-14 Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more; but you will see me. Because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. . . . I have said these things to you, while still living with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things . . . Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I don’t go away, the Counselor won’t come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. . . . However when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth . . . He will glorify me, for he will take from what is mine, and will declare it to you.

Note that it was not until after Jesus’ resurrection that the following exchange took place between Jesus and his apostles:

    Luke 24:45-48 Then he opened their minds, that they might understand the Scriptures. He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. . . .”

Here’s further confirmation:

    John 12:16 His disciples didn’t understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him, and that they had done these things to him.

Being kept in the dark until after Jesus’ resurrection was even more emphatic for Jesus’ other Jewish contemporaries:

    Matthew 12:15-16  . . . Great multitudes followed him; and he healed them all, and commanded them that they should not make him known.

    Matthew 16:16-17, 20 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. . . .” Then he commanded the disciples that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ.

    Mark 9:9 As they were coming down from the mountain [where Jesus had been transfigured], he commanded them that they should tell no one what things they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

    Many Other Examples

And keeping things hidden until after Jesus’ resurrection applied still more to people who were not Jews:

    Matthew 10:5-6 Jesus sent these twelve out, and commanded them, saying, “Don’t go among the Gentiles, and don’t enter into any city of the Samaritans. Rather, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. . . .”

The Hebrew word Messiah and its Greek equivalent (Christ) both mean “anointed by the Spirit of God”. Since the entire concept in based on the Jewish Scriptures, one must understand that Jewish kings, priests and prophets were anointed. Here are some exaamples:

    Exodus 30:30-32 You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and sanctify them, that they may minister to me in the priest’s office. You shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘This shall be a holy anointing oil to me throughout your generations. It shall not be poured on man’s flesh [i.e. on ordinary people], and do not make any like it, according to its composition. It is holy. It shall be holy to you.

    Leviticus 21:10, 12 He who is the high priest among his brothers, upon whose head the anointing oil is poured . . . the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him. . . .

    1 Samuel 10:1, 6-7 Then Samuel took the vial of oil, and poured it on his head, and kissed him, and said, “Hasn’t the Lord anointed you to be prince over his inheritance? . . . Then the Lord’s Spirit will come mightily on you, and you will prophesy with them, and will be turned into another man. Let it be, when these signs have come to you, that you do what is appropriate for the occasion; for God is with you.

    1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the middle of his brothers. Then the Lord’s Spirit came mightily on David from that day forward. . . .

The anointing was the time when they were called by God for a special role and endowed with the spiritual resources to fulfill that calling.

Jesus was not just anointed, he was the anointed one– the one uniquely called and spiritually empowered as priest, spiritual King of kings and the prophet par excellence.

    Matthew 16:13-17, 20 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
    They said, “Some say John the Baptizer, some, Elijah, and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” [Note how even while Jesus was on earth all sorts of myths and mistaken ideas about Jesus developed but Jesus cut through all of this by ensuring his apostles correctly understood.]
    He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
    Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ [ anointed one], the Son of the living God.”
    Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. . . .” Then he commanded the disciples that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ. [Note again how the truth about Jesus was kept from the masses until after Jesus’ resurrection.]

The time when Jesus was anointed – spiritually empowered to minister – was when the Holy Spirit came upon him at his baptism. Note that the following is one block of Scripture, separated only by my comments in square brackets:

    Matthew 2:19-3:3 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Arise and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel, for those who sought the young child’s life are dead.” He arose and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in the place of his father, Herod, he was afraid to go there. Being warned in a dream, he withdrew into the region of Galilee, and came and lived in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.” In those days [ie the days when Jesus was still in Nazareth. There is not the slightest hint of a gap when Jesus was not living there.], John the Baptizer came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight.”

Then follows a description of John’s ministry, followed immediately by:

    Matthew 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.

Let’s examine Luke’s account of what happened:

    Luke 3:21-23 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also had been baptized, and was praying. The sky was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form like a dove on him; and a voice came out of the sky, saying “You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased.” Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years old . . .

    Time Out

    I will continue with Luke’s narrative shortly but first I should comment on the above and also quote from elsewhere to show it dovetails perfectly other ancient accounts.

    Note that the text says: “Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry”. His ministry did not begin until he was baptized in the Spirit at age thirty.

    According Jewish Scriptures the age of thirty is significant. It was the age at which, God’s chosen ones, born for the role of serving God in his temple (Levites), were allowed to commence service (Numbers 4:3). It was the age at which Ezekiel began his prophetic ministry (Ezekiel 1:1) and it was age that Joseph “stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Genesis 41:46). Joseph was one of many people in the Jewish Scriptures who had aspects of their lives that were divinely crafted to bear similarities to the Messiah (More).

