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John 16.20-28 – Face-to-face with Papa

You will weep while the crowds cheer.  But your grief will give way to joy. (21) Giving birth is painful, but the pain is nothing compared to the joy of having a new baby. (22) You will have pain, but when I see you again on the third day, you will have joy, and no one will be able to take it away from you.

(23) On that day, you will not ask me for things.  Instead, you will ask Papa in my name, and she will give to you.  (24) This will be a change from how things were before.  You will be a full participant in the Triune conversation.  You will ask, you will receive, and you will overflow with our joy.

(25) I’ve been using figures of speech.  But soon you will be able to hear me speak of Papa more simply. (26) That is when you will ask for what you want in my name.  Let me be perfectly clear:  This does NOT mean I will ask Papa FOR you.  You won’t need to hide behind me as we live face-to-face with Papa together, (27) for Papa loves you just like I do.  You will know her love more and more as you continue to love me and believe that she sent me.  (28) Papa sent me to be present with you in the world in this way, but this phase of the plan is almost over.  My current mode of presence will end.  When I ascend as a man to Papa’s right hand, I will be with you in a new way.  A better way.

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Chicken or Egg? Belief or Behavior?

Keith makes a point in a comment that is worth talking about in more depth.  He questions my interpretation of John 16.9, and I think it’s a core issue we need to deal with.

The Bible (NRSV) says:

“When [the Advocate] comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me…”

I interpret it this way:

“When I inject Sarayu into the world, she will contradict the core beliefs that make the System run.  The System functions on the assumption that problems are caused by rule-breaking.  Sarayu will prove that problems come from beliefs that do not fit with Reality.

Here are Keith’s thoughts on this:

1) It reduces sin to being an effect rather than THE cause. You hold it is merely “problems caused by…”.

Sin is a thing that God hates to the point that, in order to save us from its penalty of eternal separation from God, it cost the Lord Jesus infinitely.

2) Sin doesn’t COME FROM “beliefs that do not fit with Reality”. It RESULTS in them. We are not victims of misunderstanding, but perpetrators of iniquity.

I am saying that it is my false beliefs that lead to my boundary-violating behaviors.  Or in more traditional terms, my refusal to believe in Jesus causes me to sin.

Keith sees it working the other way–sin is the cause, and false belief is what results.

Chicken or egg?  What do you think?

 

John 17.1-26 – That they may participate in our oneness

(17.1) When he’d finished saying all this, Jesus looked up to the starry sky and said “Papa, it’s time.  Let’s show them what we’re made of.  (2) You have given all people into my hand, so that to all of them I might give our own infinite aliveness, (3) the superabundant life of sharing in our knowing of each other with Sarayu. (4) I have revealed you.  I have fulfilled your desires.  I have finished the job. (5) My trust has pierced the veil that hides your face from human eyes.  Now it’s time for us to shred the veil completely, so that my human eyes may see what my human faith already knows.  Raise your human Son to the place where your only-begotten Son has always been.

(6) Out of the whole world you especially gave me these few disciples, and I have made known to them the power of your name. They believe the truth – that they belong to us.  (7) They know that everything I’ve given them is from you. (8) I have delivered your message to them, and they have received it.  They know the truth – that I came from you, and that you sent me.

(9) What I am requesting now, I am requesting for THEM – all the people who know me but are surrounded by others who don’t.  (10) They belong to us, and in their bodies our Light shines.  (11) I am changing my mode of presence in the world, but they are not.  Protect them, Papa.  With the power of your name, keep them safe from evil’s power to hurt their relationships with each other.  I want them to be whole, like you and me – 100% attached and 100% differentiated.  Full boundaried intimacy.

(12) I myself have been protecting our community from falling apart.  The scriptures prophesied the loss of one from our group, but he is the only one we have lost. (13) Now as my mode of presence transitions, I say these things so that they will not miss out on a single drop of my joy. (14) They now know what I know.  They know that we belong to you, not to the System.  And the System hates us because it can’t own us. (15) I don’t ask that you take them out of the System, because the people in the System need them.  What I do ask is that you protect their relationships from the Faceless Man and his schemes to break them up.

(16) They have been freed from the System and its terrible necessities. (17) May their knowledge of this truth transform them and set them apart as your own freedom fighters in the world. (18) I launch them into the System like you launched me – with a job to do. (19) For their sakes I have set myself apart for this task, so that they can join me.

(20) I ask all this not only for these Twelve, but also for everyone who will believe in me through their testimony.  (21) I ask that they may be whole and fully bound together in our love.  Just like how you are in me and I am in you, I ask that they also live their life together in us, so that the world will experience and believe the gospel. (22) I have brought them into the beauty and harmony of our shared life, so that they may participate in our oneness, (23) I in them and you in me, so that they may share our full boundaried intimacy.  In this way the world will see that I am from you, and that when you shower your love upon me, every drop of it lands on them.

(24) Papa, I want them to be with me where I am – both in the world and at your right hand.  I want them to know me for who I really am.  I want them to experience the beauty of my relationship with you, the life we have shared from before time.

