Category Archives: Jesus

200223 – Jesus revolution

INTRODUCTION

I wrote last September a post about the “love your enemy” issue and why Pope Francis was accused of heresy by bishops in USA.

Today at Catholic Mass, we read again the important message of Jesus about this issue in Matthew 5:38-48.

Pope Francis talked at the mass in Bari about Jesus revolutionary teaching “Love you enemy” as “a extremism of love”. I have his speech in this post.

INDEX

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The text

Matthew 5:38-48 says:

05:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye,  and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, don’t resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. If anyone sues you to take away your  coat, let him have your cloak also.
Whoever compels you to go one mile, 
go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and don’t turn away him who desires to borrow from you.

 05:43  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those
who mistreat you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.

05:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?
Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? If you only  greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same?  Therefore you shall be perfect, just as  your Father in heaven is perfect.

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The message

Be perfect as your father.

“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as  your Father in heaven is perfect.

This final message of Jesus is a very important message.  It tells in other words, how difficult it is to follow Jesus instructions:

  • pardon 7×77 times ( Matthew 18:22 )
  • Do not judge
  • “love your enemy”
  • pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you
  • whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.

When I invited a Christian  friend of mine to turn the other cheek, I got the angry answer “I am not a idiot!”

It reminds me about the post I wrote last week about the forgotten law are also difficult to follow.

I believe in a God that pardon “7×77 times” ( Matthew 18:22 ) ,

We have a  God that  forgives those who repent ( Quran 2:37, Luke 13: 3 ). We must do the same.

how to love my enemy 

I tried to write about how to love my enemy in the omonymous section in www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/2019/09/08/love-your-enemy/#howto

I have now understood that like Jesus did in Nazareth, it is ok to ignore sometimes. But you have to do it in a lovefull way like answering “Can we talk more about this another time? I need to go now. Have a good day. We’ll talk again.”

meditation

Suffering from anxiety that I get easily in cases of conflict, I have found that meditation, whatever method it is, is good. I could leave and look for a silent place where I am alone and try to find peace in my mind again through meditation. Also prayer is a good meditation option but God has more important problems to deal with, than mines.

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The conclusion of pope Francis

Pope Francis prayer is somehow the conclusion, pope Francis made out of todays texts. I recorded it with my phone and uploaded it to my server, Here it is, in Italian of course:

 

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conclusion

We must fulfill the words of Jesus as this will make our life and life on Earth a better life.

I wrote to my Catholic priest before the mass in Messenger:

“Sto registrando la predica del papa che aggiungero nella mia pagina sulla lettura di oggi. Quanti non hanno difficolta a seguire le istruzioni di gesu perdona 7×77 volte, ama il tuo nemico, volta l+altra guancia. Invece della semplice soluzione gridare ai e picchiare i i figli. Cè molto rancore a Lipari. Molti christiani non ascoltano. Vanno a casa e fanno come sempre hanno fatto con i figli, con i vicini, con il prossimo….. Spero di poter essere alla messa con te oggi. Buona domenica.

I talked with my priest about the instructions in todays text before the mass. He said “no one follow these”.

During the mass, he talked at the mass about the importance of Jesus instructions. He did not tell how we can do it. The only advice was to pray pray for help to follow these. maybe he did not get advices from God while praying, advices he could share.

Pray for help?

I wonder why we got a brain. Dont we have our brain to be used? As said before, I don’t like to pray God for help for my personal problems. God has more important things to do.

the value of meditation

I have learned several things as a teacher about how to love enemies and I shared these experiences in my previous post.

What I can add today is that meditation or yoga where I train to control by animal body (amygdala in our limbic system) is an important part when you find yourself in conflict with other people.

Did Jesus pray or meditate

Jesus sometimes left to to go to a peaceful place (in the desert, on a mountain or a olive garden). The evangelists wrote that he went “to pray” or “to be tempted by the devil”. How could they know what Jesus did in private? He could have gone “to be with God”. To be with God is the same as meditate. I can hardly imagine that he went to ask “Please God, help me solve this and that!”. He was entangled with God and did not need for it. He said “I do what God allows me to do.

 

Bildresultat för if you are not astonished by quantum mechanics then you have not understood it.

Inspired by  Nils Bohr’s saying about Quantum mechanics, I conclude this post with:

“if you are not astonished by the words of Jesus,
then you have not understood Jesus kerygma”

 

the forgotten law

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INTRODUCTION

Today at Catholic Mass, a very important part is read, a part of the Jesus comandments that many Christians forget. It is Matthew 5,17-37 (in Italian)

I have heard in Church, people talking loudly about others being this and that. Jesus said reconcile first and then come to Church. As I understand it, Jesus said we must not be hypocrites.

