Tim Jones, Glutton and Drunkard
Matthew 6:10 · “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”
If we simply think of life as a journey to get to some treasure at the end, our play becomes work, and we stop dancing, for we’ve missed the point.
Eastern Spiritualists like Alan Watts suggest that the universe is a musical thing, and the point is to dance and sing along.
If “heaven” is only in the future, we do seem to miss any good that is now; or even worse, we crucify the Good and turn it into evil.
For the sake of the kingdom come, Augustine—the first great Western theologian—suggested we might impose a little hell right now; we might even make folks “repent” at the point of a sword.
Heaven cannot simply be the end of a journey that sucks the life out of every moment now.
Yet, Heaven cannot simply be whatever is now, regardless of where it’s all headed, for then we couldn’t sing, dance, or play along.
The thing that makes a composition a composition is a composer.
The thing that makes music “music” is that it goes somewhere.
What gives one the ability to dance and sing along is that you know these things and that you trust that the composer of the composition is good.
The thing that allows you to appreciate the end of a story or the crescendo of a symphony is that you’ve made the journey through the concert or the book.
And it’s the crescendo that gives deeper meaning to every note you’ve heard; it’s the end of the story that makes you want to go back and read the book again.
Some worry that Heaven will be eternally boring.
Do you suppose that there could be a story so great or a symphony so beautiful that you would never ever want to stop hearing it again? For each time you listened again or read it over again, you found deeper meaning and greater beauty.
In Matthew 6:19-20, literally translated, Jesus says, “Do not treasure treasure to yourselves on earth. But treasure treasure to yourselves in heaven.”
John came preaching. Jesus came preaching, and he told his apostles to preach, “Repent! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (which means ‘at hand.’)”
For a Jew, treasure was placed in the treasury in the temple.
A Christian believes that we are that temple.
The Jews went on a journey through the wilderness to a destination—the kingdom come—a destination that was also their origin, the paradise garden.
On the way, God had them build a tabernacle, that is a temple that contained a treasury.
The inner sanctuary was the presence of the coming age, as well as the Garden of Eden; it was the presence of the Judgment of God.
The End was The Beginning and also The Way, kind of like the plot to a story or the rhythm of a song—the logic (or Logos) of creation.
We’re all on a journey; we exist on a timeline surrounded by eternity.
Eternity is not so much timeless, but rather time-full; we won’t sit around doing nothing, but everything.
Space and time are like a womb, and we are on a journey that is our own creation. At the end of the Sixth Day, we are born into the eternal Seventh Day through a torn curtain that is the Body of Christ, broken and bleeding for each of us. In other words, the tree in the middle of the Garden is the door.
At this tree, Adam (humanity) was torn apart.
And from this tree, the King descends into every person as a breath in dust, and then, a Word spoken into the void that is our sin.
At this tree, Adam (humanity) is coming together.
“For as in Adam all die,” wrote Paul, “so also in Christ (the eschatos Adam) shall all be made alive.”
We are his body rising from the tomb in the same Garden.
He is the treasure buried in the dirty field that is your brother, your sister, and yourself.
He is at hand. And your journey through space and time is a treasure hunt.
This world is like a “Highlights’ Hidden Picture” picture. Remember th
Lead Us (Not) into Temptation
Half a million dead, mass protests around the globe—do you think we are being tested?
Is life a test? And if so, what do we need to do to pass the test?
Jesus never led a political movement, and when they tried to make him king, he ran away.
But that doesn’t mean he didn’t do anything; he actually does everything.
In Matthew 6, he tells us to pray, “Our Father… forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
“Father… lead us not into temptation,” implies that sometimes the Father does lead us into temptation. Why would he do that?
The word translated “temptation” is also translated “test.” Why would God test us?
But the word also means “temptation.” To be tempted is to be tested with evil.
Why would God want to lead us into a situation in which we would be enticed to want what our Father doesn’t want? “Evil” is that which God does not will.
James writes that God does not tempt with evil.
But, does God lead us into temptation, such that the tempter—the “Accuser”, would tempt us?
It would make sense that the Accuser would tempt us to not forgive; unforgiveness is the unforgiveable sin. You must pay for unforgiveness with forgiveness.
Jesus then says, “...If you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Unforgiven… and yet our trespasses were forgiven on a tree in a garden at least two thousand years ago, if not from the foundation of the world.
Forgiveness is undeserved Love. The moment you receive it is the moment you give it. Love is not a decision you make; it’s the decision that makes you.
Forgiveness is an infinite river of Life called Love. To refuse to forgive is to dam the river, such that the life dies, and the love begins to burn… the ego.
Forgiveness is like a Kingdom. It isn’t just a ticket into the Kingdom; it’s the substance of the Kingdom.
