Monthly Archives: May 2013

IN THE WORDS OF JESUS–Part 691

Love is the Fulfilling of the Law

ON LOVE; PART CCLXXX

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GoodWill IS Love in Action

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Of all that the Master told us, He considered this as the Greatest of Commandments. So much of what we are to understand as aspirants or as believers is found in the precept that we must KEEP HIS WORDS:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).

We ask ourselves WHAT THEN IS LOVE?

In a general sense love is benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good. In a theological sense, it includes supreme love to God, and universal good will to men.

We add to this THE EVER IMPORTANT AND HIGH IDEAL TAUGHT TO US BY THE CHRIST which can serve to both give us an understanding of what it means to Love oneself and how it is that we can Love our neighbor:

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them“ (Matthew 7:12).

In the last essay we completed our work on the words on Love from the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians. Some of these verses ARE popular, very popular, in the churches, and some are quaint sayings and can be seen on the walls of homes around the world. However, from our perspective the intent of the apostle is lost in the illusion and the glamour that tells man that the reference IS to that Love that we may feel in this world and NOT in regard to the words of the Master as we see above, nor in the intent of both the Old and the New Testaments that speak of this Love in relation to how one interacts with his neighbors, his brothers and the stranger who qualifies as both. Most often it seems that many of these sayings are used to support the Love between man and wife, or any form of lovers in the world, as a way of understanding how partners should react to each other and, much to our chagrin, this does not work out so well as in these relationships there ARE two parties involved, both of which can see the self as the primary party, and, even if only one sees the relationship this way, it is likely to be difficult. The True idea of this Love is found in the Master’s words that tell us that we must Love another as we Love ourselves and as an aid in understanding this we find the Golden Rule which tells us that in looking at how we want to be treated we are defining for our selves the parameters of this Love of self with the understanding that it IS in this same way that we must treat others. This IS the reality of Love and it IS in this context that it WILL work; it will work in these relationships between husbands and wives and lovers of any sort, it will work between friends and close relatives, it will work individually and corporately and it will world around the world in most every interaction of men and it IS in this last part that we find the intent of the Master’s words as well as those of His apostles.

To limit then our understanding of this Love is to minimize the intent of the Lord who sees so much more in neighbor than the world seems willing to accept and Jesus DOES NOT stop here, He continues to explain this Love in His various sayings that DO give us the proper understanding of neighbor. Let us look here at a few of the Master’s words on Love as well as some of the clarifying ideas of His apostles.

  • Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). Of course it IS here that we must begin; it is here that the Master takes these two laws from the days of Moses and moves them forward to His day as the most important of commandments, superseding the Ten Commandments of which Paul will tell us later are included in the final part which tells us “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself“. The first part of this, on Love for God, is wrapped in mystery and there is little said about this as a saying. Generally seen as devotion and worship, we should understand that these are but human reactions of Love and while these may be included, the reality IS much deeper. Again we need to see these things through the parabolic structure and the interrelated sayings that point us to the right direction. The Master tells us, rather clearly in our view, that “the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21) and in John’s Gospel He gives us many sayings regarding this realization; He tells us as disciples that “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:20). Other sayings like “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30) and “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23), should give us that greater understanding of the interrelationship involved so that we can understand that as disciples, as those who keep His words, we have this realization of the Kingdom, and of Christ, and of the Father IN us. And we should understand that this IS part of the Constitution of Man, ALL men have this Kingdom Within and if the Kingdom IS Within then the Father and the Son who dwell in the Kingdom MUST be within as well, going unrealized without that revelation and realization. And we should try to see the added complexity that we find in ALL of this, a complexity that is essentially simple when our focus IS right but sorely difficult for the man focused upon the self and the things of the self and this IS that our individual correspondence to God IS within and that to Love God IS to Love that which IS within as the Soul, the God Within, the Christ Within…..synonyms ALL. And we should remember that this word above that is rendered as Soul is a confusing word as translations go as IS the understanding of just what the Soul IS from a doctrinal perspective. Here the Greek word psuche is rendered as Soul and we should compare this to another verse from Luke’s Gospel regarding discipleship where this same word is rendered as Life: “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). We offer this because we understand the Soul to be EVER ONE with God and that the Soul IS Love so that the meaning of the Master’s words above must be brought down to the level of the man in the world who, in our understanding, is instructed to Love God with ALL his heart (consciousness), ALL his Life (activities in the world) and ALL his mind (the thinking principal of that Life and consciousness in form). Another example of this realization of the God Within by the man whose focus is on God and the things of God comes from this saying by the Master who IS telling the disciples that they will be guided from within, from the God Within; He says: “For it is not ye that speak , but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you” (Matthew 10:20).
  • Naturally the next item on our list must be the Golden Rule which is stated in Luke’s Gospel as: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:31). This simple statement IS, as history shows us, a difficult thing for the majority of the world and this because to the sense of self that is developed in man and it is in our understanding that this sense must be overcome, and that we will eventually accomplish this saying by the Master which IS an integral part of keeping His words. As we say above, it IS in these words that we gain that needed understanding of the paramount saying that “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself“. It IS when these are viewed together that we can better understand our responsibilities in the world as aspirants and disciples, that we can see the reality of how one can Love oneself from a practical perspective while the spiritual perspective IS covered in the first part of thesw Great Commandments as we discuss in the point above and, so that this IS clear, we must remember that the True self IS that Inner man, the Soul and the God Within. In the last essay we offered the idea of understanding as a good starting place for Active GoodWill and therefore Love,  GoodWill IS Love in Action from our perspective and perhaps this idea of understanding can be useful to us insofar as the concept of self Love is concerned and here again we should realize the shortcomings of language to properly express these ideas that are yet clouded in the mysteries of Life.
  • To further emphasize the Master’s intent on this Love that we must have for ALL, we have these instructions from His words: “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye ? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:44-48). Can we see the intent in these words that we often use to exemplify the Master’s emphasis on Love for ALL. He IS telling us that no matter what we may think of another in the world from the perspective of the personality, this should be overwhelmed by that Love that we have for ALL and He emphasizes His point by reminding us that there IS nothing of profit for the man who only Loves those that Love him. Most importantly, Jesus ties this dialogue on Love to the reality of perfection so that we may see the importance of Love and the link to our Goal.
  • As we discussed recently there IS also the Master’s words on the reality of Loving God from another most practical perspective but one that IS missed by many. He gives us this as a parable but one which entails some combination of a story and of His reality; the story is commonly understood as eschatology because of the way that this begins but the reality is in the context of what it IS that He says and it IS unfortunate that this is not considered by some to be practical everyday teaching and it is equally unfortunate that others who may see this in a practical everyday way do not see past the examples that the Master Gives us; the whole of the encounter goes thus:
    • When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come , ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  For I was an hungred , and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in ? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  For I was an hungred , and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in : naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred , or athirst , or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:31-46).

Here in these words we have a True example of the Master’s hiding His message in plain sight by covering it in a saying that has multiple meanings. By His example of a king and his kingdom and the coming of the Son of man we interpret the end times and the return of the Christ as this immediately follows the Parable of the Talents or Mina’s which we cover in some detail in In the Words of Jesus parts 104-105, and were we find the returning governor and get the idea that we must use what resources we have been given, we must be profitable servants. Before this is the Parable of the Ten Virgins and here there is the lesson as well that we must be ready at ALL times, here for the coming of the bridegroom as in the previous the return of the governor. Now the message here is that we must be ready and in our understanding, we must be ready for ALL things; the Coming of the Lord or our own demise, for if we are not ready we have wasted an opportunity. But IS this Truly the point of the Master’s message? that the God of Love is preparing punishment for those who do not keep His words? Or can we see in the punishments the reality of the lost opportunity and the failure to find eternal Life which is to be done with rebirth in this world? Can we try to see that the real message here is that in Love for God there MUST BE Love for ALL, even “unto one of the least of these my brethren“. Can there be a clearer way of saying that one should Love thy neighbor?