Jesus “went up onto the mountain” ( Matthew 5:1) and asked us in other words to control our own passions, desires and instincts, our intollerans and  instinct of revenge.

The priest at my church nor at mass in television from Bari, did talk about the law in more depth. There are in fact about 600 laws in the Pentateuch. I am not able to talk about them all in this post. So I will concentrate myself on the 10 commandments and three laws, Jesus talked about during his lifetime, those about “Eye to eye”, Sabbath and adultery.

INDEX

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The text

Matthew 5,17-37   says:

About the law of the prophets

05:17 “Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets.
 I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill. For most certainly,
I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away,
  not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke
  shall in any way pass away from the law, until
  all things are accomplished. Whoever, therefore,
 shall break one of these least commandments,
 and teach others to do so, shall be called least
 in the Kingdom of Heaven;
 but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called
 great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
 For I tell you 
that unless your righteousness exceeds
that of the scribes and Pharisees,  there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

About offending your next

05:21 “You have heard that it was said to the ancient ones,
 ‘You shall not murder;’ and ‘Whoever shall murder shall be in anger of the judgment.’  But I tell you, that everyone who is angry with his brother without a cause  shall be in danger of the judgment; and whoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca!’ (ed. probably from Aramaic Reka “empty headed” or “foolish”) shall be in danger of the council;  and whoever shall say, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of the fire of Gehenna. 

About reconciling

05:23 “If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar,  and there remember that your brother has anything against you,  leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.  Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are with him in the way; lest perhaps the prosecutor deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.  Most certainly I tell you, you shall by no means get out of there,   until you have paid the last penny.

about adultery in the hearth

05:27  “You have heard that it was said,‘You shall not commit adultery;’  but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her  has committed adultery with her already in his heart.

5:29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and  throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that  one of your members should perish, than for your whole body  to be cast into Gehenna.
05:30 If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off, and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.

when to divorce

05:31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever shall put away his wife,
let him give her a writing of divorce,  but I tell you that whoever puts away his wife,  except for the cause of sexual immorality, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries her when she is put away commits adultery.

About making vows

05:33 “Again you have heard that it was said to them of old time,
‘You shall not make false vows, but shall perform  to the Lord your vows,’ but I tell you, don’t  swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God; nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Neither shall you swear by your head, for you can’t make one hair white or black.  But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No.’ Whatever is more than these is of the evil one.

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The message

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decalogue

Just looking at the decalogue in Exodus 20:2-17, how many of these 10 laws are we not following today?
I think that six of these are not followed by many:

  • 3“You shall have no other gods before a me
  • In my church, many bows to statues of Saints and pray to them. It reminds me about  the Romans who had a favourite God. Many asks their saints (San Bartolo, San Giuseppe) for miracles. They do not call their saints as Gods but they ask there saints for miracles.
    The Church is not a place of silence and prayer. People talk loudly before the mass starts, like as they were at theater waiting for the spectacle to start.
  • I wonder if Catholics Christians follow this rule. Muslims think that Christians do not as they regard Jesus as a God.
  • 4“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything …”
    5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them;
    About the fourth rule. Has anyone seen a Christian church (Lutheran, Christian or Orthodox) without images? Only Mosques are without images. So one can say that only Muslims follow this rule.  Jehovah witnesses do follow it partly. Their Kingdom halls do not have images on the walls but their books and brochures have plenty of them. But they follow the fifth rule (see below).

    About the fifth rule, a lot of Catholic Christians do not follow this rule. Most have a favourite saint statue to bow at. It is like the Romans had a favourite God.
    The church is a place for lotteries and money dealing. Every mass there is a lottery where you can win a statue of some saint. They do lotteries to get money for the Church as noone or only a few donates money without something material back.
  • 7“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God,

    Oh my God!” “O mio Dio” “Gode Gud!” “Mon dieu!” This is a common expression in many countries and languages.

  • 8“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
    I think that only Jews follow this rule today. I will write more about this law and its interpretation, below.
  • 12 “Honor your father and your mother,
    ow many does not offend their parents when they are getting older and are hurt by dementia?
  • 13“You shall not murder.
    The Catholic church has killed thousands of people uring the centuries in their witchhunt in europe/ , and never asked pubblicly for forgiveness for this sin.  Police and military does this regularely according to secular law. Some Christians may not accept to make military service nor be a police because of this.
  • 14“You shall not commit adultery.
  • It is important to understand the meaning of adultery. Read more in EB In fifteen countries you can be stoned for adultery.
    Adultery is not only deceiving your husband your wife. One has to know the definition for different religions. You are not allowed to have sex without marriage.
  • 16 You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
  • 17You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.

