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|Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount… Excerpts and Equivalents|
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount… Excerpts and Equivalents
THE GREAT GOSPEL OF JOHN Volume 1, Chapter 39 to 45
The Lord says:
39,5. I say: ‘Yes, indeed, you are right, so it is. God is supremely good, supremely wise, supremely just and does not need anyone’s advice and instruction when He wishes to do something. But I tell you: Also man on this Earth is called to become as perfect as is the Father in Heaven. (Matth. 5:48)
39,6. This was impossible until now, since death was ruling on this Earth. But from now on it shall be possible to everyone who will in all earnest strive to live according to My teaching.
39,7. And I think that if God offers this to man in return for a small effort, namely, for the easy complying with My teaching, man should spare no pains to reach this supreme goal.’
39,8. Says the high priest: ‘Yes Lord, man should indeed venture everything to attain to this ultimate. Whoever wants to enjoy the view from a high mountain must not shy the effort and trouble of climbing. Whoever wants to reap must plough and sow first, and whoever thinks of gain must take the risk, but whoever ventures nothing out of fear that nothing may be gained cannot possibly ever gain. Therefore Lord, once You have shown us the Ways, it shall not be hard for us to attain to what you have just proclaimed to us, namely to be as perfect as the Father in Heaven is perfect.’
39,9. I said: ‘Verily so, and I will add: My yoke is easy and My burden light. But mankind until now has had to carry heavy burdens, yet achieved nothing with that. It remains to be seen how their faith will shape up to exchanging the heavily pressing old faith that they learned for the unfamiliar new faith. Shall they not finally say: “If we achieve nothing through strenuous ways and work, what shall we achieve with child’s play?”
39,10. I say unto you: you shall have to cast off the old man like an old coat and then put on a completely new one. This shall of course be uncomfortable at first, but whoever shall not be driven back to the old, habitual by trivia, but bear up to the small discomfort, shall attain to the perfection of which I spoke.
39,11. But get ready now, all of you, for I shall shortly start on the small trip to the mountain. Let him who wants to come with Me get on his feet, and you, Matthew, go and fetch your writing utensils. But do not tarry as you can see that I am about to go.’
39,12. Says Matthew: ‘Lord, You know how ready I am to follow You. But if I go over to my house or rather to where I am employed and paid by the Romans as a tax collector and scribe, and get tied up near the main barrier before the city, I shall probably find a lot of work as usual, and the Roman guards shall not let me go until I have done the work. Therefore I would prefer it if I could obtain sufficient writing material here for today, and then go and collect mine in the evening, which would then last me for a full two days, because I cannot obtain more than three days supplies from the Romans, which I also nearly use up.’
39,13. I said: ‘Friend, just always do what I tell you, and you shall always be all right. Just go as I told you and you shall not today find any work or anyone waiting at the barrier. But bring also your other scribes with you, so that My Word shall be recorded here many times over.’ Says Matthew: ‘Well, in that case I may indeed be gone.’
39,14. At that, Matthew the tax-collector goes and finds everything exactly as I foretold him. He soon returns with three other scribes and we are on our way to Mount Gerizim, together with everyone else in the house. And as we arrive at the mountain after one hour, the high priest asks Me if he should go up and open the old house of God.
39,15. But I point to the area and the many people who followed us, and say to him: ‘See friend, this is the oldest and most appropriate house of God, but it is much neglected and I want to restore it, as I did with Irhael’s house. But for this, the old house is not needed, and this area at the foot of the mountain shall suffice. There are, besides, a few benches and tables here which will be handy for the scribes. Open your ears, eyes and hearts therefore and be ready, because now shall come to pass before your eyes what the prophet Isaiah prophesied.’
39,16. Says Matthew: ‘Lord, we are ready to hear you.’
39,17. Now follows the well known sermon on the mount, which one can read on Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7.- This sermon, however, lasted for three hours as I spoke slowly because of the writers.
Chapter 40 and following …
The priests at that time criticize the Sermon on the Mount.
The Lord gives the hint that one should not conceive the images, but rather comprehend the spirit of His speech!