(25) Lovely Papa, the world doesn’t know you, but I do.  My friends here know that you sent me. (26) I have revealed you to the world, and I will continue to do so until that job is done.  I will keep at it until the world is full of people who are full of me and the love you have given to me.

John 16.16-33 – A new mode of presence

(16) “I’m about to be taken away from you guys, but you’ll see me again shortly thereafter.”

(17) The disciples were all like “Whatchoo talkin bout, Jesus?  ‘Going away’ and ‘Coming back’ and ‘Going to Papa’ (18) and ‘shortly therafter’?”

(19) Jesus said, “I’ll tell you what I’m talkin bout: (20) You will weep while the crowds cheer.  But your grief will give way to joy. (21) Giving birth is painful, but the pain is nothing compared to the joy of having a new baby. (22) You will have pain, but when I see you again on the third day, you will have joy, and no one will be able to take it away from you.

(23) On that day, you will not ask me for things.  Instead, you will ask Papa in my name, and she will give to you.  (24) This will be a change from how things were before.  You will be a full participant in the Triune conversation.  You will ask, you will receive, and you will overflow with our joy.  (25) I’ve been using figures of speech.  But soon you will be able to hear me speak of Papa more simply. (26) That is when you will ask for what you want in my name.  Let me be perfectly clear:  This does NOT mean I will ask Papa FOR you.  You won’t need to hind behind me as we live face-to-face with Papa together, (27) for Papa loves you just like I do.  You will know her love more and more as you continue to love me and believe that she sent me.  (28) Papa sent me to be present with you in the world in this way, but this phase of the plan is almost over.  My current mode of presence will end.  When I ascend as a man to Papa’s right hand, I will be with you in a new way.”

(29) His disciples said “Now you’re talking so we can understand.  Hooray, no more riddles! (30) We get it now!  You know who you are, and now we know too.  You are definitely from Papa.  We believe!”

(31) Jesus answered “You believe me?  Good.  (32) But the journey of belief has only just begun.  Now is when it gets hard.  In a couple minutes, you will all abandon me; you will run away and hide under your beds.  But don’t worry, I won’t be alone, because Papa will stay with me. (33) I’m saying this now so that when the storm comes, you will have some calm.  The System will come after you, just like it’s coming after me.  But don’t worry; the fight belongs to me.  The System is dead meat.

John 15.18-16.15 – The System hates Sarayu

(18) If the System hates you, just remember it hated me first. (19) The System loves only what it owns, and since it can’t own you, it can’t stand you. (20) Remember: ‘The servant gets what the master gets.’  The powers-that-be want to chew me up and spit me out, and they will try to do the same with you.  They will accept you only when they accept me. (21) They will hate you because I sent you, and they hate me because they don’t know the one who sent me. (22) By coming and telling the truth, I have exposed their hidden disease. (23) Their hatred of me is the symptom that reveals their hatred of Papa. (24) Their sickness would have stayed hidden if I had not done what I have done.  But now they and everyone else see the truth – that they hate me and my Papa. (25) Their own scriptures foretell this: “They hated me for no reason.”

(26) I’ve told you before about Sarayu, the Spirit of Truth whom I will send to you from Papa.  When she comes, she will speak the truth about me and what I have done. (27) Because you have been with me this whole time, you will share in her speaking. You will tell what you have seen.  (16.1) I’m telling you this so you don’t fall off the wagon when things get hard. (2) They’re going to kick you out of their churches. When they kill you, they’ll think they’re doing Papa a favor. (3) They will do this because they don’t really know Papa or me.

(4) I’m telling you this so that when it happens, you’ll remember.  I didn’t tell you earlier, because you still had me with you in the normal way. (5) But now I am ascending to Papa’s right hand.  You haven’t yet asked “Where IS that, exactly?” (6) but I can see this is breaking your hearts. (7) But believe me when I say this: My ascension will make things better for you.  For me to begin my new-and-improved mode of presence with you through Sarayu in you, it is necessary for me to end my current mode of presence.

(8) When I inject Sarayu into the world, she will contradict the core beliefs that make the System run. (9) The System functions on the assumption that problems are caused by rule-breaking.  Sarayu will prove that problems come from beliefs that do not fit with Reality. (10) The System functions on the assumption that righteousness is something achieved by a few heroic individuals who can climb the religious ladder all the way up to heaven, and to hell with all the losers who can’t quite manage it.  Sarayu will show that I, the Son of Man, have ascended to Papa’s right hand, and that I’ve brought the entire world with me.  On behalf of all, in my own body I have forged human righteousness — right relations between Papa, humanity, and the rest of creation. (11) The System functions on the assumption that the world will be saved by killing all the ‘bad people.’  Sarayu will show that the world will be saved only by destroying the dark power that works evil in the lives of all people.

(12) I have so many things I want to tell you, but you aren’t yet ready to handle them. (13) When Sarayu comes into you, she will tell you what you need to know when you’re ready to hear it.  Just like me, she will not speak on her own.  Instead, what she will do is include you in the eternal conversation between her and me and Papa. (14) She will continue my work by taking my abundant human life and putting it into YOU. (15) Everything is Papa’s.  Everything that’s hers is mine. And Sarayu will take what is mine and give it to you.

