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THE PEACE AND HARMONY
GOSPEL OF JESUS

by
John WorldPeace
Copyright 1998 by John WorldPeace
Houston, Texas USA

All rights reserved.


TABLE OF CONTENTS



PREFACE

I was born in 1948, in the United States of America of Protestant
Christian parents. Consequently, during my formative years I was
taught Christian doctrine, dogma and law. My only exposure to
alternative religious experiences was brief references to the fact that
there were other religions.

From the time I was first able to understand Christianity, I found that
the leaders of the various Christian churches which I attended could
not answer my most basic questions regarding Jesus. To virtually all of
my particular questions I was told the equivalent of; "God only knows".
This has never been acceptable to me.

Presently, I have only one question regarding Jesus. How do the sayings
of Jesus relate to a contemporary world society, whose reality is not just
the earth but the endless expanse of Infinity, in its quest for World Peace?

This book is simply a compilation of my personal thoughts, regarding this
one question cast out to humanity for consideration. As with all thoughts,
time is the ultimate arbitrator of what is accepted and what is rejected in
any particular generation and in any particular place.


FOREWORD


The Christian Bible can be divided into three major sections; the Old
Testament, the first four gospels of the New Testament, and the balance
of the New Testament.

The Old Testament begins with Adam and Eve and the story of Creation.
It then moves to the beginning of Jewish history with the introduction of
Abraham. The next major Jewish player is Moses who delivered the law,
in the form of the Ten Commandments, to the Israelites after their Exodus
from Egypt. This is the core of the Old Testament.

The New Testament begins with a man called Jesus. He claims to be the
Jewish Messiah who was foretold throughout the Old Testament. He
states that he has come only to the Israelites. He says that he has come
with a new doctrine, a new focus and a new understanding regarding the
Israelites and their relationship to their God and to each other.

This new doctrine had only two commandments: the first, love God; the
second, love one another. The first four books of the New Testament
consists of the gospels (good news) of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
All four gospels relate the story of Jesus' life. With a few very minor
exceptions, they are the only books of the Bible which directly quote the
sayings of Jesus.

The balance of the New Testament consists of commentary on what Jesus
said, what he did and how his words and acts relate to humanity. This
commentary which began over 1900 years ago has never lost its
momentum as Christians and non-Christians continue to seek an
understanding of the words and deeds of Jesus.

In this book, I have considered only those sayings attributed to Jesus in
the first four gospels of the New Testament as well as the gospel of
Thomas. I have not focused on what came before Jesus as recorded in
the Old Testament and I have not attempted to comment on what others
said after his ordeal on the cross. Consequently, I have ignored most of
the traditional Bible.

The gospel of Thomas is not one of the officially sanctioned books of the
Bible but I have counted it as a fifth gospel because it is a collection of
114 sayings attributed to Jesus. Many of these sayings have parallels in
the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The gospel of Thomas is part of the Nag Hammadi Library which was
rediscovered in 1945. The Nag Hammadi Library is a collection of 1500
year old texts which were copied from more ancient documents, some of
which are believed to have been written within decades of Jesus' death.
The gospel of Thomas is one of many rediscovered texts that are focusing
new light on the life and sayings of Jesus.

In reality, there is no way that we can know exactly what Jesus said
because it was allegedly not written down at the time he said it. Each of
the five gospels record what the authors believed were the most important
sayings of Jesus. Obviously, there was some disagreement over which
sayings were the most important because the gospels are not identical.

For the purposes of this book, the valid sayings of Jesus are the ones
which are quoted in a least two of the five gospels of Matthew, Mark,
Luke, John and Thomas. Also, I only considered the sayings having
parallel wording and not the ones having parallel thoughts. Logically, I
consider the most significant sayings to be the ones that are the most
often quoted by the gospel authors.

In this book, I have focused only on what Jesus allegedly said as recorded
in the Bible and how his sayings relate to the potential of Peace on Earth.
I have generally declined to include the sayings that relate to the divinity
of Jesus, the death on the cross, the many miracles, the Second Coming
and Final Judgment and the specific instructions to the original twelve
disciples.

Lastly, I am neither a biblical scholar nor a historical scholar. My
education and experience are in the law. I am therefore offering a
lawyer's perspective. From a lawyer's perspective, I am looking for the
universal truths regarding the potential of Peace on Earth in the words
that have been attributed to Jesus.

Historical scholars are presently trying to ferret out the words that Jesus
undeniably said and at the same time eliminate the words that were added
over the last 1900 years. My approach is more basic and less technical.

I am not as concerned with what Jesus actually said as with what the
majority of lay Christians believe he said. The majority of lay Christians
believe that the sayings of Jesus as quoted in the gospels are in fact the
actual sayings of Jesus.


THE ANCIENT AND CONTEMPORARY MESSAGE OF JESUS


God: Remember your oneness with God.

Love: Love one another.

Judgment: Do not judge one another.

Faith: Ask and receive, search and find, knock and enter.





CHAPTER 1

THE NEW WINE


No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch
pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new
wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is
spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh
wineskins, and so both are preserved.

Mt 9:16; Mk 2:21; Lk 5:36; Th 47 *



Christianity was birthed out of Judaism. Jesus was a Jew with a new
vision of humanity and its relationship with God and its relationship with
its individual members. These ideas did not fit into the Jewish doctrine,
dogma and law of Jesus' day. The above saying is a recognition by Jesus
that Judaism would never assimilate his teaching.

After the death of Jesus, a new religion began to evolve which had at its
core the sayings of Jesus. The nucleus of all that Jesus said was contained
in his message of "faith" and his two commandments of "love God" and
"love your neighbor".

