Jesus in our time 7

Jesus in our time 7

And come together again doth a multitude, so that they are not able even to eat bread;
and his friends having heard, went forth to lay hold on him, for they said that he was beside himself,
and the scribes who [are] from Jerusalem having come down, said — ‘He hath Beelzeboul,’ and — ‘By the ruler of the demons he doth cast out the demons.’

And, having called them near, in similes he said to them, ‘How is the Adversary able to cast out the Adversary?
and if a kingdom against itself be divided, that kingdom cannot be made to stand;
and if a house against itself be divided, that house cannot be made to stand;
and if the Adversary did rise against himself, and hath been divided, he cannot be made to stand, but hath an end.

‘No one is able the vessels of the strong man — having entered into his house — to spoil, if first he may not bind the strong man, and then his house he will spoil.

‘Verily I say to you, that all the sins shall be forgiven to the sons of men, and evil speakings with which they might speak evil,
but whoever may speak evil in regard to the Holy Spirit hath not forgiveness — to the age, but is in danger of age-during judgment;’
because they said, ‘He hath an unclean spirit.’

Then come do his brethren and mother, and standing without, they sent unto him, calling him,
and a multitude was sitting about him, and they said to him, ‘Lo, thy mother and thy brethren without do seek thee.’
And he answered them, saying, ‘Who is my mother, or my brethren?’
And having looked round in a circle to those sitting about him, he saith, ‘Lo, my mother and my brethren!
for whoever may do the will of God, he is my brother, and my sister, and mother.’

[Mark: 3:20-35]

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel hath seen a dream, and the visions of his head on his bed, then the dream he hath written, the chief of the things he hath said.

Answered hath Daniel and said, ‘I was seeing in my vision by night, and lo, the four winds of the heavens are coming forth to the great sea;
and four great beasts are coming up from the sea, diverse one from another.

‘I was seeing till that thrones have been thrown down, and the Ancient of Days is seated, His garment as snow [is] white, and the hair of his head [is] as pure wool, His throne flames of fire, its wheels burning fire.
A flood of fire is proceeding and coming forth from before Him, a thousand thousands do serve Him, and a myriad of myriads before Him do rise up, the Judge is seated, and the books have been opened.

‘I was seeing in the visions of the night, and lo, with the clouds of the heavens as a son of man was [one] coming, and unto the Ancient of Days he hath come, and before Him they have brought him near.
And to him is given dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, and all peoples, nations, and languages do serve him, his dominion [is] a dominion age-during, that passeth not away, and his kingdom that which is not destroyed.

‘Pierced hath been my spirit — I, Daniel — in the midst of the sheath, and the visions of my head trouble me;
I have drawn near unto one of those standing, and the certainty I seek from him of all this; and he hath said to me, yea, the interpretation of the things he hath caused me to know:

‘These great beasts, that [are] four, [are] four kings, they rise up from the earth;
and receive the kingdom do the saints of the Most High, and they strengthen the kingdom unto the age, even unto the age of the ages.

‘Thus he said: The fourth beast is the fourth kingdom in the earth, that is diverse from all kingdoms, and it consumeth all the earth, and treadeth it down, and breaketh it small.

And the ten horns out of the kingdom [are] ten kings, they rise, and another doth rise after them, and it is diverse from the former, and three kings it humbleth;
and words as an adversary of the Most High it doth speak, and the saints of the Most High it doth wear out, and it hopeth to change seasons and law; and they are given into its hand, till a time, and times, and a division of a time.

‘And the Judge is seated, and its dominion they cause to pass away, to cut off, and to destroy — unto the end;
and the kingdom, and the dominion, even the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heavens, is given to the people — the saints of the Most High, His kingdom [is] a kingdom age-during, and all dominions do serve and obey Him.

‘Hitherto [is] the end of the matter. I, Daniel, greatly do my thoughts trouble me, and my countenance is changed on me, and the matter in my heart I have kept.

[Daniel 7:1-; 7:9-10; 7:13-18; 7:23-28]

And as he is going forth into the way, one having run and having kneeled to him, was questioning him, ‘Good teacher, what may I do, that life age-during I may inherit?’

And Jesus said to him, ‘Why me dost thou call good? no one [is] good except One — God;
the commands thou hast known: Thou mayest not commit adultery, Thou mayest do no murder, Thou mayest not steal, Thou mayest not bear false witness, Thou mayest not defraud, Honour thy father and mother.’

