Jesus Christ – PR Genius
Today’s Gospel reading from the Mass (Luke 4:14-22) offers an example of the Awesomeness of Jesus:
 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and a report concerning him went out through all the surrounding country.  And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read;  and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
 And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.  And he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”  And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.
From this, it is clear that Jesus Christ was a PR (public relations) Genius, before there was even something called PR. In short, PR is using events and activities to draw attention to a person/product in order to gain a following.
Jesus Christ demonstrates that He is a PR Genius. Consider:
- Jesus had no rabbinical pedigree and was not an official priest, so for Him to teach in a synagogue was a bold move. Yet, Christ stands up and begins to teach in the synagogue. Imagine, someone who is not a priest standing up and giving a homily today. Bold and perhaps very controversial; the kind of controversy that might create “buzz”.
- Jesus knows Scripture well and immediately goes to a well-know and high impact passage from Isaiah; this passage had been on the heart and minds and lips of Jews for generations as they prayed and waited for the Messiah, the one who would save Israel.
- He must have had a brilliant delivery, for after He spoke, He closed the book and sat down and “all the eyes of the synagogue were fixed on Him.” Jesus Christ had transfixed the crowd and they were blown away, wanting to hear more. Here, Jesus is using drama to build up the excitement (and stress of the crowd).
- After a dramatic pause, Jesus pronounces in a very compelling and definitive way, that He is the Messiah! People must have been blown away.
- Jesus is claiming to have the “Spirit of the Lord” upon Himself.” This is a spectacular claim!
As we can see in today’s culture, many people vie for attention using all kinds of publicity stunts to draw attention to themselves, often doing nothing more than being “controversial”.
In stark contrast, Jesus Christ, who really is the Son of God and the Messiah, calmly makes the announcement in His home town. Of course it sparked controversy, which is just what Jesus wanted; He came to shake up the world, to break down the hard-hearted and to draw all men to Himself.
As the PR Genius that He was, it is clear that today, the whole world knows of Jesus’ name. Simply Genius. Divine Genius, that is.