    This is consistent with John’s Gospel which says about him turning water into wine:

      John 2:11 This beginning of his signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

    This was the first of his miracles.

    It is also consistent with what we read in Luke’s second book, Acts:

      Acts 1:1-2 The first book I wrote, Theophilus, concerned all that Jesus began both to do and to teach, until the day in which he was received up . . .

    After Judas’s death, it was decided that someone highly familiar with Jesus’ entire ministry must replace him. Note the italicized words:

      Acts 1:20-22  . . . ‘Let another take his office.’ “Of the men therefore who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, to the day that he was received up from us, of these one must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”

    Despite Jesus having great plans for his disciples, he told them after his resurrection to remain where they were and simply wait until they were empowered by the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8). The same applied to Jesus, their Leader and Example. He, too, had to wait – put his ministry on hold – until the spiritual empowering that took at this baptism. Timing was everything to Jesus. Consider this exchange with his brothers:

      John 7:3-8 His brothers therefore said to him, “Depart from here, and go into Judea, that your disciples also may see your works which you do. For no one does anything in secret, and himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, reveal yourself to the world.” . . . Jesus therefore said to them, “My time has not yet come . . . my time is not yet fulfilled.”

    Again, when his mother sought a miracle he said:

      John 2:4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come.”

    Other Scriptures showing how critical timing was to Jesus.

    One might guess that because Jesus taught and performed miracles after his baptism that he must also have acted that way beforehand. Nevertheless, not only is this contrary to the evidence, the records provide powerful spiritual reasons for his baptism being a watershed moment that radically altered Jesus.

    Even after his anointing, however, Jesus was very careful to restrict his ministry not just geographically but even ethnically. Despite his immense compassion for all people, consider his extreme reluctance to work a solitary miracle for a non-Jew:

      Matthew 15:22-28 Behold, a Canaanite woman came out from those borders, and cried, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, you son of David! My daughter is severely possessed by a demon!” But he answered her not a word. His disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away; for she cries after us.” But he answered, “I wasn’t sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and worshiped him, saying, “Lord, help me.” But he answered, “It is not appropriate to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she said, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you even as you desire.” . . . (Emphasis mine.)

    Likewise, despite his stupendous compassion – and plans – for every people group on the entire planet, while Jesus remained on earth he instructed his disciples to limit themselves to Jews:

      Matthew 10:6-8 Rather, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, preach, saying, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons. . . .

    Jesus knew the time would come (after his resurrection) when he would commission his disciples to go into the entire world and he would go with them in spirit and through them preach and work miracles in every nation (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20). As we have seen, however, timing was critically important to Jesus.

Back to Luke’s Narrative

We had been quoting from Luke’s first book about Jesus’ baptism. Let’s return to that text. It states that immediately after his baptism, Jesus, filled with the Spirit, was led into the wilderness where he was tempted:

    Luke 4:1-2 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. . . .

Immediately after an account of the temptations we read:

    Luke 4:13-30 When the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him until another time. Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and news about him spread through all the surrounding area. He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. He entered, as was his custom, into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. He opened the book, and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began to tell them, “Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” All testified about him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth, and they said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” He said to them, “Doubtless you will tell me this parable, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done at Capernaum, do also here in your hometown.’ ” [The people Jesus had grown up with were so unfamiliar with Jesus’ miracles that they wanted to see some for themselves.] He said, “Most certainly I tell you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. . . .” They were all filled with wrath in the synagogue, as they heard these things. They rose up, threw him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill that their city was built on, that they might throw him off the cliff. But he, passing through the middle of them, went his way.

Note how this passage emphasizes the importance of Jesus’ anointing and that it had only recently occurred. Also note in the above that those in his hometown had not seen Jesus’ miracles.

Consider also the following that took place later:

    Mark 6:1-5 He went out from there. He came into his own country, and his disciples followed him. When the Sabbath had come, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many hearing him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things?” and, “What is the wisdom that is given to this man, that such mighty works come about by his hands? [Here again we find that those who best knew Jesus prior to his baptism were flabbergasted that he was now performing miracles and displaying spiritual wisdom. (And we shall later see that the wisdom they refer to was thoroughly Jewish and showed no trace of Indian wisdom.) It is yet another proof of the radical transformation brought about by Jesus’ spiritual anointing when he was empowered by the Holy Spirit.] Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judah, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” [They considered a person’s family to be a fundamental part of his background and who he is and everything they had gleaned about Jesus over all those years prior to his baptism screamed that there was nothing special about him.] They were offended at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own relatives, and in his own house.” He could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people, and healed them.