John 15.1-17 – Life in Sarayu’s garden

(15.1) I am the trunk of the human tree; all branches are connected to me.  My Papa is the gardener, and (2) she will never give up on this tree and just let it be fruitless and dead.  Instead, she faithfully chops off sick branchings before they infect others. When a branch bears fruit, she strips that branch of its sub-branches, to make it fruit even more. (3) My word has already cleared the sick branches off you. (4) I am as close to you as a trunk is to its branches.  I have re-arranged my life just to be with you, to include you in every aspect of my everyday life.  I have chosen to be alive with you.  Be alive with me. When a branch is disconnected from the trunk, it produces no fruit.  The same is true for you if you choose to not participate in the life I’m living with you. (5) I am the trunk, and you are the branches.  The Triune sap eternally flows in and out of me.  If you believe, allowing it to flow in and out of you, it will produce in you a garden full of Sarayu’s fruit – love, joy, and peace. But if through disbelief you resist that flow, you will not produce anything. (6) There is a fire coming in this generation that will consume all the dead wood, the fruitless branches that want nothing to do with me. (7) But if you receive me and believe me, if you participate through faith in the life I’m living with you, you and I will ask Papa to produce fruit in you, and she will. (8) She LIVES for this – seeing you sharing in my life and producing lots and lots of delicious fruit.

(9) Papa has showered me with love, and I now shower that love upon you forever.  Period.  Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.  Take it seriously.  Dance with that truth, day in and day out. (10) Abide in it; let it determine your actions.  That’s what it means to participate in my life and to abide in my love.  That is what I do with Papa, believing and doing what she says, and enjoying the power of her love as it flows in and out of me. (11) I’ve told you all this in order to take my joy and fill you to overflowing with it.

(12) Here’s what I want you to do: Take the love/joy/peace I have given you, and give it to each other. (13) To give love is to give yourself, ALL of yourself, from birth to death and everything in between. (14) I have laid down my life for you, and I always will.  You lay down your lives for me as you accept and do what I say. I have been a friend to you, and you have become friends to me. (15) You are not my servants; servants don’t know what their master is doing.  No, you are my friends.  You know what I’m doing.  Everything I receive from Papa, I have given to you.  My knowing of her is now yours. (16) Not because you chose me, but because I chose you. I chose you to be carriers of the Triune blessing to the world.  I chose you to bear the fruit the world needs to eat, to bear Triune fruit whenever you join me in asking Papa for it. (17) I command you to love, because loving one another is what the eternal Triune life is all about.

John 14.15-31 – Sarayu with us forever

(15) To love me is to act according to my wisdom. (16) To put my love/wisdom/obedience into you, I will ask Papa to give you another guide, Sarayu, through whom Papa and I will be with you forever. (17) She is the Spirit of Truth, the Truth of my life with Papa. Truth is known only by faith, so Sarayu will sound foolish to those who refuse to believe. But you know her well, because you believe. You know that her life lives in you and always will.

 (18) As I transition from this mode of presence to a new mode of presence, I want you to know I’m not abandoning you. Far from it! In this transition, I am actually drawing NEARER to you. (19) Soon, my presence will be invisible to all eyes but the eyes of faith. You will know my presence because you trust my promise. (20) As you come to know reality in faithfulness to what it really is, you will know the truth about your inclusion in the Triune life—that I am in my Papa, and you are in me, and I am in you. (21) To live in my wisdom is to love me. To love me is to participate in the love and mutual knowing of the Trinity. (22) Judas (no, not that one, the other one) said: “Master, how is it possible that we will see you but the world will not?” (23) Jesus answered: “Through Sarayu, Papa and I are coming to make humanity our home. To receive us and experience our shared life is to participate in our giving and receiving of love. (24) To refuse gospel wisdom is to refuse me, and to refuse Papa from whom wisdom comes.

(25) I say these things now, and I know you will understand them later. (26) Because Papa will send Sarayu, your Guide. She will remind you of what I’ve said, help you understand it, and teach you everything you need to know., (27) What I’m giving you is peace, MY Peace. This is no ordinary kind of gift. I’m taking everything inside me, and through Sarayu I’m putting it inside you. What’s inside me is a secure, peaceful, fearless heart. Now it’s inside you, too.

(28) I know it sounds contradictory: “I am going away” and “I am coming to you.” I know you’re confused, because if you understood what’s really going on, you would be ecstatic about me going to Papa. Because Papa in heaven is nearer to you than you are to yourself. By going to her, I am drawing even closer to you that I am right now (29) I’m telling you this now so that when it happens, you will believe and understand.

(30) I won’t talk with you much more this way, because the Faceless Man is coming to take me from you. But don’t worry; he has no power over me. (31) Papa has told me to go with him, and I will obey, so that the world will know I love Papa.

Let’s go. Tonight we camp in Gethsemane…

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