What the Bible says about light and seed

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.

The Good Seed and the Weeds “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

False righteousness and true righteousness. Personal Reflection

Written and posted by Jean-Louis.
Jesus talking about the righteousness of the Pharisees: 
"For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew  5:20.
How can we exceed the Pharisees´ righteousness? Jesus here I believe is using irony. 
The only righteousness the Pharisees had was self-righteousness. Is that what Jesus meant? That we should try to surpass their performing to the minute detail their more than hundreds of commands and ordinances.  Of course not. 
What could we do to exceed their own righteousness? Nothing. It would be futile and useless to even try.
Our first parents Adam and Eve tried to hide themselves and their shame by covering their nakedness with fig tree leaves that had to be replaced over and over like the works of the Pharisees. What was the remedy provided by the Father/Creator? A hide from an animal sacrifice, a type of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for the remission of sin would be enough to cover the sin of disobedience, desire for self-sufficiency, forbidden wisdom and the subsequent shame they felt.

Their webs will not become clothing, Nor will they cover themselves with their works; Their works are works of iniquity, And an act of violence is in their hands. Isaiah 59:6
For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. Isaiah  64:6
The works that the Pharisees covered their nakedness with are like the figs leaves of the tree of Israel that produced useless leaves and no fruit worthy of repentance and no faith in Jesus-Christ. 
See Matthew 21:19: Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He (the Lord Jesus) came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, "No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you." And at once the fig tree withered.
The leaves could not cover Adam and Eve, the works the Pharisees perform could not cover them and following their teachings without faith resulted in the putting aside of Israel until the end of the time of the Gentiles in which we are living now.
What Jesus wanted from the Jews is faith in the living Savior that walked among them, not the dead works that did not please him. What He wants from us when we are seeking salvation is the same thing: faith in His saving power and abandoning any hope of saving ourselves by our good deeds. 
John  6:28-29:
Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent; and further in verse 40:  For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
How could it be clearer than that?
Here is an excerpt from the last chapter of an allegory I wrote a few years ago: 
The Tree of Life

Theophilus woke up, with tears of joy flowing from his eyes. He was watching an unforgettable scene.
There in front of him, stood up a Joshua tree, majestic and radiant that bore an uncanny resemblance with the man from his dream whose blood had saved his life. He fell down, prostrate on his face against the hot desert sand. He knew without the shadow of a doubt that he was in the presence of the Master of the Joshua Trees. He didn’t dare move from his position such was the power emanating from the glorious appearance. An indescribable ripple of fear coursed through his being.

-- Rise, Theophilus and look at me. The imperious tone of voice was enough to make him obey. He was reluctant at first to lift his gaze directly into the eyes of the Master. Lifting his head up slowly, he saw the pierced feet, then, the pierced wrists. He gathered enough courage to focus on the chest where a scarlet wound in the shape of the tip of a lance or the eye of a needle remained from a cruel wound.
-- Don’t be afraid, look at me. I am Yeshua, the Master of the Joshua Trees. What is your quest? Why do you want to meet me?
While the Master was asking these questions, his eyes whispered softly words Theophilus never heard before, words of love that penetrated deep in his heart.

-- Master, I am looking for the desert exit door. Your trees told me that you possess the keys and that a word from you can set the captives free, can give sight to the blind, make a poor man rich, and heal the afflicted. You can also give knowledge to the ignorant who think they are wise, and you can clothe with your pardon and righteousness the nakedness which I try to cover with my religion and good deeds.

-- It’s true. But you have too big a notion of yourself to be able to go through this door. First, you must answer a few questions.

-- Yes, master, as you wish.
-- What is your name? Who are you?
-- Well, before, they called me Theophilus, but I will accept whatever name you wish to call me.
-- Where do you come from?
-- From the land of deadly illusions and appearances, a world filled with violence and deception.
-- Good, are you rich, or do you intend to be?
-- Well, before now, I had credit cards, bank accounts, a good and profitable business, cars, a beautiful house, but all that didn’t help me very much. To tell you the truth, I will accept whatever you want to give me.

After these answers, Theophilus was feeling his body shrink little by little. What a strange sensation!

The Master continued:
-- What about your reputation?
-- Alas, people looked at the appearances. But I can see that you know me and I desire to become what you want me to be.
-- What do you hope to gain from me?
-- Freedom from the chains that keep me tied up and hinder my walk, understanding truth and knowing which way to go.
-- Good, I can do that for you. But what will do once you are free if I give you the key to the door?
-- Master, I want to belong to you and serve you, for you are the one who healed me.

Each of Theophilus’ responses was followed by a change in his size until at last, the Master's stature appeared gigantic in comparison without overwhelming him. Then, the Master bent forward and catching him tenderly in the palm of his right hand, he lifted Theophilus up to his chest and hugged him close against the wound shaped like the tip of a lance or like the eye of a big needle.

On his way up, Theophilus was helplessly watching on the screen of his memory the video from his first meeting with the touchstone at the crossroad of his destiny, the first step of stairway which led to the royal capital of the heavenly kingdom, illumined by the eternal light. He possessed a law of gravity defying lightness, with no desire to resist the attraction propelling him towards a universe of unconditional freedom. Being transported on this celestial stairway, this bridge between two worlds without any effort on his part, he was about to enter a territory invisible to the human eye and yet so real.

Instantly, going through the open door at a breathtaking speed, Theophilus found himself standing on the desert floor that he had just left.
-- Welcome to the kingdom, announced the master in a warm tone of voice. Open your eyes and look at yourself.

His eyes opened by the voice of his Master, Theophilus looked at his legs, his trunk, his arms and discovered that he had turned into a Joshua tree with soft scars in the place of the usual armor of thorns . Yeshua spoke to him solemnly:
-- From now on your name will be Joshua Theophilus O’Call because I called you to my service and you responded with good will.

Tears of joy mixed with gratitude flowing from his eyes, Theophilus answered:
-- Master, where do you want me to serve you?
-- Right here in the desert to guide those who have lost their way or those who have wandered from the way of truth and need help in finding me.
-- Yes, Master. But I have a question. How do your trees find food and drink? There is nothing but sand in the desert.

Yeshua touched his eyes and now he could very clearly watch a fantastic scene through the desert floor as if it was made of transparent crystal. From the feet of the Master, roots full of a sap that resembled light amber honey extended all the way under the feet of the Joshua trees and fed them constantly night and day.
-- Please, Master, what do you want me to call you?
-- Call me Lord Jesus, for I am both Savior and King.
-- Lord, I can see the trees, the roots, the leaves and the cactus flowers, but where are the fruits?

-- Every time one of my servants extended to you love, kindness, goodness, patience, they shared their fruits with you. When you enjoyed their light, their protective and refreshing shade, their peace, their wise words of counsel, comfort or encouragement, those are the fruits that grow from the source of life that I give each one of them.

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