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Q1 : an Interpretation

To the Jesus-page

©  Wim van den Dungen
Antwerp, 2017.

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Identifying the historical Jesus

 

 

 

List of historical landmarks

 

 

 

Christianity Summarised

 

 

 

The Criticism of Christianity

 

 

 

In the Name of Peace

 

 

 

? Mark initiates Jesus' mission as a astonishing  teacher in a synagogue, confronting an unclean spirit who calls Jesus "Holy One of God", crying out "Let us alone". He is rebuked.
(Mk. 1:21-24)

? The context suggested by crowds & disciples does not validate the concept of a public, already "catholic" spirito-political statement (or sermon). Rather, words preparing the disciples of peace to deal with the world. Unworldly words, but kind, generous & merciful.

! In the Zohar Rabbi Eleazar said : "King David placed himself in four categories. He placed himself among the poor ; he placed himself among the pious ; he placed himself among the servants ; and he placed himself among those who are ready to sacrifice themselves and their lives for the sanctification of God's Name."
(Numbers, 195a)

! The qabalah of the word "Malkuth" (the Kingdom or 10)   involves the complete realization of unity ("Kether", the Crown or 1) in every point of the actual universe, which is naught (0) compared to It. Associated with "H" the last letter of YHVH and the world of Assiah or material,  manifestation, the Kingdom is at first a "fallen daughter". Redemption means that she is placed upon the "Throne of Understanding" or Binah (3). She thus becomes the Mother (or Holy Spirit) who arouses the active force of Wisdom (or Son), and these twain being united, all is reabsorbed into the Crown, or Kether (or Father).

! Objectively, the Kingdom represents universal redemption (the material plane deificated). Subjectively, the Kingdom is the highest spiritual state of consciousness given to humanity.

! The excellence of holy love has been a major theme in Christian mysticism (cf. the text of Beatrix of Nazareth).

? "I make peace, and create evil ; I the Lord do all these things."
(Isaiah 45:7)

! Can the Father be associated with evil and nevertheless remain Lord of the Worlds ? The difference with the Christian and Islamic notion is significant.

! The Father is the beginning and the Kingdom is the end. When the Will of the Father (or Divine Providence) reflects in the material world, the universe is redeemed.

! Between the Father (1) and His Kingdom (10) eight spiritual spheres (the Sefirot Chockmah, Binah, Chesed, Geburah, Tiphareth, Netzach, Hod & Yesod) and two worlds (Briah & Yetzirah) exist. The new convenant is initiated to link both directly.

! From the perspective of the Divine, all humans belong to the same class. There is no chosen community, except humanity as a whole. The Golden Rule can only be applied if this is acknowledged.

! The difference between spiritual, holy love and physical love is also a theme in Platonism ("agape" versus "Eros").

? "If God had not created man in this way, with good and evil inclination, which corresponds to light and darkness, created man would have been capable neither of virtue, nor of sin."
(Zohar, Bereshith, 23a)

! "I will pay to no man the reward of evil ; I will pursue him with goodness. For judgement of all the living is with God and it is He who will render to man his reward."
(The Community Rule, X)

! Rabbi Simeon asks : "What is the beginning ? This is the supernal Point, the beginning of all, hidden in 'Thought'. And it makes the end which is called 'the end of the matter'. But beyond there is 'no end' - neither intention nor light nor lamp ; all the lights are dependent on it, but it cannot be reached." (Zohar, Exodus, 239a)

? "Now, assuredly, God is named Jehovah (Lord) (...) Yet we see at times His name is called Elohim (God), which is everywhere expressive of judgement. The explanation is that when the righteous are numerous among mankind, He is called by the name of Jehovah (Lord), the name which implies mercy, but when sinners abound, He is called by the name of Elohim (God)."
(Zohar, Vayishlah, 174a)

! "No man who has wilfully transgressed any commandment shall be declared a trustworthy witness against his companion until he is purified and able to return."
(CD : The Damascus Rule, X)

! "The only way in which man can receive God's good is by being similar to Him, which is the concept of Chockmah-Wisdom. But, at the same time, if God gives and man receives, then God and man are poles apart, and are ultimately different."
(Kaplan, A. : The Bahir, 1979, Part 2, 74)

! "Until now the spirits of truth and falsehood struggle in the hearts of men and they walk in both wisdom and folly. According to his portion of truth so does a man hate falsehood, and according to his inheritance in the realm of falsehood so is he wicked and so hates truth." (The Community Rule, IV)

! The distinction between YHVH & Jesus' Father is pertinent. The Father is merciful and forgives. This is a "new" spirit. Evil & good are two distinct paths. The fact that the evil tree produces rotten fruits is a criterion for only the good tree is important. The qabalah behind this teaching is evident : the Tree of Life represents the code of the good tree and the Tree of Knowledge (of the difference between good & evil) contains the formula of evil. The latter is not another Tree, but an incomplete and corrupted (reversed) version of the former.  'Every tree is known by its fruit' implies that both have to be known before a choice can be made. The duality of the heart, unpaged of its mundane tendencies, is evident. 

! Spiritual teachings are not meant to be studied but practized. Orthopraxis is more important than orthodoxy. Following precepts without focusing on the formation of an inner foundation, but done merely as a sheer exercise in spirito-social integration is not the way. The ruin on such a path is great. Clearly Jesus wants to initiate a community of people who practice what he taught. This contrasts with the mentality of the Temple-priests, who think it is enough to follow the precepts to satisfy their Lord and make the Temple last. It will be destroyed.  

! "He shall be called son of God, and they shall designate him son of the Most High."
(4Q246, pseudo-Danielic)

? "Righteousness, I know, is not of man, nor is perfection of way of the son of man : to the Most High God belong all righteous deeds."
(1QH : The Thanksgiving Hymns, IV)

! "Rabbi Rahumai explains that the Sefirah Chockmah-Wisdom (...) is the transition between God's transcendence and His immanence. (...) As the link between Creator and creation, it is the vehicle containing the potential for all things."
(Kaplan, A. : The Bahir, commentary on 5).

! The theology of the early church (100 - 325 A.D.) made extensive use of the identification of Jesus Christ with the "Logos" (apologetics). This Word  was a "second" God (next to the Father, who is first, and the Holy Spirit, who is third), as made evident in the opening of the Gospel of John : "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (1:1) Moreover, later Christian theology (Iraneaus of Lyon) added a notion unknown to Antiquity, namely that Jesus Christ was both God and a human free of sin. When Alexander the Great had proclaimed himself to be the Son of Amun-Râ he had done so in the belief that he was no longer human (for his deeds had been so exceptional that he could hardly have remained human - cf. Hercules). However, The second God, the logos of the Universe, Jesus Christ, was both God and a perfect human being.

Three distinctions are important :
(1) Jesus, the Son of Man as revealed in Q1, also called the "historical Jesus" ;
(2) Jesus the Christ or Christ Jesus, an appellation of Jesus introduced by the early Jewish Christians of Jerusalem after Jesus had died to distinguish themselves from the tribes of Israel, and meaning : "Jesus, the anointed". Concerning the role of this Saviour different opinions circulated ;
(3) Jesus Christ, the Divine Saviour & Sacrifice introduced in the New Testament and the christian "deposit of faith", to be identified with the Son of God and understood as the "price for our sins". This latter peculiar notion can be found in many ancient spiritual traditions, all claiming that to sacrifice the best redeems. So it can not be seen as typically christian. 

! "The lay King-Messiah, otherwise known as the 'Branch of David', the 'Messiah of Israel', the 'Prince of all the Congregation' and the 'Sceptre', was to usher in, according to the sect's book of Blessings, 'the Kingdom of his people' and 'bring death to the ungodly' and defeat 'the kings of the nations' ..."
(Vermes, G. : The Dead Sea Scrolls,  New York, 1990, pp.53-54)

! The Qumrân scrolls distinguish between several messiahs. The final one (called the "Messiah of Aaron") -compared by scholars with the so-called Teacher of Righteousness of the Essenes- was a Teacher, who stands at the end of days, presiding over the battle liturgy (1QM xv,4 ; xvi,13 ; xviii, 5) and the eschatological banquet (1QSa ii,12-21). Clearly, the early Christians who were no direct witnesses of  Jesus' life, identified their Jesus with this final, mythological Teacher. The destruction of the second Temple (ca. 70 A.D.) served as a "proof" of Jesus' eschatological role (although it only shows the military power of Rome). 

Even in Q2 & Q3  can Qumrân-material be identified, showing that the experience of the historical Jesus triggered the formation of a superstructure (the myth of Christ) derived from earlier Palestinian Jewish life and ideology, firmly rooted in a hierarchy between several messiahs, high priests, priests & prophets, later reintroduced by the Roman Church (with a pontiff understood as the "vicar of Christ").

