Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tuesday Debates

Here's today's excerpt from my novella.
On Tuesday, Jesus was back in the Temple teaching. As people who like to argue do, several religious leaders tried to best Jesus in argument. This type of person thinks that if they can win an argument, they have shown themselves superior. They do not understand that God is concerned with people’s intentions, not their intelligence.

God looks on the heart. From the standpoint of an angel, the absurdity of human intelligence is obvious. So many think they know so much when they know almost nothing. Their arguments usually blow away like a puff of wind while they almost think themselves gods. As an angel, I know my thoughts are nothing compared to God’s. Yet their thoughts come nowhere close to ours.

Humans are infinitely valuable because God loves them and because God created them in his image. Yet in body and mind they are nothing. I have seen beings around the universe that make humanity pale in comparison.

Jesus of course had a better human mind than any of them, and he was full of the Holy Spirit. Yet he chose not to access the fullness of his divine mind while he was on earth. His omniscience was still there, but it was lurking as a sort of subconscious.

“Should we pay taxes?” one smart aleck asked him. Jesus took a coin and asked whose picture was on it. The answer was of course “Caesar.”

“It looks like Caesar has lost a coin,” Jesus answered. “You had better give it back to him.”

Coinage had nothing to do with the kingdom of God. It had to do with the Roman Empire. Jesus couldn’t care less about money.

Then some Sadducees asked him about the resurrection. They proposed a woman with seven husbands without children. “Whose wife will she be in the resurrection?” they asked. They supposed that their thought experiment showed that the idea of resurrection did not work.

Jesus just smiled at the ignorance of the question. The Holy Spirit opened up a small remembrance of what glorified bodies are like. Suffice it to say, they make questions about gender foolish. Glorified bodies are not sexual, even if they look like earthly bodies to those who are human.

Even more, the question showed ignorance about women in heaven. Women have full equality of status with men in the kingdom. They are not “given” to anyone to lord over them.

“Those who rise are not like you ignorant souls,” he said. “They do not marry. They are not given in marriage. They are like the angels,” Jesus said, and winked directly at me.

There was one last question. This one came from a scribe. Unlike the others, the light of the Spirit had been growing steadily in him as Jesus answered questions. His question came with complete sincerity.

“Sir, what is the greatest commandment of the Law?”

Jesus answered. “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. All of God’s expectations for humanity and everything humanity needs to thrive is found in these commands.

“The person who loves God and neighbor has fulfilled all of Scripture. This person has understood that God looks on the heart, not on outward appearances. This person does not need ten thousands of sacrifices. This person has understood that God loves his enemies just as much as his friends.”

“What a great answer,” the scribe responded, and I could see that he believed. He would be part of the coming kingdom.

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