Many have difficulties following the decalogue. But the law is not only the decalogue or the 10 commandments.There are, as I mentioned in my introduction, about 600 laws in the Pentateuch. Jesus also added also these commandments:

  • About offending your next
  • turn the other cheek also
  • love your enemy
  • forgive
  • About reconciling
  • about adultery in the hearth
  • About making vows

 

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About fulfilling the law

Matthew 5,17: “Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets.”  I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill.

What does “fulfill” means?

Case 1. curing a sick man on Sabbath

When Jesus cured a sick man in a Sabbath did he fulfill or interpret the law in a different way? I looked in biblehub.com to see what was written originally by the apostle of Matthew. In Greek it says πληρῶσαι plērōsai.

According to www.merriam-webster.com fulfill can be interpreted as “”to develop the full potentialities of…” the law. So fulfill in the words of Jesus could have meant to fulfill the real meaning of the law. That is, to follow the law of the Sabbath but not exagerating being hearthless, lettting e.g. people suffer (as in the  the case of curing and helping a sick)

Case 2. “stone” becomes “let the man without sin throw the first stone” and Jesus did not throw the first stone.

The definition of fulfill does not hold easily in this second case. Referring to Leviticus 20:20 and  Deuteronomy 22:22

Jesus said about the woman that was sentenced to death by stoning “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” .” ( John 8:7 ) and Jesus did not throw a stone.
I think that Jesus thinks that God is the one to judge or a man that is without sin and therefore near God.

Case 3. “Eye for eye” becomes “turn to them the other cheek also”

I get confused when Jesus said38You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’  (he refers to Exodus 21:24 ) 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

Here it is difficult to see fulfill as some kind of interpretation issue. One has to look at the real meaning fo “eye for eye”. I am not able to find a answer to this question.

The Italian translation “adempiere” can similarly be defined as “Eseguire pienamente”

Case 4. Never point out other peoples wrong behaviour in public.

I wrote about this in a previous post. Click here to read it. This is also a rule, Jesus added that many find difficult to follow.

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conclusion

Many of the decalogue commandments are not followed today. More difficult to follow are Jesus “Love your enemy” and especially “turn the other cheek also”. It is not easy to follow Jesus but the rewards are many “not only in Heaven” but also on earth. If we can follow him, we will live a more peaceful life.

I have a personal experience of that as a teacher with angry students. However difficult it is, it made my life easier to follow these commandments than following my own instincts of revenge, wrath, crying out and threathening for punishment….

You avoid the flow of stress hormone cortisol and adrenaline that makes you stupid and maybe do wrong moves, you will later repent.

And most important of all, your students learn to behave well to avoid punishment, not because bad behaviour is stupid.

Here in Italy, many use the helmet to avoid fines and not because you avoid riscs of life-treathening  injuries. So when the police is not on the road during lunchtime, no helmets are used by many.

Be the salt on earth 20200209

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INTRODUCTION

At Catholic mass Matthew 5:13-16 is read where Jesus talks about the salt on earth (see the text

below). The Catholic mass dedicate thoughts about the sick today. The priest said that those who works for the sick are the salt. This is maybe because As Tuesday February 11 is the world day of the sick

A doctor is the salt? But what is a physician, a doctor if he/she does not show the patient true love? That means he/she does not follow Jesus message of love. I have met doctors that were rude and offending because of my pain anxiety. I must emphasize that most doctors I have met have had a professional and understanding approach.

INDEX

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The text

Matthew 05:13 writes that Jesus said: “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its flavor,  with what will it be salted? It is then good for nothing,  but to be cast out  and trodden under the feet of men.
 You are the light of  the world. A city located on a hill can’t be hidden.
  Neither do you light a lamp, and put it under a measuring basket,
 but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house.
 Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see
 your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

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The message

I understand the salt metaphore as saying: If you are the salt, you are also the light. “it shines to all who are in the house” For me there is no light without love. or metaphorically, “there is no salt if there is no light” or “the salt wont taste salt if there is no light” is also valid or.

I have learned as a teacher, that if you do not love your students, they wont listen to you. Jesus messages have truly helped me to be a better teacher.

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conclusion

I have had a long pause from spiritual thoughts and writing, dedicating myself to consciousness and cognitive neuroscience. I understand that moments of spirituality alter my brain physiology (my neurospiritual system) like EEG has proved with among others Pope Francis. I do not only understand it, I feels it.

