The Fourteenth Chapter of John (Rabel)
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. Lecture given on June 3, 1976
14:1Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me. 14:2In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 14:3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 14:4And whither I go, ye know the way. 14:5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; how know we the way? 14:6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me. 14:7If ye had known me, ye would have known my Father also: from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
14:8Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 14:9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou, Show us the Father? 14:10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works. 14:11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.14:12Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father. 14:13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14:14If ye shall ask anything in my name, that will I do.
14:15If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments. 14:16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever, 14:17even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you.
14:18I will not leave you desolate: I come unto you. 14:19Yet a little while, and the world beholdeth me no more; but ye behold me: because I live, ye shall live also. 14:20In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 14:21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him. 14:22Judas (not Iscariot) saith unto him, Lord, what is come to pass that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 14:23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 14:24He that loveth me not keepeth not my words: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me.
14:25These things have I spoken unto you, while yet abiding with you. 14:26But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you. 14:27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful. 14:28Ye heard how I said to you, I go away, and I come unto you. If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced, because I go unto the Father: for the Father is greater than I. 14:29And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe. 14:30I will no more speak much with you, for the prince of the world cometh: and he hath nothing in me; 14:31but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
Now we come to the great, great chapters in John, Chapters 14-17. You will notice in your “Harmony of the Gospels”, starting on Page 197, it is solid discourse for five pages, straight out of John. These are the great farewell discourses and the great intercessory prayers. These chapters in John are unique among all religious literature. They are monologues spoken by Jesus, mostly from the absolute Christ; but occasionally, the divinely human level of Jesus speaks, not one-hundred percent Christ-consciousness. There are moments when the divine human speaks also.
It is important to remember that these words in these discourses apply both to His immediate followers of that time in a direct and very warm and personal way, but the words are applying directly to all seeking minds also in humanity in any time, any place, under any circumstances, in other words, universal or metaphysical Truth. These discourses, taken in their entirety, are so great and so deep and so esoteric, that at least in my efforts, I cannot go through them and metaphysically interpret them the way I am able to do other sections of the Bible. I find that when I start to do that, I just blank out. I can only go so far, and my mind will not go any further; but what I can do and have been doing, and this has proved to be very rewarding to me, is keep coming back to them and following my nose, so to speak. I just come back to them and let Spirit guide my eye-focus and go in on not more than two or three sentences at a time. Over the years, you build up a love and a respect and general understanding of what He has in mind. I have culled some of it, taken excerpts out of the whole body of these monologues; and I will share a few of them with you.
John 14:1, "Let not your heart be troubled". Isn't that a marvelous beginning for that section of His ministry? Who is He thinking of? Us. Always, always, always Jesus is thinking about us, about His human family; and you find that when you realize this, so much of what He says is able to make a direct connection with you in whatever circumstances you are in. Certainly this opening statement would be applicable to any human being under any circumstances at any time. It is always a good idea to “Let not your heart he troubled", isn't it? You see, that is applicable anywhere, a wonderful way to start any thinking process.
Then He says, "In my Father's house are many mansions". Now we know that the Father's house would represent the totality of being itself, Omnipresence, the cosmos itself. It is not God, but the Father's house. You see, God is not the cosmos. God is not the universe. God created the universe, and God's Spirit and likeness dwell in that created cosmos, so it is the Father's house. It is not the Father. The Father is greater than the house and greater than the cosmos that He has created, but in the cosmos that God has created and in which God is always present as Omnipresence, are many mansions. Many mansions could and probably do mean all of the infinite, infinite possibilities of phases and degrees and dimensions of individual states of consciousness, within eternal life. This would include our lifetimes within eternal life and all our existences, which are plays being enacted within life. They are a part of the reality as a separate sort of going on; in other words, it is not that your existence is not real but your existence is not reality. It is something going on within reality and portraying some aspect of reality as you see it. You are the playwright, you are the producer, you are the cast, and you are the audience, if you are smart. Now, some people do not follow through on this. They are the playwright, they are the producer, they are the cast, but they are not their own audience. They are not observing their own existence, drama; they are not observing or listening to their own dialogue. They think that only "out there" is the right audience, but that is not what Jesus taught. He taught, "Be your own attentive audience."
