John Cleese: Why I believe Jesus performed miracles

John Cleese: Why I believe Jesus performed miracles
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 15/12/2023

- 13:17

In the latest episode of GB News series, the Monty Python’s Life Of Brian star focuses on faith, and said he believes religion is about controlling our egos

Monty Python legend John Cleese has revealed how he believes in the miracles of Jesus Christ.

The veteran comic made the admission during the latest episode of his GB News series the Dinosaur Hour.

In a programme, to be broadcast this Sunday (December 17), he discusses religion with leading academic Helen Bond, the Professor of Christian Origins at the University of Edinburgh.

Revealing how he believes Jesus did perform miracles, Cleese tells Professor Bond: “We hear about some of his sermons and some of his miracles, healing people, which I find quite possible because out there, there are healers who can do extraordinary things, I think there's no doubt about that at all.”

Asked by Cleese what evidence there is of Jesus’ existence other than the Bible, Professor Bond says: “There's actually really good evidence that he existed, it's not from absolutely the same time, but from about sort of 60 years later, there's a Jewish historian called Josephus, and he writes about Jesus.

“He was a Jewish historian, he's got no particular axe to grind about Christianity, he just lists it in amongst a sort of a series of tumults and problems that happened when Pontius Pilate was governor. And then, within a century of the life of Jesus, we have Roman writers mentioning him. So, we have Tacitus, we have Pliny mentioning Christians.

“People will say, ‘oh, well, that's decades later’, but, given the fact that Jesus was an artisan, he's the kind of person who would not normally show up in any kind of records. We've lost lots and lots of information, lots of written texts from the ancient world and we know more about Jesus than we actually do about many other significant people from the classical world.”

Concluding the show, Cleese says: “Having listened to everyone I find I come back to Aldous Huxley. “Religion can be either an experience of the divine, Alcoholics Anonymous might say of a ‘higher power’, a sense that there's something bigger and more important than we are. Or, it's about following rules so that you don't go to hell where little pink devils will poke you with red hot pitchforks for all eternity.

“Now, when the devil took Jesus up to the mountaintop and offered him power and dominion over everything, Jesus said he had more interesting things to do. Actually, I don't think it was the devil, I think it was Jesus's ego and I think the Beatitudes are all about trying to reduce the power of our egos.

“Unfortunately, our egos are very clever. So, if we start feeling extra humble one morning and start thinking, ‘oh, I'm proud of my humility’, then the whole thing collapses again. So, I believe that any religion that encourages us to look inside and to learn how to control our egos is a real religion.”

Watch The Dinosaur Hour on GB News at 6pm on Sunday.

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