Unity School for Religious Studies presents the Reverend Ed Rabel, with Words of Jesus. As he conducted his important work, there were certain times when Jesus Christ dealt with ideas that would deeply affect the everyday lives of his hearers. Ed Rabel considers such times, as he presents Words during Judean and Perean Ministries.
Segments for this talk
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- 1. Fatherhood of God Luke 11:10-13
- 2. Even exchange is no profit Luke 17:10
- 3. The Kingdom of God is within you Luke 17:21
- 4. Why callest me good? Mark 10:18
- 5. With God all things are possible Matt. 19:26
- 6. The Son of Man prediction Mark 10:33
- 7 Letter and Spirit of the Law Matt. 22:29, Luke 20:38
- 8. The greatest commandment Matt. 22:37-40
1. Fatherhood of God
Luke 11:10-13 (01:23). Fatherhood of God compared to human fatherhood. Jesus’ declaration that we are ‘evil’ means metaphysically ‘any human attempt to negate Divine Ideas.’
Our next group of statements are part of what are called the Judean and Perean ministries of Jesus. These occur approximately midway between the ministry, as recorded in our gospels. The first statement we’ll consider is words Jesus speaks, in which he indicates the difference between the Fatherhood of God, as we experience it, and human parenthood, fatherhood, as we are so familiar with. Jesus saw the Fatherhood of God and the human fatherhood as similar to each other, but not the same as each other. There is a very, very crucial difference between the Fatherhood of God and the fatherhood of human, mankind. And the statement is,
“For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
A very startling thing in this statement, where Jesus bluntly calls us evil. Sorry folks. He does. It’s there. It’s there in all the English translations. It doesn’t vary. If you, then, being evil, know how to give good to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? It’s not a cruel statement. It is not even particularly critical when you understand the metaphysical meaning of being evil.
Jesus saw the difference between the term a good parent and our Heavenly Father. He saw that God is not to be equated with a “good parent,” but God is a perfect father, an absolute good father, with none of the faults or shortcomings of the human parenthood. The word evil in metaphysics simply means any human attempt to negate any divine ideas. When Jesus is addressing human beings and saying that they are evil, he only means that we still attempt to negate divine ideas. It isn’t that we’re wicked or awful, but we’ve got some bad habits. One of the bad habits that has persisted in our human race is the tendency, the temptation to continue, to attempt, to negate certain divine ideas.
And many times, we are not aware that we are attempting to negate them when we’re doing it. But the Heavenly Father and His laws see all and know all, and so, God is not mocked.
But, there’s a compliment in here. He is saying, “If you people who still know how to be evil also know how to be very good to your children, then you deserve a compliment,” but how much greater is to be expected from our heavenly Father to those who ask him? And of course His teaching is constantly asked and received.
2. Even exchange is no profit
Luke 17:10 (04:36). Even exchange is no profit. If I do more than I have to, then I go beyond survival and earn growth.
Jesus next tells us about another common error that we make in our strictly human thinking, which is what God requires of me is simply that I do what I have to do, and I will be rewarded.
If I do what I have to do, then I am doing everything that is expected or whatever, and I will be fully rewarded for that, but listen to what Jesus says about that.
“Even so ye also, when ye shall have done all the things that are commanded you say, we are unprofitable servants, for we have done that which it was our duty to do.”
In other words, yes, we do have to do what we have to do, but that is kind of status quo. That is even exchange. If I have to, I have to, but if I do more than I have to, I have broken the even exchange syndrome and then I have earned merit. If you do only what you have to do, there’s only one thing you earned, survival. That’s all, survival.
You get away with surviving. But if you want rewarded, if you want increase, if you want growth, then you must do even more than you “have to do.” We have to breathe. We have to eat. We have to drink water. We have to make love. Okay, let’s do what we have to do, but let’s do a little what? A little more and do it willingly and do it graciously and the father who seeyeth in secret shall reward us lavishly.
3. The Kingdom of God is within you
Luke 17:21 (06:33). The kingdom of God is within you.The kingdom of God is a synonym for omnipresence, both transcendent and immanent.
