Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Lenten Reflections, Day Thirty six, Sixth Wednesday of Lent, The big mistake still being made today.


Day Thirty six, Sixth Wednesday of Lent
The big mistake is still being made today.

John 8: 31-42

Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 

They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?” 

Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father's presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.” 

They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” 

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing what Abraham did, but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are indeed doing what your father does.” 

They said to him, “We are not illegitimate children; we have one father, God himself.” 

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”

John describes Jesus as continuing to teach the Jews about the path of the Spirit as distinguished from the path of the ego. The Jews don’t get it. They defend their law and beliefs and practices, and see Jesus as a trouble maker.

Jesus is upsetting the apple cart, going against the grain, disturbing the status quo and the Jews feel threatened. The Jews are experiencing what psychologists call cognitive dissonance. When people’s point of view, their raison d’etre is threatened they get defensive and then they attack. Jesus knows this and says to them, “you look for an opportunity to kill me.” The Jews want to silence Him because what He is teaching is undermining their belief system in the ego which is the source of their security.

What Jesus is doing is suggesting a better way to live their lives. Jesus is suggesting that they consider the path of the Spirit which is Love rather than the path of the ego which is based on fear based on its laws and punishment.

At Lent, more than any other time of the year, we are encouraged to renounce the things on the path of the ego and turn onto the path of the Spirit. That’s all. It’s very simple, really. We can choose the path of deprivation and scarcity and a feeling of never being able to win, to get ahead, or the path of Spirit which is Unconditional Love where we can become one with the All and claim our natural inheritance which is peace and bliss. Knowing the difference between the path of the ego and the path of the Spirit, this truth, will set you free.

Jesus senses that they will kill Him for suggesting that they give up their egos. That of course is a huge mistake which some call “sin.” We are still talking about it 2,020 years later.

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