! "Shalom Bayit" (the Peace of the Household) is the reconciliation of opposites.

! The itinerant Jesus is clear proof of the futility of a community protected by a brick wall. The early Christians had no special buildings to gather & worship. They often flocked in and around their own private houses on tables made of wood (necessary to assemble the sacrificial meal and the goods given to the poor) -if available- or preferably in the open air. In the first centuries they used the tombs of their martyrs as a stone altar. 

Only in the second half of the 4th century A.D. (when this  controversial Christian community -ekklesia- had grown, and every Roman had to be a Christian) did the Roman Church recuperate more than one "pagan" practice, formerly associated with Temple-worship of the Divinities of Antiquity and  the popular glorification of the Roman Emperor in his basilica. The robes of bishops, priests & deacons were copied from the common fashions of 4th century Imperial Roman  bourgeoisie. This has nothing to do with the origin of the missionary work of the first disciples of Jesus, send out as "lambs" of peace.

! "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine : and he was the priest of the most high God."
(Genesis 14:18).

"Salem" means peace. Bread and wine are the sacred symbols of a priesthood rooted in the Father.

Melchizedek is an early representation of the Teacher of Righteousness and he appears before Abraham, the archetypal father-figure, sole guarantee of the continuity between Judaism, Christianity and Islam. 

In Exodus 16 the Israelites complain they would starve in the Wilderness. The Lord said to Moses that manna would rain down from Heaven. This food or "manna" is the Mercy of Elohim and it takes on whatever form of food was most pleasing. The sacrifice (of bread & wine) may stop. The presence of "manna" vanish (under influence of the Pillar of Severity). The bread asked by Jesus however is eternal life, i.e. it is without end and does not stop. It is situated on the Middle Pillar (of Mildness). 

Three levels of Divine sustenance are clearly distinguished :
(1) physical (Assiah) & socio-psychological (Yetzirah) in the case of Abraham ;
(2) moral (Briah) in the case of Moses ;
(3) spiritual (Atziluth) in the case of Jesus, prefigured by the "pure Meal" so important for the sectarians of Qumrân.

Abraham did not have the keys of the heavens, which led to slavery (and initiated the "unleavened" exodus). Moses & his priest-kings did not have the keys of permanent Divine nearness, which led to the end of the second Temple. Jesus delivers a direct access to the highest plane available to humans. Abrahamic and Mosaic stages of Judaism testify that the Lord is the Most High Father

Jesus announces the Kingdom of Elohim, in principle inviting everybody. He is the Son of Man. His example leads to a permanent spiritual state which is near the Father in the Spirit.

? The role of Satan in both the Old Testament & the Qumrân texts is considerable. As such he is mentioned 36 times in the New Testament, which contains a total of 188 references to non-human evil.

In the narrative gospels Jesus identification with the Son of God is usually accompanied by exorcisms. The demon recorded by Mark was an unclean non-being realizing that Jesus was the Holy One of God !

Although demons are fallen angels they retain powers which may cause suffering to common humanity and the dragon and the beast immediately recognize the work of Elohim.

The absence of Satan in Q1 indicates that the Words of Jesus are not just another prophetic revelation (Briah) but also an elocution of Divine Nearness (Atziluth). Most mystics do not speak of Satan when they describe what happens in realization (or their cosmic consciousness) but leave him to play his part in purification & illumination. 

In Q1 Jesus does not mention him & his allies at all, although the topic of moral evil is not avoided. The fact that in Q1 Jesus does not utter a single word concerning Satan is proof of the revolutionary & truly transcending nature of his mission.

? "And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom"
(I Kings 5:12)

? "We have been taught that wherever the name Solomon occurs in the Song of Songs, it refers to 'the King to whom peace belongs' ..."
(Zohar, Bereshith, 9a)

? The Wisdom of Solomon is the ultimate expression of the Mosaic stage of the Israelites which ended with the destruction of the Second Temple & the subsequent diasporic re-organization of Judaism by Yohanan ben Zakkai and his friends. 

The Words of Jesus show that Jesus aims to change this world by realizing the Kingdom of Elohim here & now by means of an unworldly participation in the works of peace & spiritual healing.

? Christians usually do not refuse wealth. The traditional view is that if one is rich, one should be rich in the sight of God. Clearly this is not what Jesus said. The rich are interested in "their crops", "their barns", "their wheat" and "their goods". They overlook the poor & those in need. As long as human beings suffer as a result of poverty the rich do not deserve their wealth. They should sell most of their goods and give it away. This very simple revolutionary idea has been seldomly applied, for certain rich people are nothing but fools (they forget what happens after death).  They delude themselves that their physical death is the end of their life although the opposite is also very likely. 

 

! "In the wisdom of Thy knowledge Thou didst establish their destiny before even they were. All things exist according to Thy will and without Thee nothing is done. These Things I know by the wisdom which comes from Thee, for Thou hast unstopped my ears to marvellous mysteries.
(1QH : The Thanksgiving Hymns, I)

 

"10:1 
But after You are satisfied with food, thus give thanks :

10:2
We give thanks to Thee, O Holy Father, for Thy Holy Name which Thou didst make to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality which Thou didst make known to us through Jesus Thy Child. To Thee be glory for ever.

10:3 
Thou, Lord Almighty, didst create all things for Thy Name's sake, and didst give food and drink to men for their enjoyment, that they might give thanks to Thee, but us hast Thou blessed with spiritual food and drink and eternal light through thy Child.

10:4 
Above all we give thanks to Thee for that Thou art mighty. To thee be glory for ever.

10:5 
Remember, Lord, Thy Church, to deliver it from all evil and to make it perfect in Thy love, and gather it together in its holiness from the four winds to Thy kingdom which Thou hast prepared for it. For Thine is the power and the glory for ever.

10:6
Let grace come and let this world pass away. Hosannah to the God of David. If any man be holy, let him come ! If any man be not, let him repent : Our Lord ! Come ! Amen."
(Didachè, chapter 10)

 

! Solomon's Wisdom is to be  replaced by that of the Son of Man. Why ? The Temple of Solomon represented (according to the Midrash) the apex of the descent of the Shekhinah, when she finally returned to its original indwelling in this world.
Odeberg, H. : Hebrew Enoch, New York, 1973, pp.15-16. 

According to Eleazar of Worms (in his Sefer ha-Hokhmah) it is written that God said of Solomon  "Then I was with him, as one brought up with him : and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him." (Proverbs, 8:30).
But the First Temple was destroyed. Several ancient Jewish sources speak of the removal of the Shekhinah because of idolatry. "For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods : and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father." (1 Kings, 11:4). This duality in Solomon and his adoration of the abomination of Moab & Molech made the Lord angry. And so He commanded him  "... that he should not go after other gods : but he kept not that which the Lord commanded" (1 Kings, 11:10)

 

! "Heaven" is both the firmament and the spiritual abode of Elohim. In the Old Testament the phrase "heaven of heavens" is also used. In the Zohar we find that the kingdom of heaven is "the gateway to the higher world".
(Leviticus, 108a-108b)
In Hebrew "heaven" (shemayim) is composed of the two words for fire and water (snow), woven together to make the world of Briah (Plato's world of ideas, the "noûs" of neoplatonism, the "Poimandre" of hermetism), separated by one remove from Divine nearness (Atziluth). Accounts of the (seven) heavens mostly appear in early apocalyptic texts. Each heaven corresponds with one of its Biblical names. The highest is "arabot", the highest level of Briah, called "heaven of heavens". It is the most Divine part of creation, closest to the Tiphareth of Atziluth, the "heart" of the Divine Beings, or "Creator". Jesus initiates humanity's access to the highest heaven and moves beyond Briah, centred in Tiphareth, the grade of both Moses & Solomon.

 

? "And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread" (...) "And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened ; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual."
(Exodus, 12:8 & 39)

 

! Comparing "leaven" with the Kingdom of Elohim, suggests that the Mosaic law concerning unleavened bread is abrogated. The Jews had to eat their bread unleavened (and with bitter herbs) for their condition was not as yet spiritually complete. The Kingdom of Elohim was theirs as a Briatic state of liberation (out of the slavery of the image-deities of Egypt), but not as a direct Divine nearness, without means and without why, always already. The leaven (the Kingdom of Elohim at all levels) is given to Jesus and through Jesus to humanity as a whole (the Israel of All Nations).