I wrote about the neurospiritual system in my post about neurotheology:

 

Michael Fergusson Neuroscientist in cognitive neurology at Harvard Medical School.said:

“When Jesus describes heavenly  rewards

Neuroscientists are illuminating the biological embodiment
of these ancient
metaphors “

Jesus baptism and paedobaptism

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INTRODUCTION

Today at Mass John 1,29-34 is read   (Italian version: Gv 1,29-34 )

It reminded my about Jesus baptism that was celebrated on Monday. I decided to take a pause from my math Fourier studies and writing.

This is a update of a post i published January 13 2019.

January 13 the Catholic Mass read about Jesus baptism 30 years old. Jesus baptism has been discussed since the begining of Christianity.

“Baptists—and “Bible churches” in the Baptist tradition—insist that baptism is only for those who have come to faith. Nowhere in the New Testament, they point out, do we read of infants being baptized.” (Source:  www.catholic.com )

I wanted to baptice my childrens in my Catholic church but were not allowed to do that because I never went to mass at that time. We could have done that in the Protestant church but I and the mother decided that the childrens could do that as adults instead, like Jesus did. 

This post led me into a paradigm shift.

INDEX

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The text

I do not add here the text of this Sunday but share texts that may refer to neonatal baptism.

Jesus about baptism

according to  Matthew  28:19 Jesus said after he arise from death:

Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”

If this is a true testimonial or a invention from the apostle to justify paedobaptism, remain to be seen.

Matthew 3:13 says:

“03:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John,
to be baptized by him. But John would have hindered him, saying, “I need to be  baptized by you, and you come to me?”

Mark 01:05 writes why John the Baptist baptized like this:
All the country of Judea and all those of Jerusalem went out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins.

Mark 01:09 says then “It happened in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.”

Probably Matthew relied on the writings of Mark.

But the apostle John didnt follow Mark. John starts his Gospel 01:29  with Jesus coming to John the Baptist but the apostle John never writes that Jesus got baptized by John. Why?

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The message

I have wondered for long time why Jesus wanted to be baptized by John according to Mark and Matthew. But as john never mention this, I begun wondering  if Jesus ever let himself be baptized.

Maybe after all, Jesus never thought he needed to make “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” as Mark 01:04 writes or to “confess his sins”)

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History of paedobaptism

he Greek Bishop Gregory of Nazianz wrote in the second century: ” what do you have to say about those who are still children, and aware neither of loss nor of grace? Shall we baptize them too?’  Certainly [I respond], if there is any pressing danger. Better that they be sanctified unaware, than that they depart unsealed and uninitiated”. Read more inwww.catholic.com

Neonatal death  was very common 2000 years ago. Probably because of that, the Catholic church started  the tradition to baptice newborn babies as soon as possible. Mybe the church did it “to save these newborn from hell or from the original sin”.

Michael Servetus who was sentenced to death because of heresy, said about paedobaptism:

“It is an invention of the devil, an infernal falsity for the destruction of all Christianity.” ( Source: www.newworldencyclopedia.org/ )

I do not understand why he came to this strong conclusion.

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conclusion

updating my article about Jesus baptism I experienced a paradigm shift and understood that I must change somewhat my story about the young Jesus.

Jesus may have baptized with John to rbe a good example for others and to repent his behaviour as a young child when he made his parents scared by not following them out of the temple.

What happens if you die and are not baptized as infant?

Catholic.com does not answer on that question but says that “you are not saved” if you are not baptized. Read more in https://www.catholic.com/tract/the-necessity-of-baptism 

The pope Benedict 16 said that as we choose to get childrens so we should baptize them as “with the baptism they are protected by God” Read more in the Italian site  http://www.santamelania.it

Catholic.com also says “Thus the early Church Fathers wrote in the Nicene Creed (A.D. 381), “We believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.” 

Only the Witnesses of Jehovah do not practice infant baptism. (read more in https://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/baptism.php )

Paedobaptism

As the church regards Jesus as God and therefore his baaptising not a baptising for the sins, the church started the tradition of paedobaptism. Jesus baptism was like a paedobaptism despite his documented 30 years of age.

Despite what Jesus said in Matthew, maybe Jesus himself did errors as a small child and wanted therefore to get baptized for the sins made during his youth.

 

 

Jesus message about miracles

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INTRODUCTION

Today at Catholic Mass we read Matthew 11:02-11 )

This is one of the few parts were Jesus talks about his own miracles. He talks about his and Gods power, the power of doing miracles, supernatural events.

I wrote about miracles and my faith before in www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/2019/01/20/jesus-miracles/

I do not rely on the miracle stories told by the evangelists but I rely on  their sharing of Jesus words especcially if you find these repeated by the other evangelists. The message of Matthew today about miracles is found also in Luke (see below).

You may argue that Luke may have copied Matthew but that you find the same words in Lukes Gospel is also a sign that the author of Luke must have thought that the Matthew gospel was reliable.