The new wine of these teachings needed the new wineskin of Christianity
to contain it.

* Mt: Matthew; Mk: Mark; Lk: Luke; Jn: John; Th: Thomas



CHAPTER 2

THE CALL TO PEACE


Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and
humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is
easy, and my burden is light.

Mt 11:29; Th 90

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be
like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it
had been founded on rock. And every one who hears these words of mine
and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on
sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat
against that house, and it fell and great was its fall!

Mt 7:24; Lk 6:47



The first saying was Jesus' call to humanity to embrace his teachings.
What is this yoke that will give one rest? It is the yoke of love and faith.

When you remember how to love, you will forgive others their hurtful
acts and you will put away the heavy burden of judging others as well as
judging yourself.

When you have faith that all your needs will be taken care of, you will
stop wasting time and energy worrying about the basic needs of life.
When you begin to live a life of love and faith you will without question
live a life of peace and harmony.

The second saying is simply a metaphor about building one's life on a
foundation of peace and harmony.


CHAPTER 3 - 10

THE MESSAGE OF PEACE


Love your neighbor as yourself.

Mt 22:39; Mk 12:31; Lk 10:27; Th 25

Love your enemies.

Mt 5:44; Lk 6:27



These two sayings regarding love are the bedrock of Jesus' teachings.

Love is the mother of peace, love is the essence of peace, love is peace
and within love is contained the potential of Peace on Earth.

Love your neighbor as yourself requires a definition of who is our
neighbor. In contemporary society, everyone on the planet is our
neighbor.

The word neighbor incorporates the word enemy. It is easy to love your
neighbor who is your friend and even to love those who you do not
know. It is another matter to love your enemy. Jesus charged us to love
our enemies because he knew that if we did not love everyone there could
never be Peace on Earth.

All of humanity is one. We are all immortal, infinite children of an
immortal, infinite God. When we remember our immortality and
acknowledge the infinite spirit which resides within each and every human
being, we can begin to love everyone.


CHAPTER 4


In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you.

Mt 7:12; Lk 6:31; Th 6



This saying is known as the Golden Rule and is a less demanding teaching
than "love your neighbor".

If you find it impossible to love your neighbor, then you can treat him or
her the way you desire to be treated.

If each of us keep this rule in mind when we interact with each other,
surely peace and harmony will permeate all of society.


CHAPTER 5


Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?...Whoever does the will
of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.

Mt 12:48; Mk 3:35; Lk 8:21; Th 99

But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.

Mt 19:30; Mk 10:31; Lk 13:30; Th 4

But whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and
whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the
Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.

Mt 20:26; Mk 10:43


In the first saying, we must acknowledge that the word Father is a
metaphor for God who is neither father nor mother but an everlasting
all-knowing essence. Also, it is not a matter of doing the will of God as
much as it is a matter of remembering our oneness with God and our
oneness with all of humanity.

When we remember our oneness and that we are all immortal, infinite
beings temporarily residing in this reality, we remember that everyone is
our brother, sister and mother.

The first becoming the last and the last becoming the first and the great
becoming the servant and the first becoming a slave are references to our
earthly stations. On the spiritual plain we are all immortal, infinite children
of equal birth. Jesus is saying that we need to remember that regardless of
our station in this life we will soon return to the spirit reality where we will
remember our oneness with all beings.

In the last two sayings, Jesus is reminding us that we are sometimes
masters and sometimes servants. If we keep reminding ourselves that our
station in this life is only temporary and one that we have created for
ourselves, we will stay focused on our immortality and live within the
peace and harmony that is the essence of God.


CHAPTER 6


'Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often
should I forgive? As many as seven times?' Jesus said to him, 'Not seven
times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.'

Mt 18:21; Lk 17:4

But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if
any one wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and
if any one forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to
everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to
borrow from you.

Mt 5:39; Lk 6:29



How does one begin to love others?

One begins to love others when one forgives every single act that can be
perceived as detrimental to one's well being. When we realize that we are
at one with all of humanity and that we are all immortal, infinite beings,
we remember that our life in this reality is less than an instant and any act
which impacts upon us is truly insignificant.

If Peace on Earth is to ever manifest, we must love each other and if we
in fact love each other, we will forgive everyone their every act.

The second saying is an example of how we can demonstrate that we
have no negative feelings toward those who do hurtful things to us.
These examples are unquestionably extreme examples of the acts of a
totally passive person. For all but a few of us, living this kind of passivity
is impossible. We generally feel a need for retribution for what we
consider anti-social acts.

It is important here to make a distinction between forgiveness and
condoning anti-social acts. We can forgive someone their hurtful acts
but at the same time insist that they conform to acceptable social behavior.

Forgiveness does not mean that we must constantly expose ourselves
to others who hurt us. There are without question those who intentionally
hurt others. If the hurt is severe enough, there are social laws to help deter
those hurtful actions. Forgiving someone does not mean that they should
not be held accountable for their anti-social acts.

Forgiveness is a facet of love but acts of forgiveness are not meant to
create anarchy in society. Saying a hurtful word to someone can be
forgiven and no social punishment need be imposed upon the transgressor.
It can be overlooked due to its insignificance and its infrequent
occurrence. However, murder cannot go unpunished.

If someone has so little regard for life that they take a life, then society
has the obligation to protect its members from such people. A murderer
should be forgiven but at the same time it is necessary for that person to
be removed from society until he or she can demonstrate an intent to live
within the laws of the society to which he or she belongs.


CHAPTER 7


Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment
you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the
measure you get.

Mt 7:1; Lk 6:37

Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the
log in your own eye? ...first take the log out of your own eye, and then
you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye.

