Leviticus 24 / Psalms 131-134 / Luke 7
"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"
Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled." "You have judged correctly," Jesus said.
Jesus turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."
The fear that is inherent to the animal consciousness that makes a rabbit run for its life, also makes the humans assume they know everything about everything around them so they can feel that they are in control of their existence. This must also extend out past the things they can see to their conception of whatever gods they ascribe to so they can fool themselves and others that they are righteous instead of responding in the truth of humility as Mary did. She saw, felt and heard the real deal and responded without the force field intact, because she was broken down and had no force field around her to protect her from the elements. Those are the various walls the get developed in the humans as they attain and conquer for themselves, building their walls of defense to hide behind so their vulnerabilities aren't exposed. This Pharisee on the other hand had a grand wall built up around himself, which insulated him from the reality that he and Mary were the same naked, frightened creature standing before God, who doesn't recognize the walls that the humans validate and celebrate in their approval and conspiracy to keep doing it.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is--that she is a sinner."
In this Pharisee's case it seems more like haughtiness than fear, but it all comes from the same place—fear and hiding, which is the wall of assumed rightness of the leader. This Pharisee just found and reinforced a very good wall to hide behind, which as an animal is his right, but God doesn't recognize the things that the humans do. In fact, they run opposite to each other—what the humans loathe God loves, and what they value He finds detestable.
God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.
When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
This woman whose wall was thin and cracked, ugly and deteriorated, responded in her heart with this action that obeyed no rationale that the humans normally obey—that it was highly valuable to them and could be sold for lots of money. Her response was true and honest, going outside the bounds of normal human behavior which says, "I need to survive so I need that money to do it. I shouldn't 'waste' it by pouring it all out." Her action said that she loved the Son more than her need to survive, which came from the honesty of her heart about comprehending the Son's importance to the Father. She was given eyes to see past what the humans are normally bound by in all their fear and the walls they need to hide behind.
God is beautiful and perfect in that He whom the leaders claimed to follow would confound and humiliate the same leaders by their own presumptions about being right. Those presumptions were created and upheld in the sphere of the natural world where the humans have their existence and identity. It's where they build their walls that say who they are and why they should be respected by the other humans. They often try to bring God into their world and mesh the two worlds, but they do not mesh or integrate; they are more like polarizing magnets that push each other apart when they're turned over. The world of the living God and those He loves does not become part of the world where the humans live, move and have their being. The world of the humans is apparent and obvious, whereas the world of God and His kingdom of sons is secret and hidden—revealed only to them.
Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.
Blessed is the man who doesn't look at him with human eyes, which would have told him that Jesus wasn't the one, because of what he looked like. One of the most overpowering statements about the living God that goes overlooked is in this flippy-floppy deal about how He operates and reveals Himself—opposite to what the humans expect and want because of the prejudices they take into their selves. They cannot comprehend that if God wanted to be noticed He would have made Himself noticeable and He would have put a nature in the humans that made them want to notice Him. Just the opposite is true though, which declares something important about God—that what the humans expect, want and assume is true about Him isn't true, which is the thrust of this entire segment in Luke where Jesus is responding about John and himself. What seems to be true actually isn't, and what seems to be unlikely because it appears wrong to the human perceptions actually is true, right and good according to the living God, who Himself hides behind His own wall of what's perceived, when behind it is something different altogether.
After John's messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written:
" 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'
I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."
The secret of God is about perception, or the inability to perceive God because of prejudice and assumption that the way of God is the same as the way of the humans, or can be figured out by the same mechanisms that one figures other things out. The basis of christianity is that God can be figured out by the humans, and that they are able to construct a system by which they can become pleasing to Him through the words that were preserved. However, their inability to perceive Him leads to myths, lies and just plain confusion that are obvious to most anyone looking in from the outside.
To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:
" `We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.'
They sat there and said, by their own observations and prejudices about how they thought things should go, that Jesus and John should be and act such and such a way in order to be acceptable to them, They wanted and expected God's prophets to be just like how they expect the humans around themselves to normally act and conform to the reality they know and trust, because it's what they see and are familiar with. The living God doesn't play the humans' game of conforming to their reality and what they want, expect and need to be able to count on, to be able to control their environment and make it conform to what they want. The humans think He does because they form their little groups and give each other the agreement of consensus that makes them appear to be right.
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' But wisdom is proved right by all her children."