The so called “lost years” were simply years Jesus spent in Nazareth during which his life was so ordinary that there was nothing worth mentioning.

We quoted Matthew chapter 2 earlier, where it states that while, still a child, Jesus went to live in Nazareth. Jews were expected to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem during the feasts and there is no hint that after his brief exile in Egypt as a baby, he ever again went further from home. Luke gives this same impression:

    Luke 2:39-42,51-3:2 When they had accomplished all things that were according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. The child was growing, and was becoming strong in spirit, being filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. His parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast . . . And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth. He was subject to them, and his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John [the Baptist], the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.

The Uniqueness of Jesus

This section is critical to a serious discussion of whether Jesus visited Indian and yet is typically missed by those who fantasize about Jesus visiting India.

Jesus made it clear that John the Baptist was the prophet par excellence sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus (proof). Here is John’s testimony of Jesus:

    John 1:29 The next day, he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! . . .”

Jesus’ primary role in coming to earth was to remove the spiritual consequences of not just Israel’s sin, but the sins of the entire world. The term Lamb of God is powerfully significant. All of John’s original hearers knew as emphatically as each knew his/her own name, the connection between a lamb, God and sin. A central aspect of the Jewish Scriptures is that lambs were innocent, undefiled creatures that were sacrificed to God for human sin. Their spiritual purpose was not, of course, to teach but to bridge the abyss between the fearsomely holy God and spiritually defiled humanity. By their own sacrificial death, lambs paid the penalty for human sin, making it possible for humans to commune with the Holy Lord of creation. Jesus, however, was not just a lamb but the Lamb – the ultimate sacrifice for humanity’s sin. All religious sacrifices were mere symbols; Jesus was the real thing.

Here is Jesus’ description of his purpose in coming to earth:

    Mark 10:45 For the Son of Man also came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

All of humanity had been kidnapped by evil and the only ransom that could secure our release is the death of God’s only Son. To quote Jesus again:

    John 3:14-18 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness [Numbers 21:6-9], even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him. He who believes in him is not judged. He who doesn’t believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.

Just before he was arrested and crucified, Jesus instructed his disciples as to what they should forever focus on when thinking of what he achieved through coming to earth. In the words of the apostle Paul (the gospel accounts are similar):

    1 Corinthians 11:23-26 For I received from the Lord that which also I delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread. When he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “Take, eat. This is my body, which is broken for you. Do this in memory of me.” In the same way he also took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink, in memory of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (Emphasis mine.)

Jesus did not come to earth to teach us how to connect with God but to be our connection with God.

Spiritually, we are drowning in our sin. Jesus came not to teach us how to swim but to dive into the deadly waters and rescue us at the cost of his own life. None of us has what it takes to save ourselves. Jesus insisted that as a branch cut off from a tree would shrivel up and die, so your spiritual survival hinges on having a perpetual union with him as total, intimate and life-giving as a branch’s union with a tree:

    John 15:4-6 Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me. I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man doesn’t remain in me, he is thrown out as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

    (Emphasis mine.)

Again to quote Jesus:

    John 10:9-11, 27-30 I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved . . . I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. . . . My sheep . . . follow me. I give eternal life to them. They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. . . . My Father [God], who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.

    John 11:25  . . . I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies.

    Matthew 11:27  . . . neither does anyone know the Father [God], except the Son [Jesus], and he to whom the Son desires to reveal him.

    John 5:21-29 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son [Jesus] also gives life to whom he desires. For the Father [God] judges no one, but he has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who doesn’t honor the Son doesn’t honor the Father who sent him. “Most certainly I tell you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and doesn’t come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Most certainly, I tell you, the hour comes, and now is, when the dead will hear the Son of God’s voice; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, even so he gave to the Son also to have life in himself. He also gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man. Don’t marvel at this, for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs will hear his voice, and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.

    John 6:51-54 I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give for the life of the world is my flesh. . . . Most certainly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don’t have life in yourselves. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. [Jesus’ followers found this saying so incomprehensible that many left him because of it. Those who stayed with him eventually discovered that Jesus was referring to his sacrificial death, which we must spiritually partake in if we are to have spiritual life.]

Peter, fresh from intensive years learning from Jesus and then being divinely endowed both to understand and communicate spiritual truth, summarized Jesus’ ministry this way:

    Acts 4:12 There is salvation in none other, for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, by which we must be saved!

To quote two other ancient sources:

    1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all; the testimony in its own times

    1 Peter 3:18, 21-22 Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit . . . which now saves you—not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.