  • We then have the new commandment that we are given by the Master which IS not Truly new and not at all intended to replace the Love for ALL with Love for one’s fellow Christians as this is sometimes held by Christians themselves. We discussed this recently from the perspective of to Love one another being a replacement for Love thy neighbor and premised the reasoning in the Truth that Love as the Master teaches is a most difficult enterprise and any narrowing of the meaning of His words is an easier way to go. This reasoning aside, we look today at the words: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34). Now there can be some confusion here but it is misplaced to think that another would supersede neighbor or any other similar construct. Vincent tells us this regarding this verse: New (καινὴν) See on Matthew 26:29. Commandment (εντολὴν) The word for a single commandment or injunction, but used also for the whole body of the moral precepts of Christianity. See 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Peter 2:21; 2 Peter 3:2. See also on James 2:8. This new commandment embodies the essential principle of the whole law. Compare also 1 John 3:23. Some interpreters instead of taking that ye love one another, etc., as the definition of the commandment, explain the commandment as referring to the ordinance of the Holy Communion, and render, “a new commandment (to observe this ordinance) I give unto you, in order that ye love one another.” It is, however, more than improbable, and contrary to usage, that the Holy Supper should be spoken of as ἐντολὴ a commandment 4. While Vincent debunks this doctrinal theory, he does not offer one of his own except as to say as Paul does that the whole of the law is tied to this Love. As we have discussed, there IS a new thing here that is generally not considered and it IS that the Master IS speaking to the Twelve alone and that He is telling them, and ALL who would be disciples after them, that not only must they Love ALL but that they must Love in the same way that He does and, as we KNOW from reading the gospels, this is not yet at this point True.

We will continue with additional sayings in the next post as it IS important for us to understand the importance of Love as the way par excellence to ALL spiritual accomplishment and it IS the way as well to finally see that “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14) which was the herald cry of the angel and the heavenly host at the time of the birth of our Master, the Christ.

We will continue with our thoughts in the next post.

Aspect of God

Potency

Aspect of Man

In Relation to the Great Invocation

In relation to the Christ

GOD, The Father

Will or Power

Spirit or Life

Center where the Will of God IS KNOWN

Life

Son, The Christ

Love and Wisdom

Soul or Christ Within

Heart of God

Truth

Holy Spirit

Light or Activity

Life Within

Mind of God

Way

 

Note on the Quote of the Day

This daily blog also has a Quote of the Day which may not be in any way related to the essay. Many of these will be from the Bible and some just prayers or meditations that may have an influence on you and are in line with the subject matter of this blog. As the quote will change daily and will not store with the post, it is repeated in this section with the book reference and comment.

We should ever understand that the purpose of our aspiration and of our discipleship is to bring into the world our expression of the Love and the Power of the Soul both as an example of the righteous Life and as a ready aid to our brothers, our neighbors and the stranger who qualifies as both. Our intent should be to serve and in our service to instill in others that same sense that we have; from a spiritual perspective to the spiritual man, and from a worldly perspective to the man who is yet grounded in the world. The Apostle Paul puts it this way for us from his own Life and personal experience:

for if I may proclaim good news, it is no glorying for me, for necessity is laid upon me, and wo is to me if I may not proclaim good news; for if willing I do this, I have a reward; and if unwillingly — with a stewardship I have been entrusted! What, then, is my reward? — that proclaiming good news, without charge I shall make the good news of the Christ, not to abuse my authority in the good news; for being free from all men, to all men I made myself servant, that the more I might gain; and I became to the Jews as a Jew, that Jews I might gain; to those under law as under law, that those under law I might gain; to those without law, as without law — (not being without law to God, but within law to Christ) — that I might gain those without law; I became to the infirm as infirm, that the infirm I might gain; to all men I have become all things, that by all means I may save some. And this I do because of the good news, that a fellow-partaker of it I may become;  have ye not known that those running in a race — all indeed run, but one doth receive the prize? so run ye, that ye may obtain” (1 Corinthians 9:16-24).

With this in mind we redo a past Quote of the Day and one that we have been using from very early on in this blog. The sentiment here is the fulfillment of our duty as aspirants and disciples and our duty it to instill these ideas in the hearts and minds of others.

Values to Live By

A Love of Truth—essential for a just, inclusive and progressive society;

A Sense of Justice—recognition of the rights and needs, of all.

Spirit of Cooperation—based on active goodwill and the principle of right human relationships;

A Sense of Personal Responsibility—for group, community and national affairs;

Serving the Common Good— through the sacrifice of selfishness. Only what is good for all is good for each one.

The world of the future depends on what each one of us chooses to do today.

Let the peace of God rule in your hearts!

  • 4 Word Studies in the New Testament; Marvin R Vincent D.D. 2nd edition, 1888

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