This Chapter is about Jesus’s visit and preaching at the Feast of the Tabernacles in Galilee. Here he explains the difference between a true teacher, a God-sent mystic and a self-made one who only seeks his own glory. We learn that the true teacher is ‘stamped and sealed’ by God.
This Chapter for me is about Jesus’s struggle making himself know in a way that he is not captured and killed in the meantime. As I was reading this chapter, I felt as if he was manically going from one place to another defying death n order to seek out the marked ones among the rotten apples. He is preaching here and there in the face of ridicule and doubtfulness, but he keeps on teaching and searching.
With reference of the above Beas says: ”the Lord’s grace is always there, ready for us; we only to become receptive to it.” This sentence says so much because it feels to me that Jesus struggles amongst the ignorant because they do not know that he is carrying God’s Grace in himself ready to be received. “Now it is time for us to take advantage of the opportunity of receiving the grace of the Lord through the Word, …”
Interestingly, today after my meditation as I was chatting with my fellow travellers, I had this epiphany about ‘acceptance and accepting’. On the Path, acceptance is often interpreted as the appreciation of ‘what is’ without much resistance or expectations for something different. In my morning insight, I realized that the greatest mistake (so-to-speak) we all make is that we do not accept (embrace, take in) the Grace that is available to us all.
Unworthiness, that prevents our Godlike nature to shine and recognize the calling, is disguised in many shapes and forms. Most commonly it appears as sheer ignorance as it was in Jesus’ time (still is). Many doubted Jesus and questioned his teachings simply because they did not understand what he was saying.
As a preacher, I anticipate meeting resistance and doubt, however, I also hope that I will have the skills to talk a language that is easily comprehensible to my audience. My job as a minister is not to emphasize people’s lack of education but to convey a message in a way that is accessible to those who need to hear it.
I more and more understand that acceptance is not defining and/or resisting what is, no matter what they mind may say about it. I can decide not to engage in the mind’s games in defining and condemning. I can just take a big breath and ask for guidance out of the deadlock so I can see the blessing in every moment. I am striving for that.
Bear also mentions that “History reveals that some Masters have had practically no education, while others had some, and still others had the best education that this world could offer. But their learning or lack of it had no bearing whatsoever on their spiritual knowledge, and this was also the case with Christ.” who was illiterate. It seems that education on either side has nothing to do with spiritual enlightenment and it is particularly true in the light of what Jesus says “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” Jesus did not, and apparently none of the teachers on the Path, teach of any of his own doctrines but that of the Father. As Beas explains “the method of explaining the teachings may be different according to the background of the seekers, but the actual teachings are always the same.”
The reason, why, I think, I have not ever been drawn to a mainline Church is that they seem to take the dogmas and rituals to be the center of their message instead of the teaching itself. The teaching has often been forgotten or misinterpreted by the time the Church is firmly established.
In this chapter we receive a clear picture of how our fear of being deprived of what we are attached to turns us into a monster to the degree where we go against the very rules that we pretend to live by. One of Moses’s laws that the Jews so religiously lived by was “Thou shall not kill!” however under threat it was easily dropped as the Pharisees were about to have Jesus crucified.
Here we learn that Jesus is aware of his fate and so hasten those who are ready to embrace his teaching to come along until there is time for him because soon “Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.” … “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”
To me, he sounds as if he is begging for those “who are yearning to merge back into the Father” to come forward because these are his last days. Sometimes I wonder how frustrating his job must have been. After all, though he was God-sent, he was also a human being.
With reference to “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” Beas mentions the Nectar and the cup that could hold the Nectar if turned upright. According to the teachings, we can only receive the Nectar or the Living Water –amongst many names – when our cups are turned upright. In order to turn the cup upright we need to withdraw our consciousness to the eye centre during meditation then turn our attention inward and upward. As soon as we do that we find the Grail that has never really been lost and start experiencing the flow of the spring that never dies out pouring into our vessel; and so we never thirst again.
“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”