“The Christines turned their faces toward the land of Galilee; but when they reached the city of Samaria, the multitudes pressed hard about them, begging them to tarry in their city for a while. And then they went up to the synagogue, and Jesus opened up the book of Moses, and he read: In thee and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blest.
“And then he closed the book and said, These words were spoken by the Lord of hosts unto our father Abraham, and Israel has been blessedness to all the world. We are his seed; but not a tithe of the great work that we were called to do has yet been done. The Lord of hosts has set apart the Israelites to teach the unity of God and man; but one can never teach that which he does not demonstrate in life” (Aquarian Gospel 84:1-6).
Shepherd of all
Jesus told his hearers: “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (John 10:16). Usually readers of the gospel think of people living far from Israel and practicing other religions. That is so, but he also had in mind the despised Samaritans right next door who believed exactly what the Hebrews did, but were not part of official Judaism. Jesus demonstrated his words by actually entering into a Samaritan synagogue as a rabbi, reading the scriptures, and teaching the people, making no difference between them and the Hebrews, apparently including them when he spoke of “Israel” and “Israelites.”
The purpose of Israel
Abraham was from Mesopotamia, but many anthropologists believe that his ancestors were the Yadava clan (gotra) from India, the family of Krishna who left India thousands of years ago and disappeared from world history. The descendants of Abraham were considered “chosen,” but chosen for what purpose? Not for the propagation of monotheism, because that was well known in the Mediterranean world. The purpose of separating them into a special nation was to prepare them to eventually produce two special people: a perfect, holy virgin who would be able to supernaturally conceive and give birth to the Messiah, the Christ, “the hope of the nations.” The woman was Mary the mother of Jesus the Messiah. These two were Essenes, not “normal” Israelites, for those who followed the exoteric corruption of the Mosaic Law were spiritually alien to their ancestry and purpose. Many people do not realize that Jesus was an Essene, so they wonder how he could be considered the pinnacle of exoteric Judaism. He was not. He was the pinnacle of the Essenes.
Saint Paul wrote: “He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly;…but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly” (Romans 2:28, 29), spiritually. The Essenes were not just physically descended from Abraham; they were his spiritual descendants as well and therefore “the people of the promise.” For that reason comparatively few non-Essenes accepted him as Messiah, and even those few insisted on forcing Jesus and his teachings into conformity with exoteric Judaism–as the majority of Christians do also, thereby corrupting the person and teaching of Jesus.
Jesus was not referring to the majority of Hebrews, but the Essenes when he said: “Israel has been blessedness to all the world; but not a tithe of the great work that we were called to do has yet been done. The Lord of hosts has set apart the Israelites to teach the unity of God and man.” We certainly do not think of the unity of God and man as a cornerstone of exoteric Jewish belief–for it is not. But it was a foundational doctrine of the Essenes in common with the religions of the Far East whose scriptures they assiduously studied–to the chagrin of their neighbors who, in modern parlance, definitely considered them not Jews but “a cult.” This was manifested in the following incident:
Son of God
“It was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not:…I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, and went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode” (John 10:22-25, 30-40). The picture is quite clear.
Equally clear is the fact that Jesus and his true disciples believed fundamentally in the oneness of God and man, but today his false disciples say that is true only of Jesus, and to say otherwise is blasphemy. But they are the blasphemers of both man and God by denying this truth.
It is still the mission of Christians to teach the unity of the human and the divine–not that man is God, but that God is man in a manner past understanding, but not past knowing in mystic vision. “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:20). Only when this is taught to the world by the disciples of Jesus will “Israel” have fulfilled its destiny.
Who can teach?
“But one can never teach that which he does not demonstrate in life,” concludes Jesus. So to be a faithful Christian is to strive to manifest in one’s own life the principle “I and my Father are one,” just as did Jesus. What is needed is Christians who are really Christs.
God in man
“Our God is Spirit, and in him all wisdom, love and strength abide. In every man these sacred attributes are budding forth, and in due time they will unfold; the demonstration will completed be, and man will comprehend the fact of unity” (Aquarian Gospel 84:7, 8).
