If you’ve been a regular attendee of the faith communities commonly known as ‘churches’ for any period of time you’ll have heard plenty of sermons, talks, exhortations, homilies, addresses from the teaching pastor, minister, priest, lay preacher regarding the Christian faith.
My pastor used to go on for an hour or so perhaps twice a week so I guess that over the 16 years or so that I listened to him I’d absorbed 1664 hours of ‘bible exposition’ between the ages of 15 and 31, when I decided to move on.
Folk now wonder why I can’t drift along to a ‘church’ each Sunday morning, sing a few songs, observe a few necks, hand in my money and listen to a little inspirational message from a professional preacher. Now you know.
Anyway, over those years I’ve never once heard a preacher teach or expound the following series of Yeshua sayings that we’re going to revisit. If you can figure out why send me your thoughts.
Is it not written in your law ‘I say you are gods’?
This little statement from Yeshua is truly a religious shocker. It stirred his listeners to pick up stones for a sacred ritualistic assassination. I suspect it would also have the same effect among those professing to be His followers today. Let’s have a look at the context in which these seemingly ‘disturbing’ words were spoken.
Yeshua was bang in the middle of a heated debate with the religious experts in the outer courts of the Jerusalem Temple. He was being accused of blasphemy by those who believed that Yahweh was the only Divine Presence in Jerusalem that winter’s day, holed up in the dark Temple room known as the Holy of Holies. Such a belief was safe and gave some order of predictability to the Jewish way of approaching the Divine.
Yeshua claim to be at one with His Divinity, the Father, challenged the whole mindset of Jewish religious and political life. Judaism was unique within the Mediterranean world for its monotheistic belief system. In Jewish eyes Yahweh was the only genuine divinity to be found in the Roman marketplace of assorted deities. No wonder they were appalled and angered by the Nazarene rabbi’s seemingly outrageous claims.
In an act of sheer brilliance Yeshua pulls out of his spiritual repertoire an explosive text from Psalm 82.
I said “You are gods; and all of you sons of the Most High,”
The Hebrew word ‘elohim’ translated ‘gods’ is found over 2500 times in the Jewish Scriptures and almost always refers to the Jewish Divinity, even though it’s the plural form of the Hebrew noun ‘El’ meaning ‘the strong one’. There was no mistaking Yeshua’s intention in quoting this text. He was claiming that the Scriptures, the final authority for his learned listeners, suggested that humans were in some way gods or divinities, all being sons of their monotheistic God. The term ‘Son of God’ within Jewish history often referred to the ruling sovereign or High Priest of the time. Was Yeshua’s claim to be at one with the Father so out of tune with mystical Jewish tradition. I believe not.
Unfortunately Yeshua’s audience didn’t enjoy being theologically outplayed by the itinerant Galilean preacher. The crowd immediately tried to arrest him but Yeshua as always somehow made his mysterious escape. When it came down to the wire, the orthodox theologians chose tradition over a clear statement from their authoritative Scriptures. I believe we spiritual seekers may find ourselves in a similar position today. Do we read Scriptures with the spectacles of tradition rather than those of an honest and searching heart?
Clearly Yeshua used this text to justify His claims to be at One with the Father and to shake up his listeners Divine limits. Later formalizing such claims, early Church theologians, strongly influenced by Greek philosophy, evolved the intriguing doctrine of the Trinity. Did they stop short of what Yeshua really revealed? Was Yeshua’s use of Psalm 82 only to justify His personal claims of divinity or to shed radical light on what it is to be fully human? Was he suggesting that humanity once realigned with the Father, have their god-likeness sharpened into focus? What does it really mean to be made in the image of God? Have we a spark of Source Divinity buried deep within us during our sojourn in this seemingly humdrum existence? Are we living like paupers when we are meant to live as gods?
What are the implications of Yeshua’s claim for a restored humanity? Here are a few suggestions:
We are creators.
Like the Divine Father, we possess a creative gene within our rewired psyches. The Divine gift of consciousness is the screen where we can project the desires of the realigned heart and see them manifest in our 3D world.We are part and parcel of the Father’s creative expression, able to flow in His creative power. Why is it that what we fear usually comes upon us? It’s the unaligned creative power within. Fear, a negative form of creative flow produces its own dysfunctional manifestation.
Once retuned by Spirit our creative facilities again produce the desires of Divine Providence. Yeshua claimed that we’d do greater works than He achieved and He achieved some awesome works. What an exciting way to live!
We are free to be.
One aspect of divinity is the ability to rise above all. In other words to be unaffected by the storms of life; to sit in the eye of the storm and wait for the turbulence to pass. The ability to see beyond the stresses of our ego battles and tap into the peace of Ultimate Reality. The freedom from the desire control of others to confidently say ‘I am that I am’, the very nature of our Divine Source.
We are channels of Divine Love.
God, we are simply told, is Love. If we, like Yeshua, are now at one with the Divine, sharing something of His God nature then surely it is Love that we have dwelling within as the Divine spark. Could our godness be this Divine essence? Are we not designed to love as God loves, unconditionally and without return.
Such is the nature of Spirit within now joined and at one with our spirits. Like a repaired pipe we now have the capacity to be channels for the flow of Divine compassion and healing. Could Paul’s claim of being in The Anointed One ( Yeshua) be a much greater revelation than we have yet grasped? Can it not point to an adoption into divinity for those awakened and consumed by Divine Love? A return to Source, a return to the Father’s heart from which we sprang before space- time began.