He was a successful and prosperous man living in a time when his countrymen suffered at the hands of an oppressive government. He benefited from the education, wealth and prosperity that came from being a member of a semi-elite socio-religious class within the ranks of the oppressed, a class reluctantly in collusion with their political masters. He was zealous in his dedication to the law and in no time he had made a name for himself among his people, as well as with his people’s masters.
At some point though, he experienced a change of heart. He began to talk of another way, a way of liberty and justice for his people, encouraging them to share community in a peaceful and loving manner. He gave up the trappings that came with his class and took up a much simpler and more modest way of living.
Adopting a nomadic lifestyle, he travelled the length and breadth of the land, speaking about and writing his ideas for a better way of life. He taught his people the means to accomplish this; means that were based upon the teachings of one Jesus of Nazareth. Although preaching peace and freedom, he soon gained the attention of the authorities, who, fearing he was becoming too popular among the masses, had him arrested repeatedly on charges of treason and civil disobedience. He spent much of his adult life in courtrooms and jail cells but even outside of prison walls he suffered profoundly for his beliefs. He was ridiculed, harassed, harangued and beaten. Eventually he was murdered. The growing and enthusiastic response to the good news that he spread across the land finally convinced his oppressors to repent of their ways, opening the doors to freedom for his people.