1 Samuel 21-22 / Isaiah 65 / Matthew 10
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn
"a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man's enemies will be the members of his own household."
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Believing in what's easy to believe is no big deal. If it were left up to us we would have our new life all of a sudden fall on us and would have ourselves be completed, all-knowing and made perfect, like we mistakenly think the Son was all the time. In our minds when we read the accounts of what he said, we think he was totally confident and all-knowing, able to believe without any problem. Actually, he had doubt, fear, and reluctance, which means he had to trust the Father all the way to the end, even and especially when it was hardest. That is the work that he did, to believe that what the voice of the Father told him was correct when it wasn't convenient, when it was difficult so he learned to do that as his first mode.
A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!
He is the example for the sons, and why he is our brother, just like us except that he was never an animal (born of the Father from conception), not some far away god we could never identify with. If the Son had to learn to choose the right by suffering and patiently enduring, how much more will his students have to endure while they suffer, unable to satisfy or alleviate their sufferings by what their hand can get them, but waiting for the Father to give them relief for their enduring because they learn to believe in what is unbelievable, to turn theory into reality.
We're coddled a long time, otherwise we'd just fold before we ever started. We're given signs and wonders daily, otherwise we'd abandon the work that was started in us because it's too unbelievable and unnatural to take the cross that everyone says by the way they live is not there onto our back and follow. It's not in the humans to go down this road; the theory is hard enough to get and accept into our selves since it sounds so against what we find acceptable and possible. The truth is so unnatural and unlike what we assumed, as full on animals with everything we had rooted in the world of the animal, with only its ability to perceive. So even with the miracles and the continual reassurances that come from a place we didn't know existed, it is so difficult to endure. That's not complaining, but a set up for the fact that if one wasn't committed to doing this, one couldn't because it's too against what's in the humans to continue in it. But we're given more strength when there isn't any left in us. That is learning to trust the Father to give us what we don't have in ourselves—the mind set to be able to pursue and endure.
Jesus didn't "do," like the humans think of doing, but he believed the living voice of God instead of the animal, and was prevented from going where the humans go (human maturity, which is death). That was the greatest work—everything else just fell into place according to the way God wanted it to go. The betrayal, the trial, the death sentence—none of that happened because of what Jesus "did." It was already planned by the Father, and was put into the minds and hearts of those around him by God's messengers as the response the humans always have when the living God comes near them.
I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed!
Jesus didn't set it up or cause any of it; he believed, responded to, chose to obey the voice of the Father over everything else that appeared to be; his response of believing the Father is the work that Jesus did. He went through it, as a baptism to purify him in a way that is incomprehensible, but which signaled the way things were to be from that time forward, not as they had gone up to that point, when the sons of God could be recognized by being humans who were Jews.
Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
Now it would be those who assumed to be the chosen people of God versus those who were the chosen sons of God. The calling they received would undermine the naturally observable (human) process of what was acceptable and not, and turn those who assumed to be righteous against those who were, because they were being chosen and called by God to come out from where they were, as a son amongst humans. They received something inside of them that set them apart, a circumcision of their heart, unobservable to the humans who couldn't validate it for them. They were called to embrace what the humans considered accursed and shameful, and totally against the Law of Moses, because of which they assumed the role of the people of God (because it was given to their human ancestors).
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, "Here am I, here am I."
All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations—a people who continually provoke me to my very face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick; who sit among the graves and spend their nights keeping secret vigil; who eat the flesh of pigs, and whose pots hold broth of unclean meat; who say, 'Keep away; don't come near me, for I am too sacred for you!' Such people are smoke in my nostrils, a fire that keeps burning all day.
As God had changed everything when He called Abraham and started this new program, creating His own people in a world of strangers outnumbering them all from the body of one man, so was He doing it again with one man, the chosen Son who had been called and chosen to be whom the Father wanted, who would obey Him with a pure and honest heart, like none of the humans ever could obey Him because of the nature that cursed them so they were far from Him. He was the Son who would be able to draw the sons whom the Father loved from long before and after Abraham to Him, those who want and wanted to find God but couldn't because of the curse.
This is what the LORD says:
"As when juice is still found in a cluster of grapes and men say, 'Don't destroy it, there is yet some good in it,' so will I do in behalf of my servants; I will not destroy them all.
I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah those who will possess my mountains; my chosen people will inherit them, and there will my servants live.
Sharon will become a pasture for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a resting place for herds, for my people who seek me.
"But as for you who forsake the LORD and forget my holy mountain,
I will destine you for the sword, and you will all bend down for the slaughter;
Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says:
"My servants will eat, but you will go hungry;
My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts,
You will leave your name to my chosen ones as a curse;
Whoever invokes a blessing in the land will do so by the God of truth;
"Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth.
But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create,
I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people;
"Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days,
They will build houses and dwell in them;
No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat.
They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune;
Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain," says the LORD.
