October 06, 2015

Matthew 7.21-23

Not everyone who calls me "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do the will of my heavenly Father.

When that day comes, many will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out devils in your name, and in your name perform many miracles?"

Then I will tell them to their face, "I never knew you! Out of my sight, you and your wicked ways!"

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This was always one of my favorite passages, probably because 'Jesus as worship-object' always seemed alien to me. God, yes.

'Doing God's will'? Well, that probably would depend on what that will was. It was much later when I discovered Stephen Gaskin: "It's not complicated or unusual or weird to know what God wants. God wants justice and freedom and health and happiness and equality for everyone. If you know that's what God really wants, you'll help out along those lines." I would certainly have resonated with that, not yet realizing how unattainable that was in the current state of human consciousness and misorganization. Mainly, that is, in the prevalence of fear and faithlessness -- because faith is so hard to maintain without hope, and hope so hard to entertain for people who live with misplaced faith, or none. Faith 'in the name of Jesus,' for example. I also liked the parts where he'd say, ~"If you want to call me 'Lord', then try to understand what I'm saying, what I mean!"

Maybe I'd discovered Mark Twain a bit too early, or listened too much to my atheist earthly father -- but the inconsistencies and evils of standard 'Crosstianity' [GB Shaw's term] were clear enough. But then I was still working on whatever it was Jesus did mean -- although I feel that some of my grade school teachers really did understand, and though I knew they were right about "Two wrongs don't make a right," I didn't like to hear it about whichever retaliation I wanted to do just then!

And why would Jesus care whether people did thing 'in his name,' anyway? It does make more sense to me since then, of course -- analogous to someone acting 'in the name of The Law!' -- although that too, of course, could be said by people who weren't behaving all that legally.

But I was still thinking of 'The Kingdom of Heaven' as 'a nice place for dead people.' And that wasn't at all what Jesus meant!

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