We have seen firsthand the same kind of prejudice and intolerance from the leaders of religious institutions who, presuming to be able to judge the secret things that were happening from the standpoint of their positions, kicked us out of their institution by their own earthly power given to them by other humans, to act on what they perceive to be happening. How perfect it is for God to cut right into the heart of what they hold most sacred—their animal families that they instinctively love more than anything else, and just a little bit less than they love their own selves, and what they also assume God loves too the same way they love them, which distorts everything else they assume about Him. He made us to appear as the adulterous scalawags who broke their laws when our crime was responding to what was put into us, and wanting to find the way to our true Father who was calling us.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
It doesn't feel good, especially at first, because we're conditioned by the reality that the humans worship, so what they do doesn't agree with what we want within our selves, according to that reality, which we think is the only reality because it's all we ever knew. We should remember this for our own training, to not think we know too much, and not think we can judge a thing by what it appears to be or we may be guilty of the same thing. Fearing God, we should be careful not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought, which is just that same kind of hiding caused by fear, which is the primary trait of the humans' curse. It is the mark of the sinful nature that the humans are perfectly bound to by the Father, so much so that they cannot even detect it, or be persuaded by anyone telling them that that is what makes them unclean. The way the animal nature works is so undetectable because it is at once what makes the humans unclean, and at the same time makes them believe they can be clean by something that is in their power to do. It's beyond ingenious.
We should also remember that the intention of the Father all along was to separate us from those humans who assume a position before Him that is based on their misperceptions (just because they're human and cannot arrive with a correct perception). It is not possible for the humans to serve the true God because they are under the control of the serpent which dictates to them the limits of what they're going to do and how they're going to act according to the instincts that are in them, what defines them as animals before God, not sons. We ourselves are not free from the animal and its power to influence and control, which must be done slowly and gradually like an oak tree growing. We must develop a guard about us against thinking like the humans, letting our human sentimentality, which is how we try to get some kind of acceptance and agreement with them, influence and overwhelm us. That takes time and the discipline of calm living in a new way, under a new influence.
Every now and then there is some kind of flaccid acknowledgement that the human nature is easily prone to negative behaviors, but that's not a road the humans like to go down, so mostly they don't. Sometimes the disenfranchised do, but mostly it remains hidden away because the humans don't want to face the fact that they're not good as they assume themselves to be. The attempts men make to change their behavior, to make it less animal-like and more god-like (evil to good), ends with transparent results, although never to them because they are consumed with hiding, just as the first humans were. We have seen some examples of that in those who claim to know the way to the Father, thinking the words must apply to them just because they want them to. Then they try to be sons of God without having been chosen to be. They try to be "godly," (whatever they think that means), however that can only actually produce thin, tawdry results. Usually they try to be meek or gentle, sometimes they try to be whatever they thing "godly" means, sticking up for their gods by being stern and strong. It's always, obviously just a show, insincere at best. Their animal nature, who and what they are, always comes shining through with the simplest threat or provocation.
Even regarding those who devote their life to the study and practice of religions that promote the goodness of the individual and try to suppress the bad, what they are at their core when they can't hide, comes out when they are in a particularly threatening situation. Not the good, peaceful human, but the animal fighting for its life, fighting to keep something it thinks it needs to survive. In our case it was the sanctity of their animal family units that were being threatened. There's just no ability to overcome the animal nature unless you've been chosen to overcome it, then nothing that the humans hold sacred is sacred because there is another reality now that is different than the humans their reality. The message Jesus told the Jewish leaders was that it wasn't to become a good Jew, or assume the position of leader of God's people and know everything about the words of God, or fast and pray more than anyone else, but only to be supernaturally born of God's nature instead of the animal, so that one could become a son of the supernatural (hidden) Father instead of the animal he would otherwise have just remained.
In the same mode Paul argued that the only way to overcome the animal nature, and therefore become right with God, wasn't to speak in the tongues of men and of angels, or have the gift of prophecy or be able to fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, or have a faith that can move mountains, or give all one possesses to the poor or surrender their body to the flames. Love is the opposite of fear, and as fear is the driving motivation behind the animal nature, the opposite, love, is the driving motivator behind the nature that God puts into the son when he has been born of this new nature, of the supernatural God. Love for the Father and love for the Son produces the ability to love their true brothers, the sons of God who have been chosen to be in the true family. Animals, though, cannot love, which is the reason the sons must be separated from thee nature which once totally defined them, when they were dead in their sins—before the Father was revealed to them.