The recorded events of what the Son said and did are the great turning point in the history of how God was dealing with the humans. The Son fulfilled the words of so many of the prophets and holy men, in whose mouths God had been putting His word for so many years. Within the community of humans before Moses, there were some who wanted the truth about God and were willing to pay the price to get it, and there were some within the community of the Israelites who were too. What God was doing was bypassing the human systems and going straight to the heart of those He loved and wanted to be with Him, by revealing Himself to them and calling them out of their place amongst the humans and the death they carried around with them. It's all about the family of God, and He kept saying through the prophets, "I will do this, I will not forget my family, they will be with me." The securing of that family and the accomplishing of that purpose was being done in secret by the Son who went unrecognized by the humans at large.
Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"
Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."
So they asked him, "What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' "
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
"Sir," they said, "from now on give us this bread."
Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
Belief by the definition Jesus assigns to it first involves the supernatural and invisible proposition by God to believe what seems impossible according to the natural, what is seen and seems possible for the humans. There is no belief on the part of the humans without the supernatural initiation by God to the human, so that he can respond in belief to the voice that is calling him. Also, as the Son says, "All that the Father gives me," denotes no randomness to the call, but specificity—individuals particularly chosen by the Father. For those, it's believing the unbelievable, seeing the unseen, doing what wasn't required of them before—learning a new and foreign way to live and doing a new work that is totally unacknowledged and un rewarded in the natural. It's the difference between being and realizing all the benefits of the king of a nation, yet being called to put all those aside to become a shameful, humiliating failure. It's having to learn then believe that there will be no validation in the natural world, only in the spiritual world that is invisible and unacknowledged by the humans around you.
"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.
"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?
The way we always want things to be clear and complete is because of our animal nature, our deep and consuming desire to feel safe by controlling our environment. We want to hold what we have in our hands and be able to say, "It's here," and be able to look at it because we've put it in a box that we can open and shut, and feel safe because we know it's always going to be there. The animals spend their lives trying to accomplish this in many varied and complicated ways, the ultimate being how they assume they can define their gods and put them into a box to hold onto and control, and let out whenever it's convenient for them to do so. That is religion, trying to find then buy,t hen control and be able to sell for a profit (in many different forms) the ultimate freedom from the inevitable death coming their way.
Trying to find that safety is the process of seeking to insulate yourself from the inevitability of death. Although it's somewhat elusive, and the animals pretend it's not there, death is a sure thing for everything in this creation. Dealing with the knowledge of that thing that is always possible at any time, and a sure thing at some other not too far off point, is the dilemma of the humans. It's something that they're always dealing with, yet aren't even aware that they are.
It's what this life is all about, and 99.99% of those confronted with that would deny it, because there is a sort of conspiracy amongst the humans, even with their own mind so they won't discover it. They don't conceive that something so bizarre could be true, so they don't don't want to think about it. Occasionally some do complain about the way things are, but those voices are quickly drowned out by the volume of the mass of the rest of humanity, absolving the system by their blind participation in it without questioning what they and everyone else are doing. Just plugging along like good little animals, never questioning, just doing. Like rats and beavers that don't question what they're doing, they're just programmed to do what they do, and when one dies there is always one more to take its place in the system.
It's quite Orwellian in its scope, with the animal nature as Big Brother, tirelessly handing out the dictates for the vast army of drones doing its will without thinking too much about what they're doing. The "freedom" the humans think they have and are so in love with is only freedom to exist and then soon die. Within those existences there are particular little freedoms to get what they can to insulate themselves and find some kind of temporary validation and safety in the system, which soon ends. Then all they are left with is their particular little lie about what's going to happen to them "In the next life." They believe the lies because they heap up for themselves others around them, who also believe the same lie, and create the same kind of imagined safety, which if examined isn't rational at all.
The reason we are beginning to know the truth about things isn't to gloat or feed our own egotistical animal cravings, but to come out from the dead and do the work of believing the voice of the Father if we hear it over everything else we think, know, understand, and believe, according to how we learned that way because of the tyrannical animal dictates that have ruled us up to this point. It's to feel good and safe in another way, that we have been promised the desire that was always in us before, but that we couldn't realize because the call hadn't come yet—we knew on some far-removed level that what the humans said was true, but couldn't grasp much more than that because of our condition of unbelief.
It's to encourage one another to continue to believe the voice of the Father, to validate for one another and keep pointing the way to the Father, which is love. We are still being pulled out of that nature, and it still lives in us to effectively keep us from being in the Father's presence. That backwash is something we need to see and acknowledge in ourselves, so that we can be honest in our heart before God. That's the only way to be transformed, the only way to be a son who is 100% dependent on the Father to save him not just in theory but the spiritual reality.
You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.
Giving up our life to respond to the voice that is only true to us whom the Father has chosen to hear it is believing that it is true enough to do that for. The animal wants and needs to work, to have some meaning and purpose of its existence. The Lord has given us that ability to have meaning and purpose in our desire to do what the Father is pleased by, what He acknowledges as good and right, what makes Him pleased with us, that our existence is worthwhile to Him and has benefited Him.