Leviticus 21 / Psalms 120-124 / Luke 4
And the priest exalted over his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been installed to wear the garments, shall not dishevel his hair nor rip his garments. And near any dead person he shall not come in, for his father or for his mother he shall not be defiled. And from the sanctuary he shall not go out, and he shall not profane the sanctuary of his God, for the mark of his God's anointing oil is upon him.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
Although the priests couldn't come near a dead body because they would become unclean, they could come near the bodies of their closest family. The high priest wasn't allowed to even be near his closest relatives' dead bodies because his service to God brought him the closest to where God was, so he had to remain more perfectly clean so he didn't bring that uncleanness of death into where God was. Death is what humans are in their most permanent form and what they all become as they become one with the earth and the soil that sucks them into itself to give life to other temporary things.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
He shall be released in the jubilee year, he and his children with him. For Mine are the Israelites as slaves, they are My slaves whom I brought out of the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.
This is for teaching the sons about not being able to come near to God because of the uncleanness of the animal that contaminates them when they interact with—allow themselves to be led by—the nature that makes them unclean, that which rules those who are permanently dead. As God chose the Levites to be His ministering priests close to Him, tending to His needs to be fed by the work they did for Him, and the high priest to be anointed and elevated above his brothers; He also chooses the sons who will be closest to Him, after the model of the One priest who was anointed and elevated above the rest of his brothers.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.
Jesus the Son was the One who was anointed to re institute the year of jubilee, which was the copy of God getting His family of sons back, after a long period of time of being slaves to the animal that was allowed to rule them like a father, teacher and master. Those whom throughout the generations of Israel were specifically chosen by God to know His way instead of the way of the animal, were nevertheless under the control of it because they were under the curse which couldn't just be lifted for them. It was an all or nothing type of deal for God, who sacrificed a lot in the beginning, by sticking by what He had said to the humans, that if they broke the covenant they would die to the condition He intended them to be in—His own family, close to Him. Being true to the terms of the covenant meant that God couldn't have His family with Him where He is until the Son came, so He had to wait patiently for him, and trust that the Son would choose Him instead of the animal, while all of the sons He loved lay in the ground, with only the intention to raise them up.
The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
When the curse happened it wasn't just the humans who lost, but God lost too, because He couldn't have that family He wanted immediately, but had to interact with and endure the humans' unfaithfulness while He waited for the Son who would institute the real year of jubilee for Him, when the family would be redeemed and His sons whom He loved would be close to Him.
Jesus, full of the holy spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
The devil said to him...Jesus answered...
The Son was willing to turn away from the self-preserving animal nature—the enemy of God that offered immediate gratification and satisfaction to him—when it offered him all these things. The Devil wasn't some evil demigod entity who had the authority to offer Jesus these things because he owned them, as the whacked out christian mythology goes. The devil was Jesus' own ability to take them by the power he knew he had at that time, and the position he believed he had, but which couldn't and wouldn't be verified by the Father for him via the natural order. That is, he would be validated in the natural via the humans and their recognition of him being who he had heard he was from the Father. Instead, the Father kept the Son's identity secret from the humans, so that he wouldn't have that agreement of consensus from them. That's the reason he would have considered jumping off the temple, because he had already been shown by the Father that he had the ability to do miraculous things by the power of the same Father who lived inside him, who also told him who he was—the Son of God, the Messiah, the One for whom all Israel had been waiting. However, when the humans read the Isaiah scroll about Messiah, they got a very different picture of what he'd look like, be and do—and it didn't look like Jesus.
"If you are the Son of God..."
Notice the "devil's" line of reasoning as he "conversed" with Jesus, which sounds like him wondering to himself about whether he should or shouldn't us the power that was available to him to prove it, to validate that fact so he didn't have to believe the Father. The temptation Jesus faced was actually doing those things to prove to himself and all Israel—to satisfy that craving for agreement that is in the human animals by instinct as a major part of their nature—that he indeed was the Son of God.
Jesus the Son of God who was a human and not a god who would have known who he was, is the model for all of God's true sons. Their belief that they are who they have heard the Father tell them they are is the most important thing there is for them. There is only that, and everything else is ultimately meaningless. There is nothing else for them but their belief that what they have heard, yet what remains unvalidated by the humans around them, is true no matter what it looks or seems like. They've been given just enough information about it to know that it makes sense and they're not just making something out of nothing, like wishful thinking or pure lunacy.
The question of whether Jesus was or was not who he thought he was is the subject of the narrative that continues when he goes—again driven by the power of the spirit (as he also was driven into the wilderness)—back to Nazareth to be tempted some more. He is now in the synagogue reading the Isaiah passage, and the question about himself either being or not being that very One was again raised. And what is the outcome of that situation, as they sat there amazed and speaking well of him, wondering how the son of Joseph could sound so good and right to them?
Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.
It would have all gone according to the animal craving if Jesus had given in to the temptation to be accepted by the humans, because he could have easily proven that he was the Son of God and not just another humans, as they were. They would have marveled at him some more, and given him the honor of truly being the long-awaited Messiah, the one who came to save them from their plight of natural oppression. They would honor and respect him as that long-awaited Son of David, the prophet whom Moses spoke about, the primary focus of their collective hopes for thousands of years. This was a truly magnificent temptation that he faced because it meant that none of that could be gotten by him. Instead it was the plan of God to keep him a secret from all of that which one would just expect to come with the territory of being that One figure who was so important.
All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. "Isn't this Joseph's son?" they asked.
After the time of the temptation when he was in their midst, their agreement with the egotistical animal craving to be accepted and honored and find that kind of agreement by speaking well of him made him angry because he wasn't the son of Joseph and he didn't want to lend himself to them, nor that agreement they sought for themselves—that within their presence the greatness of Israel would emerge and make them great. Nor did he want to agree with them, which is the same temptation continued that was happening in the wilderness (away from the humans, fighting "the devil," the wild animal nature, which is the curse that wanted to attach itself to him, "He was with the wild animals"). He told them the truth from the scripture they read all the time; not what they wanted to hear which could find that agreement with the devil, but what would inflame their nature of fear and attack their fragile egos as it smacked them in the face.
"I tell you the truth," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah's time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian."
He didn't come for them, and he wouldn't satisfy that egotistical craving within them, which tried to suck him in because it wanted to rule him too. He wasn't sent to those who assumed the position of leaders (shepherds) of God's people, who were just led by the animal nature to be driven to satisfy themselves and not be able to be shepherds of the lost sheep of Israel. Nor was he sent to those who sucked up to the leaders because they recognized the power of man's system to rule them and they respected human authority figures. He wasn't sent to the rich, who became and maintained their wealth at the expense of their Israelite brothers. He healed those who were sick, and was with the oppressed and downtrodden, the widows and the orphans and the poor. He didn't want to be found out by the humans and become something for them (to satisfy their animal need to be something, when they rejected being the people of God in the reality He wanted them to be—not for themselves but for the family and Him), as seen in the many times he told someone whom he had healed not to say who he was or what he had just done for them.
Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick, warning them not to tell who he was. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets."
Quietly the Messiah would come, not heard by the humans but hidden from them, secretly doing the will of the Father right in front of their eyes. He wasn't sent for the humans, especially those who assumed themselves to be the people of God (as all the religious groups today do). He was sent for the secret sons of God who were alive as humans concurrent with him—12 men who would become the new sons of Israel who would have the new law written on the new place, not on tablets of stone but their heart, written by the same spirit (the life of the Father living in them) who lived in Jesus' heart. He was creating a new Israel, with a new Jerusalem and a new kind of son to populate her, as per the words of Isaiah in the same section of his scroll that Jesus was reading that day.
No longer will they call you Deserted,
or name your land Desolate.
As a young man marries a maiden,
so will your sons marry you;
That's not all the Messiah was going to do, because there still existed the many specifically chosen sons of God from the OT time before the Messiah came, who were waiting in their graves to be redeemed by the Father into the family He had been patiently waiting for since He saw it disappear from before Him when the first covenant was broken.
The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
What can we imagine they were saying as they appeared to the people? How about that Jesus was the Messiah, and the old way of God's people being able to be identified on the outside, by being a certain type of human, recognizable to the humans (circumcised) was over. Just as the Messiah himself was totally kept secret from the humans, so the sons from this point on would also be hidden, unable to be identified as being as such by something about their natural bodies, but the life that lived in their heart, which was the Father, now united with the Son, this same Jesus who had just been killed by the Jewish leaders (able to teach them the law from within instead of the old way, which didn't work).
That was then (the first century), and what happened shortly after the Son went to the Father was the condition that existed within the sons who were alive when the NT letters were written. The irony of God is that the letters would be collected and preserved by the same group who became the abomination that cause the desolation of that condition, which those first century sons were under. They brought the animal, which is the serpent, back into the temple, which was the bodies of the sons of God who had His life in their heart (the ark), which was the mechanism of the new covenant that the Son established. They reestablished what the Son had disassembled—the belief that one could get to God from the outside, by doing a ritual in their natural body and mind (being the exclusive group of humans who are privy to knowing the correct facts, a misconstruing of the term belief), or by what comes out of their mouth (I believe Jesus died for my sins).
