Jesus of Philadelphia
Categories: North AmericaBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/jesus-of-philadelphia.html
For the past 8 months, almost every day, 28-year-old Michael Grant has been dressing up as Jesus Christ and walking the streets of Philadelphia to share a couple of sermons with Christians. With long brown hair and a thick beard, in a white cassock and brown cape, he really resembles the generally accepted image of Jesus Christ. Not surprisingly, he was soon nicknamed Philly Jesus, and he seems to like this nickname.
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1. “I'm not here to preach. I am here to plant the seed. I portray Jesus and remind of him, but I do not try to convert anyone to the Christian faith. Jesus is like Michael Jordan. I just put on his sneakers."
2. A few years ago, Grant was a heroin addict and homeless. He asked for alms and deliberately smeared his face with mud and put on rags so that they would give him more. When he was arrested and sentenced to a behavior modification program, he reached his moral bottom and suddenly discovered the Lord. “When I was at the bottom, Jesus was at the bottom,” he says. Grant wondered how he could share his faith in a positive way. It was then that he came up with the idea to dress up as Jesus in order to create a "visual ministry". Moreover, in his youth he had experience of participating in school theatrical musicals.
3. Walking the streets of Philadelphia, Philly Jesus is met with both sidelong glances and enthusiasm, and enthusiasm more often. Often people hug him and ask him for a high five. Grant has even reached the status of a local celebrity - they constantly want to be photographed with him.
4. Philly Jesus offers help to those who seek it and prays with them. He stops at every tramp on the street, prays with them and gives them money. “I correct people when they call me Jesus—I say I'm Philly Jesus,” Grant says. “And I quote the Bible all the time.” Philly Jesus has an iPhone, photos from which appear almost every day on his Instagram and Twitter accounts. He insists that he does all this not to impose his opinion, but only to positively introduce or remind people of Jesus. “I have no other job. I don't have a home. I live with friends. Sometimes I travel by couchsurfing. If people offer me money, I accept it. But I don't ask for anything. I'm no longer a beggar." Philly Jesus believes that he owes his success to his own optimism and great sense of humor.
5. In November, a new ice rink was opened on the basis of the city hall, and Philly Jesus can often be seen there on skates and with a hockey stick in his hand. “Jesus could walk on water, but I can skate on ice,” Grant laughs. — I'm bringing Jesus back at Christmas. I always say that Jesus is the root cause of this holiday. But that is not all. People come up to me all the time, and there are a lot of atheists among them, and they say that I inspire them because I don’t care how I look, and because I follow the call of passion at full speed.
6. In the "city of brotherly love," it's no surprise that Grant is spreading Jesus' messages of faith, hope, and love. Philly Jesus plans to continue like this for many more years to come. He also hopes to travel to other cities, speak to the people, and even write a book.
7. “When I get older, when the wrinkles cover my face, and the temples turn gray, I will turn into Philly Moses, and then I will need a true believer who can become my rightful heir.”