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KYC this Christmas (3)

Now it happened that as he [Jesus Christ AD 31] was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one ………              Luke 9: 18-20


Identity theft is increasing. Every financial services business in Jersey has strict procedures regarding waste paper bins, their emptying and the shredding and destruction of contents. Many private homes also have shredders.


Under the Money Laundering (Jersey) Order 2008 all financial services businesses need to undertake KYC (know your customer) due diligence procedures every time a new business relationship is established.


Perhaps the most important part of KYC is actually identifying who the customer really is.


Passports need to be produced – but when the customer is outside Jersey a certified copy will have to suffice. It’s relatively easy to steal someone else’s identity that way – with a different photograph and some forged certificates.


But the identity thief needs to have stuff sent to a “convenient” address. So banks in Jersey ask to see original bank statements and utility bills that show the person’s name printed with the address that is to be used for the purposes of the new business relationship.


How about a KYC on the Christmas baby who has become the 30-year old Jesus of Nazareth? Is he able to prove his identity as required under KYC Law and banking policies?


Interesting question. Actually, a very interesting question.


First, the Account Opening Officer can turn to his birth certificate (as it were) via his genealogy. Two of Jesus’ biographers have recorded  his genealogy – one back to Abraham, the Father of all the Jewish race; another back to Adam, yes, the Adam written about in the ancient Jewish Scriptures – their national archive – in the book called Genesis now in the Christian Bible.


Second, the folk from his home town of Nazareth can identify him. They say, “Is not this the carpenter, the Son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?”


But, by AD 31, the huge crowds around the Christmas-baby-now-grown-up are beginning to be convinced that his identity is rather different. See above in bold print. They reckon that he is to be identified with one of their greatest historic men, whether of the recent past (John the Baptist – beheaded AD 30) or further back (Elijah – alive around 860 BC).


Within those crowds was a smaller group of key followers. What conclusion did they reach in AD 31? Their garrulous spokesman – a fisherman named Peter – speaks for them all, “The Christ of God.” In other words, God’s anointed, God’s sent-one, God’s Messiah promised to the Jews in every one of the many ancient books in their national archive.


Is this identity theft? Or is this Jesus’ real identity? Is he the “Son of the Most High”?


After Jesus’ death – immediately after actually – a Roman centurion (cent = 100 – in charge of 100 men; the origin of Jersey’s “centeniers”), “when he saw that in this way he breathed his last, said, “Truly, this man was the Son of God.”” And he was responsible for the execution of Jesus of Nazareth.


The Account Opening Officer needs to decide what to do. Name of Account holder: Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Yes, that’s correct.


But who is he? Who is this Bethlehem baby?

‘Far too often in this world we identify and are interested in only three persons: me, myself and I’ (Anon.)
‘The early Christians did not say in dismay, “Look what the world has come to”, but in delight, “Look what has come to the world.” ’ (Carl F H Henry, American theologian, 1913-2003)
Richard Syvret

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