Jesus will always be the source of division and controversy, even unto the present time, and will be until he returns. Some of the Pharisees despised Jesus and the ways he was detracting from their authority and leadership. Simply put, Jesus was a threat to their position in the community and their understanding of the Law.
Others were attracted to Jesus because he spoke with conviction and in a manner that was creative and touched the heart, as well as, the mind. He gave them new hope that a new way of experiencing God and faith may, indeed, change the world.
Jesus caused division... and he still does.
Some see him through the prism of social reformer
Or the savior of the world
Perhaps a revolutionary leader
Others see him as a social outcast vs status quo
Maybe Jesus is the ultimate pacifist
A hero and avenger
A suffering servant
Jesus is truly God Jesus is truly man
The list goes on and on, depending upon your politics and religious convictions. We all love to cast and recast Jesus in our own image or some idealized image that makes sense. In either case, Jesus becomes an idol of our imagination.
Jesus escaped definitions and descriptions that align him with a particular perspective. He defies them all and encompasses them all... or most of them. No one group or religion or theological perspective can lay the ultimate claim on Jesus.
But one thing is for certain, the Jesus that we proclaim in the Creed, the prayer of belief that unites Catholic, Protestant and Eastern Orthodox, gives us the foundation of his identity. From this prayer we study, meditate, pray, meet in Council, listen to people, listen to bishops, dialogue and remain committed to the faith community that speaks the most convincingly about Jesus and his mission, in the depth of our conscience.