 

! The story of the great supper is again proof of the theme of Divine nearness and the fact that Jesus is not a king, prophet or one of the messiahs. The latter initiate a new perspective on creation, whereas Jesus invites us to understand Divine Presence in terms of immediate immanence. The great supper is a permanent fact : in the incarnation of the Son of Man the Kingdom of Elohim is completed. Many are invited. The man who gave this supper is Jesus. His disciples serve the Son of Man. They go out and say that here & now their time has come ! Those unattached to their material conditions will benefit from the fact that those invited to the banquet are unwilling to understand the importance of this invitation.  

 

! "Thus said the Lord God unto these bones ; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live : And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live ; and ye shall know that I am the Lord."
(Ezekiel, 37:5-6)

 

! "For God has established the two spirits (...) until the determined end, and until the Renewal, and He knows the reward of their deeds from all eternity."
(The Community Rule, IV,25)

 

Feuerbach believed that Luther understood :
"that it was crucial for practical Christian faith that there be no distinction between the idea of God in-and-for-Himself and God for us, that there be no possibility of doubt that what was revealed in Christ was the essence of God. He understood, in short, that 'Nothing is in God which is not in Christ ; Christ is the manifest (i.e., the open, unreserved) God, and this God is a human being."
(Harvey, A. : Feuerbach and the interpretation of religion, Cambridge, 1997, pp.150-151)
 

This is one of the many possible interpretations of the historical words of Jesus. The elements of Western philosophy & the basics of the scheme of qabalah (the visionary & mystical "flower" of Israel) are presupposed. More than one biblical scholar agrees that this earliest layer of the sayings gospel Q (from "Quelle", the German word for "source" entitled "The Sayings of Jesus") called Q1 contains the oldest Jesus-words on record (Q has three layers - cf. Kloppenborg, 1988). These sayings were incorporated by Matthew & Luke in their narrative gospels (the "two-document hypothesis" or "two-source theory" proposed by Weisse in 1838). Some conservative scholars reject this standard solution of the synoptic problem. Nevertheless, other scientists, the present author included, refer to Q by verse & cluster and regard it as our key resource on the historical Jesus.

These teachings do not offer the complete picture, which -historically- is lost. Major evangelical, Christian themes like the passion & resurrection, the initiation of the church and the eucharist, are therefore not a priori insignificant, but they do not occur in this foundational text of Christianity.

The scientific evidence made available by the Jesus Seminar (Cameron, Crossan, Kloppenborg, Mack), makes it probable that most of the books of the New Testament are based upon inventive christocentric metaphysical & mythical thought (neo-Platonism combined with Judaism -Philo of Alexandria- and a focus on martyrdom & the soteriology of the Jerusalem-drama). Paul, the apostles and the bishops of the third generation (ca. 100 AD) borrowed heavily from sources pre-dating Jesus and from the traditional Jewish context surrounding Jesus, to be distinguished from what Jesus really taught. They did this in order to superstructure their experience of Jesus the Christ.

Like second century "heretics", we may conclude that the apostles were not those trustworthy witnesses of Jesus believers hold them to be (mid second century AD, the Marcionites were the first to claim that the apostles -except Paul & Luke- had misunderstood Jesus). The apostles & the bishops appointed by them, invented new theories, effectively monopolizing the creative "wind" of the Holy Spirit, erecting a centrist (Mack, 1988) Christian neo-Platonism (which would eventually be overturned by Aristotelian Thomism).

Present day conservatives claim that the Jesus Seminar does not represent a cross-section or consensus view on scientific non-evangelical scholarship. They reject any interpretation of the teachings of Jesus outside the evangelical tradition, which -according to them- is a trustworthy narrative of Jesus life (Thiede, 1996 & Laurentin, 1997). I do not agree with this latter view, but at the same time remain very critical concerning the cynical interpretation of Jesus proposed by some members of the Jesus Seminar (Mack, 1993).

The Dead Sea Scrolls help us to understand Palestinian Jewish life and ideology roughly from 200 BC to a few decades after Jesus died (mid first century AD). The darkness-versus-light metaphors, Messianism and documents like 1QSa or The Rule of the Congregation (Barthélemy, 1955) -with its proto-eucharist- are pre-christic, apocalyptic & Jewish. 

The distinction between the sayings gospel from Jesus, the Son of Man and the narrative gospel of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, as explained elsewhere, is thus found to be very significant. Furthermore, Jesus' words contain certain phrases which can be more fully savoured after their (often revolutionary) qabalah has been explained. Major sources for the traditional Jewish qabalah are : Sepher Yetzirah, Bahir & Zohar.

In the left column, next to Links, Contrasts (?) & Concordances (!) are added.


Q1 : an Interpretation


Q1

These are the Words of Jesus.

TEACHINGS

Seeing the crowds he said to his disciples :

the fortunate (Lc.6:20-21)

¶ 1 What we are about to learn is part of the triad established between Jesus, his disciples & the crowds who follow him. These words are spoken to the actual, historical community of disciples of Jesus, not to some abstract auditorium. The distinction between the crowds & the disciples is distinct. Jesus sends his disciples out "as lambs among wolves" (Q1 33). The number twelve (symbolizing the tribes of Israël) is not mentioned. The only name in Q1 is that of  king Solomon.
¶ 2 In Q1, Jesus is not a public figure, but he is willing to share his insights with his followers (unlike the Jesus portrayed by Mark, who is throughout awesome & misunderstood, except by the demon).


1 "How fortunate are the poor ; they have the Kingdom of Elohim.

¶ 1 The poor are "the humble". Their spirituality is the result of a vow of poverty. They have detached themselves from the world and they are few (Q1 32). Their poverty has become a way of life. They are always confident in the Father (Q1 69-71). Because they know that material goods & worldly status are futile (Q1 61) they can not be touched by the foolishness of the world. Hence, they acquire spiritual wealth (Q1 62). And the Father takes care of them (Q1 70-71). This path is not popular.
¶ 2 The poor have the Kingdom of Elohim. Their spiritual nudity born out of unworldliness invokes the Presence of the Father. This is experienced everywhere. The acquired spiritual wealth is nothing less than the direct & permanent experience of the Divine though Jesus, the Son of Man.
¶ 3 The asceticism of the humble, firmly renouncing the world, is the result of a denudation or a purification, negating (restricting) all possible worldly conditions. The illumination brought about by entering the Kingdom is a new state of consciousness, affirming Elohim's permanent grip on reality.

¶ 4 The philology of the word "Elohim" has been studied elsewhere. The bi-polarity of the Divine, acknowledged in Judaism, involves the distinction between the infinite, uncreated, incomprehensible, wholly transcendent YHVH and the Presence of YHVH in His creation, expressed by the words "Elohim" (ALHYM) and "Shekinah". In English "YHVH" should be equated with "God" and "Elohim" with "Divine Beings" (and not, as it the case since the Septuagint, "Elohim" as "God"- cf. YHVH, 1995).
¶ 5 The "Kingdom" of Elohim is not a state outside creation. Transcendence is only for the unbegotten Father to be in, and can therefore not be called "being", for it is beyond being and not-being. The Kingdom happens within creation and so implies a unique state of being (the "summum bonum"-as-reality). It is not necessarily a state beyond death, as suggested by medieval Roman Catholicism. For the Kingdom of Elohim is also the Presence of the Father (cf. the "Shekinah") in the coarse, the gross & the material. It is the realization of this Presence in every part of being, i.e. as the ultimate mystical experience (cosmic consciousness), i.e. Elohim-with-us. Thirdly, It (or They -the Divine Beings-) can be associated with the state of peace associated with the blessing of peace in the name of Jesus (Q1 39). Although the Kingdom of Elohim is happening, suffering exists for "those of the world" (Q1 70). Only when all suffering has been transformed is this Kingdom fully realized.

2 How fortunate the hungry ; they will be fed.
3 How fortunate those who weep ; they will laugh."


¶ 1 Poverty, besides spiritual, is also physical & moral. The humble do not rejoice in their spiritual wealth (Q1 77). Because the Father is guiding them (Q1 71), they share what they receive (Q1 49).
¶ 2 The hungry & the weeping are fortunate because they will be fed & they will laugh. Also because this change was brought about by a humble disciple of Jesus, exemplifying the spiritual nobility of material denudation (Q1 34 & Q1 38-39).
¶ 3 These first verses contain the essence of the teachings. Physical, moral & spiritual poverty must be eliminated. This happens when the Kingdom of the Father is happening. Paradoxically, this illumination is brought about by denudation, unworldliness & a vow of poverty. The egoism of the rich & powerful has always been the cause of humanity's misery. The humble accept the Providence of the Father (Q1 53-54) and have changed their attitude regarding the world (cf. Augustine's "in the world but not of the world"). The Kingdom of Elohim is the realized Eden here and now, transexisting as a Divine Presence in the actuality of all beings & events.

do good (Lc.6:27-35)

4 "But to You who hear, I say : love your enemies, bless those who curse You, and pray for those who mistreat You.
5 If someone slaps You on the cheek, offer the other as well. If anyone grabs your coat, let him have your shirt as well.
6 Give to anyone who asks, and if someone takes away which is yours, do not ask to have it back.