Mt 7:3; Lk 6:41; Th 26


We are each unique individuals due to our genetic makeup and we are
each unique individuals due to our unique experiences in this lifetime. In
addition, we are moment to moment in unique situations in which we
react as a whole person. In other words, at every moment we are reacting
to a changing environment by applying our unique genetic makeup and our
life experiences. There are truly no two individuals who at any moment in
time have the exact same genetic makeup and the exact same life
experiences.

When we consider our uniqueness, we realize that judging others is a
ridiculous endeavor. It is impossible to judge anyone regarding anything.
We are each doing the best we can and no one has the ability or the right
to sit in judgment on anyone else.

When we love someone, we tolerate and forgive their acts and
consequently refrain from judging them. We cannot successfully judge
others because our judgment will always be from our unique personal
perspective and consequently invalid if applied to anyone else.

No one is perfect. We, as individuals, may act in a positive, loving
manner in any one particular situation but it is doubtful that we act in
a positive, loving manner in all situations. If we were to attempt to
judge someone, we would have to take into consideration the whole
person, his or her whole life, every single act and word; an impossibility.
We cannot begin to judge a person based on one particular act much
less judge his or her entire existence and value as a human being.

When we attempt to judge others, we forget our oneness. We forget that
we are all immortal, infinite beings and that we are only residing for an
instant in this reality. When we judge others, we separate ourselves from
the rest of humanity and wrongly believe that we are better or worse than
everyone else.

We cannot love and judge. Love and judgment are mutually exclusive.
If you love, you do not judge and if you judge, you do not love.

As with forgiveness, refusing to judge others is not to be confused with
judgment as it relates to the consequences of breaking the laws of
society. In order to have an orderly society, the members of that society
continuously enact laws that define acceptable behavior within their
society. If someone breaks a law, then he or she will be punished. This is
necessary to avoid social anarchy.

We cannot judge others as being innately good or bad but we can
determine whether or not they have broken one of the laws of our society.
If a person breaks a law, he or she is not necessarily a bad person. He or
she has simply broken a law of society. Jesus, as we shall see later, taught
us to obey the laws of society while at the same time he taught us not to
judge each other.

In the above sayings, Jesus was speaking of not judging the goodness or
badness of a person based on their acts. Goodness and badness have
nothing to do with abiding by the social law. Good and bad have to do
with judging a person's immortal, infinite soul. If we break a social law,
we are criminals but just because we are criminals does not necessarily
mean that we are bad.

There is a difference between the physical and spiritual realities. Each has
its own parameters and rules and those parameters and rules do not
necessarily apply one to the other. In truth, it is impossible for an
immortal, infinite being to be either good or bad. One's immortal, infinite
nature by definition includes all the good and bad that exists.

A human being can be considered a criminal due to his or her anti-social
acts in this reality, but his or her immortal, infinite being cannot be
considered as being bad simply based on a particular act in this reality,
criminal or otherwise.


CHAPTER 8


Ask, and it will be given you.

Mt 7:7; Mk 11:24; Lk 11:9; Jn 16:24

Search, and you will find.

Mt 7:7; Lk 11:9; Th 92, 94

Knock, and the door will be opened for you.

Mt 7:7; Lk 11:9; Th 94

If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain,
'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be
impossible for you.

Mt 17:20; Lk 17:6

Even if you say to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' it
will be done. Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.

Mt 21:21; Mk 11:23; Th; 48, 106

Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that
will not become known.

Mt 10:26; Mk 4:22; Lk 8:17; Th 5,6

Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we
drink?' or 'What will we wear?'

Mt 6:31; Lk 12:22; Th 36

When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or
what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that
time.

Mt 10:19; Mk 13:11; Lk 12:11

Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man
has nowhere to lay his head.

Mt 8:20; Lk 9:58; Th 86



When we categorize Jesus' sayings by subject, we find that the subject of
Faith was given a lot of emphasis. There can be little doubt that Jesus
was trying to make a very strong statement regarding faith.

The message regarding faith seems to be that we create our own reality.
If we can truly ask and receive, search and find, knock and enter, then
all that we experience in this reality is of our own choosing or our lack
of choosing.

If that is so, then we must ask, "Why do we seem to experience so many
negative things? Why are we not always happy?"

As simple as it seems, we apparently are not happy because we have not
asked to be happy nor have we searched for happiness. Apparently, if we
do not ask for things or we do not search for them, then we get whatever
comes randomly to us.

If one has faith, Jesus says that all questions will be answered, all things
hidden will be revealed, all our needs will be provided for, we will know
what to say at any particular moment and we will flow with life in peace
and harmony.

In the last saying above, when Jesus says he has no place to lay his head,
he means he has no home. During his ministry, Jesus lived as a wandering
sage with no possessions except the clothes on his back and yet all his
needs were met.

His life was an example of what he taught. He made a statement with his
life as well as with his words.

When we realize that we create our own destinies in all respects, we
become free to truly flow in peace and harmony. We can have peace
within ourselves as well as Peace on Earth if peace is what we truly desire
and seek.


CHAPTER 9


Father, hallowed be your name... Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to
us. And do not bring us into temptation.

Lk 11:2; Mt 6:9



This is the part of the Lord's Prayer that is contained in at least two of the
gospels. It is interesting to note that something that has become the
ultimate prayer in Christianity was only partially mentioned in two of the
gospels.

When one understands that all things are attainable if one asks, then one
realizes that all that prayers will be answered.

The first words of the Lord's Prayer cannot be taken literally because God
is not a Father, nor is She a Mother. God is the spirit that is the immortal,
infinite essence of each of us. We are each at one with God and in that
sense we are God. These first words need to be taken metaphorically as
an acknowledgement of the God within us. It is an address to our
immortal, infinite spirit which is at one with the immortal, infinite essence
we refer to as God.

The last sentence also cannot be taken literally. God does not bring us
into temptation, we bring ourselves into temptation. Temptation is a
metaphor for our forgetting our oneness with God and our oneness with
all of humanity. When we forget our oneness, we begin to separate from
the knowledge of the oneness of our immortal, infinite essence and begin
to think that this temporary reality in which we presently exist is the true
reality. Our immortal, infinite essence is the only true reality.

The middle of the Lord's Prayer simply restates Jesus' two messages of
love and faith. Give us our daily bread, means satisfy our daily needs,
and forgive our debtors asks that we remember how to love and
consequently forgive and refuse to judge others.

A restatement of the Lord's Prayer could be; "Let us remember our
oneness with God, let us love everyone and let us remember that all our
needs will be provided for".


CHAPTER 10


Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Mt 24:35; Mk 13:31; Lk 21:33



The words that will never pass away are the words of truth that were as
validwhen humanity first walked the earth as they are today.

The sayings of Jesus which reflect the truths of love and faith, and the
peace and harmony they create, will never pass away.

These truths are the very essence of our being, both physical and spiritual,
and Jesus reminded us of them. If we will but look inside ourselves,
we will find these truths imprinted upon our immortal, infinite being.

It is great teachers like Jesus who remind us that our essence is love
and that our destiny is our faith.



CHAPTER 11 - 15

THE DUAL REALITIES OF HEAVEN AND EARTH


The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to
himself, 'What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?' Then
he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones,
and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my
soul, 'Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat,
drink, be merry.' But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your
life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose
will they be?'.

Lk 12:16; Th 63

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust
consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for
yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes
and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.

Mt 6:19; Lk 12:33; Th 76

No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and
love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You
cannot serve God and wealth.

Mt 6:24; Lk 16:13; Th 47

For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their
life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

Mt 16:26; Mk 8:36; Lk 9:25

Truly I tell to you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom
of heaven.

Mt 19:23; Mk 10:23; Lk 18:24

It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what
comes out of the mouth that defiles.

Mt 15:11; Mk 7:14; Th 14

Do you not see that whatever goes in the mouth enters the stomach, and
goes out into the sewer? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds
from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil
intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander.
These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does
not defile.

Mt 15:16; Mk 7:17

For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they
are full of greed and self-indulgence.

Mt 23:25; Lk 11:39; Th 89



These sayings emphasize the dual reality of humanity. We believe that we
possess an immortal, infinite spirit residing within our mortal body. These
sayings tell us to focus on our immortality, which is our true essence, and
not to delude ourselves into believing that our temporary sojourn in this
physical reality is everlasting.

When we forget our immortality and our spiritual oneness, we become
enmeshed in this reality to the point where we begin to believe that this
reality is the true reality and not just an aspect of our immortal, infinite
being. Consequently, our actions begin to reflect the primal nature of
the earth where the strong generally victimize the weak. When we forget
to love and when we lose our faith, we become lost in the materialism of
this reality. The first saying reminds us that we are mortal. It reminds us
that we are only temporarily residing in this physical reality and at any
moment we could die.

The second saying reminds us that the experiences that we have in this
reality ultimately become a part of our immortal, infinite essence. We
should therefore keep this in mind and consider whether our future acts
will become a positive aspect of our immortal, infinite being or simply
the nonsensical accumulation of earthly possessions that will be left
rotting on the earth along with our lifeless bodies.

The third saying is contrary to the truth ofour existence in this reality.
We all in fact serve many masters. We have a job, a family, a citizenship
in a society and generally a religious affiliation. We serve all these masters
by participating in them. We also serve a spiritual as well as a physical
reality. It is obvious that we serve many masters and that we do not
necessarily love only one.

Also in this saying, Jesus seems to be saying that we cannot serve God
and money. However, later on when he says we must "give to the
Emperor what is the Emperor's and to God what is God's", he is very
definitely acknowledging that because we live simultaneously in two
realities we must simultaneously serve two masters. Consequently,
this saying needs to be discarded.

Saying four simply reminds us that if we in fact owned the entire physical
world it would be taken from us when we pass into the spiritual reality at
thetime of our death.

The fifth saying indicates that if we mindlessly pursue the materialism of
the physical world, we will not be able to completely manifest the peace
and harmony of our spiritual essence. The kingdom of heaven refers to
our spiritual essence which is the only true reality. The implication of
this saying is that rich people who become too much involved in the ways
of the physical world are generally unable to flow in the peace and
harmony of their immortal, infinite souls.

In the sixth and seventh sayings, Jesus is further distinguishing the
parameters of the physical reality with those of the spiritual reality. He
is sayings that one can eat anything that the earth produces in order to
nourish one's body without affecting one's immortal, infinite spirit.

The heart is a metaphor for our immortal, infinite essence which resides
within us. Metaphorically, what we say comes from the heart. We cannot
degrade ourselves by anything that we eat, but we can degrade ourselves
by the things we say.

The last saying reminds us that our clothes which make us look nice and
honorable have nothing to do with our intentions which are concealed
under the clothing. A person may look very upright and honorable but
one's acts will show his or her true nature. The clothes will eventually rot
but one's acts are immortal.


CHAPTER 12


You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all
your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first
commandment.

Mt 22:37; Mk 12:29; Lk 10:27

Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good.

Mt 19:17; Mk 10:18; Lk 18:19

Do not put the Lord your God to the test.

Mt 4:7; Lk 4:12

Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.

Mt 4:10; Lk 4:8

One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the
mouth of God.

Mt 4:4; Lk 4:4



These sayings tell us how to relate to God.

The problem with the first saying is that it personalizes God and separates
Him from us. We are at one with God. We are an immortal, infinite part
of an immortal, infinite whole. When we love God, we are loving
ourselves and vice versa. The first commandment is to remember that
we are immortal, infinite beings who are at one with God and we should
love ourselves.

In the second saying, Jesus is saying that the only good is God. I would
say that the only reality is our immortal essence which is neither good nor
bad but infinite in all respects.

The admonishment not to test God is senseless. How could we test God?
This is another saying whose meaning and point no longer impact on our
contemporary society.

We are to serve only God. This relates back to our dual nature. It means
that we should never forget our oneness with God.

We do not in fact live by bread alone. Since our spirit is immortal and
infinite we must acknowledge that we are a manifestation of our spiritual
essence. Our immortal, infinite spirit is what has brought us into this
reality and it is by the will of the our immortal, infinite spirit that we
continue to exist in this reality. It is our immortal, infinite essence, which
is at one with God, that takes care of our needs.


CHAPTER 13


The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which
someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and
buys that field.

Mt 13:44; Th 109

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on
finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and
bought it.

Mt 13:45; Th 76



Jesus is saying that when you possess love and have faith they will be the
most valuable possessions you have. They will be worth everything to you
and there will be no comparing them to anything else because they have no
equal. Love and faith are the pearls of great price that have the potential
to permeate every aspect of one's life with peace and harmony as well as to
manifest Peace on Earth.


CHAPTER 14


Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to
such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.

Mt 19:14; Mk 10:14; Lk 18:16

Truly I tell to you, unless you change and become like children, you will
never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Mt 18:3; Mk 10:15; Lk 18:17



Children are born loving everyone. It is only as they begin to be impacted
by the non-loving words and deeds of others that they learn not to love.
Children are also born with complete faith and they only lose their faith as
it is taken away from them by the faithless. And children only learn to
judge from the self-righteous.

Jesus is saying that we must mentally return to our childhood and regain
our
faith and remember that we are immortal, infinite beings who are at one
with God and at one with all of humanity and that we are love, if we are
to achieve inner peace and harmony and manifest Peace on Earth.


CHAPTER 15


Give therefore to the Emperor the things that are the Emperor's, and to
God the things that are God's.

Mt 22:21; Mk 12:17; Lk 20:25; Th 100



Jesus very clearly states in this saying that one should abide by the rules of
society. Jesus recognizes here that the physical reality in which we
live in general and society in specific have parameters that are not the same
as those of the spiritual reality.

It is important to remember that some laws are unjust and they should be
changed by non-violent means. The laws of society change over time as
the needs and values of the members of a society change. Abiding by the
law does not mean that one should not challenge or try to change the law
in a non-violent manner.


CHAPTER 16 - 19

SPREADING THE MESSAGE


No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the
lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

Mt 5:15; Mk 4:21; Lk 11:33;8;16; Th 33

A city built on a hill cannot be hid.

Mt 5:14; Th 32



When we remember how to love and how to have faith we become
beacons of light that impact on others. Through our peace we inspire
others to look inside themselves for the peace that also resides in them.
No one who has found the peace and harmony of love and faith can hide
it; nor would they want to.

When one has truly achieved peace and harmony, one automatically begins
to share it with everyone. When one has achieved peace and harmony, it
affects every human being one comes into contact with. The light of peace
cannot be hidden. It is the love of humanity that gives us the desire to give
our light to others and our faith which assures us that Peace on Earth is
possible.


CHAPTER 17


The Parable of the Sower

A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground,
where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they
had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since
they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and
the thorns grew up and chocked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and
brought forth grain, some a hundred fold, some sixty, some thirty. Let
anyone with ears listen!

Mt 13:3; Mk 4:3; Lk 8:5; Th 9

The Interpretation

When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it,
the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is
what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this
is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet
such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble
or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls
away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the
word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word,
and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the
one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and
yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.

Mt 13:18; Mk 4:11; Lk 8:10

The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and
sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown
it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air
come and make nests in its branches.

Mt 13:31; Mk 4:30; Lk 13:18; Th 20

The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with
three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.

Mt 13:33; Lk 13:21; Th 96



In these sayings, Jesus is talking about how his message of faith, love and
peace will spread. These are the ways that all truth spreads. If a message
reflects that which is a part of our immortal, infinite being, we will
embrace it, albeit one human being at a time. Truth will grow not only
within us but through us to all those who come in contact with us. Where
the truth finds fertile ground, it will grow and become a hundred times
more than its initial essence.


CHAPTER 18


Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are
sick...for I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.

Mt 9:12; Mk 2:17; Lk 5:31

If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does
he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one
that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it
more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.

Mt 18:12; Lk 15:4; Th 107

Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before
swine, or they will trample them underfoot and turn and maul you.

Mt 7:6; Th 93

Let the dead bury their own dead.

Mt 8:22; Lk 9:60

If any one will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust
from your feet as you leave that house or town.

Mt 10:14; Mk 6:11; Lk 10:10

For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an
abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will
be taken
away.

Mt 13:12;25:29; Mk 4:25; Lk 8:18;19:26; Th 41



These sayings are an example of how contradictory some of the alleged
sayings of Jesus are. They remind us that the sayings of Jesus have been
severely edited over the last 1900 years and that we need to read and
consider each saying carefully and not mindlessly advocate it.

Unless we are psychotic we generally do not make contradictory
statements. In other words, we each have a perception of reality and
that perception is reflected in all that we say and do. We believe in one
thing or another but we generally do not believe in two things if they are
mutually exclusive.

Therefore, if two contradictory messages are attributed to Jesus, we must
determine which one goes along with our image of Jesus as a loving
teacher and man of peace and discard the contradictory saying as probably
having been added by someone else.

In the first two sayings, Jesus teaches that we should seek out those who
are not flowing in peace and harmony because they have lost their faith
and forgotten how to love. He makes no exceptions within these sayings.

There are two problems with the third saying. First, it is contradictory to
the first two sayings. How can we seek out the lost sheep and at the same
time avoid dogs and swine. They are all animals, metaphorically speaking,
and whether we are a shepherd or a swine herd we will still seek out our
lost animals. Animals here are metaphors for human beings.

The second problem with the third saying is much greater. When Jesus
allegedly said not to give dogs what is holy and not to cast your pearls
before swine, he was making a racial statement. To the Jews of Jesus'
day, all the races other than the Jews were considered metaphorically to be
dogs and swine. It is impossible to believe that a man of peace and love
would make such a racist, and in today's society, inflammatory remark.
This saying must be discarded because it is not only contrary to the first
two sayings, but also because it is a racist statement totally adverse to
any concept of Peace on Earth.

The fourth saying is also contradictory and perplexing. It indicates that
there are groups of people, the metaphorically dead, who should be left
alone and not given the message of love, faith and peace. We are not told
who these people are but if we think for a moment we realize that the
dead are essentially those who do not accept the message of Jesus.

The first two sayings teach us to seek out those who have not heard the
goods news and this fourth saying tells us not to waste our time on those
who have not heard or have not accepted the good news. If we are all at
one with each other, then how can we ignore anyone? How can we have
peace if we do not include everyone in our vision of peace?

Saying five is not only contrary to the first two sayings but it is also
purely and simply a judgmental saying. In essence, this saying advises us
that if we try to teach peace, love and faith to someone and they reject it,
then we should not only abandon that person but we should also go
through a ritual that is no more than a condemnation of the non-believer.
No valid message of peace contains judgment and this saying, along with
sayings three and four, need to be discarded because they do not promote
peace and harmony in the world.

The last saying is another one that makes no sense. If you believe that
Jesus cares for everyone who is lost, as per the second saying, why would
he take what little a person has. However little one has, it is a place to
start on the path to peace and harmony and as long as one possesses it
there is a chance it will one day germinate.

If you compare this last saying to theParable of the Sower and consider
the seed that has been sown as "the little a person has", then you have to
ask, "why would the sower pick up the seed that he has just cast down?"
The sower cannot know when the seed will germinate and it would be silly
to pick it up before it has a chance to grow.

The last saying only makes sense if one sees the church bureaucracy
pushing for obedience. The threat of taking away one's salvation would
help keep the laity in line. This saying is in essence a threat; a non-loving,
non-forgiving, judgmental act, to keep the rank and file Christians under
control for the purpose of potential manipulation for the benefit of the
church bureaucracy and definitely not one that tends to manifest peace
and harmony.


CHAPTER 19


The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the
Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

Mt 9:37; Lk 10:2; Th 73



The world is not a peaceful place and humanity exists in great suffering.
The peace and harmony that love and faith can bring and which reside in
every human heart need to be remembered by every human being. Those
who have found peace and harmony are few and those who need to be
reconnected with their immortal, infinite, loving, peaceful essence are
countless. Therefore, we should continuously ask for others to help bring
the light of peace and harmony to the world and consequently ease the
suffering of humanity.

We need to remember that if we ask, we receive. If we ask for others to
help bring Peace on Earth, others will be drawn to our light and the light
of love, faith and peace will grow until it encompasses all the earth.


CHAPTER 20 - 24

THE JUDGMENTAL SAYINGS THAT ARE CONTRARY
TO THE NON-JUDGMENTAL SAYINGS


You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its
saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out
and trampled under foot.

Mt 5:13; Mk 9:50; Lk 14:34


The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding
banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited
to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other
slaves, saying, 'Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared
my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and
everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.' But they made light of
it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest
seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged.
He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then
he said to his slaves, 'The wedding is ready, but those invited were not
worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find
to the wedding banquet.' Those slaves went out into the streets and
gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was
filled with guests.

But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who
was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you
get in here without a wedding robe?' And he was speechless. Then the
king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into
the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
For many are called, but few are chosen.

Mt 22:2; Lk 14:16; Th 64

There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it,
dug a wine press in it, and built a watch-tower. Then he leased it to
tenants and went to another country. When th harvest time had come,
he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants
seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again
he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the
same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my
son.' But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 'This is
the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.' So they seized him,
threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of
the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? They said to him,
'He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to
other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.'

Mt 21:33; Mk 12:1; Lk 20:9; Th 65

The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good
seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and
sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants
came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves
of the householder came and said to him, 'Master, did you not sow good
seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?' He
answered, 'An enemy has done this.' The slaves said to him, 'Then do you
want us to go and gather them?' But he replied, No; for in gathering the
weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them
grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers,
Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather
the wheat into my barn.'

Mt 13:24; Th 57



All these sayings have to do with judgment. Jesus said not to judge and
he made no exceptions. These alleged sayings are therefore contradictory
to the non-judgmental sayings.

The only way that these sayings become valid is if one in a very general
way considers them to be social commentary regarding the punishment
of anti-social acts in society. A society has the right to hold its members
accountable for their criminal acts.

However, we must remember that even those who violate society's law
are immortal, infinite beings just like ourselves. We cannot ignore nor can
we judge a person's immortal, infinite essence but we can hold them
accountable in this reality for their anti-social behavior. To do otherwise
would create anarchy in society which is certainly not the path to peace
and harmony.

Remember, that when we judge others, we are not loving others. Love
manifests peace and harmony and judging manifests anything but peace.
If we believe Jesus had acoherent non-contradictory message, the
judgment sayings which appear to relate to our immortal, infinite being
must be discarded as being contrary to his message of non-judgment.


CHAPTER 21


Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to
court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the
judge to the guard, and you be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you
will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

Mt 5:25; Lk 12:57



This saying is simply common sense. No one who has ever been to court
has come away completely satisfied; except the lawyers who almost always
get paid regardless of the outcome.

No one should make the mistake of believing that the judge or the jury is
going to see things the way they see them. Everyone is unique and when
you go into court with the ridiculous belief that everyone will see things
your way, you are deluding yourself. The fact that you are going to court
at all should remind you that there is atleast one person who does not see
things your way. It may be that the judge and jury's opinion is the same as
your adversary's. This is the potential situation that this saying refers to.


CHAPTER 22


The good person brings good things out of a good treasure.

Mt 12:35; Lk 6:45; Th 45

Every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good
tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.

Mt 7:17; Lk 6:43



These sayings on the surface seem to make sense but in truth they are
simply another means of judging others. The message of Jesus was one of
non-judgment in any form. Consequently, these saying should be
discarded with the other judgmental sayings.

That being said, one needs to consider the invalidity of these sayings from
another perspective. First, the fruit from any tree is not all good or bad.
Some branches produce better fruit than others. Therefore, it is hard to
say a tree is all good. A tree that produces more good fruit than bad is
considered a good tree and one that produces more bad fruit than good is
considered a bad tree. Even still, a bad tree will not generally be cut down
unless virtually all of its fruit is bad.

Human beings are different than trees. We are more complex and society
manifests infinite examples of humans beings who do many good deeds
even though they sometimes also commit anti-social acts. No one can be
judged by one particular aspect of their character or by one particular act.

In truth, we are neither good nor bad. We are all doing the best we can.
No one can say that we are not doing the best we can because we are
each unique and no one can evaluate all the factors that come together and
make us act in a certain way in a particular situation.


CHAPTER 23


Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in
two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his
disciples and said to them, 'Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in
more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them
have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put
in everything she had, all she had to live on.

Mk 12:41; Lk 21:3


This saying is another one of judgment. There is no question that the
widow gave more in the sense that she gave all she had but the reality is
that what she gave will not do as much good as what the rich people gave.
How can you possibly judge one as being better than the other.


CHAPTER 24

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mt 5:3; Lk 6:20; Th 54

Blesse

are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will
be filled.

Mt 5:6; Lk 6:21; Th 69

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is
the kingdom of heaven.

Mt 5:10; Lk 6:22; Th 68,69


These are three of the beatitudes. Only these three are quoted in at least
two of the gospels.

The first is a way to keep the poor, however one defines poor, in society
from rebelling. If you tell the poor they are blessed, they will find solace in
their misery and not question their reality.

Another unfortunate reality of this saying is that it seems to justify the
acceptance of the misery of the poor. "Why help the poor? They get to
go to heaven". How ridiculous!

In regards to the second beatitude, when one hungers for righteousness,
one really desires to have others conform to his or her concept of reality.
Judgment is the child of righteousness and judgment is contrary to love
and forgiveness and peace and harmony.

In regards to the third beatitude, the concept of being rewarded for being
persecuted for righteousness is a powerful form of mind control. Telling
others that dying for Jesus is a sure ticket to heaven is a way for the
church bureaucracy get its members to confront its perceived enemies and
to die willingly if necessary. It creates an atmosphere of confrontation
and not one of peace. It creates unyielding and closed minds and closed
minds are the harbingers of war, hatred, intolerance and prejudice.


THE SAYINGS THAT ARE CONTRARY
TO THE FAITH SAYINGS


CHAPTER 25


A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is
enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master.

Mt 10:24; Lk 6:40; Jn 15:20;13:16

And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.

Mt 15:14; Lk 6:39; Th 34



The first saying is absolute nonsense and no one could possibly believe it.
To believe that a student is never greater than his or her teacher would be
to believe that society is in a constant state of deterioration. As each
teacher dies and is replaced by his or her student, who according to this
saying could never equal the teacher, a deterioration of society takes place.

If we consider for a moment that Einstein must be considered less than his
teachers, if viewed in the light of this statement, we quickly see the nonsense.

Why was this statement attributed to Jesus? If we consider for a moment
that the church bureaucracy wants to keep the lay Christians in line and
wants to stop them from questioning the authority of the church's priests
and preachers, this would be a good saying to attribute to Jesus. By
making it look as if Jesus said this, the church could tell the laity to do as
they were told and not to question the words of Jesus as interpreted by
the church leaders. It comes down to a matter of controlling the
membership by telling them they will never be as good as the leaders of
the church.

The last saying about the blind is a message to the laity that only the
priests and preachers have the keys to heaven and if the laity use their own
thought processes they will get lost and fall into a pit like the blind
leading the blind. Again, Jesus would never have made such a statement.

Jesus said, "ask and receive, search and find, knock and enter". He did
not say that all knowledge must come from a priest or a preacher.

Jesus tells us that the answers to all our questions are within us and if
those without understanding search for it, they will find it, without the
help of priests or preachers.


CHAPTER 26

SIN


But blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

Mt 12:31; Mk 3:28; Lk 12:10; Th 44

And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and
marries another commits adultery.

Mt 19:9;5:31 Mk 10:11; Lk 16:18

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better
for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body be thrown
into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it
away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole
body to go into hell.

Mt 5:29;18:8; Mk 9:43



All these sayings have to do with sin. Sin is the violation of some religious
or moral principal and it is the church's equivalent of a crime in society.
When one sins, one does something contrary to church law as defined by
the church hierarchy. If there were no laws in society there would be no
crimes and if there were no church lawsthere would be no sin.

When we consider the first saying, we become lost because we have no
idea exactly what constitutes a blaspheme against the Spirit. We are given
no examples by Jesus. We therefore have to discard this saying as being
ambiguous. If Jesus in fact said it, it probably had meaning 2000 years
ago. However, today its meaning is lost to us.

In regards to committing adultery, it would be easy enough to avoid this
sin by simply not marrying. One could live with another person and even
have children. If one did not marry, it would be impossible to commit
adultery because only married couples who separate are subject to this sin.

This example regarding adultery shows us how fragile a house of cards
the concept of sin is. Is church law God's law? If it is, can we truly
manipulate God's law so easily?

Regarding the last saying, no one is going to commit mayhem to avoid
sinning. No person with even a minimum amount of intelligence would do
it. It is impossible that Jesus would have literally meant this. If he did in
fact say it, we must believe it was taken out of context because anyone
practicing such acts would be considered insane and rightly so.

Lastly, accusing another person of a sin is the ultimate form of judgment.
If we are not going to judge others then we need to discard the idea of sin.

We need to consider that sin is not consistent within religions over time.
If something is not consistent, then how can we be subject to a list of
religious sins that is constantly changing, regardless of how slowly?


CHAPTER 27

SAYINGS REGARDING
THE CHURCH BUREAUCRACY


It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you are
making it a den of robbers.'

Mt 21:13; Mk 11:17; Lk 19:46; Jn 2:16



Jesus considered the church to be a place of meditation and teaching where
one could reconnect with one's immortal, infinite spirit. The rabbis of
Jesus day had turned the temples into a business where they encouraged
the selling of things to help one cleanse oneself of his or her sins as defined
by the religious leaders. The idea that one needs to be officially cleansed
of one's sins against a religious institution is nonsense and the charging of money for such purposes should be a crime against society.

Jesus is very succinctly saying that the church should not be a business.
However, it seems that little has changed in 2000 years.


CHAPTER 28 - 29

RESPONSES TO THE SATANIC ACCUSATIONS
AND THE NON-BELIEVERS AT HOME


Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or
house divided against itself will stand.

Mt 12:25; Mk 3:24; Lk 11:17

Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his property,
without first tying up the strong man?

Mt 12:29; Mk 3:27; Lk 11:21; Th 35



These sayings were Jesus' response to those who said that only by the
power of the devil could Jesus heal others. Jesus' answer was very simple
and to the point, "Why would the devil undo his work?"

It is so typical of a present day "holy person" to allegedly work miracles
by the power of God and say that others do so by the power of the devil.
The absurdity of this kind of reasoning is obvious and yet it goes on today
just like it did at the time of Jesus. If you want to discredit someone, no
matter how positive his or her deeds, all you have to do is to allege that
they do their good works by the leave of the devil. It seems that some
things never change.


CHAPTER 29


Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in
their own house.

Mt 13:57; Mk 6:4; Lk 4:24; Jn 4:44; Th 31



There is no great revelation in this saying. We all tend to believe that the
leaders of our society must come from somewhere other than our own
neighborhood or our own families. We always seem to be ready and
willing to accept the words and works of a stranger and reject those same
words if they come from someone with whom we are familiar. How
ridiculous!


CHAPTER 30

CIVIL WAR AND HATRED


Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not
come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against
his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law
against her mother-in-law.

Mt 10:34; Lk 12:51; Th 16

I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

Lk 12:49; Th 10

Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.

Lk 14:26; Th 55



Are these the words of a man of peace and love?

Can a man of peace and love literally or metaphorically charge people to
hate their parents, their spouse and their children? No way!

Sadly, one of the darker legacies of Christianity is conflict and war. In the
name of Jesus, cultures have been destroyed, murders have been
committed, knowledge has been destroyed and humanity has in many ways
been thwarted in its quest for peace and harmony. Whoever attributed
these sayings to Jesus was indeed familiar with the darker aspects of
Christianity.


AFTERWORD


The Bible as we know it was compiled from source documents around the
year 400 AD. Many of these source documents have been lost or
intentionally destroyed by those who did not want it revealed that those
source documents do not completely support the Bible that we presently
use.

With the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Library and the Dead Sea Scrolls
in 1945 and 1947 respectively, we now have original copies of some of the

source documents used to compile the Bible and to relate the story
of Jesus.

The Bible in general and the sayings of Jesus in particular have been edited
and reedited over the last 1900 years in order to achieve a variety of
objectives. The primary objectives of these editings have generally been
political manipulation and the perpetuation and expansion of the Christian
bureaucracy.

The Nag Hammadi Library and the Dead Sea Scrolls reveal truths which
in many ways undermine the legitimacy of the Christian bureaucracy by
revealing a Jesus who is in many ways different from the Jesus that has
come down to us through the Bible. As we move into the future, more
and more light will be shed on these ancient documents and I believe we
will eventually come face to face with an enigmatic teacher named Jesus
who is much more real to life than the Jesus portrayed in the Bible.

That being said, it must be remembered that the message of Jesus is in
truth no greater or less than the messages of the patriarchs of the other
great religions of the world. They all proclaimed the same basic message;
Do to others as you would have them do to you.

We may never retrieve the verbatim message of Jesus but it does not
matter because we already have his truths. To anyone who looks inside
himself or herself, the truths of Jesus and all the other great teachers will
be found imprinted on his or her immortal, infinite soul. Great teachers
like Jesus simply remind us through their words, deeds and the life they
live that those truths are in fact a part of our immortal, infinite being which
is at one with God.

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