Jesus and Mary in Australia?

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After 2,000 years, Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene have returned to Earth. Well, maybe not.

Alan John Miller, 47, and Mary Suzanne Luck, 32, claim to be the couple reincarnated and returned to Earth. So far, they have gathered about 40 followers who have bought their claim.

“Just a little over 2000 years ago, we arrived on the Earth for the first time,” Miller said. “Because of my personal desire and passion for God, as I grew, I recognized not only that I was the Messiah that was foretold by ancient prophets, but also that I was in a process designed by God that all humans could follow, if they so desired.”

“I don’t want to be Jesus. Who wants to be Jesus?” Miller told his followers. “But I love the divine truth.”

Catholic and Anglican leaders, as well as a cult awareness group, have expressed concern that the couple are appealing to vulnerable people upon whom they depend for donations to sustain their lifestyle. A mini-property boom has broken out around their acre of property in Australia because some people will apparently pay premium prices to live close to “Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene.”

Said Miller, “If you ever get the opportunity to talk to my parents, Joseph and Mary from my 1st century life, and Maxine and Alan from this life, you will find out that I have always been passionate about having a relationship with God.”

When speaking about his claim of being Jesus Christ reincarnated, Miller replied, “There’s probably a million people who say they’re Jesus and most of them are in asylums. But one of us has to be. How do I know I am? Because I remember everything about my life.”

Well, alrighty then!

Of course the Bible itself, which Christians consider to be the Word of God, nowhere teaches reincarnation. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). There is, then, this life and the afterlife, but there is not a succession of one life after another.

Christianity holds no room for a belief in reincarnation and neither does Islam. As far as I know, the concept of reincarnation is not present in Judaism either.

It is always perplexing, in my experience at least, as to why those who claim to be a reincarnated being were always great historical or aristocratic figures. I have met several women who were once Cleopatra, and a few who were Alexandra the Great or Julius Caesar. I have never met a reincarnated horse thief or a town drunk. I have met a few who claimed to be Jesus Christ, but all of them had some form of mental illness.

So what about the couple in Australia? Well so far, Jesus hasn’t yet walked on water (even salt water, which should be an easier task), nor has he fed 5,000 people from just a few loaves and fishes. Neither have I read of the dead being raised to life or the incurably sick being healed. That would be big news, of course.

Following the crucifixion and resurrection of the original Jesus, St. Thomas put his hands into the nail holes in Jesus’ hands and thrust his hand into the wound in his side. Wonder if this version of Jesus bears those scars?

The Aussie “Jesus” said, “There’s probably a million people who say they’re Jesus and most of them are in asylums.”

I wonder if they have room for one more?

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. (www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and may be contacted at frepps@ctkcec.org.]