The Human Choice - 24
JOHN: The Fourth Witness.
1:1-4. "When all things began, the Word already was. The Word dwelt with God, and what God was, the Word was. The Word, then, was with God at the beginning, and through him all things came to be; no single thing was created without him. All that came to be was alive with his life, and that life was the light of men."
This statement allows us to begin a more realistic understanding of the nature of God and of the creation. It reveals an understanding of life and creation not only ahead of its time but only vaguely becoming visible to the more enlightened today.
Jesus - J'n 4:23-24. But the time approaches, indeed it is already here, when those who are real worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.
Such are the worshippers whom the Father wants. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. We should accept that Jesus describes God as spirit not as a physical being.
Jesus - J'n 5:18. My Father has never yet ceased his work and I am working too. This made the Jews even more determined to kill him. We may note from this that the creation is not yet complete; God has not yet reached his day of rest.
Jesus - J'n 5:39. You study the scriptures diligently, supposing that in having them you have eternal life; yet, although their testimony points to me, you refuse to come to me for that life.
The testaments show Jesus to be very scathing of some of those then called Jews. By the time of Jesus the area had become very multicultural and all those called Jews should not be confused with the Israel of the Covenant. The covenant people are clearly described as His sheep, and they follow Him. There is also a lesson here to those who give preference to general biblical quotations over the direct words of Jesus.
The Jews wanted Jesus to follow the strictures of Mosaic Law as they knew it, however Jesus brought freedom from this law and Christians, excepting those Judaeo-Christian, are not bound by the old law except in so far as it is in line with the adult standards of the Christian Revelation. My supporting witness for this comment is Galatians 4:1-11. The Moffatt translation may best express the tortured explanation offered by Galatians.
Jesus - J'n 5:43. I have come accredited by my Father, and you have no welcome for me; if another comes self-accredited you will welcome him.
It is apparent, even to this day, that people will believe an exciting speaker who delivers pleasing promises even though nothing is known of his background and his supporters have no understanding of how he might deliver his promises. People generally fail to follow the advice of judging a man by the fruit of his work.
Jesus - J'n 6:27. You must work, not for this perishable food but for the food that lasts, the food of eternal life.
Jesus - J'n 6:55-56. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells continually in me and I dwell in him.
Jesus - J'n 6:63. The spirit alone gives life; the flesh is of no avail; the words which I have spoken to you are both spirit and life. And yet there are some of you who have no faith.
Life is in truth and in spirit. God is spirit and the receptacle of truth. The spirit alone is eternal. When Jesus says "eats my flesh and drinks my blood" he refers to His spiritual being. As He says: .. the words I have spoken to you are both spirit and life.
Jesus - J'n 8:31-35. Turning to the Jews who had believed Him .. If you dwell within the revelation I have brought, you are indeed my disciples; you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free. "They replied, 'We are Abraham's descendants; we have never been in slavery to any man. What do you mean by saying, "You will become free men"?" In very truth I tell you, said Jesus, that everyone who commits sin is a slave.
We should be now able to see that we are committed to sin by what we choose to believe. Belief in the teachings of Satan make of us slaves to Satan and to our lower nature; we should beware of accepting the confusion of mixed and self-contradictory beliefs promoted within our culture today.
Although Jesus here shows that He accepts Jews as disciples if they accept the truth, it is notable that He is in a constant state of enmity with certain of those at that time called Jews and that His followers are often afraid of these people; example: John 7:11-13.
Jesus - J'n 9:41. If you were blind, you would not be guilty, but because you say "We see", your guilt remains.
He means blind in understanding. Those (Jew or Christian) who claim to be enlightened but do not accept Christian discipline and the continual rebirth to an increasing understanding of truth, are told of the consequences of their self-righteousness. I refer you back to Luke 6:46. Why do you keep calling me "Lord, Lord" - and never do what I tell you?
Jesus - J'n 10:16. But there are other sheep of mine, not belonging to this fold, whom I must bring in; and they too will listen to my voice. There will then be one flock, one shepherd.
Jesus - J'n 10:27. My own sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. As mentioned above Jesus had this very elegant solution to the problem of a confused mixture of people with their confused and different loyalties.
Jesus - J'n 14:6. I am the way; I am truth and I am life; no one comes to the Father except by me.
We notice here that in this important statement Jesus does not see life as mankind wants to see it. He does not claim to be love. Mankind wants to see the essence of life as love but love is not a basic, only an attribute, of life; truth is the basic, and real love, the love that leads a person to make sacrifice to the wonderful development of life and to the glory of life, is a product of human desire for honesty and truth.
Truth is not a supernatural essence but the very fabric of the structure of creation, life and living. Truth means telling the truth to the best of our ability; it means wanting, and being open to, the truth of life; it means the sacrifice of pride and prejudice - that means sacrifice of the 'self' we have chosen (or been misled) to believe is real; our sincerity is indicated by our desire to find and correct our mistakes.
Jesus - J'n 14:15-17. If you love me you will obey my commands; and I will ask the Father, and He will give you another to be your Advocate, who will be with you forever - the spirit of truth. Jesus - J'n 14:25-26. I have told you all this while I am still here with you; but your Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom my Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will call to mind all that I have told you.
Again we see that love is an attribute of life. Real love is a love such as that of a person who acts to support the object of that love; by a parent willing to discipline a child so that it will live a more satisfying and rewarding life than if it is left to grow wild and in conflict with the authority of life.
For a good parent the disciplining of a child may hurt the parent more than the child but it will be done for the child's sake. Good discipline is always a justice and so administered to cause regret for bad behaviour.
Satisfaction of a parental anger directed at a child - usually as result of a build-up of exasperation in consequence of failure to administer correct discipline at the right time - is abuse. As failure to administer just discipline is also a child abuse this child suffers a double abuse. To use TV for childminding or entertaining is also child abuse as this seriously reduces real-life experience and the child's ability to relate to real-life.
Love is pruning a rose so that it may produce a more beautiful display. It is discipline that indicates our level of commitment to love. Justice is a close relative of truth; justice means a just discipline of self and those in our charge; justice creates the beauty of life. If love does not result in discipline then it is a selfish love.
The difference in status between love and truth is that truth is always good - love can be selfish, even evil, as example: the child-abuse mentioned above.
Jesus - J'n 15:22 + 16:7-8. If I had not come and spoken to them they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin; ... it is for your good that I am leaving you. If I do not go, your Advocate will not come, whereas if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will confute the world, and show where wrong and right and judgment lie.
Here we see the real underlying cause for the great effort mankind has made to discredit and reject Jesus; it is because He made them, who delight in anti-social acts, personally guilty of the sins they commit. But those who love life and are prepared to sacrifice for the betterment of life are reminded that He will send an Advocate - the Spirit of Truth.
This again emphasises, in a very clear manner, that full understanding of His message would come later. choice24.htm
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