¶ 1 The ancient "lex talionis" taught us to hate those who are against us, to fight those who curse us and to judge those who mistreat us. To those open enough to receive a new kind of law the opposite is suggested and the old is abrogated. The Kingdom of the Father is all the followers of Jesus need. The harshest of lessons !
¶ 2 The Israelite God
at work in the Old Testament is stern & revengeful. The ideas of conflict, iniquity & lawful retribution always play some (major) part in the drama of these texts. Although the qabalah teaches that Mercy is stronger than Justice, YHVH is often portrayed as (justly) warlike & vindictive. The teaching of Jesus in Q1 is opposed to this Semitic concept of the Divine. Those who are just, should trust the Father (Q1 68) and number His gifts (Q1 71). Jesus allows one to perceive a pluri-cultural community of human beings because evil, iniquity & judgement are not part of the Most High Father of the Son of Man.
Q1 4 Unconditional trust in the Father is the only possible solution when confronted with the work of enemies, curses & mistreatments. With this kind of trust come love, blessing & prayer. These three spiritual exercises are the only real adequate responses, for the Kingdom has come and the Father is good :
* When You hate your enemy, the hate You produce causes new hate to arise (in yourself & in others). A chain of hatred ensues and finally a point of no return is reached. Either You or your enemy will be destroyed. In the case your enemy has been destroyed, your hatred has made your seeds of love dormant ...
* When You craft against those who curse You, nothing more than a series of confrontations ensue. To bless those who curse means to move beyond these usual conflicts, pulled by and in the care of the Father & His actual Kingdom.
* When You pray for those who mistreat You, You ask the Father to relieve You from the results of your own evil deeds.
¶ 4 Q1 5 Jesus is unconventional & revolutionary. He preaches radical non-violence. Through physical violence nothing lasting can be obtained. What people give, the Father will return (Q1 72). Conventional war is rejected.
¶ 5 Q1 6 The difficulties encountered with generosity can be overcome if in return nothing is expected. To give away without asking, involves a mental operation which runs against the lawful, conventional (economical) "quid-pro-quo"-mentality. This may trigger a new attitude, more aware of the real needs of people.

7 As You want people to treat You, do the same to them.

¶ 1 This is the Golden Rule. It can also be found in
Ancient Egypt, Hinduism, Buddhism & Islam. This standard regulates actions. It does not presuppose that human nature is uniform and intents the promotion of the welfare of human beings.

¶ 2 In negative terms, this rule warns against selfish behaviour. No human community can be maintained if its members strive to satisfy their personal ambitions without considering the possible consequences of their limited egoism on the community as a whole.

¶ 3 Can we do good for our fellow humans if we do not respect ourselves ? I
f one does not "take heed to thyself" (Tobit 4:14-15) or even worse, if one hates oneself, how to withhold to others what one does to oneself ?
¶ 4 Too much emphasis on human weakness (i.e. Adam's fall) or a lack of confidence in the Father, who forgives the repentant, will abrogate the elevating effects of the Golden Rule. For if I do not consider myself as a possible child of Elohim (Q1 11), I destroy the necessary connection. How to be forgiven then ? (Q1 44)
¶ 5 The Golden Rule also implies that You know how You want to be treated. This implies that You know the essentials of your own personality.

8 For if You love those who love You, what credit is that to You ?
Even tax collectors love those who love them, do they not ?
9 And if You embrace only your brothers, what credit is that to You ? Doesn't everybody do that ?
10 And if You lend to those from whom You hope to receive, what credit is that to You ? For wrongdoers also lend to their kind because they expect to be repaid.


¶ 1 The love of Jesus is universal. It transcends the conventional moral dialectics between right & wrong, between good & evil, between love & hate, between the "chosen" race (sex, group, community) and the "others". Here we learn that real credit (cf. the treasure in the heavens - Q1 72) means much more than just loving those who love You (living in a cocoon), more than just embracing your brothers. To love one's enemies means to love irrespective of the personal relationship between the lover and the enemy. Quiet a different and more difficult task. Because Jesus was a Jew, the issue of racism was at hand.
¶ 2 Universal love is with a capital "L". This Love is beyond the moral spectrum established by on the one hand a brotherly embrace (love) and on the other iniquity (hate). It is erected
on a rock foundation (Q1 24), the example of the Son of Man.

11 On the contrary, love your enemies, do good and lend without expecting anything in return. Your reward will be great, and You will be children of
Elohim. For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good ; He sends rain on the just and on the unjust."

¶ 1 Besides the moral spectrum (between love & hate) another more ontological division is suggested : the intense Love of the Father ("His sun") and His nourishment (the cooling rain) are such that both good (the just) and evil (the unjust) depend on them. His Love is universal & disinterested. He is good to all, just & unjust alike. A formidable statement.
¶ 2 Jesus promise is a reward. Not only may we become rich in the sight of
Elohim (Q1 62), we may also store up a secure treasure in the heavens for ourselves (Q1 72). Jesus Words are like a rock (Q1 24). The greatest of rewards however is not the treasure of bliss (which is not excluded). The "children of
Elohim" are a godlike Kingdom of good beings. The Words of Jesus lead to "adoption" by the Father.
¶ 3 The Father does not create evil. His goodness is such that He helps all, good & evil alike and in accordance with their merits (Q1 61-62). What a difference with the judgement-minded Judaic notion of salvation by a Lord who also created evil.


judgement (Lc.6:36-38)

12 "Be merciful even as your Father is merciful.
13 Judge not, and You will not be judged.
14 For You will be judged with the standard You judge with."


¶ 1 The Divine Father is merciful. Mercy judges not, but, at its own good time, restores the plenty compassionately. The followers of Jesus are called to reactivate the Divine image of their Father by the spiritual exercise of forgiveness.
¶ 2 Most averse circumstances are the end result of the projection of a limited set of possibilities. Project nothing and nothing will return to You. The limitations You project will surely be encountered. If You need to project a limitation, understand the return before engaging the intention beyond your own subjectivity.

a parable (Lc.6:39-40)

15 He gave them a parable : "Can the blind lead the blind ? Will they not both fall into a pit ?
16 A student is not above his teacher. It is enough for a student to be like his teacher."


¶ 1 Those who follow traditions which have outlived their use are blind. Those who sustain traditions of the past are also blind. Is spiritual leadership still necessary in the sight of the Kingdom of the Father ?
¶ 2 No teachings can be conveyed when a student is superior to his teacher (the meaning of the word is lost). Blind leadership will eventually cause misfortune to those who were foolish enough to blindly follow the unenlightened. Only those of the Kingdom are leaders of spirits.
¶ 3 In a spiritual tradition
, teachers and students are inevitable. But the difference is eliminated at the end when the student is like his teacher.
¶ 4 Jesus does not teach his disciples to completely merge with him. It is enough that they are similar to him, approaching his sublime example without becoming him.

no hypocrisy (Lc.6:41-42)

17 "How can You look for the splinter in your brother's eye,
and not notice the stick in your own eye ?
18 How can You say to your brother : 'Brother, let me pull out the splinter in your eye', when You do not see the stick in your own eye ? You hypocrite ! First take the stick from your own eye, and then You can see to remove the splinter that is in your brother's eye."


¶ 1 The hypocrite judges others without beforehand having judged himself. He does not notice his own shortages and so is unable to correct himself first. He is eager to identify another's weakness without having thoroughly move beyond his own. The Jesus of Q1 only rarely warns, but when this happens important issues are at hand.
¶ 2 The law of the Old Convenant was not without vindictive qualities. He who wronged YHVH would not know happiness, and this for many generations. Jesus breaks with this and shows that by understanding the cause of sorrow one is able to find a way of life blessed with Fatherly gifts. Reciprocity & not judging others if one does not want to be judged are definitely two key elements.
¶ 3 Judgement is possible. But only by those who judged themselves first and adjusted in order to spiritually evolve.

two ways (Lc.6:43-45)

19 "A good tree does not bear rotten fruit ; a rotten tree does not bear good fruit.
20 Are figs gathered from thorns, or grapes from thistles ? Every tree is known by its fruit.
21 The good man produces good things from his store of goods and treasures ; and the evil man evil things. For the mouth speaks from a full heart !"