Whatever, when Jesus himself talks about miracles then I listen. His words make me believe Jesus could do miracles like I believe God can.

INDEX

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The message

Matthew 11:02-11 says:

“11:2  Now when John heard in the prison the works of Christ,
he sent two of his disciples and said to him, “ Are you he who comes, or should we look for another?”
11:4 Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John the things
which you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed,  the deaf hear, the dead are raised up,  and the poor have good news preached to them. Blessed is he who finds no occasion for stumbling in me.”

Luke use almost the same words as Matthew in Matthew 11:04. Look at Luke 07:22:

07:22 Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John the things which you have seen and heard: that the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the
poor have good news preached to them. Blessed is he who finds no occasion for stumbling in me.”

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conclusion

When Jesus said “Go and tell John the things
which you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed,  the deaf hear, the dead are raised up”

Jesus authority

I wrote about Marys miraculous conception last year in www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/2018/12/08/1-virgin-marys-miraculous-20181208/

Let me paste the text of Luke 1:26-38

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, you who enjoy God’s favour! The Lord is with you.’ 29 She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, 30 but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. 31 Look! You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus.”

Despite being a doctor, Luke did not know that the birth of a boy requires a egg. and Mary had all eggs created since before her own birth.

“every woman is born with all her eggs already inside her ovaries” ( Source: www.naturalcycles.com/cyclematters/5-facts-about-the-female-egg-cell )

So the miracle is really a miraculous fertilizing of one of those 7 million eggs released from the ovaries at ovulation.

Of course noone at the time of Jesus knew about this.

And probably many Christians listening to Luke today still don’t.

So half of Jesus was already created when Mary was in her mothers womb, maybe 13 years earlier.

So if Luke would have known this, he would have had problems writing that Jesus is “Son of God”instead of “the son of God and Mary”

Despite this, the story Luke wrote is a well written and, nice and motivated tale.

This tale was necessary at the time of Luke

I omitted this part in my demythologized Luke Gospel as I feel that the authority of Jesus is not given by the way he was conceived but by his words and actions.

We should not get blinded by miracle stories and not listen to the great teaching of Jesus.

As jesus said

“Unless you see signs and wonders,
you will in no way believe.” (Jn 4:48)

Kerygma – parable 8: Hell

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INTRODUCTION

Last Sunday we read uke 16,19-31 (Italian version, See English version below) about Hell. Jesus tells as I see it a parable about Hell in a rather funny way. This parable is easy to understand. But the thought came up in me, is there a Hell really? 

Is Hell like a described it in my conclusion  in a post from March 24?

INDEX

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A parable

This Luke 16 version is copied from www.catholic.org:

19 ‘There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day. 20 And at his gate there used to lie a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who longed to fill himself with what fell from the rich man’s table. Even dogs came and licked his sores.

This rich men probably never helped Lazarus.

22 Now it happened that the poor man died and was carried away by the angels into Abraham’s embrace. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 ‘In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his embrace. 

24 So he cried out, “Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.” 

This is a rather funny but very strong description.

25 Abraham said, “My son, remember that during your life you had your fill of good things, just as Lazarus his fill of bad. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony. 26 But that is not all: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to prevent those who want to cross from our side to yours or from your side to ours.” 

As Lazarus is not allowed to enter Hell the rich man said instead

27  “Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father’s house, 28 since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too.” 29 Abraham said, “They have Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them.” 30 The  rich man replied, “Ah no, father Abraham, but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent.” 31 Then Abraham said to him, “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.”

This part describes the known need of humans to see Miracles to convert.  If dead could show up and talk with humans there would be people maybe changing behaviour. But the Prophets have spoken.

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The message

 

The message is clear. There is no way open back from life after death.  We should use our ears and listen to the message given to us by the Prophets.

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conclusion

I still wonder, is there a Hell with barbecue of humans? I think it is rather a metaphore and a warning for people who can not abandon their behaviour or  see no reason to do good in their lives.

I stick to my description of Hell like I described it in my conclusion  in a post from March 24.

In our life on Earth, doing bad things,  we open  Hell in our next.

But but, we can never be sure.

Kerygma – parable 7 – the unrighteous clever administrator

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INTRODUCTION

Today we read the parable about the intelligent but dishonest administrator in ( Luke 16:1-13 ) it is about how we administrate our own lives and the life of our community.

I have had some dificulties to understand this parable. What does this parable teach us? The Italian program “A sua immagine” was not able to discuss this. They left this difficult issue to seek safety in a dialog about miracles instead. 

The Liparian priest never read the parable. He read the “short (easy) version (Luke 16:10-13 ), so I did not have to explain it. I wonder why.

