Message from Galilee

Posted on October 2nd, 2009

Concerning your question: “What is a person to make of the conflicting tales of the life of Jesus, as they are found in the four gospels?”

One need only review the Old Testament to recognize that by the time of Jesus’ appearance historically, the “gatekeepers” of the Temple had embalmed God.
Jesus—if one follows the thread which run through the accounts of the New Testament—recognized and emphasized that “God” is a living presence; and Jesus’ actions were a manifestation of this spirit. (“He [God] is not God of the dead, but of the living.”)

The accounts indicate that while Jesus was concerned that his message be understood (even by the illiterate), it became increasingly prudent—after the beheading of John the Baptist—for him to speak in metaphor (parable), to avoid being promptly constrained by the “authorities” (religious or political). The calculated risk, that nevertheless he would be understood, has proven over the centuries to have been overly optimistic.

Not even his chosen disciples managed to agree on the details of what they had heard—or, in many cases, on even what they had seen. (Which would probably be true of any typical group of people today, as well.)

He stressed that one has a personal, intimate, relationship to God, as a son has to a father; there is a “spiritual” presence in the universe which is as accessible as is one’s own father to oneself.

That expression which has been translated as the “kingdom of God”—or alternately, the “kingdom of heaven”—could also be translated literally as the “presence of God.” (See the Encyclopedia Britannica, and Asimov’s Guide to the Bible by Isaac Asimov for details.) And such references as to the “end of the world” are, in consequence, references to an ending of all that is worldly.
Jesus insisted that his followers must forsake the worldly, and, while being in this world, not be of it. He urged the giving of all one has to those who need it, and clinging not even to a concern for where one’s next meal is to come from, or where one is to lay one’s head. When dispatching his apostles, he instructed them to take only the clothing they wore, and not even one coin of money.

His message, in his view, was what was important—not the status of the messenger. His message, by example, illustrated the accessibility of a “heavenly”, tranquil presence…and, in its perception, the ending of fear—which is the release of the energy of selfless love. His message was that we are each an aspect of God—present in this presence.

His references to this presence, or kingdom of God, were from a first-hand perspective, having apparently been the culmination of a personal realization during forty days of solitude in the desert, prior to his appearance at the Sea of Galilee. This living spirit, to him, was closer than one’s hand. (“The kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”)

Anyone with the eyes to see and the ears to hear was implored by him to give every shred of their attention to the immediacy of this present spirit.

Even his disciples, however, to the very last, could not conceive of any godly presence except for a “Lord”, nor any heavenly state except for the state of Israel. Two apostles, after his death, were still remarking ruefully, “We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel!”

But Jesus was pragmatic, not idealistic: he responded to the situations which existed before his very eyes. He was not concerned with whether the world would change, but whether there were any individuals who might immediately change. The appointed time, he reminded, is now; and the place to start is here—with your self.(“…Receive the kingdom of God like a child.”)

We need not concern ourselves with the messenger, nor—once we have heard it—the message. You need only concern yourself with whether you are actively living the spirit of that which you perceive the message of truth to be. “Redemption” is not a product of the messenger or the message, but of personal action—the kind of personal action which involves the same insight which Jesus had…the insight that nothing separates you from this presence, but your “self”.


Posted in Living Nonduality, Christianity, Monograph, Books    Tagged with Jesus, Bible, Words


2 Comments

Cate - January 1st, 2012 at 10:53 AM
Beautiful and insightful. Thank you.
Name - April 12th, 2012 at 7:07 AM
Even though His message was the same as others who teach the Absolute, I wonder why He has lasted with such tenacity. We even measure Time by his his life B.C (Before Christ).

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