Jesus next tells us where the kingdom of God is. Not here, not there, but lo, the kingdom of God is within you. That’s true, but we must not make the mistake of thinking that he said, “The kingdom of God is only within you and nowhere else,” because the kingdom of God is a synonym for omnipresence.
And omnipresence is within us. Of course, it has to be, but it also has to be all around us everywhere. Wherever I am, God is. True. God is within me. True, but God is also everywhere around me. Imminent, transcendent, omnipresence.
But, where is Jesus telling us to look for the presence first? Within. See, we center ourselves. We go within first, and then all else is added unto us, even if it comes from without, because the presence is also without us as well as within. Aren’t you glad about that? I wouldn’t want God to be only in me in my life. What if I fall apart? Then God escapes. But God doesn’t escape, because God is without as well as within. Absolute good is omnipresence.
4. Why callest me good?
Mark 10:18 (07:59). Why callest thou me good? We do not create our own goodness. Rather we tune-in to the principle of good. We partake of these things but it is God who is the origin of good.
Now, we have a shocker. A very nice person comes up to Jesus and says, “Good master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” I wish Jesus had simply answered the last part of the question, telling what we do, but he zeroes in on the first part of the statement and upsets me and a lot of other people, where he says, “Why callest thou me good? None is good. Save God.” In another translation, Jesus say, “Why callest thou me good? There is none good except God.”
Now, at first, that statement could be quite a shocker, quite a discouragement. Jesus is refuting the notion that any human being has the right, has the status to be called good, and yet, if we could not call each other good, if we could not think of ourselves and others as good, we’d be in a very hopeless situation.
What I interpret Jesus to be getting at here is relative good and absolute good, and that when we use the word good, we should be very much aware that it is primarily a principle that pertains only to God. We don’t originate that principle. We don’t create it. You and I do not create our own goodness, our own virtues. We tune in on the principle of good and thereby cultivate virtues.
You and I did not create our own love, our own intelligence. You and I did not create our own beauty, our own virtue. We have partaken of these things by the creator of them to whom they belong, and therefore, in the ultimate sense of the word, God is the only real good, the absolute good, and all else partakes of his good and is relative to it.
5. With God all things are possible
Matt. 19:26 (10:13). With God all things are possible. Some thing are impossible, for man.
Are there such things as impossibles? A lot of idealists say, “No. There are no impossibles. Everything is possible to everybody,” except Jesus didn’t teach that. Jesus said this. “With men, this is impossible.” Now, let’s just pause right there. There’s no mistake about what he’s just said. In strictly human know-how, in strictly human resources, in self-isolated endeavors, there are impossibles. Him again, “With men, this is impossible.” Would Jesus say that there are impossibles if there weren’t any impossibles?
There are impossibles, for whom? For men, but with God, all things are possible. God has to be added to the dimension for the all possibilities to exist. Without God in the picture, without God in the consciousness, there is a whole inventory of impossibles. If I’m trying to do anything in my life, without God as my co-partner or God as a dimension of my consciousness, I may get tangled up in impossibilities.
Remember the Tower of Babel? They thought they could do it all by themselves. They left Jehovah out of the picture. Jehovah had to come down and see what they were up to. They didn’t include him. Of course our God doesn’t have to come down and see what we’re up to, but we have to tune in and accept God as a dimension of all our thinking and feeling.
6. The Son of Man prediction
Mark 10:33 (12:11). The Son of Man prediction is not understood.
Jesus had consistently, throughout his association with his disciples and his followers, talked about what was going to happen at the climax of his current ministry. He first started out with giving hints and allusions to what was to come, indicating they were not to interfere. They were not to be fearful. He knew what was going to happen. He accepted it. He and the Father had talked it over. It was all right. It was leading to something good, to a cosmic success.
As time goes on, he becomes more specific about these things that are right on the horizon and becomes more adamant in his cautioning of his disciples about not to overreact to this. Here is an example of him giving a completely accurate prediction of what he and the father had consented to, had designed. He says, “And the Son of Man,” which means the humanhood of Jesus, “the Son of Man shall be delivered unto the chief priests and the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and after three days, he shall rise again.”
He had said that in many ways, and he repeats it again, and it seems to have kept falling on deaf ears. Deaf ears, they heard, but they didn’t hear. Looks like they saw, but really didn’t see. We know that it came to pass exactly as Jesus said it would.
