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Posts tagged ‘john’s gospel’

Divinity of Jesus & Blasphemy!


The attributes of Divinity are essential to be understood by Humans, to ascribe Divinity. Calling another human being as God is not alien to cricket fans in India, but a true God is not one who plays a leg-side delivery well or provides a lease of life to some commercial venture of a cola company.

It is a cliché to ascribe OMNISCIENCE, OMNIPRESENCE and OMNIPOTENCE to God. The problem with any cliché is that by constant use the ingredients are forgotten and a new generation without conscious understanding of the ingredients, which make up the ATTRIBUTES, parrots the words with confidence creating an illusion of the person uttering such clichés to have fully grasped the meaning of such clichés.

OMNISCIENCE is an attribute which I as a human being cannot determine, for the reason that when I do not know how much to know, how can a mere mortal say that someone knows everything? So OMNISCIENCE has no provable (by which I mean scientifically explain under uncontrolled surroundings to any witness who is willing to see/hear/feel/smell/taste or show proof through gadgets which are extensions of human senses) ingredient.

OMNIPRESENCE is another attribute which is easier to BELIEVE as an attribute, than to scientifically prove. If I as a human, am limited by space and time, how can I prove that a mega superior power is present everywhere?

OMNIPOTENCE is no better in the hands of a human understanding, as power is the ability to design and enforce one’s WILL without limit or barrier.

So for a human to prove that GOD is OMNISCIENT, OMNIPRESENT & OMNIPOTENT are clichéd in the mouth of a person, even though for anyone who wants to believe that GOD is OMNISCIENT, OMNIPRESENT & OMNIPOTENT without looking for proof, it is a BELIEVED TRUTH.

But humans cannot be compelled to believe in anything unless they themselves are willing to believe. Once the basic limitations of human beings are overcome through a belief system, then it is not difficult to believe any of these attributes.

In the whole of the HISTORY of mankind, is there one who had claimed OMNISCIENCE, OMNIPRESENCE & OMNIPOTENCE? I know of one and that was JESUS CHRIST. JESUS CHRIST claimed DIVINITY. It has been the propagation of many religions that JESUS never ever claimed DIVINITY, but that his followers have perverted the TRUTH.

I rely on the Gospel of John to prove my point. The hurdle which a person of impartial inquiring mind has to overcome is: WHY SHOULD I BELIEVE IN THE CONTENTS OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN? One needn’t have to believe, one has to just read the Gospel to understand the TRUTH of the statements made by Jesus. The word would sink in and make one realize that in the non-logical spiritual world, the apparent paradoxes meld into a belief, which convinces a reader without giving enough material for the experiencer to explain scientifically, to oneself or to others, with SENSE based proofs.

As a human being, LIFE is that most important thing. Second is to have a WHOLESOME LIFE. Third is an assurance that as I grow older and pass away, what would happen to the SELF/SOUL? Besides these, all other queries are mere supplementary to the abovementioned three questions. ALL THESE THREE QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED BY JESUS in the said Gospel.

All the answers to the three cardinal questions have been CLAIMED by Jesus and I know of none who had dared to CLAIM the above mentioned three ATTRIBUTES which make up DIVINITY.

These are excerpted from Chapter 5 of Gospel of John:

21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

So in the verses excerpted above the first and the third questions had been answered by Jesus, while he walked in the flesh, as reported by John. Verse 26 says that Jesus, as the son of the Father, “HATH LIFE IN HIMSELF”. This expression of LIFE IN HIMSELF is not based on a LEASED LIFE GRANTED BY THE FATHER, BUT THE “POWER” GRANTED TO JESUS TO “HAVE LIFE IN HIMSELF” which was granted by the Father. This self perpetuating POWER, to GIVE UP HIS LIFE & TO TAKE IT BACK AT JESUS’ OWN WILL MAKES HIM DIVINE.  Jesus had claimed it, since from Verse 19 onwards Jesus says about THE SON and gets to the “I” only in the 30th verse. Till crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus’ process of having been made a man by the Father and Jesus dying for mankind had not been fulfilled and Jesus’ WILL as a human being was at play. This human WILL was constantly assaulted through trials and temptations, like any other human being. This process was not yet over, Jesus had to submit to the will of the FATHER till the end, but also realize through personal human experience, the liabilities of existence as a man, without recourse to the POWERS as one element of GOD. JESUS had to be granted the powers of JUDGEMENT of Humans only after he had qualified completely doing the WILL OF THE FATHER as a MAN.

The third point is the future of Human existence, which is answered in Verse 28 & 29, wherein Jesus says: the dead shall hear the Son’s VOICE and be resurrected and thereafter JUDGED. So whether in the Soul or in RESURRECTED FLESH, is a question of doctrine, and not a question which could be settled on FACTS.

 Jesus calls Himself “Son of Man”, which means Jesus’ work in the flesh had not been CONSUMMATED and thereafter HE was to ascend to the place from where he had DESCENDED and would become the SON OF GOD.

As regards wholesome LIFE, the answer is at John’s Gospel Chapter 10 verse 10, where Jesus says: …. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. That “wholesome Life” is grantable THROUGH Jesus, where Jesus claimed that he was “the way”!