We should be the audience of our own existence, but please do not say that your existence is not real. That is like saying, "Well, a movie being shown on a screen is not real." What is real? It is going on within reality and is one of the happenings within the total of reality; but you would not say that that movie is the reality. So it is with our existence. Our existence is real, it is a fact, it is going on within the totality of reality; but you are always greater than the play you are now enacting; the curtain will come down on the play. The curtain will not come down on your life, ever. So, "In my Father's house are many mansions." If we keep this in mind, we will be in good balance.
I have written in, "In the totality of being are many possibilities of good."
You will be challenged on verses 6 and 7, not only by your own fellow Unity people as well as by Orthodoxy: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one cometh unto the Father but by me." Now, you know where the stumbling block is in understanding that statement. What about those people who never heard Jesus or who don't want to become converted into Christianity?" So obviously Jesus could not have meant that. Remember that the Father, the way Jesus uses the word, really means your own spiritual perfection, your own innate wholeness and perfection, your true spiritual nature; and coming to the Father simply means coming into a full realization of your own innate spiritual perfection.
Now, there is only one way to attain this, and that is through developing consciousness through knowledge and practice of that which we call metaphysical Truth. There is no other way. There are many methods of doing that, but only that will lead the person to his own Father-awareness in full development. Remember that Jesus is the symbol of both Christ-Mind, Christ-Consciousness, and developing spiritual awareness, in any religion. It does not mean Western-Hemisphere-Christian-Church religion. It just means spiritual awareness of any religious mode, as long as it is based on Truth principles. Truth principles are not different for the stone idol worshipper in Bonga Bonga as it is for the most sophisticated Unity student in Kansas City. Spiritual principles are the same wherever they are, and any degree of mentality does not matter, whether it is a young soul, an old soul in the evolutionary pattern. The Truth principles still hold. Being kind is always a good thing. It does not matter where, when, or kind to whom. Kindness itself is a divine idea, you see. Being healthy is always expressing life properly. Life is a divine idea. Health is a divine idea. There is not a different kind of health for the savage and another kind of health for the sophisticated.
The very fact that an individual is a human being gives him his divine birthright by that very fact, and in his own way, in his own dimension of awareness, he is aware of connection with these divine ideas. It does not matter whether a priest reminds him of them, a Unity minister reminds him of them or a witch doctor reminds him of them. The witch doctor's work is to remind people of divine ideas, like anybody else.
Now, Jesus is the symbol of spiritual awareness, of connection with divine ideas in humanity, all humanity; therefore, He has a perfect right, and He is speaking absolute truth when He says I AM, that which I stand for, that which I AM the representative of in this human family. I AM the way. Isn't spiritual awareness the way? I AM the truth, He taught only truth, and I AM the life, the way of living, which leads to the Father, or awareness of innate spiritual perfection. There is no other way to come to this but by me, by development of spiritual awareness, which comes from Christ-Consciousness, Christ-Mind. Jesus was and is the living spokesman and the embodiment of Truth itself, which is the same for every human being. It does not differ as humans differ. You and I can differ all over the place, but Truth does not differ. To learn and to follow it is the only way to legitimate Christ-consciousness.
"He that believeth on me, the works that I do, he shall do also and greater works than these shall he do." The words are self-explanatory, but there is something here that is often overlooked. I have heard people do this overlooking in public, and strangely enough the last time I heard this quote used was a Unity minister using it to defend his position of not including Jesus in his teaching. He said, "Look, you do not need to be referring to Jesus and using Him and shouting His name all over the place, because even Jesus said, "The works that I do shall ye do also and even greater works." But that is not fair, because Jesus did not start His sentence in that way. He starts His sentence with these words, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do he shall do also and greater works than these shall he do." So if we are going to duplicate and surpass Jesus, we first have to understand Him and what it is that He taught and means. He is generically spiritual awareness that comes from Christ-Mind. You must understand this and believe it and why talk of Jesus when He is the perfect example of it and spokesman for it? It just kind of baffles me when people say, "I'm not a Jesus-man, I'm a Christ-man." That does not make sense to me. I still get this vision of the baby thrown out with the bath water. "I don't need the baby. I have parenthood."
But the lovely promise is, "The works that I do you shall do also and greater works than these shall you do." That is marvelous. That is great.