The humans don't know what sin is, because all that's been in the world since about 400 a.d. is a lie. The truth that was alive in the first century, which ties everything back to the beginning when God lost His family, has been gone from the world of humans. And the many institutions who have and do claim to know the same truth all actually came from the same polluted source—that institution who is labelled the great whore of babylon (church of the holy roman empire), the mother of all prostitutes (all the christian groups who like her think that the Son, the spirit and the devil are gods).
Sin is satan, the flesh, the old man, the animal nature that lives in the humans by the instinctual cravings and fears, common to all wild animals, as per the terms of the curse. The humans don't become divorced from it by waving their magic spirit wand over themselves. They can't even recognize it, so how could they become separated from it. Yet it is the thing that keeps the humans away from God, as per His own implementation of it. Sin was the animal nature manifested in Jesus' own thoughts bent on self-preservation, trying to persuade him to reach out his hand and take for himself what he wanted—to do what Adam did—instead of waiting for God to give him the better thing. For Adam, the lying animal was outside of his body. After the conspiracy, God made the lying animal live inside of the human's body, an integral part of him, his very nature.
Why has the world been allowed to be in this state of darkness, desolate of the condition that was established by the Son amongst the human sons in the first century? Because the Father had His family with Him. The Son was by His side, and the family of those He knew and loved in the OT era, but who couldn't come near Him because they were under the curse of being bound to the serpent via their nature, were raised up out of their graves, what the transfiguration of Moses and Elijah pointed at. The abomination of desolation had already been predicted by Daniel, so it was sure to come, so why wouldn't the Father leave the humans alone for this long period of time and enjoy His family, who was now—although only partly—with Him where He was. We know that the Son went to the Father to be with Him, and we can assume that the holy people who were raised out of the graves when the Son's work was finished didn't just get stuffed back into their graves, but also went to the Father who had been patiently waiting and enduring, until they could come to Him.
Now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If every good gift comes from God, then it doesn't come from our ability to take whatever our earthly mind tells us we need to continue to survive. First of all, sheer physical survival and self-glory isn't important for the son of God, demonstrated by Jesus' reaction to his own thoughts, the conversation he was having with himself, the animal nature that wanted to trick him and rule him. It's important for the animal because it knows that's all it has—one life, its present existence, so it might as well take all it can get. The son knows that this temporary earthly existence is just that, and it isn't anything compared to the life that is truly life; when we will live with our Father, in His house, without the chaos and destruction of the lying snake within us.
Love for God is being willing to become one of the sacrifices, to be brought near to God and then have the life drained out of us by the Priest. It isn't something we do on our own; but something we are willing to become, with a soft-neck that can be easily led where the animals don't normally want to go. Not fighting for our survival like the animal nature compels us, but submitting to the death of our selves because we trust the Priest. He does the work of draining the life out of us, purifying the temple with our life essence; turning part of us to smoke, a soothing savor to God; then dividing up our body so that we become nourishment for God's family of priests.
From the holy of holies, and from the holy, he may eat God's bread.
The priests were sustained by the sacrifices brought by the people and given to God. They were alive because they ate God's food, that which could have been turned into a soothing savor for His benefit. But because they did His work, took care of His house and tended to His interests in the earthly sphere, He sacrificed what He could have enjoyed in order to provide them with their sustenance. They ate from His table, from His hand—His food.
God Himself providing the food for those who were called to be close to Him, to do the work that served His purposes and satisfied His desires, is the copy that Jesus understood was for him and those God chose to believe in him. He is the real high priest, the One closest to God, the One called to most faithfully serve God in all His house. Just as the priests were given their food directly from God's hand, so also those called to be the true priests will be fed by His hand, even in this life. That's something impossible for the mere humans to believe, because all they know is what they can see, and that they have to provide for their own life. What is impossible for man, though, is possible with God.
"Do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
The most important thing according to the teaching of Jesus, is God's kingdom (His family) and God's righteousness (being right with God, learning what pleases Him and doing that—tending to His purpose, what is valuable to Him). Food and clothing, the natural representation of what the pagans—the animals who cannot know God—think is so valuable, is nothing but the means to physically exist a little longer, and should be regarded by the sons as such.
"What should we do then?" the crowd asked. John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same."
This is the first thing John said to the people who wanted to know what to do, how to be right with God. If we think about the nature of the thing he said, we can realize that it is opposite to what comes naturally for the humans. What John is saying to them is that they will have to be changed so dramatically, in the very core of their heart, if they are to be pleasing to God, so as to not be humans anymore, driven by that nature to survive at all cost and then hide from that embarrassing reality. Animals cannot help but assign so much value to the things they think they need in order to survive, and John is saying that those things aren't valuable at all. The way we prove we believe that, instead of it being merely lip service, is by giving them away—something the animals are never inclined to do unless they get something in return.