¶ 1 The essence of being is fruitfulness, its creativity, its art of living, symbolized by the good tree. This tree is also a righteous human, who necessarily bears good, beautiful fruits. The Father sustains good & evil alike (Q1 11). But no good comes from evil and no evil from good.
¶ 2 In order to distinguish justly, time is needed. He who judges hastily will have forgotten his own faults. Good fruits are not created momentarily. But when the vital force is exhausted, rottenness moves quickly.
¶ 3 After a sufficiently long period of participation, one is able to observe an increase or a decrease in every interaction with a living organism, humanity included. Good humans produce a plenty and share it with everybody. Evil ones destroy, cause suffering and enjoy hate. For those evolved enough, both can be distinguished immediately by their words. Evil humans will stress the negative, desolate & sorrowful.

the importance of deeds (Lc.6:46-49)

22 "And why do You call me 'Master, master', and do not do what I say ?
23 Everyone who hears my words and does them, I will show You to whom he is like.
24 He is like a man who built a house on a rock. The rain fell, a torrent broke against the house, and it did not fall, for it had a rock foundation.
25 But everyone who hears my words but does not do them, is like a man who built a house on sand. The rain came, the torrent broke against it, and it collapsed. The ruin of that house was great."

¶ 1 Most people do not have a long term vision on existence. Jesus wants to change this. Considering what happens after one dies, Jesus offers a new perspective on life (Q1 61-62). But he does not need followers who only hear of the good news. He knows that each person's action is necessary. Accepting Jesus as a Master implies that one is willing to change one's behaviour.
¶ 2 The words of Jesus are a rock. They will offer the disciple a firm foundation, unwavering in the sight of terrible dangers.
¶ 3 Those who can not accept these words will be less secure and as soon as life afflicts them, they will increase their suffering by being attached to the collapsing. This will cause even more pain if they have heard Jesus' words but have not enacted them.
¶ 4 Moreover, in this metaphor the house & the torrent are identical. Only the foundations determine the difference. He who built a house on Jesus is authentic. In a crisis, only a genuine inner foundation guarantees that one does not fall. He who built a house on sand can -on the surface- not be distinguished from the former.

INSTRUCTIONS

the good choices (Lc.9:57-62)

26 When someone said to him : "Master, I will follow You wherever You go."
27 Jesus answered : "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."


¶ 1 This is a fundamental instruction. The method of Jesus is given with the first verse of Q1. His essence with Q1 27. Nobody is able to follow Jesus wherever he goes. We know that it is enough for the disciple to be similar to Jesus (Q1 16). Ontological unity with this spiritual Master is not possible. No creature is able to realize this. Why ?
¶ 2 The enigmatic and ambiguous reference "Son of Man" should unlock this most profound mystery of the Jesus-people. It also clears the way for a Christological interpretation of Jesus. Unfortunately, this term is not a clear-cut construction in Greek, nor did it much sense in that language. In Aramaic, it literally means "child of humankind". The fact that this self-reference occurs at the earliest stage, shows that it is more than a mythological reconstruction of the followers of Jesus after he was crucified. The term occurs several time at the Q2-stage of Q, pointing to this incredible multi-national figure mentioned only once in the Old Testament.
¶ 3 "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him : His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14). 
The term "Son of Man" has -also in this unique text- the capacity of two-fold reference, indicating both a particular human being and a Divine Person. In Q2, this Divine Person is an apocalyptic figure. The term "Ancient of Days" is an appellation, a title of Kether, the Crown of Jewish mysticism, the alternation-point between, on the one hand, the Ain Soph, the Infinite (transcendence) and, on the other hand, the "summum bonum" of the finite Creation (immanence), also called Palace, First Cause (Zohar) or Creator (Elohim), not to be confused with "the King", who is the Supreme Cause or God (YHVH). In the time of the Kingdom of the Messiah, the Holy Name is united in its harmonious wholeness, "and sacrifices will be offered to the united Names YHVH Elohim" (Zohar, Mishpatim, 108b).
¶ 4 So according to Daniel, this unique Son of Man was brought before the Creator and given an everlasting dominion involving all people, nations & languages. This Son of Man is equated with Wisdom (Chockmah), associated -in the neo-Platonic interpretation- with the "logos" or "second God" (Philo of Alexandria). Jesus as Wisdom incarnate ?
¶ 5 Mark equated the Jewish Messiah, the Anointed One (in Greek "Christos"), with the Son of God and the latter with the Son of Man. Two traditions were thus put together. Only at the Q2-stage is the link between Jesus as Son of Man and the heavenly, Messianic Son of God suggested ("Every one who admits in public that they know me, the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of Elohim.") This happened after the Jesus-people had lost their Master.
However, the term "Son of God" does occur in Q3, the latest layer of Q, when the formative myths were in place. It is Satan (as in the Gospel of Mark) who identifies Jesus as "Son of God" ! Furthermore, the title "Son of God" was not, in Judaism, a customary Messianic title, nor a way of referring to the Messiah. In fact, in the synoptics, it is not often connected with Messiahship and instead almost always appears in the context of miracles. The title "Son of God" appears before and independently of the notion of Divine paternity. Moreover, when Origen had to counter the similarity of Jesus' miracles to those of common magicians, he indicated that none of the "goetes" by the things he does, calls the spectators to moral reformation, or teaches the fear of God to those astounded by the show (Contra Celsus, I.6, II.51 & III.33-35).
¶ 6 Jesus claims that he is the Son of Man. The earliest source does not mention that Jesus is the Son of God, which is rather unexpected in view of the scale of later Christian mythologies. Although incarnated as a human ("child of humanity"), Jesus transcends the material, temporal conditions of Earthly existence. But ... His place to rest is not here. This is a proto-christic element which is made evident in Q1 : Jesus is more than just another enlightened spiritual Master. He -as the Son of Man- brings the Kingdom of His Father. Jesus is Elohim-with-us, Jesus is the Divine-in-humanity. This proto-christic (Messianic) element is elaborated in Q2 (introducing mediation, reward & developing the heavenly nature of the "Son of Man") and Q3, speaking of a "Son of God" in the context of a prosecuting angel of the heavenly court ("diabolos"). The earliest followers of Jesus did think of him as a Divine human being. Only an atheist, prejudiced reading of the notion "Son of Man" (manifest in too liberal an interpretation of the phrase as a simple circumlocution) is unable to see this.
¶ 7 Two traditions should be distinguished :
(1) spirito-historical : "Son of Man" : Jesus, an incarnation of the Divine in humanity ;
(2) metaphysical : "Son of God" : Christ as the Word of God and Jesus the Christ as the Word of God Incarnate. The latter tradition has a "gnostic" and a "catholic" side, an "inner", esoteric and an "outer", exoteric mode of Christianity.

28 When another said : "Let me first go and bury my father."
29 Jesus said : "Leave the dead to bury their dead."

30 Yet another said : "I will follow You, Master, but first let me say farewell to my family."
31 Jesus said to him : "No one who puts his hand to the plow and then looks back is fit for the Kingdom of
Elohim."

¶ 1 It is difficult to follow Jesus. Bad habits, useless conventions, unspiritual common patterns, certain unwholesome values, expectations & norms have to be firmly rejected. One can not have it both ways.
¶ 2 Jesus wants peace. To achieve this, he asks of his disciples to denude themselves. Some physical, psychological & social attachments have to be relinquished. There is no other way. The Kingdom of Elohim is untainted by evil, death & war. No logic of compromize with the world is possible, although the world is not rejected (but given its natural time to evolve).

lambs among wolves (Lc.10:2-11)

32 He said : "The harvest is great, but the workers are few ; beg therefore the Master of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.
33 Go your ways : look, I send You out as lambs among wolves.
34 Do not carry purse, or bag, or sandals, or staff ; and do not greet anyone on the road.
35 Whatever house You enter, say : 'Peace be to this house !'
36 And if a child of peace is there, your peace will rest on him ; if not, let your peace return to You.
37 And stay in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house.
38 And if You enter a town, and they receive You, eat what is set before You,
39 heal the sick there, and say to them : 'The Kingdom of
Elohim has come near to You.'
40 But if You enter a town and they do not receive You, as You leave, shake the dust from your feet and say :
41 'Nevertheless, be sure of this, the Kingdom of
Elohim has come to You.'"