And he answering said to him, ‘Teacher, all these did I keep from my youth.’

And Jesus having looked upon him, did love him, and said to him, ‘One thing thou dost lack; go away, whatever thou hast — sell, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, be following me, having taken up the cross.’

And he — gloomy at the word — went away sorrowing, for he was having many possessions.

And Jesus having looked round, saith to his disciples, ‘How hardly shall they who have riches enter into the reign of God!’

And the disciples were astonished at his words, and Jesus again answering saith to them, ‘Children, how hard is it to those trusting on the riches to enter into the reign of God!

It is easier for a camel through the eye of the needle to enter, than for a rich man to enter into the reign of God.’

And they were astonished beyond measure, saying unto themselves, ‘And who is able to be saved?’

And Jesus, having looked upon them, saith, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.’

[Mark 10:18-27]

And lo, a certain lawyer stood up, trying him, and saying, ‘Teacher, what having done, life age-during shall I inherit?’

And he said unto him, ‘In the law what hath been written? how dost thou read?’

And he answering said, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God out of all thy heart, and out of all thy soul, and out of all thy strength, and out of all thy understanding, and thy neighbour as thyself.’

And he said to him, ‘Rightly thou didst answer; this do, and thou shalt live.’

And he, willing to declare himself righteous, said unto Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’

and Jesus having taken up [the word], said, ‘A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and having stripped him and inflicted blows, they went away, leaving [him] half dead.
‘And by a coincidence a certain priest was going down in that way, and having seen him, he passed over on the opposite side;
and in like manner also, a Levite, having been about the place, having come and seen, passed over on the opposite side.
‘But a certain Samaritan, journeying, came along him, and having seen him, he was moved with compassion,
and having come near, he bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine, and having lifted him up on his own beast, he brought him to an inn, and was careful of him;
and on the morrow, going forth, taking out two denaries, he gave to the innkeeper, and said to him, Be careful of him, and whatever thou mayest spend more, I, in my coming again, will give back to thee.

‘Who, then, of these three, seemeth to thee to have become neighbour of him who fell among the robbers?’

and he said, ‘He who did the kindness with him,’ then Jesus said to him, ‘Be going on, and thou be doing in like manner.’

[Luke 10:25-37]

[In Mark, the most famous commandment story comes while the Pharisees and Sadducees are trying to trip Jesus up, but Jesus keeps coming up with awesome replies to their riddles.]

And one of the scribes having come near, having heard them disputing, knowing that he answered them well, questioned him, ‘Which is the first command of all?’

and Jesus answered him — ‘The first of all the commands [is], Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one;
and thou shalt love the Lord thy God out of all thy heart, and out of thy soul, and out of all thine understanding, and out of all thy strength — this [is] the first command; and the second [is] like [it], this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; — greater than these there is no other command.’

And the scribe said to him, ‘Well, Teacher, in truth thou hast spoken that there is one God, and there is none other but He; and to love Him out of all the heart, and out of all the understanding, and out of all the soul, and out of all the strength, and to love one’s neighbour as one’s self, is more than all the whole burnt-offerings and the sacrifices.’

And Jesus, having seen him that he answered with understanding, said to him, ‘Thou art not far from the reign of God;’ and no one any more durst question him.

[Mark 12:28-34]

And after the delivering up of John, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of the reign of God,
and saying — ‘Fulfilled hath been the time, and the reign of God hath come nigh, reform ye, and believe in the good news.’

[Mark 1:14-15]

[The below (Mark 4:10-15) comes after Jesus had delivered the parable of the sower to a crowd. The sower throws seed on grounds of various types — where only the seed thrown on the “good ground” grows, and that ground (and/or the seeds??) “was giving fruit, coming up and increasing, and it bare, one thirty-fold, and one sixty, and one an hundred.” (from the end of Mark 4:8)]

And when he was alone, those about him, with the twelve, did ask him of the simile, and he said to them,

‘To you it hath been given to know the secret of the reign of God, but to those who are without, in similes are all the things done; that seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand, lest they may turn, and the sins may be forgiven them.’

And he saith to them, ‘Have ye not known this simile? and how shall ye know all the similes?

