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He Lives!

Posted by Roberta Grimes • April 20, 2019 • 23 Comments
Jesus, The Teachings of Jesus

We know for certain now that Jesus is real! He came from the highest aspect of the Godhead, and He entered a body two millennia ago with a set of goals that included teaching us how to lift ourselves spiritually so together we can transform the world.

All the forty thousand religious variants that profess to follow Jesus largely ignore what He said, and the core Christian teaching that Jesus died to redeem us from God’s judgment has no basis in fact. We have on occasion felt the need here to defend the Lord against fear-based religious notions, but on this day when we celebrate the fact that He literally, physically rose from the dead we join hands in love and simply listen to Him. His teachings are not the basis for a religion, but rather they are a way of life. And they can be put into practice equally well by people who are devoutly religious and people who have no religion at all. Every clergyman of every religion can use these teachings to aid his own flock’s spiritual growth! As Jesus said, “Therefore every clergyman who has become a disciple of the kingdom of God is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old” (MT 13:52).

The fact that we have available to us so much of what Jesus said is a miracle. His words were passed down orally for a couple of generations, and then they were translated into Greek and Latin before later being translated from those languages into English. The words of Jesus were in the custody of the Catholic Church from the fourth century on, and in the course of all those years the Church added anachronistic bits that we ought to pluck out. Still, the Lord’s genuine truth survives! We have recently quoted here the Lord’s teachings on love, forgiveness, and the advent of the kingdom of God on earth, so we won’t include them again today. Here, simply organized by topic, is a further sampling of the Gospel wisdom of Jesus.

ALWAYS BE A SEEKER

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (MT 7:7-8).

FOLLOW MY TEACHING

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (LK 6:46).

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (JN 8:31-32).

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (MT 11:28-30).

The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work” (JN 14:10).

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall” (MT 7:24-27).

“You are the light of the world. … Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (MT 5:14-16).

BE HUMBLE

“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye” (LK 6:41-42).

The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted (MT 23:11-12).

Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great” (LK 9:48).

THERE IS NO DIVINE JUDGMENT

 “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father” (JN 5:22-23).

If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world (JN 12:47).

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned” (LK 6:37-38).

BEWARE OF RELIGIOUS IDEAS

Beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits… A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit...  So then, you will know them by their fruits” (MT 7:15-20).

Beware of the clergymen who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places… who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation” (MK 12:38-40).

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of God from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” (MT 23:13).

“Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men… You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition” (MK 7:8-9).

“Why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?… You hypocrites! Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’” (MT 15:3-9).

DO NOT PACKAGE MY TEACHING WITH RELIGIOUS IDEAS

But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results.  Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved” (MT 9:16-17).

Therefore every clergyman who has become a disciple of the kingdom of God is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old (MT 13:52).

DEVELOP A DIRECT PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

“So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret… when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (MT 6:2-6).

GOD WILL CARE FOR YOU

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them… And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these! But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’…  for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (MT 6:25-33).

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two” (MT 5:38-41).

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you … If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.  And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (LK 6:27-36).

SPIRITUAL GROWTH IS THE ONLY WEALTH

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (MT 6:19-21).

For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light. So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him” (LK 8:17-18).

MY COMMISSION TO YOU

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.  This is my command: Love each other” (JN 15:11-17).

On this Easter morning, you and I are gathered at the feet of the risen Lord. We hear Him freshly, and we listen to Him! His teachings by themselves are whole and complete. They come to us through Him from the Godhead, and we live in the wonder of that awareness. We resolve now to put His teachings first, above religious notions, the Law and the Prophets, the Letters of Paul, and every fear. Jesus is our universal Teacher and the emissary of the genuine God. No matter what religion we follow, and even if we have no religion at all, from now on we will follow Him.

 

Easter Eggs photo credit: M.P.N.texan <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/8113246@N02/39095607394″>99¢ Easter 2018</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Hugging photo credit: Sterling College <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7973252@N08/43074652381″>Commencement2018_0817</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Roberta Grimes

Roberta Grimes is an internationally recognized expert on death and the afterlife. Learn More

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23 thoughts on “He Lives!

  1. Thank you!! I have read this and feel happy to reconnect to Jesus. I rejected Christian teachings for so many years and thanks to you Roberta I want to explore more about Jesus.

    1. Oh dear Tanya, that is the nicest thing anyone ever has said to me! If I have helped to bring you back to wanting to reconnect with Jesus, that makes me feel that my whole life is worthwhile. Thank you!! And if you ever have questions that I might help you answer, you always can reach out to me through this website.

    1. Happy Easter, dear wonderful Mike. It’s beautiful that we all can connect here, and I love working all of this out together!!

