Monday, May 30, 2011

HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Three Fold Discussion -- Verse 13

Continuing on to discuss verse 13 of the third chapter of the Gospel of Matthew and the animation HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Three Fold .

Verse 13 - New International Version

The Baptism of Jesus

13Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.

Verse 13 - animation by R David Foster

The Baptism of the One

13The One came in from another place, into her church to be acknowledged by Joan.

Verse 13 Discussion

What is baptism ? Is it being born again ? There is a lack of clarity. John the Baptist's baptism was one of repentance. Jesus' disciples baptized to acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit . John spoke of such a difference between his baptism and the baptism that Jesus would provide.

A baptism of repentance is an acknowledgment that one has committed themselves to a new start and has the intention to obey the law. Jesus' disciples baptized to both acknowledge and provide the presence of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless baptism was an acknowledgment that one was beginning a new life, whether in obedience to the law or in cooperation with the Holy Spirit.

Why did Jesus choose to be baptized by John ? Did Jesus need to repent ? I doubt it. Jesus himself says “It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” I believe Jesus was acknowledging a new beginning in his life – his public ministry.

Many people chase miracles. Their interest is in manifestations of the supernatural – like a magic show. In the book of Acts there is a story of a sorcerer who tried to buy the trick of bestowing the Holy Spirit. He was chastised by Peter. Jesus was not a magician and neither was John. Baptism may have overwhelming spiritual consequences but it is not magic. It is an acknowledgment.

John ministered from the banks of the Jordan river in the wilderness. This was his sacred place, and Jesus came from Galilee to be baptized by him there. In the animation the One comes in from another place, into Joan's sacred place to be acknowledged by Joan. Who is the One ?

The One is the relationship, which is like Christ, a balance of whole and part. The one is nurtured by the spouses and in turn, ministers to the spouses. It is a living ideal. It is a living manifestation of the infinite. It is real. The One exists. Sure you can't touch it, but it is as real as anything else one may identify. It exists in the perception of the spouses and the people around them. It is witnessed by the spouses and proclaimed by the spouses to exist. This is common today – a couple will proclaim their relationship exists and is valid.

Again, in the animation text, the One comes in from “another place”. If real marriage exists, where is it ? It is beyond, it is always out in front of us, ahead of us. It is safe in a place beyond our reach, yet we reach for it. It cannot be bestowed by any person, and cannot be found in society. It is in the perception of the spouses and calls them forward. As well, at the end of HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Two , the couple and their One, not finding support in the conventional church, must dwell in another place, outside of society, yet they may physically exist amongst other people. The One is among us, calling us up and out to new life.

So what will marriage accomplish ? What did Jesus accomplish ? This is not a simple question. I believe Jesus established many things, not the least of which was the church, the living body of Christ. I am Christian because Jesus established that forgiveness is fundamental. Jesus died for forgiveness. He gave up everything, including his life for forgiveness. Forgiveness has nothing to do with being polite or nice. Forgiveness is messy, dirty, painful, expensive and ultimately fatal, in the end. But rebirth is real – more real than death. Marriage is the foremost intention of forgiveness. The dichotomy of whole and part meets and kisses in marriage, creating all awareness. We do not live in our bodies, we live in our minds. Marriage is the birthplace of all that is created, to the extent that Christ lives in a marriage.

So if Christ saved the world, where are we going now ? If God became man, whose mother was a woman, and this man was called “Emanuel”, or “God with us”, then can God continue to dwell among us ? Where is God ? He is here among us, in the faces of the people we meet every day. Can we see God among us ? This depends on our awareness and if our awareness is sufficient to see God . Where is this “Kingdom of Heaven” or society of infinite good ? It is very, very, very close – as close as our spouse, or the nearest thing to our spouse. Does anyone really believe heaven can exist on earth ? Could we really have a society of infinite good ? I believe the means to obtain a society of infinite good are at hand, in marriage. This is what marriage will accomplish – a society of infinite good, the Kingdom of Heaven, God dwelling amongst us, infinite good.

Death will be swallowed up in life. The lamb will lie down with the lion. Evil will be swallowed up by Good. Fear will be meaningless. Everyone will live – either long or reborn.


Friday, May 27th, 2011


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