Jesus of Galilee
The Lord Incarnate was the fulfillment and evidence of the Divine Word become flesh. He was the outcome of centuries of prophecy and prayers of thousands who had urgently desired and declared the advent of a Saviour. He was the Composite Word of all who walked with God and sought to know Him face to face, the Cumulative Statement from countless repetitions of Scripture through which the nucleus of the living flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ was eventually formed -- and he was the Living Word, direct from God.
Yet our Lord was born even as we, into a body of flesh, and he was endowed as even we are with an innate intelligence and with the divine spark of the Spirit.
Let us remember that Jesus came into the world willingly with a great burning desire to come, that he, Jesus, might have the opportunity to aid man and the planet Earth.
Jesus, of course, came into the world through a Mother who had a great spiritual passion after being told she, Mary, was to give birth to the much looked for Messiah.
The Virgin Mary loved and adored carrying of the body of Jesus. She was thankful, and she gave thanks to God many times for this great opportunity of service.
Just think how different that birth was from many millions of births of our children today, who come into this world today, many unwanted, many mothers-to-be who tried to release themselves after conception, and many with various diseases. These are vastly different from the condition that Jesus entered the world under, for the love of Mary certainly does not exist here.
But along with such gifts as the humblest man may receive, he was also accorded others directly from his Father in heaven, such gifts as are attainable by mankind only through the acceptance of our Lord Jesus Christ who brought them into the earth plane.
For as a true Son of the Father, only he is fully endowed with that wholeness of Spirit and Truth which can make men free, and only he was fully instructed in the Wisdom of God before ever coming here to lift up mankind.
The Creator placed within our Lord Jesus the potent nucleus of His Innermost Essence and enclosed within him the Primordial Light of His own Being which was before the world began. This Light he brought and offered to us all in a vehicle nourished and sustained by virgin purity.
In using the term "only-begotten Son of God," we are not implying that Jesus was the only son of God, but that he manifested in human form as the only begotten Son, the Divine Word sometimes called the second aspect of the Supreme Being. Since Jesus was actually born of the Holy Spirit the divine aspect was an intrinsic aspect of his personality.
The Holy Spirit brought the concept. Others have come to be sons of God, but they have been made sons as a result of attainment and grace.
The Living Word is "begotten" of his Father before all worlds and without Him is not anything made that was made. Thus does the only-begotten rank before all other things in the universe, excepting the Power aspect from Whence it sprang -- that first aspect of Supreme Being which thinks-out, or imagines, the universe that is to be before the actual beginnings of manifestation.
Through the memory of nature Jesus may be studied as a man, for he truly belongs to our humanity and was embodied in this form. His human personality had evolved and developed much as others, but the being, Christ, is something quite different. For there is found but one such embodiment -- when he descended into the body of Jesus in the baptism at Jordan. Let us never suppose that Jesus even in his human form was an ordinary individual, for being of a singularly pure and evolved type of mind, he was vastly superior to the great majority of our present humanity. Having traveled throughout many lifetimes the path of holiness, he had thus fitted himself for this honor and mission greater than any which had ever been assigned to a human being.
Jesus brought to mankind more than an inspiring example, for he stands above all men as the Supreme Way-Shower, and as a member of the human race he is able to reveal the possibilities of human attainment in order that those things he did may be accomplished in time by all people.
Had the Lord Jesus come to our earth from another order of beings, he could hardly have provided such an example for our emulation as he now does, for then he would be looked upon rather as an abstract ideal, portraying for us a perfection which we could not hope to reach, because of his superhuman development. He would not have the basis for understanding our pains and problems. But as it is, he made it possible for everyone in the process of human evolution to attain, even as he had attained. And he added the encouragement, "even greater things shall ye do."
As we seek to grow in his way, to emulate him in all that we do, to seek greater clarity of the Truth of his teaching, and as we seek to grow into a more intimate relationship with Jesus, Mary and Joseph (three great Initiates), such association and concentration upon their attributes of character and personality inevitably must lead us to grow more nearly into their likeness. It is necessary to reawaken these divine attributes within ourselves and above all to practice their principles in daily life as a basic preparation for the era just beginning. In these times more definite steps will be needed to prepare the way for the return of our great Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ.
