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On eagles wings: Our recovery from Coronavirus (XXI). The highest virtues sage of our times – JesusChrist

In my last post, I already secured to continue with Jesus-Christ, the top philosopher of all the virtues ethics theories in our times.  But before proceeding further, let me reflect on some details about Aristotle, and why is he still linked with our present, even though he died more than 2000 years ago.

Blue Jay1 x Elevate

“Hey, watch my brand new wings!” A petit aquarelle of a blue jay bird. Handmade with love on Fabriano 5 paper, by Eleonora Escalante. Size: 5 inches x 7 inches.

  • Aristotle was, by far a gifted man. His legacy was so “flamboyant”, his writings and books gave us thousands of thinking material, that nevertheless so many centuries later, we are still speaking about him.
  • Aristotle’s virtues approach was so clever because he basically opened to us the door to think about the human character. He observed how character and moral reasoning can be acquired through education and practice (experience).
  • Aristotle was a teacher. He also tried to tutor Alexander the Great, at the “intellectual level”: but in my opinion, Aristotle’s job with Alexander wasn´t victorious at the “virtuous level”. Of course, Aristotle taught Alexander´s “intellectual knowledge” with excellence, but the “virtuous” training was weak and incipient given his disciple age. Aristotle knew that Alexander needed several years to develop his moral goodness.  The life of Alexander the Great was short (356-323 BCE), his immaturity when he got the Throne at 20 years old was unmistakable evident. But Alexander´s youth made him fool of himself to assume his conquering expansion journey. When this Aristotle disciple started his dominating territorial crusades,  Alexander the Great was not ready in terms of character development, he wasn´t ripe enough yet for such Macedonian expansion. Alexander´s death is the demonstration of the lack of moral virtues in his life. This is a vivid case or example of the context of time and its importance for building moral virtues before initiating leadership endeavors.  Alexander´s character lacked rational control of his passion´s desires. He also was not able to know when to stop, when to self-restraint in his ambitious plans. Yet he conquered Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, Babylonia, and Persia.


    Aristotle Instructing the Young Alexander the Great

  • Aristotle’s legacy was the beginning of the theory of moral goodness. Indeed, education is the process in which we acquire intellectual virtues, but if the moral virtues are not linked to intellectual development, then the result is the moral chaos in which we live. Moral virtues are not a religion, even though Christian religious denominations are an excellent source of moral virtues. Moral virtues must be taught at home, at school, at the Church, and developed by trial and error through several decades of practice. Particularly moral virtues are the only recipe that can help us to control our avid desire for more disruption, more destructive technologies, more irrational innovation using erroneous business models, more excessive fragmented ideologies that causes so much pain, wars, and conflicts.
  • Discipline: This term has a different meaning for Aristotle.  Nowadays many adults have confused discipline with punishment or authoritarian enforcement. For Aristotle, discipline meant to train by instruction and practice, a training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, moral and mental improvement. Discipline associates as the art to make disciples (Disciple is a pupil, one who assists in spreading the teachings of the master). For example, anyone who tries to become a visual artist or writer or problem-solver knows that the excellent quality of your oeuvres comes by learning daily on a ritual basis. It requires discipline and dedication to create a habit to paint for several hours daily, to write for several hours daily, and to solve problems frequently. The excellence of your work comes with time, with commitment, positive devotion, and repetitive practice,  as much as the excellence of your moral virtues.

The last idea lands us into Jesus-Christ, the son of God.  Now it is our turn to study his life, and why I name Jesus as the top virtues philosopher of our times.

Savior is born Joseph Brickley

The Savior is born. By Joseph Brikley

Who was Jesus-Christ? Jesus in the secular dictionaries is defined as “ A teacher and prophet who lived in the 1st century of this era, and whose life and teachings form the base of Christianity”. A too simplistic definition for my taste.

Jesus was born before the death of Herod’s Great (4 BCE). No one really knows with exactitude the day of birth of Jesus, the range of his naissance date is between 7 to 4 BCE; Probably he died in the Easter week of the year 30 ACE. In consequence, when he passed away his age was between 33 to 37 years old.

The beauty of Jesus’s life was written in 4 books from the evangelists, Mark, John, Luke, and Matthew. You can find tonnes of information about him in the Bible New Testament. If you compare the data in between the 4 authors’ gospels, there are common aspects of Jesus as a Friend, a Minister, a Missionary, and a Teacher of the Word of God.