    1 John 5:11-12  . . . God gave to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has the life. He who doesn’t have God’s Son doesn’t have the life.

In the words of the Apostle Paul:

    Colossians 1:15-23 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things are held together. He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him; and through him to reconcile all things to himself, by him, whether things on the earth, or things in the heavens, having made peace through the blood of his cross. You, being in past times alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil deeds, yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without defect and blameless before him, if it is so that you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the Good News which you heard, which is being proclaimed in all creation under heaven; of which I, Paul, was made a servant.

There is no spiritual alternative to Jesus. He is not merely a teacher but the world’s only spiritual Savior; humanity’s only hope of connecting with God. Don’t pretend that you can reject that truth without rejecting Jesus. Note his staggering words:

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father [God], except through me. . . .”

Jesus did not come to teach the way to God; he is the way. He did not come to reach spiritual truth; he is the truth. Neither did he come to show us how to live; if we want spiritual life, he is our life. No one comes to God except through him.

It is highly significant that not only in the above quote but over and over Jesus kept referring to God as Father. You might have many friends and many teachers but you can only have one father. This very term destroys both polytheism (belief in more than one god) and the pantheism (belief that God is impersonal and exists in rocks, plants and so on) that was present in most forms of Indian religion that existed when Jesus lived on this planet.

A father gives a child life and might be superior to the child but has a nature that has much in common with his offspring. Rocks don’t father children; fish don’t beget giraffes. If we can think and feel, so can God. Moreover, Jesus emphasized that to be like God a father should not be cold and impersonal but must love and nurture his children and be deeply moved by his children’s needs and requests:

    Matthew 7:9-11 Or who is there among you, who, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, who will give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

The God that Jesus portrayed was not the God of Indian religions. Moreover, Jesus is not an alternative or add on to any religion; not just a light in a dark world, but light of the entire world (John 8:12); humanity’s one and only hope:

    2 John 1:9 Whoever transgresses and doesn’t remain in the teaching of Christ, doesn’t have God. He who remains in the teaching, the same has both the Father and the Son.

You can choose to risk eternity and gamble that you do not need Jesus as utterly as he insisted that you do. You can think there are substitutes that will let you survive spiritually. To believe this, however, is to reject Jesus’ teaching and to claim to be more truthful and spiritually enlightened than him. Jesus maintained that the consequences of ignoring him are catastrophic but if he is just another teacher, then what he did and believed, in reference to India or anything else, is of little consequence. Maybe you could even risk other people’s eternity and try to seduce Christians into straying from Jesus and embracing another religion.

The Story so Far and Beyond

The Gospel accounts are attested as historical records of immense authenticity. They are emphatic that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, taken to Egypt as a child, later settled in Nazareth, had an itinerant ministry in Israel and offered his life as the ultimate in Jerusalem. Each of these geographical movements are not just carefully documented but emphasized as being so much of the divine plan that they were prophesied centuries before they happened (Examples). Not only is there no evidence or even a hint in all the New Testament records that Jesus that ever ventured out of Palestine, except for his childhood sojourn in Egypt, all evidence and the thrust of the entire Bible is to the contrary.

Furthermore, as will be further confirmed in the next webpage, we find multiple ancient accounts, each showing Jesus’ teaching to be distinctive and unique, and yet thoroughly Jewish and devoid of Indian influence. Every authenticated record of Jesus’ teaching is Jewish to the extreme. But what would have been the point of Jesus travelling what in his era was the enormous distance to India if he had nothing to gain from the journey? And if he did learn anything it would have stood out in his teaching like a giraffe with sore neck.

If, in fact, Jesus had been influenced by Indian religions, the removal of all hint of it have had to be an exceedingly deliberate act by many people, it requires intellects beyond that of your average full-time fishermen.

Such doctoring would have had to have been highly consistent and extensive because there simply is not a trace of Indian influence in all biblical records of Jesus’ teachings. At first thought, this might not surprise, since Jesus’ apostles were Jewish. However, the slightest hint of Indian influence in Jesus’ original teaching – or in even in his accent – would have stood out like a flashing neon target, seizing every Palestinian Jew’s attention and sending everyone’s tongue into overdrive.

Fierce, unrelenting opposition to other religions was central to Jewish beliefs. Consider, for example, the Ten Commandments, the first two of which are:

    Exodus 20:3-5 You shall have no other gods before me.
    You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God . . .