Forgiveness is the Father’s Banquet on the Seventh Day of Creation, when and where “Everything is good,” and “It is finished.”
The door to that Seventh Day is a tree in the middle of a garden.
You can no longer find that garden in Mesopotamia; you will find it in the temple of your soul.
So, does God test us? Yes, absolutely.
Is it because he doesn’t know something? No, absolutely not.
We are not being tested because God doesn’t know something.
We are being tested because we don’t know God, our “Helper.”
So, does God lead us into temptation to be tempted by the Tempter?
Well, remember Adam, or Abraham, or Israel, or Adam—the last Adam, Jesus?
The first Adam was tested and failed to choose the Good. He didn’t know what it was.
Abraham succeeded, but it was actually something in Abraham, not of Abraham, called Faith… and when the faith was revealed, a lamb was slaughtered.
Israel was tested in the wilderness. Israel failed, but God provided Bread from heaven and water from a broken Rock… and both were Jesus.
The Last Adam was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Tempter. And where the first Adam failed, the last Adam passed the test, because he didn’t put His Father to the test.
When God leads us into temptation, the temptation is always to put him to the test.
Romans 11:32: “[The Father] consigned all to disobedience, [led them into temptation] that he may have mercy on all,” [that’s Forgiveness].
It’s our Father’s heart that hangs on the tree in the Garden.
Every time we sin, we take the Life of Love on the tree in the Garden.
But every moment we believe that our Father gives the Life of Love on the tree in the Garden, we witness the Last Adam rising in the garden tomb of our souls—as Faith.
Forgiveness is the judgment of God that destroys the ego and reveals Christ in you, the righteousness of God—Faith.
The Father’s Unforgivable Sin
To a group of unbaptized Gentiles and Jews, Jesus says, “Pray… ‘Our Father, our Dad.’”
If Jesus, the Truth, commands you to pray “Our Father,” it means that God is your Father.
And it also means that God is your neighbor’s Father… and that changes everything.
When a child says, “Abba,” a father comes to know what every mother already knows: that inside of every baby, every bundle of clay, there is an unspeakable treasure—spirit, soul, breath of God, a presence capable of loving and being loved, a treasure to die for.
Every baby is good for nothing—just Good. But as a baby gains “the knowledge of Good,” and tries to make themself good, we tend to forget the unspeakable treasure buried underneath all their successes and failures, under their ego.
A mother or father has encountered the treasure and is much less likely to forget, and of course, much more likely to forgive.
In their children, no matter how old, they see their baby.
George Floyd, so brutally murdered, is somebody’s baby. Derek Chauvin is also somebody’s baby. Everybody is somebody’s baby, and God is Father of all.
What does a good father do when his children don’t see each other?
In Matthew 6, Jesus says, “Pray, ‘Our Abba in Heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’”
Next verse, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But… if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Yikes. Sounds like, “If you don’t forgive, you’re going to hell, where ‘sons of the kingdom weep and gnash their teeth in outer darkness.’”
In Matthew 12, Jesus says, “Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but whoever (or “whatever”) blasphemes the Spirit will not be forgiven…”
Folks have endlessly wondered, “Have I committed blasphemy against the Spirit? And what is blasphemy against the Spirit? What is the unforgivable sin?”
Christians have postulated all sorts of bizarre answers, which is a little bizarre itself, for Jesus just told us the answer: “Unforgiveness” is the unforgivable sin.
The Spirit blasphemed is the breath in the blood that circulates throughout the entire body of “the Adam,” humanity. It’s the “Spirit of Grace.” It’s the Spirit that cries, “Abba Father,” from the depths of every child of God.
The thing that blasphemes that Spirit is your ego—that thing in you that believes you must create, save, and justify yourself—that believes you are NOT a little child of God. Forgiveness destroys the ego and liberates the children of God; it crucifies the old man and gives birth to the new.
There is one sin that a good Father will not forgive, and that is unforgiveness.
And, I’m pretty sure that we’ve all committed it.
To “forgive” (“aphiemi” in Greek) means: “to let, allow, or release.”
To forgive a person does not mean that you approve of something terrible they’ve done; it means that you’ve released them from any debt incurred to you as a result of whatever they’ve done.
My youngest son crashed my truck, and I forgave him the truck.
It means that he no longer owes me a truck.
But if he said to me, “Dad I won’t forgive my brother,” I would say to him, “That’s a debt that I will not forgive; you don’t have to pay for the truck, but you must pay for your unforgiveness… with forgiveness, or you may not eat at my table.”
Jesus told a similar story. A father forgave his prodigal son, and his other son would not forgive his prodigal brother or his father for forgiving his brother—he refused to join the party. You could say
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