1 Samuel 20 / Isaiah 64 / Matthew 9
The crowd was amazed and said, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel."
Man is lost and abandoned to the world ruled by the animal nature. There is nothing good in man that could ever seek God with a pure heart, because God made it that way for His own purpose. There is only the thick membrane of the animal nature, the active and constant evil that drives him to seek his own good and wrap it in the lie that he is somehow good and noble. No matter what his status, character, or what he's done, he will always find a way to elevate himself to a place of relative rightness. It's just another way to hide, another way to build things up around himself so he won't have to feel the raw truth that he's ultimately alone and will die alone, with no guarantee of anything. Just his own personal lie that God allows him to believe to make it easier—that he is better, and going somewhere better.
While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
There is a craving within the animal, part of the ego component of its nature to feel right, more right than the other. It seeks its own justification at the expense of reason and the truth that it knows. Because of this it's a lot easier to be incensed and indignant rather than compassionate. Even though God came and revealed Himself to us, we will still feel that it's the sheep's fault that they are blind, which satisfies that evil craving within our animal character, the ego part, where we need to feel righter, more righteous, than everyone else.
On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
That is the evil which inhabits us, what we should see and admit lives in our heart to make us unclean when we'd rather hide and pretend that we're inherently good, which is the bulwark against humility. The walls of defense we have created to hide behind also keep us from the good because it keeps us feeling "safe," hiding all alone away from the Father's purpose in our fox hole. We want to keep our precious things (hopes & hiding strategies) with us and not let them go, what we think will make us feel warm and safe like they did in the past. This kind of dishonest hiding is what the humans do all their lives from as soon as they realize they have to hide until they don't have to hide or do anything any longer.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
We easily forget the truth that God chose us and first came to us, that we didn't somehow "earn" what we now have. We desire to be Moses the great prophet, revered as a legend. We forget what made him great according to God, that he was a shepherd for God's family, that he learned to have compassion on them and to patiently endure while he suffered and gave his life for God's flock, when he could have had the power and worldly authority in the world of the powerful humans as Pharaoh's own son. God's sons learn, by suffering while they patiently endure, to take care of God's family, of each other instead of merely their selves; which is the opposite of what the animals are programmed to do because of God's choice to make them that way—totally abandoned to their own cause and purpose.
That's the black and white of it; one is either a son or an animal, and the sons are the only ones who need to understand that. Using their condition for our own gain, to satisfy our own animal cravings, is bad. We'll mistakenly do that until we're taught otherwise, which is our growth into the identity of the good Son. If we've been chosen to be pulled out of the world and become a son of God, then our time here is spent learning how to become a son led by the nature and voice which led Jesus, which by definition means how to not be an animal, driven and led by that nature.
That's where the rubber meets the road, where all this theory becomes real, when we have to expose the lie that gratifying our selves will do us any good. It may be so alluring that we think we cannot say no as we hold on to the hope that we can still do it if we want, giving ourselves that freedom to hang on to the lie, thinking it will do us some good with us in our fox hole. It is in the point of being tempted/tested that we can choose to do what seems impossible, standing up to the lie and exposing it out loud, to ourselves, what it is—just a fleeting craving to indulge that promises to satisfy us on some deep level where we crave to be satisfied. Actually, though, it comes and goes as a cold, cunning, ruthless rapist who talks his way into our head with so many promises to satisfy that craving. Then when the deed is done it's gone and we're left with the shame of being unfaithful, bamboozled by the thing that is now completely gone, nowhere to comfort us or give us any hope. Then we go back into the cycle of "repentance from acts that lead to death" instead of moving along with the things that please the Father because we had the courage to say no to it when it was bearing down on us with its smoothy smooth talk, pitching us its manipulatory woo.
Solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death
That's what the whole business of "don't do this or that" is all about; not that abstaining from things makes us right or good in themselves by puffing us up in our self-sufficient way. Saying no to what is alluring when it's bearing down on us is good because it helps to define us in a different way than we were before—not a mere animal led by its cravings, urges and impulses, but instead a son who seeks to please his Father by desiring to be led by the new nature. It's imperative that God's sons not be animals in this real way—not just in the theoretical—because animals cannot come into the presence of the living God unless they're dead and being offered up to Him as a sacrifice. Even then they have to be purified and consecrated to enter in to the place where they can be offered up to God. They have to become something other than what they are, transformed into something consecrated for God's purpose. The only way to know the love of our Father, which is the motivation behind our redemption and so important, is to be in His presence, and the only way to do that is to become a son instead of an animal, by choosing to be one when it matters, when only the Father can see.