40,1. When the sermon had ended many were shocked, and mainly the priests and some of the people said: ‘Who can attain to salvation? We teachers of the law also preach properly and justly as once Moses proclaimed from the mountain the commandments to the people. But all that is like dew and a gentle evening breeze compared to this strict teaching and mightiest of sermons. There is hardly a tenable argument against such precepts, but they are too severe and hardly anyone will be able to practice them.
(The verses 2-8 are left out in the video. They explain, how the human intellect interprets the Lord’s Words – Link to the full Text is below this Video)
40,9. Just have a closer look at your mighty teaching, and you will see that your teaching is quite useless for gaining everlasting life and cannot be followed by anyone. For, if a person is to win Heaven in such a way, he is sure to forgo Heaven. It would be preferable not to have been born than thus to win a Heaven which one can enter only as a mutilated cripple. Tell me honestly whether you understand this or whether you are really serious about your teaching.’
40,10. I said: ‘You are a high priest, but you are blinder than a mole under the Earth. What can be expected of the others? I gave you images here and you swallow only their material part which threatens to suffocate you. You do not seem to have the least idea of the spirit I put into these images.
40,11. Believe Me, we are quite as wise as you imagine yourselves to be and know very well whether or not a person could and should mutilate himself to gain everlasting life. But we also know that you do not grasp the spirit of this teaching and will not be able to grasp it for quite some time. We shall not, however, revoke our words because of that. Although you have ears, they do not hear the right thing, also you have eyes, but they are spiritually blind and, notwithstanding your open ears and eyes, you do not hear and see anything.’
(7 more Verses of Pharisee doubts – the “Clergymen” do not change …)
41,8. Says the High Priest: ‘This now sounds peculiar from your mouth. This morning I would have revered such a word from your mouth, for then it really seemed to me that you were indeed the Promised. But after the teaching you give us you have in my eyes become a madman, whom it pleases to present his fixed idea to us as the promised Messiah’s wisdom. Therefore, you had now rather explain your harsh teaching, as without sufficient explanation no one could ever grasp it and act according to it.’
41,9. I said: ‘So tell me then what confounds you so much in My teaching, and I shall solve the problem for you.’
41,10. Says the High Priest: ‘I have already mentioned that several times, but to show you that I am very reasonable and moderate, I tell you now that I accept all the other points of your teaching as good and wise, but I cannot possibly accept the tearing out of eyes and the cutting off of hands and feet. Think it over yourself whether it is possible to tear out one’s eyes. Also, will not the one who himself cuts one of his hands or feet off soon bleed to death? And once he is dead, what fruits of betterment will he then be able to produce?
41,11. Look, that is the impracticable point of your teaching which can never be reasonably complied with and if there ever should be any fools who do comply with such teaching, they will not achieve any betterment thereby. For if someone should survive, he will not praise God because of the misery such a teaching claimed to be from God has caused him.’
41,12. I said: ‘Very well, your request is fair enough and I will tell you: Among all the priests since Samuel you are the wisest, for you have an honest heart and do not basically reject My teaching, but only wish to have it explained. Therefore, I will also give you a light. This light will not come from My mouth, but from the mouth of one of My disciples. Do now turn to one of My disciples, which will prove to you that My teaching is already understood by people without My explanation.’
42,1. Here the High Priest turns to Nathanael and says to him: ‘Following your Master’s direction, I now happen to turn to you. Will you, therefore, explain to me at least the most difficult point of the teaching of your master? But please do use only clear and pure words, for with a haze over a haze, a room cannot be illuminated. And now do speak.’
42,2. Replies Nathanael: ‘Are you of such a closed mind that you cannot grasp a clearly given teaching in its true sense? Have not practically all the prophets predicted that Christ would open His mouth to speak to the people only in parables?’
42,3. Says the High Priest: ‘Yes, you are right, that is how it is written.’
42,4. Continues Nathanael: ‘Well, since you as one versed in the Scripture know that why then do you call the Lord a fool because according to the Scripture He opens His mouth in parables? You may, of course, implore the Lord for a light to help you understand them, but not call Him a fool if you do not understand His allegorical speech, since you are still ignorant in such divine matters.