Only if God supernaturally removes that old nature and replaces it with the new nature can one begin to be able to respond to Him in love, which is God's requirement in fulfilling the sons' part of the new covenant. Even then that's only the beginning, because the life of God, being born of Him instead of the animal, only starts as a seed planted in the person. Then the seed has to grow, and as any healthy plant takes time, nourishment, and light to grow, so does the life of God in a son. That is the only possible way to be able to "love your brother as yourself." Otherwise it will be just as is so obvious by a little objective observation (when one is given the eyes to see), that everyone always lives for themselves no matter what they might like to claim, because they can't help it—they are stuck with that animal nature in them and there is no escaping from it. They never become free from sin, because they don't ever know what sin actually is. Conceptually loving your brother, which many try unsuccessfully on their own, doesn't fulfill the Lord's commandment.
For centuries the humans have been trying to identify the sinful nature and how to come out from under it, how to not be under sin's control and influence. For those who have ever attempted to do this, because their view of Jesus, the Devil, and sin is completely wrong—based on lies made up by men in the second & third centuries—they could never understand what the sinful nature is. Even those who come the closest to a correct understanding of those important things can't get it because they rely too heavily on trying to separate themselves from the "Trinitarians," (everyone who calls themselves christians, basically) yet at the same time taking on their model of how to live (performing outward rituals, while their hearts remain unclean), which was the model the Jews adopted. In essence, they assume to be able to find God in the world, within their animal selves. They think that because they have a correct view of doctrinal things, meaning they have "the truth," then that's going to save them (if they get baptized and stay in "the truth," or, continue to perform the rituals). In the end, all the human attempts to get to God by their human power is the same as the humans trying to build the tower of babel to Him. They all rely on the same things—the power of consensus and agreement to continue to appear to be the ones who are right with God.
They don't understand that they have the nature of the unclean animal, and so can never find God—or please Him and be found in Him, and therefore attain salvation—no matter what they do on the outside. Since they remain unclean animals, they can never be brought near to God to be consecrated by Him, or made holy for His purpose, so He doesn't even see them. That is the case with everything that is unclean—it cannot come into God's presence. And because of the animal nature, everyone's unclean (even the christadelphians), and unable to be in God's presence as long as the animal nature remains their nature (without the seed of the life of the nature of God planted in them, growing). It will be our Father's pleasure and desire to humble the proud on the day we are revealed to them. Hopefully, some might know sooner, even in this life, but that is not our choice, just as it wasn't by our choice or power that we were chosen to have the Father revealed to us. We would always choose wrongly.
The message of the first century brothers is different than this, because they were concentrating on Jesus being the Messiah and fulfillment of God's law, and that he nullified it so that the requirements of knowing God, becoming righteous, and attaining salvation were no longer in one's observance the law, but rather faith in Jesus (because it became obsolete since he fulfilled all its requirements). But it was never in them just intellectually knowing those things that allowed them to believe in this new way to pleasing God and becoming righteous. They knew it was authentic and genuinely from God because of something much more powerful than just some intellectual understanding—much the same way people knew Jesus was authentic and genuine, and from God. The power of the invisible life of God, living in them, made them choose whether to believe it was real, and that Jesus was the Son of God, or deny what was in them to save their own animal skin.
The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
The requirements Jesus delineated to Nicodemus had happened within him, at his birth. The life of God lived in his body to purge out the animal nature and make him clean—the only human who ever was clean. Once he was of age, he had to learn to choose to remain clean—a human who had no trace of the unclean animal in him—or choose the animal. That means he was either totally clean, totally consecrated, and totally holy—and could therefore assume the position of the unblemished Lamb of God—or else he was just another human like all the rest. Without a trace of the animal nature within his body, it could be offered up to God as the one sacrifice which could fully satisfy Him, and the only one which could fulfill the requirements of the old law, then nullify it and make it obsolete so the new law and covenant could be issued.
The new law has 2 fundamental commandments which apply universally, unlike the old one which had hundreds. Love God and then your brother. However, there's a catch—something the religious guys can't figure out: it's impossible to do that because of the animal nature that totally infests them, which they cannot detect. Something had to happen to a man in order to allow it. Otherwise he'd always only be able to love himself, like any self-preserving animal. So why would God create a covenant with laws that were impossible to fulfill? So He could regulate who was able to do it, according to His criteria, like a screening process. However the choice remains for those who are able to see—it's a decision one has to make, to desire to follow the good shepherd enough to do what's required. So it's never a puppet show, because it's hard to deny what the animal inside us craves, which is a powerful thing.
It was the power of God's nature in spirit form (invisible to the humans' natural faculties), that did all this work in Jesus. However it was still very hard to deny the animal, as seen in the garden when he asks that the cup might be taken from him. It was the Father's will, but Jesus had to choose to do it, and he was obedient to that against what the animal nature tried to make him do. (Luke 4) That is, what all the humans do because they can only follow it, and can never love or please God (unless the new requirements are met—what Jesus told Nicodemus).