Not being controlled by the animal nature is an easier thing to think about and ponder than to do, which is why we have to go through such a long, slow and gradual period of unlearning all its ways and means of existing. It became such a deep part of us as we grew up and incorporated it into our character, as we learned what it took to survive in our own particular world, physically, mentally and emotionally. We became fully human, full-on animals with that nature of death, fully adopted and incorporated into our selves as is the natural process for all animals as citizens of this temporary creation based on the necessity of death as its main feature, terminating countless cycles of existence called life by the dead, so as to hide the life that is truly life from them.
Life that is truly life can only come from God, because there is only life in Him. That is another significance of the truth that Jesus did not have life within himself before he came to the world (the anticipation of his coming was in God's mind before he came, which is why the words say he existed beforehand). His existence came from the Father, not any human man; and the life he now lives—to teach the sons how to unbecome animals and become good sons—also comes from the Father, for His sake, to teach and raise His family of sons to become good instead of remaining bad, evil and corrupt because they're filled with and driven by the enemy of God. The counterpart is the hideosity of the myth that the jesus god contained life within himself so he wasn't totally dependent on the Father to give him everything. That he wasn't 100% dependent on God to raise him out of the grave negates the great faith that he had, and makes a mockery of the work he did for God's family, the purpose of his coming, and the one thing we now live and hope for—that we can become like him so we can be with him where he lives, only and totally because of the Father putting life in him, and he in us by following him to the Father (doing what he did by denying that animal the right to rule us so he could instead be found and led by the Father's nature, the life that is battling the animal in us).
I am the way and the truth and the life (the way I go to the Father is the only way to get there). No one comes to the Father except through me (the way I went, denying the evil so I could be given the good). If you knew me, you would know my Father as well (His life living in the Son was the good that he was given to keep the evil from him). From now on, you do know him and have seen him (because the Father lived with them, in the body of the Son).
The humans can only excuse and protect themselves, seek their own preservation and good fortune at the expense of whoever might be in the way. They might claim they love God, but have no idea what they're saying because they merely read some words in a book and are attempting to adopt for themselves what was intended for others. They can't because the darkness of the absence of the truth has been over the face of the earth for a long time; the truth is not here.
The reason to point this out isn't to rub their noses in it, but to say why it seems unreal and phony, a thing that's forced because it isn't as they claim (that everything is for them, which is presumptuous and pompous—what they'll surely say about us). The humans have been left to their own devices, to find their own little truth within whatever lie they have incorporated into their identity because of the dictates of the animal nature to get for themselves. What they think they're getting is a place in their made up heaven, even with their impure dishonest heart that can only hide from God. But their shepherds tell them that's all they need, and they gullibly believe them.
We see what that nature always brings for the humans—exploitation and lopsidedness, inequality and injustice, bribery and corruption, all because of fear and self-preservation, then the impulse to hide and not get found out. Yet no one sees that that's just what animals naturally do, because they're driven to get for themselves, and blind to the truth that the sons know, only because it's revealed to them (the Father chose them first, not the other way around just because they wanted something from Him for themselves).
You have seen many things, but have paid no attention; your ears are open, but you hear nothing.
Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have been false to me, and have neither remembered me nor pondered this in your hearts? Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not fear me?
For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back.
Men do whatever seems right in their own eyes because it's all they have, and they know that nobody else is gonna do it for them. They can only make up rules based on printed words so they remain static rules, and are for their own gain, to get something for themselves. God is alive, not bound up in some book or any box the humans think they can build and keep Him in, to act the same way all the time so the humans can control Him and keep Him for themselves (so He can do their will and serve them like they like it). Because they can't see, they think that God doesn't see either. They're sheep without a shepherd, so they have to make themselves shepherds, and because they don't know the way to God, neither can they show the way.
Like the blind we grope along the wall,
feeling our way like men without eyes.
I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant (the new covenant as per Jeremiah 31) for the people and a light for the Gentiles (not based on the external of what you naturally are anymore), to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison (to the animal nature) and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness (the nature of darkness produces blindness).
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths (of the son instead of the animal) I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth (no stumbling over rocks along the road, the straight path to the Father, the way the Son went before us to show us the way).
These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
If we starve the evil (what we're compelled to do by what's in us, triggered by whatever stimuli), then the evil will begin to shrivel up and die so the life that is truly life can inhabit us. That is the teacher who can shoe us how to keep choosing the right so that it becomes us and we become it, while we keep starving the wrong so that it becomes separated from us instead of ruling, leading and guiding us to do its will instead of the Father's.