42,5. See, all things in nature have their order and can exist only in their specific order. Thus have also the things of the spirit their specific order, beyond which they cannot exist nor be imagined or expressed in words. However, between the natural and the spiritual things, since the former have gone forth from the latter, there is and exists an exact correspondence which, of course, only the Lord knows in all detail.
42,6. Thus, when the Lord tells us – who are all still within the fixed order of natural existence – of purely spiritual things, He can do so only by using images. To be able to understand these properly, we must strive to awaken our spirit through observing God’s commandments. Once this awakening has taken place, openly then shall we understand all that the Lord has said and revealed in such a corresponding parable, and that is wherein his divine Word will forever differ from our human word.
42,7. But now pay good attention. What the eye is to the natural man, is to the spirit the ability to view the divine and heavenly things, which alone suit the nature of the spirit for its most blessed, everlasting existence.
42,8. However, since the spirit, according to the most necessary divine order, has to be for a certain time imprisoned in the matter of the flesh of this world, so that it may become firm in its freedom and almost total independence of God without which it would never be able to see God, let alone exist in, beside and with God – (but when the spirit is maturing within matter and becoming firm in freedom and independence of God, it is exposed to the quite unavoidable danger of being swallowed up by matter and perishing together with it, from which death is an awakening to life in God and must be extremely hard and painful) – the Lord said, not to the physical man, of course, but to the spiritual man: “If your eye offends you, tear it out and fling it away, for it is better to enter the Heavens with one eye, than Hell with both,” which is to say as much as: If you find the light of the world too tempting, make an effort and turn away from such a light, which would draw you into the death of matter. Deprive yourself as spirit of the empty gratification that enjoyment of the world can offer and turn with your soul to the purely heavenly things, for it is better for you to enter the realm of eternal life without much worldly knowledge than be swallowed up by the death of matter – too worldly wise on the one hand and too little spiritually wise on the other hand.
42,9. If the Lord here spoke of two eyes, hands and feet, He thereby did not mean the two eyes and the two hands and feet of the body, but only the obviously dual ability of the spirit to see, act and progress. He does not warn the flesh, which has no life, but the spirit not to concern itself with the world, when it feels too attracted to it. In that case it is better to enter eternal life without knowledge of the world than be in the end swallowed up by the necessary judgment of the world because of too much worldly knowledge.
42,10. The spirit shall, of course, also see the world and get to know it, but it shall not take pleasure in it. Once it begins to feel that the world attracts it, it should promptly turn away from the world as danger is already threatening. See, this necessary turning away is expressed by the corresponding picture of the tearing out of an eye and He who is able to give us such an appropriate image must surely be well-versed in all man’s spiritual and material circumstances. In my opinion, this could be possible only to Him through whose power, love and wisdom all things spiritual and material have been created. I think you will now have understood me and realize how flagrantly you have sinned against the One who carries yours as well as all our lives in His almighty hand.’
43,1. Here the High Priest, as well as many others, is quite startled and says after a while: ‘Yes, yes, now I do understand it. But why did not the Lord speak right away as plainly as you have now spoken? Then I would surely not have sinned against Him.’
43,2. Says Nathanael: ‘If a seven year old boy would ask me that, I would not be at all surprised, but I do wonder how you, one of the principal sages of this place, could ask something like that.
43,3. Would you not also like to ask the Lord why he put into the grain of seed the limitless forming and developing ability of the tree that will be going forth from it? Why the tedious development of a tree from the grain of seed and following that the long wait for the ripe fruit? Just look how foolish you still are.
43,4. The Lord’s word and teaching is like all His works. He gives us His teaching in seed-pods. These we have first to sow into the soil of our spirit, and that soil is called love. Then the seed will sprout and grow into a tree of true knowledge of God and ourselves, and from this tree we shall then in due course be able to gather fully matured fruit for eternal life.
*43,5. Love is the principal thing. Without it no fruit of the spirit can thrive. Sow the wheat into the air and see whether it will grow and bear fruit for you, but if you put the grain of wheat into good soil, it will grow and bear multiple fruits. The right love, however, is a proper soil for the spiritual grain of wheat which we receive from the Lord’s mouth.
