"The Jesus Guy" has been revealed: he is Carl James Joseph, a preacher from Detroit, Michigan. Joseph has created a stir wherever he goes, resembling Jesus and speaking the good Word to anyone who stops and asks.
Joseph has walked barefoot through 47 states and 13 foreign countries, including Jerusalem, where Jesus spent a great deal of his life. He has chosen to give up earthly possessions, including money, and depends on the kindness of strangers wherever he goes. Joseph wants his life to be like that of Jesus, traveling and sharing the Gospel when he can.
"I'm just a traveling preacher," Joseph told The Toldeo Blade in 2007. "I've always been open to whatever God may want. I never really set out with the intention of living this particular lifestyle. But once I recognize it was what God was calling me to do, I went along with it."
"It got very intense," he said of the public eye once people learned of his story. He was featured in Time magazine, on "Good Morning America" and other TV series in the U.S. and Europe. "It was a pretty major story all over the country and internationally as well; I somewhat ran away from it."
Joseph grew up in Toledo and joined the Catholic Church along with his older brother Vincent. Even though he never formally studied the Bible or attended seminary, he dedicated himself to reading the Scriptures and following the teachings of Christ.
"Yes, I've done an awful lot of reading on my own, but I would say it's especially through the gift of God, through prayer, that I've been able to share. And also, like Jesus, it's through experience … it's one thing to learn by reading; it's another to learn by experience," Joseph explained.
Even though he has his own followers, Joseph wants to always focus the attention to Jesus and God, especially during the Christmas season.
"I have a sense that God is calling me to something unique. Maybe there are people who want to follow a similar lifestyle, but I don't know about formalizing it as a religious order or something like that. I think one reason I've avoided that is to avoid the idea of a cult or something like that. The core of my being is wanting to follow Jesus in a more literal way," Joseph noted.
Watch a video of Joseph here: