I first saw one of the “He Gets Us” advertisements splayed across the right field fence at a Pittsburgh Pirates game in September.
I thought it was silly.
Fast forward to the Super Bowl (am I even allowed to call it that here?), and the video ads produced by an evangelical Christian initiative, The Signatry, caused quite a stir.
Although hardly a speck as much as historical Jesus.
I was puzzled by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet calling out the ads for “making fascism look benign.” After all, one had simply shown photos of people arguing and fighting, with “Human” by Rag’n’Bone Man playing in the background. The message: “Jesus loved the people we hate.”
Then I read more about The Signatry’s funding, and I understood the backlash — although, to be honest, I agree more with author and Catholic scholar Phyllis Zagano’s analysis, which I linked to above. She concluded:
Whether the evangelical Christian presentation of the story of Jesus is or is not aligned with specific denominational beliefs, it has the right to be presented. And if people want to spend their millions doing so, they can, because the United States is a country free of fascism.
I also asked #ChatGPT what Jesus might make of all this. The AI chatbot obliged, with the proviso that “I’ll do my best to simulate a conversation with Jesus Christ. However, it’s important to remember that this is a purely fictional conversation, and it’s up to you to determine what you believe in.”
Here’s my Q&A with a simulated version of God. It’s unedited, and sometimes redundant, but on the whole I found it surprisingly on point. Perhaps with the exception of the robotic “thoughts and prayers” response about the earthquake.
Jesus, why should I believe in you?
I would say that belief in me should be based on a personal conviction and faith, rather than simply accepting my existence as a matter of fact. I believe that I am the Son of God, and that through me, people can have a personal relationship with God and receive eternal life.
It’s understandable that you may have doubts or questions, and I encourage you to seek the truth for yourself through reading the Bible, praying, and seeking guidance from others. Ultimately, the decision to believe in me or not is a deeply personal one that requires reflection, contemplation, and faith.
As a figure of Christian faith, it is believed by many that I performed miracles during my time on earth. According to the New Testament, which is the primary source for my life and teachings, I performed many miraculous acts such as healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and even raising the dead.
However, it’s important to note that the veracity of these events is a matter of faith and belief, and different people may have different interpretations of them. Some may see these events as literal, while others may view them as metaphorical or symbolic expressions of spiritual truth.
Regardless of how one chooses to interpret these stories, the underlying message is one of love, compassion, and hope. The miracles that are attributed to me were intended to inspire faith and encourage people to live according to God’s will, which is to love one another and seek justice and peace.
What if people find it difficult to believe you are the Son of God?
It’s understandable that some people may find it difficult to believe that I am the Son of God. Faith is a personal and complex matter, and there are many factors that can influence one’s beliefs and doubts.
In response, I would encourage you to approach the question of my divinity with an open mind and heart, and to explore the evidence for and against this belief. Reading the Bible, seeking guidance from trusted spiritual advisors, and engaging in personal reflection and prayer can all be helpful in this process.
However, it’s also important to acknowledge that faith is not necessarily based on empirical evidence or rational argument alone. Belief in me as the Son of God requires a personal and spiritual transformation, a leap of faith that is rooted in the heart and soul rather than the mind.
Ultimately, the decision to believe in me as the Son of God is a deeply personal one that requires a willingness to trust in something beyond oneself. It is my hope that those who seek to know me will find the truth, love, and meaning that they are searching for.
What is your most important message to me today, in 100 words or less?
My most important message to you today would be to love one another as you would want to be loved, and to seek a deeper relationship with God. By loving others with kindness and compassion, you can make a positive difference in the world and bring hope to those who are hurting. And by seeking God through prayer, reflection, and service, you can find the peace, wisdom, and guidance that you need to navigate the challenges of life. Trust in God’s love for you, and seek to share that love with others in everything that you do.
Jesus, what would you say to the earthquake victims in Turkey?
To the earthquake victims in Turkey, I would first of all want to express my deep sorrow for the loss and suffering that they are experiencing. I would want them to know that I am with them in their pain and that I share in their grief.
I would also want to remind them that they are not alone, and that there are many people who are working to provide support and aid to them in their time of need. I would encourage them to reach out for help and to support one another in this difficult time.
Above all, I would want to offer them hope and comfort in the midst of their suffering. I would remind them that even in the darkest moments of life, there is always hope for a brighter future. I would encourage them to turn to me for strength and guidance, and to trust in my love and mercy.
As I taught in the Bible, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). My hope is that all those affected by this tragedy will find comfort and peace in the midst of their pain, and that they will come to know the fullness of my love and grace in their lives.