43,6. This is the reason why the Lord has now for all of you abolished the harsh Mosaic law of punishment, so that you may soon grow richer in good soil in your hearts. For he who punishes according to the law has little or often no love at all and the divine word-seed will, therefore, develop in him only poorly. The one who is being punished is already in the judgment in which there is no love, since judgment is the death of love.
43,7. Therefore, it is better if you do not immediately see your fellowmen’s faults, but are forbearing and patient. And if they in their weakness ask something of you, you shall not withhold it from them, so that love may keep growing in yourselves and also in your weak brothers. Once this is present in abundance in you as well as your brothers, the divine seed will thrive within you and the weak will then in their strength look upon you with good will and reward you many times over for what you did for them when they were weak.
43,8. But if you are stingy and hard where your weak brothers are concerned, you yourselves will never attain to a divine fruit within you and the judgment of the weak will in the end drag also you into destruction.
43,9. When the Lord said: “Give to the one who asks you for your shirt also the coat,” He only meant to point out that you who are rich and have many possessions should give abundantly to the poor when they come to you. Thereby you will also gain much soil in your hearts and thus be blessed with the possession of such true soil, and the poor will truly bless you, for from your hearts they will receive the most effective sermon of God’s true Gospel and thereby become strong for your own eternal support. But if you give miserly and calculate when and how much to give, you help neither yourself nor your poor brothers, and because of it these will never become a support for you.’
44,1. Says the High Priest, who has listened to this speech most attentively: ‘Everything is now in order and I think that I understand all this pretty well. There is just one thing I still want to mention: The Master actually speaks only of tearing out the right eye and cutting off the right hand. Only in my searching zeal I added also the feet, but look, you have now also explained to me the cutting off of the feet just as you did the eye and hand about which alone the Lord spoke as far as I know. You said that there existed correspondence only in the Word of the Lord who speaks to man’s spirit. How come then that you found also correspondence in my addition?’
44,2. Says Nathanael: ‘You are wrong. The Lord spoke also of the right foot, but He hinted to the scribes to omit that about the foot because those who have directed their inner vision heavenward and have activated their love-will – which corresponds to the left arm as the hand of the heart – in accordance with God’s will after getting rid of the right arm or right hand, by which the purely worldly motivation is to be understood, no longer need to rid themselves of the right foot. Once the eye is in the right light and the hand, or rather the will, is acting correctly, the progress into the regions of eternal life is automatically there or the right foot, denoting worldly progress, already automatically severed and a special effort is no longer needed.
44,3. You Samaritans could as well start with the foot, for although your sight is now directed toward the divine and your hands are engaged in the right action, your foot or your eagerness for progress is directed towards the world. You expect of the Messiah something quite different from what you should expect of Him in accordance with the predictions by all the prophets, and that, spiritually seen, is your right foot which you should sever, so that you can set out on the right road to the Kingdom of God. Only because of you the Lord had spoken also of the right foot, but did not have it recorded because the future followers of the Lord’s teaching will know very well where and wherein the kingdom of the Messiah is and consists and what has to be done to enter it. Is there anything else you wish to query?’
44,4. Says the High Priest: ‘Now everything is clear to me as far as I am able to grasp it but, notwithstanding the fact that I now do understand it, I must add that your teaching, the way it is given, is a severe and hard to understand teaching and you will find that many will be taking offence at it.
44,5. Not that I wish to make a bad prophet for you, yet I tell you that with the arrogant Jews you will not achieve what you have achieved with us, notwithstanding our stupidity in many points. We do believe now, although still as if in a dream. The prominent Jews, however, will not believe you like this. They will ask for signs and will in the end even persecute you because of the signs. We did not ask you for signs, but you nevertheless worked them voluntarily.
44,6. We do not believe you because of the signs, which partly could also be worked by men, but purely because of the teaching since it has now been explained to us. Therefore, you should stay with us, for with the proud Jews and Greeks you will have little success.’
45,1. Says Nathanael: ‘This far I had to instruct you, from here on everything is in the Lord’s hand. What He wills, we also shall will and do, for all of us are spiritually still very poor. Therefore, we must remain with Him, so that we may gain the Kingdom of Heaven. We will bear together with the Lord all suffering and persecution, so that with and in Him we shall have the proper comfort. In His name let us be meek in all our thoughts, opinions, wishes and desires, also in all our actions, so that we may be able to take real possession of the true soil which is the pure love of god in our hearts.