He who is sowing doth sow the word; and these are they by the way where the word is sown: …

[Mark 4:10-15]

And he said, ‘To what may we liken the reign of God, or in what simile may we compare it?

As a grain of mustard, which, whenever it may be sown on the earth, is less than any of the seeds that are on the earth; and whenever it may be sown, it cometh up, and doth become greater than any of the herbs, and doth make great branches, so that under its shade the fowls of the heaven are able to rest.’

And with many such similes he was speaking to them the word, as they were able to hear, and without a simile he was not speaking to them, and by themselves, to his disciples he was expounding all.

[Mark 4:30-34]

“Why, blast your eyes, Bildad,” cried Peleg, “thou dost not want to swindle this young man! he must have more than that.”

“Seven hundred and seventy-seventh,” again said Bildad, without lifting his eyes; and then went on mumbling—“for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

“I am going to put him down for the three hundredth,” said Peleg, “do ye hear that, Bildad! The three hundredth lay, I say.”

Bildad laid down his book, and turning solemnly towards him said, “Captain Peleg, thou hast a generous heart; but thou must consider the duty thou owest to the other owners of this ship—widows and orphans, many of them —- and that if we too abundantly reward the labors of this young man, we may be taking the bread from those widows and those orphans. The seven hundred and seventy-seventh lay, Captain Peleg.”

“Thou Bildad!” roared Peleg, starting up and clattering about the cabin. “Blast ye, Captain Bildad, if I had followed thy advice in these matters, I would afore now had a conscience to lug about that would be heavy enough to founder the largest ship that ever sailed round Cape Horn.”

“Captain Peleg,” said Bildad steadily, “thy conscience may be drawing ten inches of water, or ten fathoms, I can’t tell; but as thou art still an impenitent man, Captain Peleg, I greatly fear lest thy conscience be but a leaky one; and will in the end sink thee foundering down to the fiery pit, Captain Peleg.”

“Fiery pit! fiery pit! ye insult me, man; past all natural bearing, ye insult me. It’s an all-fired outrage to tell any human creature that he’s bound to hell. Flukes and flames! Bildad, say that again to me, and start my soul-bolts, but I’ll -— I’ll —- yes, I’ll swallow a live goat with all his hair and horns on. Out of the cabin, ye canting, drab-coloured son of a wooden gun -— a straight wake with ye!”

As he thundered out this he made a rush at Bildad, but with a marvellous oblique, sliding celerity, Bildad for that time eluded him.

[Moby Dick, Chapter 17, when Ishmael signs up to ship with the Pequod. Author: Herman Melville]

If with the tongues of men and of messengers I speak, and have not love, I have become brass sounding, or a cymbal tinkling; and if I have prophecy, and know all the secrets, and all the knowledge, and if I have all the faith, so as to remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing; and if I give away to feed others all my goods, and if I give up my body that I may be burned, and have not love, I am profited nothing.

The love is long-suffering, it is kind, the love doth not envy, the love doth not vaunt itself, is not puffed up, doth not act unseemly, doth not seek its own things, is not provoked, doth not impute evil, rejoiceth not over the unrighteousness, and rejoiceth with the truth; all things it beareth, all it believeth, all it hopeth, all it endureth.

The love doth never fail; and whether [there be] prophecies, they shall become useless; whether tongues, they shall cease; whether knowledge, it shall become useless; for in part we know, and in part we prophecy; and when that which is perfect may come, then that which [is] in part shall become useless.

When I was a babe, as a babe I was speaking, as a babe I was thinking, as a babe I was reasoning, and when I have become a man, I have made useless the things of the babe; for we see now through a mirror obscurely, and then face to face; now I know in part, and then I shall fully know, as also I was known; and now there doth remain faith, hope, love — these three; and the greatest of these [is] love.


Author: Various
Editor: Amble and Bartleby
Copyright: The texts are in the public domain (Bible passages translated by Robert Young, Moby Dick translated from Herman Melville’s clanging cavern to his vouching voice. Yes, the texts are in the public domain, but this ordering and the grand proof flowing thereof: This is copyrighted by Andy Mac Watson of the Sands Springs Watsons.

And what was proven? Why, everything anyone would ever need was here proven!