NB. The priest in the television mass read however the parable and Pope Franciscus talked about it without explaining it. The dishonest administrator in the parable  is acc ording to him like the many corrupt people we haev today. 

INDEX

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The parable text

Accoring to Luke 16:01-13 Jesus  said to his disciples:

16:01 “There was a certain rich man who had a manager. An accusation was made to him that this man was wasting his possessions. He called him, and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’  “The manager said within himself, ‘What will I do, seeing that my lord is taking away the management position from me? I don’t have strength to dig.  I am ashamed to beg. I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from management, they may receive me into their houses.’ Calling each one of his lord’s debtors to  Him, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe to my lord?’ for an agricultural laborer. He said, ‘A hundred batos of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred cors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’
16:08 “His lord commended the dishonest manager because he had done wisely, for the children of this world are, in their own generation, wiser than the children of the light.

jesus explains the parable like this:

16:09 I tell you, make for yourselves friends by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when you fail, they may receive you into the eternal tents.
16:10 He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? If you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?   No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You aren’t able to serve God and mammon .”

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The message in the Parable

The rich man said to the dishonest administrator “Give an accounting of your management” is interesting as it reminds about Gods willingness to listen to us. God wants us to think about our own behaviour, just like a good teacher wants this from its pupils and students.

The rich man then said “for you can no longer be manager.” makes me think that we must take our responsibility and let someone else do our administration. Leaving our work as manager and administrator can be done only if the parable talks about the administration of a  comunity. That may be the comunity of our church, our work, our classroom or whatever else community of humans.

The administrator shows to be clever. He  found a dishonest solution to secure his future:

Luke 16:04 I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from management, they may receive me into their houses.’

 As the Pope Franciscus said after the Mass celebration in Rome, that teh administrators behaviour is a “example of corruption that is frequent today”. Corrupted people that are not intelligent enough to do a good job, dedicate their time being dishonest instead.

But the problem with this parable comes when Jesus explains the parable like this.  Jesus started his explanation with a very puzzleing answer.

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The parable explained by Jesus

Luke 16:09 “make for yourselves friends by means of unrighteous mammon”

Does really Jesus invite us to get friends with unrighteous behaviour, by e.g. corrupting people? It sonds like “steal from the rich and give to the poor” like Robin Hood did according to the legend.

Maybe the author William Langlands was inspired by this parable?

( Source : wallazee.global.ssl.fastly.net )

But Jesus said according to Matthew 05:20

unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees,  there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

To be dishonest can not be what Jesus intended to teach us with this parable. But this verse of Matthew 06:19  may give us a clue 

“Don’t lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.

A friend from Messina read Jesus answer as ““make for yourselves friendship with unrighteous people” like a way of love your enemie. But that has nothing or little to do with the parable. Those borrowers who where in dept with the rich man,  were not necessary unrighteous people beside of not having paid. The administrator made these borrowers unrighteous by asking them to falsify document and pay less.

As the Pope said, the parable may teach us to do something good after our bad behaviour  e.g by making other happy, that is creating “treasures in heaven”. This is valid also if you have been a bad administrator of your own life.

if you have mistreated your own body with e.g. drug abuse, you can once saved, help others to do the same.

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conclusions

As www.goodnewsarticles.com by David A. DePra  writes,  this parable “is one of the more “puzzling” parables of Jesus. Yet in it is one of the most powerful lessons Jesus ever gave as to God’s purpose for us in this age. It answers the questions, “What is God’s purpose in my life? And what should I be doing to cooperate with Him?”

Back to the question ” Does really Jesus invite us to make friends by unrighteous mammon”  as it is written in Luke 16:09 ?

Th article inwww.goodnewsarticles.com by David A. DePra has the best discussion about this parable but David A. DePra does not discuss the meaning of unrighteous mammon.

looking at the verse in Biblehub 16:9 interlingual (with greek)

I see that unrighteous mammon isi written byLuke with  the Greek μαμωνᾶ τῆς ἀδικίας. The translation of μαμωνᾶ τῆς ἀδικίας  is translated by Bibkehub to “the wealth of unrighteousness”

as blog.adw.org/2013/08/what-does-jesus-mean-by-unrighteous-mammon/ writes

Mammon” is a Hebrew and Aramaic word that has a wider concept than just money. It refers to wealth in general and, even further, to the things of this world on which we rely. 

http blog.adw.org discusses the meaning of Mammon being dishonest or unrighteous. The article has this conclusion, that Jesus invites us:

“that we befriend the poor with our “unrighteous mammon,” that we be generous to others who are less fortunate.”

being still confused, I may come back to this post with updates.

