Was Yeshua (Jesus) a spiritual teacher or a teacher of religion? The answer would appear obvious, but is it? Anyone who has the most basic knowledge and understanding of Jesus would likely agree that Jesus taught from the spirit, or spiritual concepts. But was Jesus religious? Religion defined simply means a belief system involved with the worship of God or gods. A quick read through the Gospels or an hour in any church across the U.S. would lead one to believe Jesus advocated the worship of God. But did He? The Gospels, although massaged by man’s continued attempt to control, still give us a glimpse of a Jesus who lived by the spirit, and the principles He taught are often metaphysical in nature; owing to a reality beyond our immediate perception. In my opinion, the study of metaphysics and spirituality do not stand in opposition to the teachings of Yeshua (Jesus). Sorting through what is likely man’s version versus the reality is the challenge.
I have come to believe that the filthiness of man, sin, in other words, and the need for cleansing in the “blood of the Lamb” is man’s creation. All civilizations have had their own versions of blood sacrifices to appease the gods, to garner God’s favor, and the like. Judaism and Christianity were no different. Christianity took the blood sacrifice of Judaism and sanitized and personalized it in the form of Yeshua; blood need only to be shed once and for all for all mankind. Discipline, too, is a creation of man. All civilizations through the centuries have disciplined others, often basing the need for discipline on some arbitrary set of rules decided upon by those chosen to be in charge. Granted, in order to prevent chaos and maintain civility of a given population there must be rules for the society. The question is who came up with those rules? Did God by divine intervention, or did man, then pass the credit to the Almighty to give weight to the rules? An oft debated subject in Christianity is capital punishment. Vague explanation and confusing and often contradictory references are given when the subject of capital punishment comes up which tells me punishment by death was likely man’s invention.
Years of organized religious indoctrination left me with questions and contradictory messages having no explanation except to resort to the tried and true which is to believe by faith, and God would explain on the other side. Many of these supposedly unexplained acts were said to be available to be performed by believers as well, yet I didn’t actually ever see the manifestation of any, with the exception of “speaking in other tongues” and “prophesying”, which in the cases I saw may have been more motivated by a form of religious hysteria rather than a true demonstration of living from the spirit.
To explain Jesus turning water into wine, walking on water and healing the sick, the authors of the books we know as the Bible, deified Jesus, giving Him supernatural powers; again very much like the mythical gods of literature. I’m not taking anything away from Jesus, here. I do believe He was the embodiment of the Divine in the flesh, and many of the gospels not included in the Bible allude to that, yet those transcripts paint a very different picture of Jesus, a more human version. Suffice it to say we have no one picture of Jesus more accurate than another; it is up to each of us to experience, or choose not to experience Him, in whatever way makes sense to us.
I choose to see Yeshua as fully man, fully human, possessing the spirit of the Divine in its totality. We are sparks from the Divine Flame; God, if you will. Yeshua was fully Divine clothed in flesh, experiencing the world as we experience it. The Divine lived as man subject to all the imperfections of man in an imperfect world. His presence as flesh gave man the opportunity to learn from Him, and He from us.
From what we read of Yeshua’s life, the main principle He lived and breathed is a principle belief in the metaphysical, or spiritual world; through thought and word we create our own reality. If you think about it, the concept is solid. Like begets like. Our thoughts and words have creative power, as it were, so what we think and say most often becomes our reality. A steady diet of “I can’t”, “No one like me”, “I will never have” or my personal favorite, “I can’t afford that, I’m always broke” bear negative fruit in our lives. Is it easy to change our thoughts and words? For most of us the task is a challenge as thought patterns and words are deeply embedded in who we are, but it isn’t impossible. I am far too familiar with this process, but I have set my intention for success! Old dogs can learn new tricks! If we think about people we know and pay close attention to their overall attitude and words we will begin to see the evidence. Successful people think, believe and speak words of success; likewise those who think, believe and speak negatively bear negative fruit. Does it work 100% of the time? Does anything? While living our lives on terra firma we are subject to our humanity, so we all struggle from time to time. A close look at our patterns of thought and word however, reveal much about us and soon the picture that emerges will tell the overriding theme or story of our lives.
Everything about Yeshua’s life on earth started with thought and word; every act, every teaching, every encounter with others. From Biblical and historical references it seems He lived authentically, and often challenged the accepted religious mindset. Throughout the Gospels and beyond we see glimpses of the metaphysical Jesus. Organized religion has focused on the results of the reality Jesus created, missing the lesson of the how. Turning the water into wine, walking on water, raising people from the dead, healing, and reading people; “he didn’t need anyone to inform him about a person, because he knew what was in the person’s heart.” (John 2:25 The Complete Jewish Bible)
Jesus was spirit man perfected, not some mystical being endowed with supernatural powers. His purpose, I believe, more than bringing “salvation” to man was to demonstrate the ability to live from the spirit, having put aside interference from the ego. We can do as Jesus did through thought and word, creating reality and experiencing its results. Again, the thoughts and words we think and speak most often create our reality within the world; the universe listens and responds, positively or negatively, depending upon us to direct the response. This cause and effect are not mystical or supernatural. We are created from energy, energy fuels everything in our universe; thought and word are no different. When the majority of the energy we put out there is positive, positive returns to us, and the reverse is true. Jesus showed us the possibilities. Is it not said in the Bible, “Everything is possible to someone who has trust! (believes)” (Mark 9:23 The Complete Jewish Bible) The statement relates to a story about a father asking Yeshua to heal his son of seizures. I’m not on board with the Biblical explanation of “demons” causing seizures, or anything else for that matter, but that was not the point of the story. Yeshua spoke as He thought and believed; that the boy was free of seizures. No need to add creative flare to the encounter.
We believe as we think and speak. What patterns of thought, word and belief have created your reality…..?