¶ 1 These verses contain Jesus' ideas concerning ministry & mission. The Father is called "Master of the harvest". It is thanks to Him that there is growth, i.e. life to be harvested. Moreover, the Father is also Master of the spiritual harvest. The harvest He brings is great. The Father multiplies everything.
¶ 2 But a bountiful harvest, a season of plenty, is not enough. Fruits may rot. They have to be cut and gathered. However, the workers are few. The disciples should beg the Father to grow in number. Whether or not this is granted remains open. Perhaps the number of disciples of Jesus able to cut & gather the spirit of those who will eventually consume the fruits of the Kingdom of the Father is always very limited.
¶ 3 "Go your ways" shows the diversity of genuine expressions of Jesus' teachings although their common practice is the making of peace. How are lambs able to withstand wolves ? Israel is often warlike and seeks righteousness ("Geburah"). Peace however seeks love, compassion, mercy & wisdom ("Netzach", "Chesed" & "Chockmah"). The right side is able to absorb the left, and -not unlike Patañjali- Jesus affirms that in the presence of the disciples all adversity vanishes. Their hearts are rooted in the Middle Pillar of Mildness.
¶ 4 The bringer of peace has no time for mundane conventions, s/he prays to exist in the Father's care, wears & possesses little and does not cling to external status & dignity. Peace-makers are self-sufficient and have to accept no authority, except that of the Father.
¶ 6 Jesus was itinerant and did not possess his own house. Likewise his disciples are at home everywhere, for there is no place on Earth which is without the Presence of the Father who created everything. For him all creatures are essentially identical, and so in spiritual matters no distinctions between them should be made. The metaphorical difference indicated by the words "road" and "house" is nevertheless operational. When "on the road" his disciples (not unlike the birds - Q1 66) directly depend on the Father, but as soon as they enter a "house" they are subjected to the free will of those who own this house and their willingness to give them food & shelter or on the contrary to be indifferent.
¶ 7 The first thing to do is to bless the house one has entered. The way Jesus explains what happens is indicative of the magical & the miraculous, for the fact that this blessing may return when nobody is able to support this peace ,is suggestive of the idea that this offered peace is as it were an energy emitted by the disciples in the name of Jesus. This peace seeks a "son of peace", i.e. a child of peace, someone able to accept this offering of peace because he or she is peaceful. The return implies that nothing is lost. When warlike individuals are present, the energy is not dissipated, but bounces off and automatically seeks its source. In a certain way this shows that this blessing is meant for those who are already at peace with themselves and the world. So the peace of Jesus becomes a sign of recognition amongst the followers of Jesus (and those who have made their peace without knowing Jesus).
¶ 8 These disciples deserve their small rewards, and so those unable to give them even that are unquestionably doing the wrong thing. But, the disciples should not beg for their reward nor leave a house to find another more willing person. The whole attitude of expectation or seeking rewards has to be relinquished. They have to accept what is given to them and even help those unable or too selfish to give something in return. Even when they are not accepted they should only wipe off the impurity of the old person clinging as dust at their feet. And in the open they have to declare to these unwilling people that the Kingdom has come over them, despite their refusal to give to His disciples what they deserve without expecting it.
¶ 9 What is the core of their ministry besides being the messagers of peace in the name of Jesus who sends them out ? Jesus speaks of two combined actions : to heal and to announce (that the Kingdom has come over them). The christic versions of Jesus' exorcisms (as in the the Gospel of Mark) are rooted in the healing power given by Jesus to his disciples, as acknowledged in this oldest layer of Q. Healing occurs when the Kingdom of Elohim has come over the sick. Their disease is spiritual. Perhaps all possible diseases are rooted in the spiritual abortion of peace and the deliberate negation of one's filiation (through Jesus) with the Father.

CONFIDENCE IN THE FATHER

prayer to the Father (Lc.11:2-4)

42 He said to them :
"When You pray, say :
'Father, may your name be holy.
May your rule take place.
43 Always give us our bread.
44 Forgive us our debts,
for we ourselves forgive everyone
that is indebted to us.
And lead us away from a trying situation'."

¶ 1 In order to be able to live according to Jesus' teachings, confidence in the Father is more than necessary. Without it, the followers are confronted with their fears (Q1 63) and only focus on their physical bodies, worldly conditions & worries. Divine Providence is extremely understanding and aware of the smallest details of life (Q1 54). Confidence implies trust and he who trusts the Father understands that He will never stop helping those who are working along the lines of His Plan by accepting Jesus as Son of Man.
¶ 2 To pray means to trust. For why should one spiritually address the Divine Being of the Father without at least accepting His Presence in every point of the world ? The name of the Father, i.e. His essence, is holy, i.e. complete, totalizing & perfect. So His rule has to take place, not ours or that of Jesus. To ask for this, means that we (together with the Son of Man) humbly accept our own frailty relative to the powerful, magnificent & grand scheme of the Father who rules over the universe as a whole and who nevertheless grants us the possibility to participate.
¶ 3 What to say about the Divine essence of the Father ? Jesus tells us He (as the source of all creation) cares for all creatures. But the bi-polarity is not explicit (and belonged to the more learned theology of the Levites - cf. YHVH). The difference between YHVH and Elohim is not made, and so it is unclear whether the equation {ø} = 1 holds.
'YHVH' refers to the ineffable, uncreated "Ain Soph", named YHVH, who according to the qabalists made a hollow in the Infinite Light and contracted it to a point of singularity, the fountainhead of all of existence or First Elohim (Elohim of Elohims), the foundational unity of creation (Kether). "Elohims" is written here as a plural, indicating that more than one Divine Being (or immanent Divine Presence within the natural order) exists, although they all emanate from & depend on a unique first cause, called "Kether" or "Crown", to be identified with the First of the Elohim. This First Cause (called "the Head which is Not") is as it were rooted in the Infinite, the Supreme Cause of which nothing can be said. In this scheme, Son and Holy Spirit are subordinated to the Father, and belong to the created order (cf. Arianism). It is unclear whether this is the position of Jesus. In fact, the Father as one of the Divine Persons of the Holy Trinity transcends creation and should therefore not be confused with the "Elohim", who are uncreated Divine energies.
Jesus is not interested in intricate theological investigations. He constantly reminds us that all of existence, all of life is the result of the goodness of the Father, who sustains all, even the wicked. So when we say "Father" we acknowledge His care, goodness & trust. So this first word of Jesus' prayer summarizes the essence of our relationship : we are His children.
¶ 4 Q1 43 contains the Greek "epionsios" (in Latin : "cotidianum"), usually translated as "daily". This word also means : "for our sustenance", "for today" or "for the next day" ... The gift of the Father is not only "daily" (today and tomorrow) but is "always". From a compositional perspective, this verse is the pivot between the theological Q1 42 and the ethical Q1 44. The Divine Father is not only the source of all of existence, but is also directly responsible for the permanent spiritual nourishment of His creatures. The metaphorical use of the simple word "bread" suggests that in the human realm His nourishment not only relates to the physical aspect but also rejuvenates the social & the spiritual. The bread asked through Jesus is nothing less than eternal life.
¶ 5 Q1 44, the latter part of this "prayer of prayers" shows the importance of morality in matters spiritual. The link between humanity (the realms of Assiah & Yetzirah) and the Divine (Atziluth) is moral (Briah), meaning that how one behaves determines how Divine Providence will take care. If unable to forgive, one will not be forgiven. If unable to forgive oneself, one is unable to forgive others. Also the contrary is true. As soon as we forgive (which is not the same as forgetting) we can be forgiven ourselves, and Divine Providence will smoothly but dramatically alter the course of events happening in our life. In order for forgiveness to be complete, repentance (metanoia) is necessary. We have to acknowledge that we were wrong. This is also the case when others do us wrong. If they do not repent, they will not be forgiven (even after we have forgiven them). So in order for forgiveness to be complete for all sides, everybody should come forth with his or her mistakes and be really sorry, implying that the mistake is not intended to happen again. Pentence is the outer sign of this intention.
¶ 6 The last line of Q1 44 is interesting. Metaphysical, personalized anti-good only appears in Q2 and Q3. In Q1 no devil is at work. We suffer because we are incomplete followers of the Word announced by Jesus. The only evil at work in Q1 is human wickedness.


the goodness of the Father (Lc.11:9-11)


45 "Ask and it will be given to You ; seek and You will find ; knock and the door will be opened for You.
46 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks the door will be opened.


¶ 1 Contrary to some teachings, the Father is willing to give and open new life. He is extremely accessible. Ask in the name of Jesus, and You will receive.
¶ 2 It is we who veil His Presence and close the door. If we are unwilling to ask, why should He give us anything ?

47 What father of yours, if his son ask for a loaf of bread,
will give him a stone ?
48 Or if he ask for a fish, will give him a snake ?
49 So, if You, although You are not good, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father above give good things to those who ask Him ?"