For nations rise and fall, prophets sound the alarms, and children grumble about grammar school only to later discover how cushy they had it way back when; for people surmise, but only the God Knows, and in our heart of hearts we find that God is Love or there is neither God nor Love, for God must be Kind to be God and Love must be Real to be Love — and so we ask ourselves if our sense that God is Love and Love is All is True, or if our various (less fundamentally sensed) hopes and fears about this and that are truer than that our widest deepest most fundamental sense. What is the reason that poetries pointing towards the sense that Love is the Supreme Reality resonate so deeply with we human-things? Poetries like Jesus’s “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself”; and like Paul’s praise of Love as the highest and surest path of discipleship?

There are those who would follow Jesus Christ into forever and beyond; but what did Jesus in the earliest Gospel (Mark) [excepting the part someone added way later at the very end (Mark 16)]: What did Jesus himself say when asked about the path to salvation?

In one spot, he says keep the ten commandments PLUS sell everything you own, give every single drop of money to the poor, and follow me right now! Hurry it up! And then he says it’s really hard for the rich to get into heaven, but with God all things are possible. OK, that’s encouraging, I guess, but what about for the guy who just went away depressed at having to lose out on eternal life because he can’t part with his property and (one would surmise) the family it supports? Doesn’t he look a lot like pretty much everybody — regardless of what we claim to believe and prioritize?

In another spot in Mark, Jesus says the most important commandment is to Love the Lord with all your heart and soul and mind and your brother as yourself, and that the grasping of this amounts to being close to the reign of God; and then in Luke, Jesus gives the same answer to the question “what must I do to inherit eternal life”, with a bonus track explanation of who one’s neighbor (the Good Samaritan knows who’s whose neighbor).

And then we have in Mark something very strange, where Jesus says he is telling the crowds about the “reign of God” in parables and gives his disciples this explanation: “To you it hath been given to know the secret of the reign of God, but to those who are without, in similes are all the things done; that seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand, lest they may turn, and the sins may be forgiven them.” What? Why? That doesn’t sound fair, or helpful, or Jesus-like.

There are those who would follow Jesus Christ into forever and beyond, but who among us mortals truly loves the Lord our God with our all and our neighbor as ourself?, and who among we sons-of-woman truly keeps God’s Love first in our lives? And so the path to salvation is narrow, and many are called, but few chosen. And all those formulations we think we find in and out of scriptures are interesting thoughts of interesting people; but God alone Knows, and if Jesus spoke for God, then what God spelled out was a radical, relentless commitment to a Love that chooses everyone — it wasn’t what anyone except the most loving people of any faith are even starting approach. And some really confusing Riddler stuff that either wasn’t from Jesus or was. But the most important pair of commandments is recorded in all four gospels; and on the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is heard to say, ‘All things, therefore, whatever ye may will that men may be doing to you, so also do to them, for this is the law and the prophets.’ (Matthew 7:12)

And so fall those elegant towers, built into the cliffs over the sea — and so fall it all down with a mighty rumble and crash into the heavy crashing waves that swallow all and then forget completely.

We thought we’d find salvation in a ritual, in a life of ritual, essays, dramatic pronouncements, and/or part-time goodness. But salvation came to us only through the part of us that loved everyone, and salvation came only to that part of us that loved all, and salvation was only that part of us that was Pure Love; as to the rest, as always, every time, over and over: it goes into the fire, leaving behind only the Love that choose everyone; and so we start again, and again, and then again again.

Author: Bartleby Willard
Editor: Amble Whistletown
Copyright: Andy Watson

Who were the Sands Springs Watson? What became of the clan of the barber with one shoe raised to make up for a hip broken perhaps riding horses and perhaps playing baseball? I want to see the home with all the spitoons, to wander back into the back room where men drank, gambled, and argued religion and politics late into the night. I want to see for myself!

‘If I may not see in his hands the mark of the nails, and may put my finger to the mark of the nails, and may put my hand to his side, I will not believe.’

And after eight days, again were his disciples within, and Thomas with them; Jesus cometh, the doors having been shut, and he stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you!’
then he saith to Thomas, ‘Bring thy finger hither, and see my hands, and bring thy hand, and put [it] to my side, and become not unbelieving, but believing.’

And Thomas answered and said to him, ‘My Lord and my God;’

Jesus saith to him, ‘Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed; happy those not having seen, and having believed.’

Many indeed, therefore, other signs also did Jesus before his disciples, that are not written in this book; and these have been written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye may have life in his name.’

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