7. Letter and Spirit of the Law
Matt. 22:29 and Luke 20:38 (13:55). They confuse the letter and the spirit of the law because they anthropomorphized God. There are no dead persons.
Now, the next statement we’re going to look at is a statement I’m sure Charles Fillmore loved, or if he didn’t love it, he would love it if we could talk to him about it. Jesus is talking to the scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees, who knew the Jewish Scripture backward and forward and upside down and all around. They could quote you paragraph, page number, comma, periods, question mark. They knew it like the back of their hand, but they took it all literally.
And so, listen to what he says to these super, super Bible experts. “You do greatly err not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.” You do greatly err not knowing the scriptures, saying that to these super, super, super quotable experts.
He could have meant only one thing. You miss the spirit. You grab the letter, and you miss the spirit, and you don’t know Scripture. When he says, “You don’t know the power of God,” that’s startling. These people believe Jehovah was all-powerful, and yet, he says, “You do not know the power of God,” and simply because they had limited God’s power by anthropomorphizing him as a person, and this is not knowing the omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, which Jesus Christ reveals God to be.
Then, Jesus also says, “Now, he is not the God of the dead, but of the living for all live unto Him.” Notice Jesus does not say, “Some live unto Him and others are dead.” He says, “All live unto Him.”
All persons are living persons. There are no dead persons. There may be persons who have gone into the death experience, but they are not dead persons. They are persons experiencing the death transition. Whether a person’s in physicality or temporarily out of physicality, they are still a person. They’re simply not physical persons in three dimensional time and space, but Jesus says, “They all live in God.” There is no God of the dead, because there are no dead. He is the God of the living, because anything God creates has to live, has to be alive. It’s a God creation, and so, all people are living beings, living in God.
8. The greatest commandment
Matt. 22:37-40 (16:46). The greatest of all the commandments.
Now, the last statement for this particular section is a statement, which should lift all of our hearts all the time. Jesus has been asked, “What is the greatest of all commandments? What is the fulfillment of the law?” And lo and behold, he tells us,
“‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second, like unto it is this, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ On these two Commandments, hangeth the whole law and the prophets.”
It takes my breath away, friends, to think that God, our God, has made his greatest commandment the commandment on which everything else hangs and depends, the very thing that you and I most want to do all the time anyway. It’s the thing that you and I, in our heart of hearts, would rather do more than anything else in the world, and that’s the thing that God says is his greatest commandment. How good can God be? The mind boggles.
What if he had said, “You have to learn to love good people and hate bad people”? You see, but he doesn’t. He tells us, “My greatest commandment, upon which everything in my law depends, is that you do the thing that your mind and heart wants to do more than anything in the world — love the good and love other people. Love others as you love yourself. Love God, love good, love other persons. Look into your heart right at this moment. Does your heart really want to do anything other than that? To love and be loved, to love God, to love other people, and to love others as yourself.
And of course, Jesus has much more to say about this in other discourses, but he really puts it all in a nutshell right here. This business of love being the greatest of all commandments and love being the fulfillment of all the law.
I want to reiterate something at this point that we touched in our last lesson, and I wondered if maybe I shouldn’t give it a little more reiteration here, re-emphasis, because some of your reactions, verbal later, indicated to me that maybe I didn’t make that point as clear as ... [TruthUnity note: the video and transcript of what Ed wants to reiterate has been moved to the previous video, Words During Training of Disciples, Seeing both good and evil]
Personal Use Study Questions
- Give three or four examples of “the human attempt to negate a Divine Idea.”
- How would you explain Ed Rabel’s statement, “Even exchange is no profit”? Can you think of a time when this “worked” in your life?
- What does it mean to you that “God is not only within us”?
- When do you most need to remember to “tune in to the good”? What effect does “tuning in to the good” have on the situation?
- Explain what “with God all things are possible” means to you.
- Why do you think it was so difficult for the disciples to understand the “hints” Jesus gave about how His ministry would end?
- How would you explain the difference between the “letter” and the “spirit” of the law?
- Answer the question in your own words; “Does your heart really want anything else other than to love and be loved?” How can knowing the answer to this help you keep the greatest commandment? (Matt. 32:35-40)