¶ 1 Again the unconditional goodness of the Father is made manifest.
¶ 2 Jesus teaches that if evildoers may cherish their own children, how much more is the Father able to give to those who ask.


SPEAKING OUT AND AGAINST FEAR

openness (Lc.12:2-3)

50 "For nothing is hidden that will not be made known, or secret that will not come to light.
51 What I tell You in the dark, speak in the light, and what You hear as a whisper, proclaim on the housetops."


against fear (Lc.12:4 & 6-7)

52 "I say to You my friends : be not afraid of those that kill the body, and after that have nothing more to do.
53 Are five sparrows not sold for two cents ? Yet
Elohim does not forget one of them.
54 Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows."


¶ 1 The self-worth of the early Jesus-people is their major driving force. Because Jesus is the Son of Man, they have nothing to fear, for Jesus is their friend. The teachings are universal, straightforward and accessible to all. Contrary to the secretive approach of the high priest of Jerusalem (whispering the ineffable word only once a year), Jesus proposed a simple spiritual teaching of Divine Presence (the Kingdom) and Peace (the mission).
¶ 2 The value given by human economy to living beings is not relative to their absolute worth as part of the Divine Order.


ON PERSONAL GOODS

unworldliness & a poor rich man (Lc.12:13-21)

55 Someone from the crowd said to him : "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."
56 He said to him : "Man, who made me your judge or divider ?"


¶ 1 Jesus has not come to judge how to divide worldly goods. Some things are part of the order of the world and should not be confounded with spiritual wealth. In fact, these teachings are throughout unworldly in the sense that they invisage a spiritual Kingdom of Divine Peace, not a political organization. When Jesus is asked to divide in juridical or economical matters, he turns away and does not interfere. Contrary to Solomon's Wisdom, Jesus does not rule as a king, a judge or collector. He works on a level beyond moral desputes (Briah).  Jesus' teachings point to the nearness (Atziluth) of the "treasure in the heavens" (Q1 72) and suggest that another kind of wealth should be fostered (Q1 62). Jesus considered humanity to be able to bear the responsibility of the fruits of its free will, whether combined or divided.
¶ 2 So the underlying idea is the distinction between "heaven" and "earth". Jesus teaches that every human is part of the Father's will. To acknowledge this link, is to exist as a spiritual being (in "heaven"). Unable to open up, only "earth" is available, and Jesus' teachings do not deal with this. The fact that personal goods are necessary is not denied, on the contrary (Q1 71). But their importance is made the object of his subtle irony (Q1 25, Q1 61 - 62, On the banquet & Warning). Those who follow Jesus must denude themselves and relinquish the accepted order of social life (Q1 28 - 31). These teachings are not intended to result in a community or a church, for Jesus is wise enough to understand that some crystals may become tasteless (Q1 89).
¶ 3 This verse touches the core of popular interest in the immanence of the Divine. It concerns those people who act as if the spiritual is just another form of "compromize". So when they are in  trouble they hope that Jesus will intercede and ask his Father the gift of Divine Providence ... In fact, the opposite is true. Uncompromisingly, Jesus is reluctant to listen to juridical & economical problems. Intercession is not made impossible. But the initiating conditions are very strict, to the detriment of any populist theology.


57 He told them a parable, saying : "The land of a certain rich man produced in abundance.
58 And he thought to himself, saying : 'What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops ?'
59 And he said : 'This will I do. I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones, and there I will store all my wheat and my goods,
60 and I will say to my soul : Soul, You have ample goods stored up for many years. Take it easy, eat, drink, and be merry.'
61 But
Elohim said to him : 'Foolish man ! This very night You will have to give back your soul. The things You produced, whose will they be ?'
62 That is what happens to he who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich in the sight of Elohim."

¶ 1 This story is crystal-clear. Material goods do not cross the barrier of physical death. The picture is of all times. The so-called wealthy face the problem of time (just a few weeks before the French revolution, the silly Louis XVI was trying to repair one of his broken clocks). This makes it very difficult for them to forget their memories and/or dismiss any future expectation. The more mass a person has to carry, the less time s/he has to realize what the important issues really are. The gravity of matter pulls one's conscious attention down and its so-called "growth" consumes the day, everyday. As a fundamental and seemingly irretrievable loss of  moral sense occurs -especially in times of great distress amongst the majority of humanity- intermediary and final results are more than often disasterous (Q1 25) .
¶ 2 Those who got their wealth without a struggle are not out of danger. Although they have ample goods and can take it easy, they are fools. After their physical vehicle has died, they will face their spiritual poverty, i.e. the fact that their souls have not evolved by establishing the Kingdom, and this while they possessed the primary tools to do so !
¶ 3 To be rich in the sight of the Divine does not necessarily mean to be poor (Q1 70), but only what is really needed will be provided and the disciples are bound by their vow of poverty (Q1 33 - 34).


the providential life (Lc.12:22-31)

63 And he said to his disciples : "I am telling You : do not worry about your life, what You will eat, or about your body, what You will wear.
64 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.
65 Consider the ravens : they do not sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and
Elohim feeds them. How much more are You worth than the birds ?
66 Which one of You can add a single day to his life by worrying ?

¶ 1 The difference between the Jesus-people and later Christians has a lot to do with the total trust of the former in the Divine. Even in Q2 & Q3, the group's first encounter with opposition results in a recasting of Jesus' character and in the forging of connections between Jesus and the theme of the rejection of authority to pronounce judgement in apocalyptic idiom. As early as the church of Jerusalem, money was asked from the Gentile converts, and the state-funded Church of Rome was (and still is) a tribute to spiritual materialism, which was firmly rejected by the early Jesus-people. Another similar significant shift is the esoterical reinterpretation of the passion narrative, overlaid with kerygmatic & sacrificial theologies (drawn from Pagan sources). The normal practice of early Jewish followers to meet together for meals (devoid of memorials of Jesus' death) slowly became a ritual occasion, and not earlier than the third or fourth century the priest "stepped in" to take Jesus' place at the table (which became an altar), and the Christian eucharist was created (sacrificer and sacrificed coincide). However, in the Didachè (ca. 100 AD), the meal of thanksgiving is not associated with the death & resurrection of Jesus ! This is a very important fact.
¶ 2 All creatures depend on the Father. The distinction between "cultural" and "natural" is not explicit. The negative attitude of Paul regarding the needs of the body (unable to understand the bonds between the physical & the spiritual) is not present here. The Father is at work with humanity (in the later Christocentric approach this was stressed), but also created & sustains a natural order spiritual people should respect and learn from. People are worth more than the birds, but even they are part of the Father's dominion. So both Nature and Humanity lead to spiritual enlightenment (the presence of the Kingdom).
¶ 3 "Do not worry !" is the core of the practical side of Jesus' message. If one is unable to understand every event as an expression of the many relationships with the Father & the Son of Man, one will fear the unpersonal future. Q2 & Q3 are proof of the fact that this attitude did not yield the expected results. As soon as fear takes over, apocalyptic notions become far more important than the basic trust in the course of events.


67 Consider the lilies how they grow : they toil not, they spin not. Yet I say to You, that Solomon in all his splendour was not arrayed like one of these.
68 If then
Elohim so clothes the grass that is in the field today and thrown into the oven tomorrow, won't He put clothes on You, faint hearts ?

¶ 1 The rule of Solomon, the archetype of the King of Israël presiding over the first temple, is both temporal and spiritual, and often associated with Wisdom ("Chockmah"). He judges & divides, actions Jesus opposes (Q1 13 & 56). Jesus says that Solomon's spendour is less than that of a little flower like the lily. This is a revolutionary statement, proposed when Israel's national identity is confused with Hellenism and subversive activities against the Maccabean & Hasmonean dynasties of priest-kings, established ca. 150 BC in Jerusalem, is more or less permanent. Clearly the "Messianism" of this Jesus (wisdom) differs from the "traditional" Jewish theological ideas in place. The difference between the Wisdom of Solomon and that of Jesus, suggests the distinction between the "old" (Mosaic-Solomonic) convenant (or contract between humanity and Elohim) and the "new" one established by the Son of Man. In those days people were crucified for less.
¶ 2 Which clothes does the faint hearted, denuded follower receive ? The assurance that Elohim will always provides what is necessary for further spiritual growth.
¶ 3 The metaphor of the lily is interesting. "I am the rose of Shâr'on, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters." (Song of Solomon, 2:1-2). In Jewish mysticism, the lily symbolized pure, eternal life and salvation."Lily of the valleys" represents Solomon's Messianic expectation ("valley" = the world and "lily" = the Messiah realizing the Kingdom of Elohim), and "lily among thorns" images the unredempted, unsaved environment of this pure life, when present in a world which is not a Kingdom, but as yet only a Kingdom to come. The lilies are an icon for the community of free spirits, the realized Kingdom of Elohim. They grow naturally and without hard work.