In sum, Jesus claimed DIVINITY and anyone, anyone (even Gabriel, reportedly) who downgrades him to a Prophet or a Preacher or a Teacher or a Guru or anything less than the Divine is/was/and shall be a BLASPHEMER!

Leveticus 24:16 says: 16 Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.

Therefore whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD, shall be a blasphemer and the BIBLE nowhere uses BLASPHEMY for talking ill of or cursing a Prophet. JESUS was no prophet and that right to DIVINITY claimed and attained by JESUS puts him beyond mortal Prophets. Yet as a Christian, I owe NO DUTY to God or mankind or even to myself to defend Jesus’ name except by attempting to follow what He had taught!

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Paul upbraiding the Chief Apostle Peter!


Whenever I launch on my brand of Christianity, which is that John’s Gospel is the first preferred book of the Bible and Matthew, the next: i have brickbats aimed at me, and some have even let loose the much misused verse, “ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY THE INSPIRATION OF GOD AND IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, REPROOF, CORRECTION …..etc.etc.” For me a SUPER EVANGELIST is still lesser than an APOSTLE, who was not only chosen by Jesus himself, but even after the death & resurrection of Jesus propagated Christ and told what they had heard with their own ears.

Paul of Tarsus upbraids Peter, the apostle who was the most daring and action oriented disciple of Jesus Christ. That narration could be seen in Galatians Chapter 2 verses 11 onwards:

11 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in[d] Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

This upbraiding was, in my opinion unworthy of a proselytized Christian who did not have the benefit of the WORD IN FLESH. Further, when the Phoenician woman asks Jesus, while He was in the flesh, for the cure of her daughter, He said,

“But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.” (Matt:15:26)

But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. (Mark 7:27)

Matthew, a disciple of Jesus, while in the flesh, had no axe to grind after the resurrection of Jesus to tell something which he did not hear, therefore I suppose Matthew’s narration has authenticity and verity. Whereas, Mark, was first a disciple of Peter and then of Paul and I see more reason to adjust the FACTS to be in harmony with their doctrine. These adjustments may be in line with the present day thinking, but for Matthew who saw and followed Jesus, there would have been no necessity to accommodate the morale of the gentiles, like Paul and his disciples had to!

Jesus said, “Salvation is of the Jews.” (John4:22), which is very clear and as Khalil Gibran says about one’s children in his “PROPHET”: “They come through you but not from you, they are life’s longing for itself”, it is the preposition OF, which spells from where the salvation is to emanate and such salvation is not FOR the Jews only.

One should call into reference Jesus’ many parables, one of which is that the king made a big feast and invited guests but none having turned up, sent his men and collected people from the streets and idlers for the marriage feast. But when one invitee was found without the wedding clothes, Jesus did not say that since he was an invitee, he could come to the dinner without preparation. Even if one is invited, one cannot enter certain places without being WORTHY of that august company to which one has been invited! (Matt 22:5-14)

“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.

13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

This parable shows that the Jews were the original INVITEES, but because they did not turn up, citing one flimsy ground after another, the invitation was extended to the gentiles also. This doesn’t mean that the gentiles could go in because of an INVITATION, the gentiles had to be prepared.

So in my humble opinion, Paul was too eager to get in the gentiles into the fold without preparation, all in the name of FAITH, but the Jacobean WORKS was also important.

So that leads to the next question whether eating with or being seen eating with the gentiles was proscribed by CHRIST? My answer is that it is most important that there are some etiquette  which are necessarily to be followed. Let us cut back and go to the feast organized by Joseph for his brothers in Egypt, Joseph did not want to be seen eating with the shepherdic Jews and did not eat with his own brothers for a while. Peter was merely NOT WANTING TO DISTURB THE FLEDGLING FAITH OF THE JERUSALEMITES, Jerusalem was the core. There was no reason, much less, any authority vested nor did Paul have the heritage to go ballistic and write such an epistle to Galatians proclaiming his doctrine and how he upheld his beliefs, even before the centre. According to me  he broke ranks and even if that was forgivable, he did not have the courtesy of deference to an Apostle like Peter, who despite his impulsive nature  was chosen by Jesus, after having seen through the heart of Peter. At I Timothy 5 :1 , Paul says:

Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;


But Paul doesn’t seem to have practised what he was prone to PREACHING. But, who am I to judge? Yet I have to choose a Christian path, which is : to wisely make choices like a serpent, yet to be INNOCENT like a dove in, ACTION. And therefore I WEIGH to CHOOSE! Even if I have done something wrong in such weighing, may the Lord be merciful to me.

Paul to me was a messenger of God to the non-Jews, but Peter was chosen as the ROCK on which Jesus brought every believer. Peter’s ability to REPENT as soon as he realized; the trust he had to try walking on water – can you imagine the TRUST he had in Jesus? No other disciple dared, but Peter did it! He was shown in his utterly human weakness so that I do not glory in my flesh, but depend on His Grace. If Jesus died for me, Peter trusted and DID, but he could not sustain and thereby has shown that my failings do not have to hinder my access to God. Thomas by his doubting, has cleared my ‘fundamental’ doubts!

Paul is a bundle of contradictions of a dying Pharisaical attitude, with a relentlessly emerging CHRISTIAN CONSCIOUSNESS. And Paul chose his company – Paul tonsured his head because of a vow- WOW! But it is his EFFORT, which surpasses all his defects. Yet Paul is no norm for a Christian.

 

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