St. John the Apostle spoke of him thus:
Before the embodiment of God in the human form of His Son, even the angels of heaven would never have dared imagine the Godhead in any kind of image or form. For the people of Israel since the time of Moses had been strictly forbidden to portray God in any aspect of form, or to invent an image of Him, or even a picture of any living creature. Not until the advent of Jesus did God appear openly visible and approachable to all men.
There is an old saying to this effect: "An idol is near, yet very far; for though a man set it up in his home and if he cry unto it, it will not answer. But God is very near." As a Rabbi has said, From here to heaven is a journey of five hundred years." Thus God is seen as far off, but at the same time so near that if a man prays and meditates in his inmost heart, God is there to answer his prayer.
The Father has said that He wishes to give us the kingdom, and any who wish to know the Lord can do so. To the man who said one must love God with all his heart and his neighbor as himself, Jesus answered, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." The way to the kingdom may be a short process or a long one, but it is possible for all because however scattered and separate mankind may appear to be, there exists in everyone a Self, or common Center, where all meet and are divine, for love is of God. Whatever is not of love must remain outside of Him. Faithful application of His wisdom brings about unfoldment of the teachings of His divine love.
Divine love means more than doing good. Many are the persons who do not acknowledge God, but on the physical and even on the mental levels do "a world of good" for their fellow men whether it be through social service, medicine, or just being a good neighbor. They dedicate themselves to straightening up the messes which man has incurred through his mistaken way of life. They clean up the diseases which he has wrought within himself over a period of time. Such dedication develops the character and soul to a high degree, but to patch up the effects of past error is not enough. To keep on clearing away the debris of past action does not prevent its recurrence. One must remove the cause.
The work of the true priesthood is to prevent error, not by taking note of it, but exchanging and transforming that which is erroneous into that which is godly. It is not enough to flee the darkness, for light must be turned on to dissolve it. When the sun comes out it disappears.
Our Lord Jesus did not live his earthly life merely to set an example for other beings to copy, even though by living as he did an example was set. Due to the difference between his mission and ours, or the customs of his time and ours, we are not expected to go through all the actions he did, but to follow and live after the teachings and directives he taught which apply to any age. Truth and justice, love of God and neighbor, healing and use of the word in healing, these truths are effective in us in that their use reveals the causes of our errors.
In the life of our Lord Jesus Christ we need not worry whether his actions spoke louder than his words, for both are still reverberating even unto our own era, when the time has come for him to gather fruits from the Seeds which he planted when living on earth.
Not only is Jesus the embodiment of the Word, but through him God gave unto mankind and taught him to use the Divine Word of Power. When man takes hold of his authority, speaking this Word in accordance with the Will of God, that word bears good fruit, for in the Word God gave man, He also gave something of Himself. Those who have worked with faith and through experience have become pure in their intentions, find that the Self within them unites with that of God, and even they become true Sons of God, working in His Name, on His behalf.
The Pharisees and the Sadducees of today bear other names, many names, but our approach to them should always be with Truth, even as our Lord's method was to give them the truth, and live it. We are not expected to do or to suffer the things he suffered, but we are pilgrims even as he, from the point of the first rung of the ladder of ascension, up through the universe and beyond unto the heaven itself where he has prepared a place for us.
The Way he showed us was a new and living way, leading from man to God, from the partial to the perfect, from the earthly to the heavenly, and from time to eternity.
He lived the life required of mortals, but was immortal. He completed his sojourn in the flesh in order to bring those who dwell in flesh closer to the glorious place from whence he came. He was by far the greatest of all men, because he was more than a mere man. Being both of the mortal and immortal, he was able to transmute for man his mortal life into the everlasting and divine life. He is so far above other men as to be beyond comparison with them. Only he was able to overbridge the great gulf which man had brought about between the Creator and His created beings long ago. Only Jesus has succeeded in changing the corruptible human into the incorruptible man.
It also remained for him as the first among all intelligent human beings on this earth and the other globes to succeed fully and completely in amalgamating his individuality with the indwelling Spirit-spark of God. This was the greatest victory man could ever hope to achieve, and his success was not merely for the earth, but was cosmic. Everywhere in the universe does his name reverberate, and all who spiritually comprehend it bend the knee in reverence and gratitude.
The Ark of the Covenant, shown here in a sixth-century mosaic, was the only image of God permissible to the Hebrew artist.