69 And You, seek not what You will eat or what You will drink, neither be disquieted.
70 For those of the world seek these things, and your Father knows that You need these things.
71 But rather seek the Kingdom of
Elohim, and all these things will be yours as well.

¶ 1 "Those of the world" are unlike Jesus. They are unable to perceive the interdependence between all beings and their common origin & singularity, understood as the One Cosmic Father (Q1 53-54). So in their causal reasoning, they do not count on Elohim's ability to sustain all of creation, humanity included. They think they need to secure certain goods or services for themselves, and are disquieted. For every possession demands a portion of their available time. 
¶ 2 The Father (or absolute I) knows every single human person (or ego) and this in the most intimate way possible (as a Self). This is consistent with being able to give what is needed, to do what has to be done. The only task ahead of the followers is to seek the Kingdom of Elohim. This is a very personal & intimate event, disconnected from the realization of other beings. It truly belongs to each person's "reality-for-me".
¶ 3 When this Kingdom is found, all personal needs are fulfilled. The spiritual world is able to condition the material world. If the spiritual world is rejected, material preoccupations are all what is left. Because one turned away from the Divine, unrest & agitation results.

the eternal treasure (Lc.12:33-34)

72 "Sell your possessions and give alms. Store up a treasure in the heavens for yourselves, where no thief can break in and steal and no moth consumes.
73 For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be."


¶ 1 Again and again Jesus repeats the same message. It is unwise to trust the fruits of our fallen condition. Until the Kingdom of Elohim is realized, nothing is permanent and disharmony & corruption are present. To store ample goods for oneself helps the body but does not help the soul. It is foolishness, for the body dies whereas the soul survives (Q1 61).
¶ 2 Without a treasure in the heavens, physical death is sorrowful & desolate. For who finds joy in the burial of the unenlightened ? Those who exercize the spiritual rule of denudation will become pure enough to exist -while alive- in the providential life given by the Father. They store up a treasure in the heavens (untainted by evil) and when their material garments cease to be, no uncertain joy & bliss may be experienced, for their end is the beginning of a life with the Divine.
¶ 3 The rich have to sell their possessions and give alms to the miserable. They will be held responsible. As long as one human being suffers, wealth is unacceptable. The Kingdom of Elohim is envisaged as an Eden without want.
¶ 4 If one treasures the world, one's heart will turn evil, speaking evil words (Q1 21).

PARABLES OF THE KINGDOM

other parables (Lc.13:18-21)

74 He said : "What is the Kingdom of
Elohim like ? To what should I compare it ?
75 It is like a grain of mustard which a man took and sowed in his garden, it grew, became a great tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches."
76 He also said : "The Kingdom of Elohim is like yeast, which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till the whole was leavened."

¶ 1 The small seed of the mustard (herbs of the genus Brassica, form 0.075 to about 1.0 inch in diameter depending on what kind of seed, i.e. black or white) produces a small tree. In Palestine, Brassica nigra usually does not exceed the height of an average male. However, with a lot of sun Brassica may reach about 15 feet. The seeds are nearly globular in shape, finely pitted, odourless and have a pungent taste. In comparison with this tiny seed, the tree is huge enough for the birds to nest in its branches. The small seed is sowed in a garden fit for its growth. Likewise, the Kingdom of Elohim is initiated by small things. One does not need a grand scheme, for small is beautiful. Day by day, with regular care, the seed will grow in every way better & better. Eventually, the Kingdom will be more than the realization of an individual, for likes attract and it will have become the safe haven for a community of free spirits (symbolized by the birds).
¶ 2 "And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth." (Genesis, 18:6). The parable of the mustard seed explains the exoteric power of the Kingdom of Elohim, inviting every free spirit to join. Here, a woman hides yeast in the flour. The Kingdom of Elohim is, esoterically speaking, always penetrating and uplifting. Lasting change is affected from the inside, and becomes visible only when the hidden action is fully initiated (the yeast being divided equally over the flour). However, this initiation is triggered by the outside. Flour, symbolizing humanity, has to be kneaded in order for the yeast to trigger the change, which does not come automatically with the presence of the yeast. It takes more time than one expects, especially when one does not bake one's bread oneself.


THE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS

humility
(Lc.14:11)

77 "He who glorifies himself will be humiliated, and he who humbles himself will be praised."

¶ 1 Genuine followers are fortunate. For the humble have the Kingdom (Q1 1). But those who boast about their spiritual treasures will eventually be humiliated. When the plenty walks hand in hand with humility and thanksgiving, praise will be the outcome.
¶ 2 It is not easy to follow Jesus. Even at times when our spirit is "on the right track", danger lurks. To remain aware of one's frailty, even when all goes well,  yields the greatest of rewards. But he who glorifies himself is not a follower of Jesus.


the banquet (Lc.14:16-22)

78 "A man once gave a great supper, and invited many.
79 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited : 'Come, for everything is now ready.'
80 But they all began to make excuses. The first said to him : 'I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.'
81 And another said : 'I have bought five pair of oxen and I need to check them out. Please excuse me.'
82 And another said : 'I have married a woman and so I can't come.'
83 When the servant came home he reported this to his master. Then the master of the house in anger said to his servant : 'Go out quickly to the streets of the town and bring in as many people as You find.
84 And the servant went out into the streets and brought together everybody he could find.
85 That way the house was filled with guests.'"

¶ 1 Again a story about readiness and worldly attachments. Everything is present now, but this is not perceived. On the contrary, people make all kinds of worldly excuses. Their material possessions & their partnerships consume all of their time and so they have no time left for the spirit. So they can not accept the invitation of the Divine, who wants to share the best and who has made everything ready. This is truly scandalous.
¶ 2 The plenty of the Kingdom is at hand and Elohim invites many. But they refuse. We think that our worldly occupations are more important and so Elohim is refused. What more is needed ? The willingness to accept the plenty of the Divine and the time to assimilate its goods. So the fact that people are not part of the Kingdom is not caused by Elohim's unwillingness to share His spiritual treasure. Actually, most people prefer worldly treasures and refuse to enter the banquet prepared by the Divine. Eventually the invited are left behind, and people who have nothing to be distracted by enter the house and enjoy its gifts.


discipleship (Lc.14:26-27, 17:33)

86 "Whoever does not hate his father and mother will not be able to learn from me.
Whoever does not hate his son and daughter cannot belong to my school.
87 Whoever does not bear his cross and just follows me, cannot be one of my disciples.
88 Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it ; but whoever loses his life on account of me will preserve it."


¶ 1 These verses show the difficulties encountered by the disciples (followers who want to loose their lives on account of Jesus). Firstly, they have to reject the influence of their direct family. If they do not turn away from their wordly roots, they will never be able to enter the Kingdom via the path cleared by Jesus (Q1 28-31) and take root there.
¶ 2 Furthermore, it is not enough to follow Jesus without bearing one's cross, i.e. without accepting the burdens necessary to transform one's ways so that one may enter the Kingdom deathlessly.
¶ 3 Finally, the reign of the Son of Man is not restricted to this world. After physical death a new life will be forthcoming, whereas those who try to save their life here will only loose this resurrectional surplus. Shadows of this proto-resurrection may be found during one's lifetime when after heavy burdens & difficulties (the cross) one is raised to a higher level of conscious awareness of the acute, pre-spatio-temporal presence of the Kingdom of Elohim.


warning (Lc.14:34-35)

89 "Salt is good : but if salt loses its taste, how to restore it ?
90 It is not good for either the land or the dunghill : people just throw it out.
91 Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear !"

¶ 1 Salt is added to water to heal its barrenness. Salt is a crystal, a fixed form. Salt is added to food to make it taste better. The disciples and their community may be compared to it. Just as yeast uplifts, salt adds taste. This is good but not always permanent, for the community of disciples may become tasteless. If this happens, who will alter this (for is it not their mission to maintain the accessibility of the Kingdom to their fellow humans) ?
¶ 2 When the disciples (the salt of the Earth - cf. Matthew) and their communities have become tasteless, people will not adhere but throw them out. Triumphalism is not the way of the Jesus-people. The church is not free of corruption. Genuine disciples are too aware of the transient nature of the world. Even the community of disciples may crystallize into some tasteless form (teaching nonsense). Not the disciples & their communities are important & deathless, but the words of Jesus are.
¶ 3 Those who truly realize what has been said will act accordingly (Q1 24).

                 


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initiated : 19 IV 1998 - last update : 25 XI 2005 - version n°4