  2. Thank you dearest Roberta.
    Now I begin to see that this is the time for connection and reconnection to the true Jesus.
    Happy Easter Roberta and to all who are part of this blog.
    Perhaps we were all born for a time like this. 🙏🏼❣️🌅🌿

    1. Dear Efrem, it seems ever clearer that you are right, and it is Jesus Himself who is reaching out to so many of us, and not the other way around! More and more we are receiving ever better evidence that Jesus is actively working in the world, and engineering all that is happening now. The largest religious denomination in the United States has lately become “None,” but yet Jesus’s approval rating overall is at ninety percent? No one now in a body could have planned such a wonderful turn of events!!

  3. Thank you Roberta for your efforts to bring The Way back to the world, a world that needs it now more than ever.

    1. We are all working at it together, dear Scott! And as I remarked to Efrem above, the One working hardest seems to me more and more to be the Lord Himself. But it does feel wonderful, doesn’t it, to be working together on the Lord’s team?

    1. Oh dear Sally, I am so glad to be able to give you that reminder! We are all really just beginning now to find our way back to the movement that those who knew Jesus in life began, the movement that flourished for 300 years before the Christian church-building consumed it. More and more, this does feel like going home, like reconnecting with who we truly are, and like resuming the process of bringing the kingdom of God on earth that was interrupted so long ago!

  4. Oh, dearest Roberta, your summary is just wonderful.
    That is the Jesus I have tried to follow, outside any church buildings. But I did learn about him first in buildings, first my primary school, then Sunday school, but not so much churches.

    There are two sayings I can see might have influenced the institution of churches, and that is he said he did not come to judge, but to save the world. But again he also said that God has left the judgement to the son. Could he mean ALL sons, and daughters too? Meaning we judge ourselves, like people with near death experiences have said?

    Thanks for all your wonderful writings!

    Gerda.

    1. Hello dear Gerda! Thank you for your thoughts. Yes, I do think that Jesus’s saying He had come to “save” the world gave some comfort to the religion-builders, but there is so much evidence in the Gospels that God doesn’t judge us that if they were carefully reading the Lord’s Gospel words it would not be “save the world from God” that was their first thought. Instead, Jesus came to save the world from ignorance, guilt, and fear. And wonderfully, His teachings give us the means to do exactly that!

      And when Jesus said that God had entrusted all judgment to “the Son,” He almost certainly meant Himself. Because for Him to have spoken against the prevailing religion would have been a capital crime, He often gave us large truths that went contrary to Judaism over two or three days in order to keep the Temple guards from catching on, and this was one such instance. He couldn’t have said flatly that God doesn’t judge us – which is true! – so on one day He said that God doesn’t judge us but He gave a plausible reason why; and He managed to squeak that past the guards. Then on a different day He said that He – the Son – doesn’t judge us either. There are a number of such instances in the Gospels. If He could have come right out and told us that the prevailing religion was wrong and then given us the plain truth, puzzling things out now would be so much easier!

      Yes, the afterlife evidence indicates that we do judge ourselves, but only so we can better learn and grow spiritually from the experience of our life just completed. There really is no punishment-related judgment by ourselves or by anyone else.

      Thank you for your thoughts, dear Gerda!

      1. It’s crucial to bear in mind the context in which all His teaching was presented for us now to really understand how “out there” He was: people had never heard anything like this in the Roman Empire: love love love! Forgive forgive forgive! Pray and give in secret. Love more. Forgive more. When all is said and done, seek God within you to find real power (which people had very little of) and transform your mind (long before people had “psychology” as a household concept).

        1. Very important point, dear Mike! He was speaking to Iron Age primitives whose only awareness of God was as a cranky and judgmental power who inspired fear and awe, but of course not love! I think this is why Jesus called God Father – to try to transform their view of what God is – and why He emphasized that God is loving Spirit who remains with us and within us. But yes, Jesus’s ideas were far more radical for that time than we realize!

          1. I have read many things about Jesus’s possible connection with the Essenes, either knowing them, getting training from them, or even being one. Do you think any of those radical ideas are in sync with what they taught? Whether yes or no, I have the feeling he went way beyond where they were at.

  5. Thank you Roberta. I always enjoy your posts. Jesus has always been my friend and greatest teacher. You are the best.

    1. Oh my dear Robert, thank you for commenting here! What seems especially wonderful about Jesus is that He doesn’t present as a religious figure, but rather He really is a personal friend; even children can see Him that way. And He is such a wonderful Teacher! It is tragic that so many traditional Christians ignore that, and I am especially glad that you see it.

      We will be deviating just a bit from our Gospel studies next Sunday, since I have some information to share with you. I hope you won’t mind!