A huge proportion of the Jewish Scriptures is filled with warnings about the dire consequences of introducing aspects of other religions into their own and with descriptions of the terrible divine punishments that resulted (a few examples). Anyone guilty of enticing a Jew to do this incurred the death penalty. Please read the following from the Jewish Scriptures to see just how serious this was

    Deuteronomy 13:1-16 If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, “Let us go after other gods” (which you have not known) “and let us serve them”; you shall not listen to the words of that prophet, or to that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God, fear him, keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and you shall serve him, and cling to him. That prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death, because he has spoken rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to draw you aside out of the way which the Lord your God commanded you to walk in. So you shall remove the evil from among you. If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend, who is as your own soul, entices you secretly, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods,” which you have not known, you, nor your fathers; of the gods of the peoples who are around you, near to you, or far off from you, from the one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth; you shall not consent to him, nor listen to him; neither shall your eye pity him, neither shall you spare, neither shall you conceal him; but you shall surely kill him. Your hand shall be first on him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. You shall stone him to death with stones, because he has sought to draw you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. All Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall not do any more wickedness like this among you. If you shall hear about one of your cities, which the Lord your God gives you to dwell there, that certain base fellows have gone out from among you, and have drawn away the inhabitants of their city, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods,” which you have not known; then you shall inquire, and make search, and ask diligently. Behold, if it is true, and the thing certain, that such abomination was done among you, you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, with all that is therein and its livestock, with the edge of the sword. You shall gather all its plunder into the middle of its street, and shall burn with fire the city, and all every bit of its plunder, to the Lord your God. It shall be a heap forever. It shall not be built again.

Even if, for some perverse reason, those closest to Jesus were so ashamed of their Lord that they wanted to doctor his teaching, the removal of all Indian influence in the accounts would not have changed what was heard by all the Jewish leaders eager to condemn Jesus and the countless thousands in the crowds listening to his sermons. Anything so foreign to their beliefs would have been indelibly edged into their minds and vigorously gossiped about throughout Judaism. Anyone seeking to counter this would have had to go anywhere by merely ignoring it; he would have gone into serious damage control, trying to put a positive spin on the undeniable facts.

Moreover, Jesus’ religious enemies were eager to accuse him of heresy and were continually trying to trap him (many examples) and yet they could find nothing except Jesus’ own staggering claims about himself (Mark 2:7; Mark 14:61-64) and failed accusations of Jesus not being as fanatically rigid as they were about the lengths one should go to in keeping the Sabbath.

And how could all the writers of the New Testament – the one’s Jesus carefully entrusted with the responsibility of recording his message for posterity – consider themselves disciples of Jesus if they were so ashamed of a stand out feature of their Master’s teachings that they not only did not teach it themselves but removed all trace from their accounts of Jesus’ teachings? Isn’t it preposterous that they would willingly suffer extreme flogging (Acts 5:40; 2 Corinthians 12:23-28) and death (Acts 7:59-60) for Jesus if they believed he was so wrong that his teaching contained doctrinal errors?

And if Jesus’ faithful followers carefully removed non-Jewish aspects of Jesus’ teaching from their records, what would have been their motivation? All of the synoptic gospels (John’s account was even later) end with Jesus’ commission to preach the message far beyond Jewish borders. With non-Jews quickly proving receptive to the Gospel message, and if there were aspects of non-Jewish beliefs in Jesus’ message, why would so many go to such extremes to try to rip out every trace of them?

One of the most radical aspects of early Christianity is that it moved out of the Jewish world to embrace non-Jews of all races. This was a source of considerable controversy at first because Jesus’ initial followers were Jews and they considered they had a special place in God’s heart. At this time when they were seeking to prove that this move to preach the gospel to non-Jews was truly of God, they would have been quick to seize the fact that Jesus went to India as proof that by going to non-Jews they were following in Jesus’ lead. Yet they never mentioned it.

There are three more webpages in this series. Each removes still further any possibility of Jesus having any cause to visit India. They show that Jesus rejected some basic tenants of most Indian religions and was not in any way influenced by Indian religion or thinking. The first webpage, Jesus’ Use of the Jewish Bible, reveals Jesus’ amazingly strong, consistent and exclusive commitment to the Jesus Scriptures as the source of spiritual truth.

In stark contrast to most Indian religions, eating meat (including cows) was of great importance to the Jewish Scriptures. The second webpage, Was Jesus a vegetarian? proves that Jesus both approved of eating meat and ate meat himself.

The third webpage, Reincarnation & Jesus, the Bible & Christianity, shows that Jesus did not believe in reincarnation.

Next webpage:

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Not to be sold. © Copyright, 1996, 2005, 2009, 2014 Grantley Morris. Not to be copied in whole or in part without citing this entire paragraph. Many more compassionate, inspiring, sometimes hilarious writings by Grantley Morris available free at the following internet site Freely you have received, freely give.



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