45,2. We shall not shun the land where conditions are harsh and unjust either, we shall be hungry and thirsty for true justice, since we have the One with us who can truly satisfy us everlastingly.
45,3. And we ourselves will be most merciful towards everyone, be he just or unjust in his dealings with us, so that in the eyes of the Lord we may be considered worthier of God’s great mercy.
45,4. We will also everywhere, just as here before you, guard our hearts as much as possible against impurity, so that the Lord may not turn away from us when we face Him. For with an impure heart one cannot approach God and in spirit contemplate in all truth His countenance and the abundant wonders of His works.
45,5. If we are of a pure heart, we must be peaceful, patient and gentle toward everyone, for an angry heart can never be pure, since anger always grows out of the ground of pride. But if we are of a peaceful heart, we may confidently approach as children the One who brought us the sonship of god and taught us Himself to pray to God as our Father.
45,6. It is of no importance, my friend, if, as you believe, we shall be persecuted in other lands and places on account of our most righteous cause, for we have Him and through Him the Heaven of Heavens. And thus we are happy already here, supremely happy, whether people love us or scorn and persecute us for His sake, because He is Lord over all and over everything. We serve Him above all, whom all the Heavens obey and are always prepared to serve, as we could convince ourselves yesterday and on earlier occasions, and this alone is our highest reward and greatest honor. Therefore, do not be concerned about us, for we know and recognize what we have to reckon with.
45,7. The High Priest was quite surprised at this speech so full of determination and said: ‘Truly, if I were not needed here and did not have wife and children and some other responsibilities, I would go with you.’
45,8. Says Nathanael: ‘We have left wives, children and other things and have followed Him, and our wives and children are nevertheless living. I tell you what I think about this: whoever cannot in this world, for the love of Him, leave whatever it may be, is not worthy of His grace. Whether it offends you or not, this is the position. My heart tells me so, and in the heart everything is truth once the spirit within it has awakened to the living thinking in God. He does not need us, but we do need Him.
45,9. Have you ever helped Him to raise the immense sun above the vast horizon and spread its celestial light across the wide Earth? Or have you ever seen, let alone forged, the shackles the Lord puts on the winds, how He constrains the lightning and the mighty thunder and the sea in its depths? Who can claim ever to have helped the Lord in anything? And if this is so, who, when he is called by the Lord to follow Him, can still think of his wife, his children and his things and not follow unconditionally – Him, the Lord of all life, of all the Heavens and all the worlds, for whom we have waited so long to come and who has now come exactly in the way all the prophets and patriarchs had predicted?’
45,10. Says the High Priest: ‘If I only were not the high priest, I would in truth do what all of you have done. But I am the high priest and since you, as I have heard, will stay here only for one more day, these people, who are so weak in faith, need me like the eye for seeing. So you will understand that I have to remain here, not so much because of my wife, my children and things, but rather because of these weak believers, who for quite some time yet will be unable to completely relinquish their set idea of old about the nature of the Messiah and the purpose of His coming. It will cost me a great effort, but what can I do?
45,11. I now believe firmly that your Master is the promised Messiah, but what about my flock? You have seen how already during the sermon many left. These are of a vexed unbelief which they will now diligently spread and many who still remained and yesterday fully believed have now their doubts, too, and do not know what to believe.
45,12. Imagine what a job I, being an oracle to all of them, shall have. But if I do not convert them, they will remain to the end of the world whatever you can imagine, but not what they are supposed to be. And look, that is the main reason why I have to stay here, and I am convinced that the Lord will not deny me His grace because of it. Even if I am not bodily in His company, I shall remain so spiritually forever and endeavor to serve Him as a most faithful servant and shepherd in full accordance with His here proclaimed teaching, and I think that He will agree to this.’
45,13. I said: ‘Yes, I would like that and it suits Me very well. You shall be an excellent tool for Me in this community and your reward in Heaven shall once be great. But now evening has come. Let us go home again. So be it.’