  6. Dear Scott, you bring up an interesting point where the Essenes are concerned. I haven’t studied them since college! I have just begged the assistance of Mr. Google in refreshing my memory, and i feel more strongly now than I did when I first studied them that, if anything, the ministry of Jesus was a reaction against the Essene form of strict legalism and piety. The Essenes were a devoutly religious sect, while Jesus spoke against that sort of rigid adherence to religious rules, so if anything His teachings would seem to be a reaction against what they taught and believed.

    It was my long-ago professor’s hunch that during the 17 or so years between Jesus’s early teens and the start of His ministry – often called “the lost years” – He may well have spent some time with the Essenes, who were an ascetic Jewish sect, not learning from them so much as seeking to better understand their approach to religion and how He could best ease the human impulse to religiosity that was so prevalent in first-century Jews.

    I don’t think that we ever will know for certain what Jesus was up to as a teen and young adult, but my personal belief is that He probably spent most of that time simply living. He came to us as an Ascended Master, from the highest aspect of the Godhead, and He was in direct contact with Spirit. In effect, as He tells us, God was His spirit guide. So He wouldn’t have needed to learn anything spiritually! But an important part of His mission was to closely study human life, and I personally think that was what He was doing: He was learning more about how normal people think and feel so He could better hone His message for when the time arrived for Him to share it.

    To that end, I think it is much more likely than not that Jesus was married in His latter teens, and He had children. As an educated and devout Jewish man of His day, for Him not to be married and a father would have been a shocking aberration! I think it’s likely that He worked as a carpenter, following His stepfather’s trade, as witness a few of His colorful allusions – to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye, first take the log out of your own eye; and build your house not on sand, but on a rock.

    You are right, dear Scott! Jesus did go very far beyond the Essenes, and to do that perhaps He did need to study them in order to understand them. Great question!

    1. The images presented to me of Jesus were always of a solemn, brooding figure (I guess they meant him to look pious). He couldn’t have been that way, or what fisherman would have listened to a word he said? What tax collectors, what centurions? What children? What anyone?

      He must have been very approachable and a good conversationalist. We have the anecdotes of his dining with regular people. We have His parables. He was a storyteller, too.

      It does seem logical to think that he was very lose to his Nazarean roots his whole life. As you say, He must have been a friend to everyone — except maybe the Romans and the Temple Sanhedrin.

      It’s too bad none of His jokes survived!

      1. These are wonderful points, dear Mike. It is so good to be getting to really know Jesus as few people in history ever have known Him!

        When you read the Bible straight through and come to the Gospels, the difference is extraordinary: it’s like slogging through ancient religious writings forever, then coming abruptly to the words of a 21st century man. Compared to everyone else in the Bible, Jesus seems modern, human, and full of depth; it always used to surprise me, back when I was reading the Bible daily. And what He says is interesting, clever, even amusing to read, even though it was an oral history for so long and then it went through at least two translations. It does feel as if we are listening to Him speaking!

        And much of it was radical in the ears of those first-century primitives. It broke the rules in clever ways! His disciples are plucking heads of grain on Saturday? He says, “The Sabbath is made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Should people pay the tax or not? Well, who is depicted on the coin? Um, it’s Caesar. “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s.” Do we have to forgive the same stupid thing someone does even as much as SEVEN TIMES? “No, not seven times. SEVENTY times seven times.” Clever! And all the stories He tells are entertaining. You can easily imagine that people would follow Him, just to hear what He might say next. He makes everyone else in the Bible seem to be kind of a doofus by comparison!

  7. Thank you Roberta. That makes so much sense. It wasn’t necessarily that he was learning from the Essenes, or some of the other groups he is said to have visited, but instead about them – getting the lay of the land, so to speak.

    1. Exactly! He came to earth knowing all the great truths, but in order to impart those truths to us He needed to better understand these exotic creatures, these human beings living in material bodies. My primary guide, Thomas, once told me that Jesus was so elevated that God could literally inhabit Jesus and “look through His eyes” in an effort to better understand human beings. I thought that was an extraordinary insight!

      1. As an interesting bit of speculation, Jesus’s good friend (some have even claimed stepfather) Joseph of Arimathea was a dealer in tin from England and was very wealthy, with his own ships. He could easily have helped Jesus visit places, even Britain to meet Druids. Also, some ancient Welsh legends say he brought followers and relatives of Jesus there after the crucifixion as a refuge from Roman persecution. He gave up worldly things and helped found the first churches, becoming a saint to the Welsh. So some of the first followers of The Way were firmly established in Wales and Britain. I believe the Roman church eventually grudgingly recognized the Welsh church as the first or oldest church. I hope to learn more about these early Welsh followers of Jesus at some point.

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