It was also the power of God's nature living in Paul that allowed him to understand that everything he thought was happening within him was authentic and genuinely from God. Although it was never obvious or apparent on the outside, which made the choice to either believe or not believe real. It wasn't just some intellectual knowledge of correct doctrine (christian & christadelphian assumptions), but the thing that was alive inside his body, the thing that happened to Jesus before him, which he understood to be the mark of God inside him, a seal, a deposit and guarantee of what's to come (that he would be redeemed because he had this mark in him, the invisible spirit living in his body). It was something he could feel and understand, something he knew wasn't just head knowledge, but rather it was a living force that allowed him to believe Jesus was alive, even though he couldn't be seen. All the things he wrote about he knew because the invisible, living word spoke to him and told him about all of it. He knew that the passover story was the copy in the natural for what had actually happened to him in the spiritual. The life of God, in spirit form, was the fulfillment of the blood of all the lambs on the doorposts of the Israelites' homes, and it was also what enlightened him to that understanding—the living word who lived in his heart and spoke to him in those secret places within him.
That was the voice of the same Jesus whose earthly body had earlier been destroyed. However, since he was raised and after he went to become one with the Father, he existed from that time forward as pure spirit, as the Father existed when He inhabited Jesus' body. Actually it was the voice of Jesus who was doing the work, but it was the life of both him and the Father, after they became one, which did the inhabiting. He had earlier promised the 11 disciples that he and the Father would come to them and make their home in the bodies of the men.
That is what happened to the first century brothers, and how they knew it was genuine and authentically from God, because it was God, in spirit form, living in their bodies. It was a situation that couldn't be seen on the outside, but those to whom it happened understood its validity. It's not something was privy to because God took His life underground when He created Jesus' body, when He issued the new covenant with its new requirements (delineated in Jeremiah 31:31 ff.). Many people heard about the miracles Jesus did, but very few believed in him, enough to stay with him until the end (11 out of 12). It happened in relative secrecy; only within the community of those to whom it happened could it be recognized, because the truth of God exists only in the world that is hidden to the mere humans, where He is the ruler—not the animal nature. The animals cannot see God, or His life, or Jesus, or the spiritual world, because they are unclean and unable to comprehend the life that is truly life.
I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father. I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer.
Only those to whom He wants it revealed will know about these new requirements, according to the new covenant. That's because the word is alive which reveals it to us, not just words on paper, which can only lead to an intellectual understanding of what happened in the past. To the humans, the covenant and its requirements will remain an unsolvable mystery. They will continue to develop their theories and try to define what those requirements are to no avail, because as long as they remain purely animal, there is no way to find God, or find out what pleases Him. He is the God of the living, not the dead. Pure animals are dead to Him; only His sons, who have had that seed of His life planted into and growing in their bodies, are alive to Him. The sons are dying but redeemable, therefore alive to the Father because His intention to remember them exists in them, which is the seal and guarantee. The animals are dying and remaining dead, because that intention doesn't exist.
The way of seeing, then turning and being healed is what Mary did in the opening verses, at Simon's house—when the absolute pure truth of the life of God, living in Jesus' body, allowed her to see and recognize the real truth about her, and then respond. Her response is important, as it is something God approved of, what's important to Him. God's judgment of particular people is all about the response of their heart, which is the truth about the man, the true choice they make when His truth comes close to them. Mary understood the truth and then her nature, and she responded in love, the gesture of what was truly in her heart, in turn what actually defined her to God. Not like the Pharisee, who could never extend compassion to her or anyone because of the fear of the animal nature that ruled him, and the hiding he did behind the lie he believed that he could get to God on the outside while his heart remained stiff-necked, hard toward God and man, all because he had the consensus of and agreement with the animals on his side.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
The interesting thing is that Simon only thought to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner," meaning it was something he had in his mind, which means it lived in his heart—it was a secret thing that God revealed to Jesus. If he understood the OT (about which he claimed to be an expert), he would have picked up on the fact that God wasn't as concerned with the outside of a man, but the condition of the man's heart. So he became what he condemned.
Mary offered God the sacrifice of the true response to His life coming near to her—that she was nothing and completely dependent on His mercy. She believed the words of David, in his poem, when the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. When God's truth came to David, his heart was right before God, and his response, like Mary's, came from that place of genuine repentance and desire to find, know and love God. That's what God wants from a man, and what He responds back to, with His truth for the man, who is then able to actually choose whom he wants to follow.