Personally, I am a believer. So I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the creator of our hopes´ life and existence. Jesus proved his nature through miracles and signs. He has been the only human in history who defeated the death and resurrected after his assassination by the Romans. No other prophet of any other religion or denomination has been able to do this. His unique life was described as a human and as incarnated God.

Jesus as a commoner mortal human. Jesus as a human, was a Jew, a simple carpenter, who pursued the same career as his father Joseph. Jesus’ look was impressive, with an attractive personality (Luke 11,27). Like any other human residing in his region, he lived the same historical context as the Jews and Samaritans under the Roman Empire led by emperors Augustus (27 BCE to 14 ACE) and Tiberius (14-37ACE). During his infancy, Jesus remained for some years in Egypt. His childhood and youth were normal (Luke 2: 40,52). After he was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, Jesus was trained to resist sin. The Holy Spirit and his father God tested him. Jesus was tempted in the desert by the power of Evil (Satan). This happening was formative in Jesus’ character, by far God was teaching him the virtues that he was going to need during his future years as a Minister and Missionary. Jesus learned how to pray in the middle of distress and learned the discipline of the faithful obedience and respect to his Father God.

Jesus experienced each and all the human limitations and pains. He suffered famine, thirst, and fatigue (Mark 4, 38). He was a hard-worker (Mark 3,20; Mark 6,31). He did not sin (Hebrews 4, 15). The reason for Jesus´s healing miracles rest in the fact that He lived in absolute communion with his Father God, and he was full of the strength of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus never acted alone. He established a sense of community. He searched for a team of 12 disciples with whom he traveled, shared occasions of quotidian interactions, taught about God´s values, and performed miracles. His action territory was to and from Galilee, Jerusalem, Nazareth, Capernaum, Tire, Sidon, and Cesarea of Filipo.

Jesus as a teacher.  Jesus was able to serve and equip his team for the next years in which he knew in advance he was not going to be able to accompany physically, but with the Holy Spirit. Jesus prepared his people in the middle of controversies, he held a superior authority when he was confronted with the Jewish leaders at the synagogues. As a master of humbleness, his miracles made him extremely popular, expressly his fame rose up when he proved that he could feed more than 5 thousand from scratch ( Mark 6, 30-44). He refused to be crowned as a king, which show us that he was not a political figure. Jesus was a master of pedagogy. He used simple and vernacular language through parables. But he taught the most by becoming a role model to everyone who met him. Through the parables (storytelling) and actions (miracles and interactions with others), Jesus was transparently clear to explain the nature of the Kingdom of his Father, the role of him (as a Son of God), and the virtues that God is expecting and searching in his followers. Jesus was so charismatic, magnetic, and captivating to masses, that the Roman governors and the Jewish religious leaders felt provoked by his presence. So they knew that Jesus was a predicament problem for that society. They wanted to counteract the influence of Jesus over the population. Since Jesus was confused as a “political” enemy to the Roman-Jewish status-quo, then preferably Jesus presence had to be barred. The Jewish leaders decided in advance and manipulated the Romans to sacrifice Jesus.

Christ Carrying the cross

Christ Carrying the Cross ca. 1577–87 El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) Source:

Jesus’ corporeal body was killed in Jerusalem. After being tortured, condemned unjustly to Crucifixion (Mark 15, 34). His sacrifice was the beginning of his Resplendence and Glory.

We can´t understand such forfeiture without resurrection. Three days after his death, Jesus appeared to his friends, followers, and disciples. After such a wonderful miracle, there was no doubt that Jesus was the Son of God. During the next 40 days after his revival, Jesus continued appearing and providing guidance to all his friends, just to about the coming of the Holy Spirit, which has become the presence of Jesus and God-Father in this world since then.

Jesus as incarnated God. I will continue with this section tomorrow. In addition,  I will offer you a list of Jesus´s virtues or ethical values that you can read in any of the 4 Gospels of the New Testament.  Jesus expects us to develop his own virtues throughout all our life.

Blessings have a beautiful Thursday. See you tomorrow.

eagle fight dance

Sources of reference to write this article:

Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY.  Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.


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