This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Winter semester 1976 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Part of Lecture 22 given on March 1, 1976
16:13Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Who do men say that the Son of man is? 16:14And they said, Some say John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. 16:15He saith unto them, But who say ye that I am? 16:16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 16:17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven. 16:18And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 16:19I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 16:20Then charged he the disciples that they should tell no man that he was the Christ.
(Read Matthew version).
Please, get the distinction between these two questions, "Who do men say the son of man is?" The son of man is the human consciousness or human nature and men just means people, human beings, so, Jesus' first question is in a sense this, “what do men say about other men? how do human beings evaluate other human beings?" The answer is, "anything and everything." In other words, they are just opinions and anything goes in that ball game,, notice the variety of answers he gets, some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the prophets; in other words, anything goes in that realm, it is called the realm of erring of opinions and what are 9/10s of our opinions always about? other people. Most of our opinions are about other people, everyone has the right to their opinions and this is valid but, "Who do you say that I AM?" This is different, the Father reveals the answer to each one of us as He did to Peter, "you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God."
We ended our last class with the incident where Jesus asks the opinion airing question and he gets what he asks for, he gets a bunch of opinions and he did not respond to them, he just let them be aired, he responded in no way to that series of answers to the first question; in other words, by not responding to them, by not criticizing them or accepting them he is saying what to the human practice of airing opinions? It is permitted, it is not condoned, it is not forbidden, neither one. Doesn't this kind of make sense, the way we should feel and react to the differences of opinions among ourselves? You don't have to condone them, neither you have to forbid them because you want the same permission for your airing of opinions.
Now, that is on the human level of give and take of opinionating but then he switches the level of operation to the Truth, to the spiritual and then he asks, not an opinion airing question but a true question, “Who do you say I AM.” We get that question in the metaphysical sense as an appeal that is being uttered to you by every person who finds you important in any way. The soul of any person in your life who finds you important is, "Who do you say I AM?" "What do you think my reality is?" "What is the meaning of my being?" not, "What do you think my personality is?” but, “What do you think of my reality, of me.” You must answer that soul the appeal in the manner that Peter answers because that is the only correct answer to that appeal, which is coming to us from every person.
Haven’t you often found yourself wishing that somebody in your life could really see the reality about you instead of the personality traits or the memories of what you said, or what I said, or what you did or did not do? If instead of that, for that moment they could look through all that and really see the real you that you are. You would be so gratified, just as Jesus showed his gratification to Peter, "Blessed art thou Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” And so therefore upon Peter, upon the perceptive affirmative faculty is to be built the church of Christ. “Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” A characteristic of the affirmative faculty which is faith and upon this shall be built the church of Christ, the ever growing awareness and consciousness of the Christ reality. In the Matthew version of this incident there is an interesting sentence which has many implications. Which one is the true one? I am not sure but it says, “Then charged he the disciples that they should tell no man that he was the Christ.” We are going to turn that over to our own faculty of understanding.
Text of the original transcript of third paragraph of p.132 through the middle of page 133.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 04-02-2014