Friday, June 12, 2009

HESUS JOY CHRIST - Matthew's 2 4 : discussion of verses 4 to 8

New International Version Thursday & Friday, June 11 & 12, 2009

To some, a not cowboy; to some, the gangster of love .

New International Version
4Jesus answered: “ Watch out that no one deceives you . 5For many will come in my name, claiming, ' I am the Christ,a' and will deceive many . 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come . 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom . There will be famines and earthquakes in various places . 8All these are the beginnings of birth pains .

a5 Or Messiah, also in verse 23 .

This takes a different tack in paraphrasing . The issue is the oversimplification and reduction of Jesus to manageable ideas, images, and parts. If Jesus is the ONE son of God, God from God, Light from true Light, the Word and the Word with God, why would he come again ? If it is necessary for him to come a second time why would it be in any way similar to the first time he came, if not to be redundant . Man is made in God's image, so just look around you to see God's image . Still, to see God sitting beside himself in a packed bus presents a conundrum .

What is the essential nature of Jesus that sets his image above all the other images of God? To me it could be that he speaks to eternity – every time he opens his mouth . He is the Word, and through him all things were made .

So to paraphrase this I stole and doctored a line from a pop song in an oversimplification of my own . Verse four and five talk about false images of Christ. I would say not false, but overly simplified and limited likenesses of Christ . The second coming of Christ is in glory and power, rather than the itinerant preacher as the first coming was. It is also personal and hard to relate from one person to another. So to some he will seem to come with an ability to handle the desertion experiences like a cowboy, with joy and spirit . And to others he will come as a lover who is beyond the law .

So wars and rumors and famines and politics are not the second coming no matter how charismatic the players are . Neither is the destruction of the temple the second coming . Do not be persuaded by others – the second coming is personal and far more thorough than any natural or political disaster . The second coming is the end of awareness and ability, which will end to give birth to a new awareness and world view . Like Saul on the road to Damascus, one will be without sight or awareness and then the new world will be born in you . No person, not even Jesus, can guide you through something when you have no awareness. You are not able to be led without having any awareness to lead . Jesus' message in Matthew chapter twenty-four is to console you and give you an understanding of what is happening to ease the stress of going through your loss of awareness and ability, for it is by faith alone that Jesus will carry you to the other side and new life . Without faith no one can enter into the new life for they will end their life if they see no future. It is the acceptance of Christ's love and obedience to Him that allows us to allow ourselves the Grace he has to offer us. Otherwise we would condemn ourselves as sinners and not accept His Grace .

This will happen many times before the physical death of a person, and this is the nature of true life. Life exists beyond death . Without life there would not be any death . The essential cause of death is birth ! How can anything die if it had never been born . In the beginning there was life before there was death, and there will be life after there is death. Whether an evolutionist or creationist, this is true . Life and death co-exist in a symbiotic relationship that even a vegetarian cannot deny – for they kill plants to live . A complete and total end of life has come many times to many people in the end of their awareness and loss of mind, sight or body . The end of the physical world is irrelevant to a one-hundred year old person on their death bed. So do not be troubled by the dead leading the dead in this cause or that cause . Be aware and pay attention to your relationship with God and your awareness of the ultimate and eternal that you encounter in your life, for when your awareness is failing you are dieing to this life and being born again into true life – if you have faith that allows you to accept your new life as the free gift that it is and do not deny the gift given freely to you .

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