Jesus of Galilee
There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a highly reputed member of the Sanhedrin who saw some of the signs performed by Jesus and was convinced by them. But he valued his position and dared not openly acknowledge an interest in this new prophet lest he run counter to the Jews and antagonize them. So he came to visit Jesus at night when he could come unobserved and said to him, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher of God, for no one can do such signs as you do unless God is with him."
Using the word "we," he must have been speaking for some of his fellows as well, for Jesus was being roundly discussed by the priests in Jerusalem. The soil there was well prepared for spiritual works, ready for planting; John the Baptist had stirred it up well with his call to repentance and had wakened the populace and the priesthood to the more basic spiritual realities, so that their conscience was beginning to prickle. The timing of his visit by night indicates not only secrecy, but the darkness of understanding from which his questions were asked.
Jesus answered him, "I speak to you truly; unless one is born anew (or again) from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God." To be born anew is when we are reborn after illumination is experienced.
The words "from above" give us the Key. Every human is born from the womb of an earthly mother, and even God used this process to bring forth His Son. John the Baptist, too, had been born of an earthly mother, and Jesus once said, "I tell you that among those born of women, there has appeared none greater than John the Baptist; yet he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."
There is a level of greatness that can come to all through processes of evolution as man progresses through experience here on earth to ever greater spiritual heights. But John, the forerunner, symbolized the apex of that type of attainment. Even the very least who has attained unto the kingdom of God has reached a level above that. And how does one enter the kingdom? He must be born again, the second time, this time obviously not from the womb of an earthly mother, but from Above, and that means through the Heavenly Mother.
Mary had been the earthly mother of Jesus, and the highest woman on earth, but when Jesus rose out of the waters of baptism, he was rising out of the waters of the womb of his Spiritual Mother in heaven. When the Holy Spirit alighted on his head, this was confirmation of his higher birth as God said, "This is My Beloved Son," and he released his former involvement with human relationships. Although he did not personally need this experience, having previously gone beyond, and although she too was of a high level, Jesus had to do all this to prefigure what mankind must go through in order to experience the second birth from the womb of his Mother in heaven.
Mankind, while still on earth, is taken in hand by the Heavenly Mother, but only when he approaches the attainment of the higher initiations. He is carried in Her Womb without even knowing about it, until that great day when he is reborn and becomes fully one with the Father, who claims him then. The Mother's work is preparatory and so unexplainable that man only knows something strange is happening to him, that he is becoming a changed being, but he charges that experience to all sorts of causes except the True One.
That is why Jesus, who so dearly loved his mother Mary, could speak as he did when she came to visit him with his brothers, while he taught those disciples who were working with him to bring people into the kingdom of heaven. When a bystander spoke to Jesus, "Behold, your mother and your brethren are standing outside, and they wish to speak with you." Jesus answered, "Who is my mother and who are my brethren?" And pointing his hand to his disciples he said, "Behold my mother, and behold my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and my sister and my mother."
In this he was not disparaging anyone, but only indicating that he had entered into a new dimension, a new family relationship which only included those of the Second Birth into the Father- Motherhood of God in heaven. Jesus only used the term Father, but to be "born again" of Spirit implies being born not of a Father alone, but out of a spiritual womb.
When his earthly mother and brothers and sisters should reach the point where they could properly lay aside earthly matters with which they were then engaged, accordingly as they too came fully into the higher Life of God, they could be included with his disciples as mother, brothers and sisters. For if even Jesus needed to submit to being born again, how much more the others of his family!
Nicodemus asked Jesus, "How can a man be born again? Can he enter again a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered saying to him, "I tell you truly, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
Jesus had himself been born of both water and the Spirit at his baptism, not of water alone, or with the removal of past sins; but also with the descent of Spirit unto him.
"That which is born of flesh is only flesh, and the Spirit can only be born from Spirit. Do not marvel because I said that you must be born anew, or from above. The wind blows where is pleases and you hear its sound; but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."
He used a simile here, of the blowing wind and the Spirit, for the same word in eastern languages "Ruach" means both "wind" and "spirit" - both are moving, both invisible, both equated with the Breath of the Almighty. This word also means "ghost," so the same term is variously translated as Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost.
Jesus continued to talk to Nicodemus. This discussion made a profound impression on his hearers, for it was the first teaching of any length which was repeated in the Gospels. Their visitor was a learned man, well-versed in Scripture. Nicodemus asked him now, "How can these things be?"
Jesus answered him, "You are a master of Israel, teaching others, and yet you do not understand these things? I tell you in very truth, we speak only what we know, and testify only to what we have seen; but you do not accept our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how then will you believe me if I tell you about heavenly things?
"No man has ascended to heaven except him who came down from heaven, even the Son of Man whose home is in heaven."
The Son of Man and the Son of God are the same thing, only the perspective is different. In his own eyes, "looking up" to God, he is the Son of God, being born anew of Him. In God's eyes, "looking down," he is His Son of Man, among men, and the home of His Son is always in heaven. For this Son is never born of earth, but descends from heaven as a Light entering a lamp, and at the end of the man's earthly term, this Light returns to heaven whence It came, taking the innermost essence of the man with it, where man of earth could never go.
"This Son of Man must be lifted up, just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so that everyone who believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life."
"The Son of Man must be lifted up" does not mean he is to be exalted in glory and praise, but lifted up in inward power of function, the serpent also signifying the Kundalini, which in uninitiated men is still crawling and biting them.
There were two ways Moses was directed to lift up the serpent. The first was to throw his rod on the ground, where it became a serpent. He had to grasp it by the tail and lift it up, in order to turn it back into a rod again; with the power so generated, miracles could be performed.
Moreover, this power was shown as greater than that of the magical arts. For when Aaron, the first Levite priest, threw the rod down in front of Pharaoh, the magicians were also able to use their knowledge and did the same thing.
The rod of Aaron was greater and swallowed up all the other serpents, thereby showing the superiority of priestly arts when you are working with God over magic alone.
The second way was to fashion a brazen serpent and place it on a pole to heal the Israelites of their serpent bites and save their lives. (Brass is the metal of Venus.) Jesus, too, was a living Rod of Miracles; and when crucified and lifted to the cross, he became a healer of deadly wounds. In both cases the tempter of Eden was conquered and used for man's liberation.
Here Jesus gives a good explanation of why he could not throw himself down from the pinnacle at the demand of the tempter. Only by being lifted up himself and paving the way for others, setting the example, could he make it possible for them to attain to heaven also. It was his mission to provide a break-through.
"For God so loved the world that He even gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. He who believes in him will not be condemned; and he who does not believe has already been condemned for not believing in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
Jesus did not come primarily to judge but to rescue the drowning humanity and earth. However, if they refused his hand, they judged him untrustworthy and brought judgment upon them- selves through unbelief. "And this is the judgment wherewith man is judged, that Light has come into the world and yet men have loved darkness more than they loved the Light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does detestable things hates the Light, and he does not come to the Light lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does deeds of Truth comes to the Light so that it may be made known that his works are done through God."
The burglar prefers to work in darkness, what could he accomplish otherwise? As soon as the light turns on, his burglary days are over.
Though Light is offered, some people are not willing just yet to accept the way of God. They want to wait awhile and finish up the fun or problems they are enjoying, the unlighted works, until they can no longer endure them. Then they will seek the better way.
Living in the Light necessitates becoming transparent as a glass house, to let your Light radiate forth as from a lamp, having no guilty thing to hide from view; becoming simple and guileless as a child, yet wise, fearless and mighty in the purposes of God.