 

 

 

 

Kerygma – parable 4, 5 ,6

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INTRODUCTION

The last Sunday at the Catholic Mass we read Luke 15:1-32

It is about taking care of the lost one explained by Jesus with three parables, the lost dracchma coin, the lost sheep and son.
I would say that this is  about not leaving anyone out. It is about including everyone, also those making errors. We are humans not Gods.

INDEX

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The parables

Luke 1:1-32 says:

15:01 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming close to him to hear him. The Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.”

  1. The lost sheep

15:04 He told them this parable. “Which of you men, if you had one hundred sheep, and lost one of them, wouldn’t leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one that was lost, until he found it? When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
15:6 When he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that even so there will be more joy
in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance. 

the lost drachma coin

what woman, if she had ten drachma coins, if she lost one drachma coin, wouldn’t light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently until she found it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I had lost.’ Even so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over  One sinner repenting.”

2. The lost son

15:11 He said, “A certain man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of your property.’ He divided his livelihood between them. Not many days after, the younger son gathered all of this together and traveled into a far country. There he wasted his property with riotous living. When he had spent all of it,  there arose a severe famine in that and he began to be in need. He went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed pigs. He wanted to fill his belly with the husks that the pigs ate, but no one gave him any. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many hired
servants of my father’s have bread enough to spare, and I’m dying with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, “Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and in your sight. I am no
more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.”’
15:20 “He arose, and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be
called your son.’
15:22 “But the father said to his servants, A drachma coin was worth about 2 days wages ‘Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. Bring the fattened calf, kill it,
15:24and let us eat, and celebrate; for this, my son, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.’ They began to celebrate.
15:25 “Now his elder son was in the field. As he came near to the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the servants to him, and asked what was going on. He said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your fatherhas killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and healthy.’
15:28 But he was angry, and would not go in. Therefore his father came out, And begged him. But he answered his father, ‘Behold, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed
a commandment of yours, but you never gave me a goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this, your son, came, who has devoured your living with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for
him.’ “He said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is Yours. But it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this, your brother, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost,
and is found.’

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The message

 

As i said in the introduction  the parables are  about including everyone, also those making errors. We are humans learning by doing (often mistakes). We are not perfect.

it is about including everyone or loving each other like God loves us.

Learn from the past

The Roman empire grew thanks to inclusion. It did not last forever because of other reasons. Djenghis Kahn’s family became so powerful because of inclusion. They welcomed Buddhists and had them as advisors. They welcomed Chinese that teached them to produce and use canons. They had Muslims in the army and gave tthem time to pray. (Source: Con Iggulden)

Engage our immigrants.

Some political leaders like Trump and the Italian Salvini have not learned from history and think that by closing  borders they solve issues. They don’t understand the value of immigration on long term. Many Africans that migrate to Europe may become  very important for the European export industry. They know the African languages, they know the African  culture, the African customs.

They can help making commerce with Africa as for sure Africa, like China and India will also sooner or later grow into a huge export market. Africa has a lot of solar energy, fossile resources as well as minerals. Not forgetting about their djungles, with a great biodiversity with a genetic richdom for the farmaceutical industri.

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conclusion

The message of Jesus in these Parables are examples of inclusion, tollerance and love, Examples that are most useful today, two thousand years later.

love your enemy and enter the gate to Heaven

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introduction

Some Catholic clerics are good at saying “Oh Lord! Oh Lord!” but have no interest in following the Lords comandments , “love your enemy, God and your next”, “Do not judge!” and “Do not kill!”. The dark age inquisition clerics and hypocrits, Jesus warned us for, are back again. The devil never gives up and has now got new followers, again yelling “heresy!”. The Pope Franciscus’ “mistake” is that he is a disciple of Jesus, that tries to convert sinners, asks us all to help the poor and to love the Creation of God. The reason we see this, may be as it has always been, power and money. Power and money once loved by Pharisees, is now loved by Catholic bishops flirting with Conservative powers? read more at  www.reuters.com

This post is dedicated to : “but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also” ( Mt 5:39 )“. Looking at ouselves (me included of course) this is really something difficult fo humans.  This is surely one difficult part of the narrow gate to Heaven.

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The narrow gate

jesus said “How narrow is the gate, and restricted is the way that leads to life! ( mt 07:13 )

The gate may be narrow for more reason than the Jesus commandment “love your enemy” and “turn the other cheek”. Another one is the commandment to give your richdom to the poor. Read the story about the young rich man.

According to Matthew 19:21 Jesus said to the rich young man: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sad, for he was one who had great possessions. Jesus said to his disciples, “Most certainly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with difficulty.

How many of you Christians would do that?