An interesting thing is that John was telling them that they had to become something which, at the time he told them, they had no possible way of becoming. In fact he was only preparing the way, telling them what Jesus would reinforce after him—that they would have to become this way in order to be pleasing to God, but only when it was actually made available to them. At the time he said it, what he told them they had to do was not available to any of those who heard him. So it might seem on the surface that his words were ineffectual because they were unattainable. However it was a teaching that they heard and kept in their heart until the time when it was made available—after the Lord had risen and the spirit (the life of the Father united with himself) was given to those chosen humans who received it.
If the people tried to do what John told them to do at the very time he told them, it would have been forced, perhaps they may have changed for a short while but then as soon as their nature beguiled them they would be totally lost again in their drive and desire to self-preserve. In the same vein, the problem that happens when people read these verses now is they think it automatically applies to them, and they can just be this way, that there is some power within themselves to deny the self-preserving nature—that which is afraid to give away one of their tunics because they might need it, or some of their food because they think they might run out. Because they think that sin is what the bad people do, they think they can be separated from it by not being bad (being like the leaders can only appear on the outside to be—the good people).
The same thing holds true for Jesus, and the many things he taught the disciples about how to be right with God—none of them were actually attainable to them at the time he spoke them. His teachings had to be something they held in their heart until the ability to do or be the thing he said they needed to be changed into was available to them. In their case, that was after he was risen and made one with the Father, and by that was able to live, via the new form of his body as spirit, in those who were chosen, and who actually wanted to please God and be right with Him (they chose Him back, all but one). In the moment they had no way of doing it; they had to just wait until the time was made available.
The main purpose of John's earthly existence was to get the people ready for the teachings and example of Jesus on how to be right with God. When Jesus appeared John disappeared, because the greater teacher was there, and John's purpose was fulfilled. It wasn't random. The main purpose of Jesus' earthly existence was to prepare 12 men for what would happen to them in the near future, but not at the time he lived on the earth. They didn't get it, they couldn't get it, until it was actually made available to them, after he left. None of what eventually happened to the disciples was fulfilled in Jesus' earthly life—it all happened afterwards. The same is true for all those in Hebrews 11, who all died without having the promises fulfilled in their earthly existences.
These (OT sons) were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Perhaps they're only with the Father in terms that they are guaranteed to be with Him because of the Son's work, or maybe they're with Him, but only in an imperfect state while the whole family waits for the sons since the Son went to the Father, who are still waiting in the grave to be redeemed.
The animal needs things now, it has to have the proof, something to hang on to, something it can own and hold in its hand. Without that tangible proof the animal is lost because it only lives for what is in front of its face, that which is tangible to its earthly faculties. All that the sons can know is that their life is pleasing to God, that we are being useful according to Him, as we are furthering His desire to have a family. Fortunately, we have proof that all this is true, but only within ourselves. The animal in us wants to be able to prove all this so that our life is validated (what Jesus was tempted with, to find that agreement with the dead). However, the life of God does not exist in us for our benefit, nor does it act according to our ego-centric desires for us to be satisfied, us to always be fulfilled.
Being pleasing to God, enough so that we are redeemed from the grave, is being useful to Him. It isn't becoming a part of any of the humans' systems they have created—all saying a different thing about God, yet all claiming exclusivity. By that they naturally all just cancel themselves out, logically speaking. The leaders in Israel said one thing but did another. They weren't actually concerned about God's interests—shepherds looking after His sheep—but in it for themselves. The authority Jesus had, on the other hand, wasn't like theirs because it was real (Cf. Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal).
They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority.
The truth about God and man is hidden and secret, and only available to those who have been chosen to have it revealed to them, for whatever reason God has for doing it. His criteria for choosing isn't like a man would employ, who can only look on the outside, and therefore has no ability to truly judge what another man is in his deepest, most secret identity. The only able judge is the one who can examine the entire contents of a man's heart, and thereby can judge objectively and correctly whether the man deserves to live or die. The heart of that judgment isn't a decision God makes based on what's best for the man, which is totally in line with the ego-centric animal nature, but what's best for Him. God decides whom He wants to live, because He has to live with whomever He gives life to.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.
Eternal life isn't just some generic existence, as it appears in the natural, of "we're down here and God's up there." Rather, it is living in God's house, with Him, close to Him, forever. There's nothing generic or random about that. It's specific and each of those He chooses He knows personally. There's something personal and good about them according to Him, which is the reason He has chosen to remember them and redeem their bodies from the grave, which is hell. Those who aren't chosen are mercifully allowed to not exist any longer, to just stay there.