Try to imagine our religious life if Jesus had never come, if there had been no Jesus. "Oh, but somebody else would have come!” Ah, then that somebody else would be in the role Jesus should now have. But that somebody else was Jesus, so why begrudge Him? You see, this is very hard, and I know, folks, that most of this tossing out of Jesus is a reaction to an unhappy religious childhood; in most cases you will find that a person who does that had a hard time with religion as a child, especially in a church situation.
Chapters 19-21, "Yet a little while and the world behold Me no more,” Now, here He is as the man, and it comes through here, "but he behold me because I live, ye shall live also. In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father and ye in me and I in you." Now that is true, and if we toss out Jesus, we are tossing away a valuable part of ourselves. Folks, to me, this is the most personally meaningful of all the words of Jesus Christ. I use it constantly as meditation material. I love it, and along with a couple other Bible quotes, I consider it one of the high-water marks of Scripture.
Then He says in verses 27 and 28, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful." Again He repeats, "Let not your heart be troubled." Obviously this is a very important point. You see, a troubled heart, whether we like to admit it or not, is the result of a choice. It is not true when people protest that they cannot help a situation. Maybe they are now in a position of helplessness, you understand, because of a choice they have made; but keep in mind that all states of consciousness are simply our own meeting the result of a choice, of a decision, somewhere. It is not that I chose to have a troubled heart. That is not so much the case, but I chose not to remember the Truth which would have saved me from a troubled heart, because I felt the pressure was too great.
There are always good excuses, but everyone can remember and make the right choice in any given opportunity for a choice. Let that choice be to remember the Truth and God, and there won't be so many troubled-heart-experiences that we have to go through. But if a person already has a troubled heart, should we say the things I am saying now to him? No. You are not going to say that a person’s troubled heart is the result of the choices he has made. You are going to deal with healing the troubled heart, you see. Then love, comfort, empathy, and patience, etc. are needed. You know all of these. They are a part of your stock in trade now, but when you are teaching is when you remind people that opportunities for choice are always present; and now is always your moment of connection with all power, and when they try to drag you back into the past, you bring them back to now your moment of connection with all power. "What about in the future when ..." Now is the ... Get them in the now.
How could you say that the peace given by Jesus Christ is different from the way the world must give it? He is very definite about that, "Not as the world giveth give I unto you." What would be the distinction here? It is a lasting peace. It is not a mood. You see, the peace that the world gives is usually a mood, which is a result of a happening, or lack of a happening or avoidance of something that is a respite, that will create the mood of security and freedom. All human moods come and go, but the peace that comes from spiritual awareness is an abiding peace, not a mood. It is an attitude, and it is an inner thing, something you take with you. I love the Silent Unity affirmation, "I am centered and poised in the Christ Mind and nothing can disturb the calm peace of my soul." It is just a beautiful and true affirmation.
He says, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be fulfilled." Now, there could be many interpretations for that, but my choice is that if a person does not find the Truth of Jesus Christ enjoyable, then in some way he is not contacting or comprehending it correctly, because the real Truth of Jesus Christ always produces an inner sense of enjoyment. You should enjoy it. If you are simply baffled or irritated or puzzled by it, it means there is something wrong with the way you are comprehending it. You need a clearer and purer understanding of what it is. If it is not enjoyable, then you are not interpreting it correctly, because real Truth is a joy giver; and Jesus taught real Truth all along the line. So use that criterion often, “Do I find this enjoyable?” Just think about it. “Do I enjoy teaching this kind of message?” If you don’t enjoy it, your listeners are not; if you are not enjoying your own Sunday service, how can your listeners enjoy it? Test it out on yourself. “Do I get a kick out of sharing this with people?” If you enjoy it, you can be sure that your listeners will enjoy it, because it is enjoy-able. Truth is enjoyable.
Remember, friends, devotion is never wasted; whether or not the object of your devotion be worthy is not the point. It does not matter. It is devotion itself which enobles [enables ?] your soul. Even if such a person as Jesus Christ never really existed biographically, you would still get full benefit from all your devotion and loyalty to Him as a divine idea, so you never waste your devotion. It enobles your soul.
Text of the original transcript at the 4th paragraph of p.291 through the 2nd paragraph of p.295.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 04-13-2014