“Jesus didn’t fit. He had no home in any sect. He didn’t fit in with the Essenes, Pharisees, Zealots, Priests or Rabbis. He did not subscribe to any school of thought, whether it was the school of the great Rabbi Hillel, Philo the philosopher or the school of the Cynics which all had a strong following in his day.
Jesus identified with the whole of humankind irrespective of race, religion or gender. His vision was too transcendent for any sect.
Jesus was not a member of any exclusive group. He recognized that no group could have a monopoly of the supernatural human spirit anymore than they could restrict the working of God’s spirit to their little group.
Jesus’ friends supposed that only one group of people could work in Jesus’ name, whereas Jesus taught that everyone who responds to God’s Spirit and acts in a human way, is a Jesus in his or her own right.
Jesus was not part of any kind of Establishment – not an old one or a new one. Contrary to popular belief, Jesus did not replace Judaism with Christianity. At a later point, others built an Establishment called Christianity, but the itinerant Jesus had nothing to do with that. The very nature of an Establishment is contrary to his itinerant spirit.
Often to their dismay, Jesus’ close friends found that he would not stay in one place long enough for them to consolidate interests and central beliefs or take steps to organize a movement. Jesus always moved on. In fact, one time his three closest friends had a revelation on a mountainside, and wanted to build some kind of structure or monument to capture and display the glory of Jesus. They wanted to build some booths or some kind of monument to capture the glory of the moment. But Jesus, the incurable itinerant, would have none of it.
Jesus freely taught those who’s heart was open. Some of them followed Jesus and took up his message and way of life for themselves. But it’s doubtful Jesus ever took any steps to organize the church by ordaining twelve apostles, which is more closely aligned with the Old Testament tradition of the twelve tribes and further implies that the organization of the Christian church was the new Israel, began by Jesus. The whole notion of Jesus beginning a new hierarchy ruled by the chair of Saint Peter is a grave distortion of the whole character, life and teaching of Jesus.”
– Jim Palmer, Notes From (over) The Edge