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Human natural instincts

I remember. when I annoyed my dog while it was eating. I pulled my dog’s tail. I should have not done so.  He bit me on the face and I was immediately taken to the doctor to take a tetanus syringe.

it looks to me that human beings behaves just like dogs when they see themselves and their property threatened.

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self defence in law

We have even written laws to allow us to use weapons against enemies.

“The right to self-defense is a genuinely pre-societal right that evolved in the absence of the state. It survived the formation of the state because no state will ever have enough power to perfectly protect individuals. ” (Source: www.oxfordscholarship.com )

The US  law governing self-defense does not excuse any violent act just because another person struck the first blow or made a violent threat.” ( Read more at source: www.criminaldefenselawyer.com )

The US  liberal gun laws seems not to give Americans more safety as 10000 dies every year in gun related fights.

In Italy more and more people train shooting while  a new self defence law has been approved March 28 2019 Almost a million Italians have weapon licence. 200.000 Italians train shooting regularely in shooting ranges (60 in north Italy. (Source:  espresso.repubblica.it  and www.agi.it/politica ) 

Jesus with his “love you enemy” comandment,   invites us to not obey to our natural instincts. How many Christian have followed Jesus since then? 

Jesus said according to Luke 6:46:

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things which I say?”

and in Mark 07:06 accuse those who do not do it, to be hypocrites: ” “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

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How did Jesus behave with his enemies?

Jesus seldom showed a loving attitude to enemies.

This is what happened in the Temple according to John 02:13

“He found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting. He made a whip of cords, and threw all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew their tables. To those who sold the doves, he said, “Take these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a marketplace!”

These were normal people doing their work to help visitors get animals to offer according to Jew tradition.

About the pharisees he talked according to Matthew 23:13-29 repeatedly  like this:

(23:13-15) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!

 (23:16 ) “Woe to you, you blind guides”, 

Neither of these two examples looks like a loving behaviour,

Using a “whip of cords”,and  calling people hypocrites, is not a loving attitude  nor a turning the other cheek behaviour.

The gospel authors, in this case Matthew and John, may however  have given false testimonials of Jesus deeds and behaviours.

The “woe to you Pharisees, hypocrites” words should however be genuine words of Jesus, as these  condemn the Catholic church hypocrit behaviour cenuries later.

www.psychologytoday.com   gives us a different prespective on “Love you enemie”  that somehow explains Jesus aparently contradicory behaviour:

“Loving our enemies does not mean that we must let them abuse, injure or kill us. When we truly love people, we have to stop them—with force if necessary—from doing things that can harm themselves or other innocent people. But we do it from love, not hatred.”

Psychological and social effects of loving you enemy

the “Love your enemie”  commandment is a kind of strategy for survival and peace. It was a revolutionary statement and law at Jesus time. Seemingly vey little  has happened in the evolution of the human being, since then. Look at e.g the behaviour of some powerful people:

www.psychologytoday.com writes:

“How would you like it if your enemies loved you? Great! They would no longer be your enemies! So since you would like your enemies to love you, you have to love them. If you love them, they cease being your enemies. Assuming you have real contact with them—you will have the chance to turn them into friends.”

When we stop bad behaviour we do it out from love

The article suggest the love your enemy as a strategy to fight bullyism.

Out of this we could conclude that Jesus talked and acted out of love.

 

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How to love your enemy

But how can we follow this commandment. 

jesus gave a advice once in Matthew 18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go, show him his fault between you and him alone.

I have practiced that with my students and it was successful. We agreed about a good time to met and then we met and talked. I kept a friendly tone to make him understand I want his best and that I am not angry with him . to not threathen or stress him and asked the boy why he did that…

When Jesus saw no reason to argue iwith people, he simply left, went away. 

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manageing  your defensivness

It  may be a good option to tell “I can not talk more today, let’s continue tomorrow.”

I wrote about what happens when you end up defending yourself in my evolution of collaboration post at www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/2018/02/04/cooperation/#Improving_collaboration

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Conclusions

I am confused about Jesus word and deeds. They seem contradictory. With Jesus we learned taht God wants to convert people but does not achieve that by killing the bad ones.

I feel one must respect people. To respect people you must be sincere. Jesus was that but i wonder if he with his violence in the temple”Woe to you hypocrite”, really converted these people and got love back.

 

I would have talked with the money changer and animal seller first of all. As a former teacher, I would have talked in a different way with the Pharisees,  having them to think about their behaviour to lead them to understand themselves their behaviour is really false and hypocrite.

But Jesus maybe wanted them to kill him to fullfill his project. His provocational behaviour made had this intention and goal. To have the people of Jerusalem to vote for his crucifixion.

Or these parts are not really genuine actions and words by Jesus. I Imagine a more intelligent approach by Jesus with the only goal to save (convert) the lost Jews.