Even though only glimmers of the divine attributes show forth in most people, that is the evidence of their true spiritual nature. And as life after life progresses, those qualities will increase until the point is reached in which they can consciously take charge of their evolution and accelerate it until “the demonstration will completed be, and man will comprehend the fact of unity.” This is the Christian Gospel.
“And you, ruler of the synagogue, and you, these priests, are honored servants of the Lord of hosts. All men are looking unto you for guidance in the ways of life; example is another name for priest; so what you would that people be, that you must be” (Aquarian Gospel 84:9, 10).
Jesus does not say that the ruler of the synagogue and the priests are not legitimate because they are “not with the Jews.” Just the opposite: he says they are honored servants of the Lord.
Then he sets forth the fact that a teacher must be an example of what he teaches. Actually the teacher himself should be a teaching. I once heard a sermon in which the minister told the congregation that their neighbors should be able to know what the church taught just by watching their lives.
He sets the seal on this wisdom by saying: “A simple godly life may win ten thousand souls to purity and right. And all the people said, Amen” (Aquarian Gospel 84:11, 12).
“Then Jesus left the synagogue, and at the hour of evening prayer he went up to the sacred grove, and all the people turned their faces toward their holy mount and prayed. And Jesus prayed” (Aquarian Gospel 84:13, 14).
Jesus followed up his words of mutual respect by going to pray with the Samaritans at the time of their evening prayer, not facing Jerusalem but toward the Samaritan temple.
A call for help
“And as he sat in silent mood a voice of soul spoke to his soul imploring help. And Jesus saw a woman on a couch in sore distress; for she was sick nigh unto death. She could not speak, but she had heard that Jesus was a man of God, and in her heart she called on him for help” (Aquarian Gospel 84:15-17).
Such was the spiritual status of Jesus that he could hear even a thought imploring help. I can believe this account because I have experienced the same myself with more than one saint in India. My beloved Swami Sivananda often went rushing to help someone. One time in the midst of a satsang he jumped up and raced out the door followed by some disciples. He ran out of the ashram and down to a residential area, through some streets, and entered a house where a woman was in labor, all alone. He delivered the baby (he was a physician), saw that all was well with the mother, and returned to the ashram.
Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do” (John 14:12). So were they not more truly his disciples than most Christians?
“And Jesus helped; he did not speak; but like a flash of light, a mighty virtue from his soul filled full the body of the dying one, and she arose, and joined her kindred while they prayed. Her kindred were astonished and they said to her, How were you healed? And she replied, I do not know; I simply asked the man of God in thought for healing power, and in a moment I was well” (Aquarian Gospel 84:18-20).
For great masters space does not exist; they can be present to anyone who calls for them. The divine Light healed the woman, for Jesus and the Father were one (John 10:30).
“The people said, The gods have surely come to earth; for man has not the power to heal by thought. But Jesus said, The greatest power in heaven and earth is thought. God made the universe by thought; he paints the lily and the rose with thought. Why think it strange that I should send a healing thought and change the ethers of disease and death to those of health and life?” (Aquarian Gospel 84:21-24).
Everything is thought because everything is Intelligence. Jesus’ healing thought was an extension of his healing will. We have the same power sleeping within us, and if we awaken it then our thoughts will communicate their character to others. That is why Jesus said: “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).
“Lo, you shall see far greater things than this, for by the power of holy thought, my body will be changed from carnal flesh to spirit form; and so will yours. When Jesus had thus said he disappeared, and no one saw him go” (Aquarian Gospel 84:25, 26).
The path of transmutation is that of thought, Divine Thought. This takes many forms, but meditation is that uppermost in value and effect. If through self-purification and meditation we will “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, 25), we, too, shall be changed from flesh to spirit.
To prove that he was not carnal flesh, Jesus instantly disappeared, proving that he was really invisible spirit–that his body was spirit manifesting as flesh, as is ours, also, but we do not know it.
“His own disciples did not comprehend the change; they knew not where their master went, and they went on their way. But as they walked and talked about the strange event, lo, Jesus came and walked with them to Nazareth of Galilee” (Aquarian Gospel 84:27, 28).
May Jesus come and walk with us even though we may not yet fully understand his truth and glory.
Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: The Imprisonment of John the Baptist