Jesus in our time – 13

Jesus in our time – 13

Bartleby: Oh, there he is. Hey!, Jesus!

Jesus: Hey, what’s going on with my favorite fictional author and real editor in their fictional reality?

Amble: We’re just … we were just …

Bartleby: That is to say …

Amble:Remember in Matthew 22:34-40, in Young’s Literal Translation from the 1800s, still soothing to 21st Century ears:

And one of them, a lawyer, did question, tempting him, and saying,
“Teacher, which [is] the great command in the Law?”

And Jesus said to him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thine understanding — this is a first and great command; and the second [is] like to it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself; on these — the two commands — all the law and the prophets do hang.”

Jesus: Yes. Do you think that’s the most difficult passage in Matthew 22?

Bartleby: Yes … no. Yes and no. Yes. It must be a most difficult passage in all the scriptures of all the worlds. If we could explain how all human laws and insights connect to those commandments, we’d have the perfect system: A self-evident Truth flowing seamlessly into clear principles and laws local, national, and international. Everyone would agree and all would proceed like holy clockwork.

Amble: That’s what we were hoping you’d help us with.

Bartleby: If you have time — this morning perhaps. But to return to my Yes and No: No. The most important commandment is self-evidently True, and it also feels obvious that everything that could be True or true must accord with that fundamental, self-evident Truth about life. Furthermore, even wretched wayward lost-baa-baa-slack-sheep mortals like ourselves can readily grasp the internal psychological reality that we can only be meaningful to ourselves to the degree we grasp the most important commandment and how it relates to our principles, systems, rules, day-to-day thoughts and feelings, and everything else that makes up our life and times.

Amble:And upon this does the whole of Something Deeperism hang.

Jesus: What help do you need from me? Looks like you’ve already got it all figured out. The organization of an individual human’s thoughts and feelings around Pure Love — to which they relate meaningfully but of course not literally. And groups of humans organized around an agreement to agree upon what all must agree upon if they are to mean anything to themselves: the universal values of aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, compassionate, loving-kind, joyfully-sharing; with everything founded upon the sense that all are in this together and are bound in and through and for a Love that chooses everyone. And hence, liberal representative democracy: a system that selects for the best for all by involving all and by maintaining checks on individual power and against corruptions. What more could any systematizer ask for?

Bartleby: Yes. Your Mesiah-ship is right to admire the grandeur of our system. Certainly it towers high above all rival systems. But, strange as it is to report: it doesn’t seem to be working. The nation is not listening, and the system itself doesn’t even flow with us into our little lives as well as we’d hope. We continue to waste time and to malinger in negative emotions, and otherwise sin.

Amble: Yeah, and you’re so good at implementing divine Law in the mundane reality.

Bartleby: We’d help! A team effort. We’re not asking you to do all the heavy lifting — just use that heavenly touch to keep us on the right track. We’re so wayward, Amble and I. But, now that you mention Matthew 22: I wouldn’t mind an explanation of the wedding feast where those who don’t show up dressed for the occasion aren’t simply told to find another place to spend their afternoon, but are instead banished to utter darkness where everyone’s weeping and gnashing teeth; not to mention: “give Caesar what’s Caesar’s”; how the dead are raised, or if with ” … I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not a God of dead men, but of living”, you meant the dead don’t have to be raised because they never die; and if the Messiah existed prior to David, and if you’re the Messiah, and if that’s the same as being God.

Amble: Don’t distract Jesus from the project at hand! We can save the rest of Matthew 22 for another day.

Bartleby: Of course, you’re right. He’s right! One thing at a time. We could take a picnic lunch to the Greenbelt — make a day of it.

Amble: Jesus, will you tell me who I am? Will you give me my name again? I’ve lost it somewhere in the bayous.

Jesus: Don’t you start with me, Amble Whistletown!

Author: Bartleby
Editor: Amble
Copyright: Andy

Left Overs:

`To you it’s been given to know the secrets of the reign of the heavens, though to other’s it’s not been given. For whoever has, it shall be given to him, and he shall have overabundance, and whoever has not, even that which he has shall be taken from him. Because of this, in similes do I speak to them, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor understand, and so is the prophecy of Isaiah fulfilled:

With hearing ye shall hear, and ye shall not understand, and seeing ye shall see, and ye shall not perceive, for made gross was the heart of this people, and with the ears they heard heavily, and their eyes they did close, lest they might see with the eyes, and with the ears might hear, and with the heart understand, and turn back, and I might heal them.

Happy, then, are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. Verily I say to you: many prophets and righteous men did desire to see that which ye look on, and they did not see, and to hear that which ye hear, and they did not hear.

Listen, then, to everything clear as day:

I was walking on the road to Jericho in the desert summer heat, sometime after the Second World War but before the empty tomb. Bandits seized me, stripped me, beat me, stole my goods and clothes, and left me on the dusty roadside to die.

If you’re not begging for holy Love to overtake and remake you, you’re not ready for Reality, which is spiritual, and where Love is All.

Humans straddle the divine and the mundane. Keep God’s Light at the center, and navigate life with that foundation — from the inside out.

Don’t worry about the afterlife. Know that God is always with you and Love is Real — everything else is only Real to the extent that it loves with divine Love.

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his [a]train filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of hosts.

6 Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7 and he touched my mouth with it, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin forgiven. 8 And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here am I; send me. 9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn again, and be healed. 11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until cities be waste without inhabitant, and houses without man, and the land become utterly waste, 12 and Jehovah have removed men far away, and the forsaken places be many in the midst of the land. 13 And if there be yet a tenth in it, it also shall in turn be eaten up: as a terebinth, and as an oak, whose stock remaineth, when they are felled; so the holy seed is the stock thereof.

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