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See With New Eyes
18 October 2014
Last night I woke up in the middle of the night, and I had a song in my head that I haven’t heard in quite a long time. It’s called Behold Now The Kingdom by John Michael Talbot and Terry Talbot from their 1980 album The Painter.
A multitude followed a man,
a prophet who spoke words of wisdom.
And they listened trying to understand
the paradox of His great truth.

He said:
Blessed be those who are poor,
for you shall inherit the Kingdom;
And blessed be those who are weak,
for you shall inherit great strength.

Blessed be those who are children,
for you shall be counted as wise;
And blessed be the blind man,
for you shall see with new eyes.
Behold now the kingdom,
Behold now the kingdom,
Behold now the kingdom,
See with new eyes.
Blessed be those of compassion,
for you shall inherit compassion;
And blessed be those who forgive,
for you shall be forgiven.

You shall receive consolation,
only in reaching to give;
And only in dying for others,
can you be reborn to live.
Behold now the kingdom,
Behold now the kingdom,
Behold now the kingdom,
See with new eyes.
So a multitude followed a man,
a prophet who spoke words of wisdom.
And they listened yet could not understand
the paradox of His great truth.
These lyrics are just a part of the paradoxical teachings of Yeshua (Jesus) — commonly called the Sermon on the Mount — recorded in Matthew 5-7. Why do Yeshua’s words seem so paradoxical, so hard to understand, and so hard to obey, for so many of those who call themselves Christians?

The apostle Paul explained it this way:
Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? ... For the “foolishness” of God is wiser than human “wisdom” ... God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise ... (1 Corinthians 1:20b,25a,27a)

We don’t speak words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:13-14)
To the human mind, the words of Yeshua are paradoxical nonsense. But for those whose spirits are open to the Spirit of God, Yeshua’s words are wisdom, truth, light and reality. And as we live His words out in our lives, we find more and more that they make perfect sense. Unfortunately, there have been many “Christians” over the past 2,000 years who still “could not understand the paradox of His great truth.” They find His words too radical, so they have tried to water them down — and they still do. They have tried to excuse their lack of obedience by insisting that Yeshua didn’t really mean what He said — and they still do. Yeshua has strong words for these types of “Christians”:
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ (Master, Master) and do not do what I say? ... The one who hears My words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” (Luke 6:46,49)

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven.... I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21,23)
Wow! That’s pretty intense! Those who claim Yeshua as their “Lord” but don’t obey the will of the Father — which Yeshua communicated by His teaching — are considered by Yeshua to be evildoers, and are sent away from Him! The figurative house of their lives will collapse and be completely destroyed! Yikes! This harsh reality of what it TRULY means to be a Christian is why James wrote:
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.... What good is it if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? ... faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.... a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.... As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 1:22, 2:14,17b,24,26)
And why Paul wrote:
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Yeshua the Messiah is in you — unless, of course, you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13:5)
And why John wrote:
We know that we have come to know Yeshua if we keep His commands. Whoever says, “I know Him,” but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Yeshua did. (1 John 2:3-6)
This is very strong medicine from some early, authentic followers of Yeshua! How many churches in America actually preach these truths? Yet here these truths are, right in the New Testament that so many “Christians” claim as their guide and authority.

Maybe it’s time to follow Paul’s instructions and examine our lives afresh, to see if we truly ARE in the faith. And because faith without deeds is dead, the faith we have needs to be the TRUE faith of obedience to Yeshua’s words.

If we discover that we fail the test, there is still time to change the path we are on, leave behind the false religious faith we have been taught all of our lives, and start living like Yeshua really IS our Master.

Yeshua meant what He said, and He expects nothing less than our obedience to His commands. Through His indwelling Holy Spirit, He will teach us how to apply them to our daily lives — if we are willing to listen and then obey.

Yeshua is not wanting some sort of religious, legalistic, slavish obedience. Instead, Yeshua is looking for a joyful obedience that comes from love and intimate relationship with Himself. Not an obedience that comes from following a set of religious rules or rituals, but by following HIM, walking with HIM in union with His Spirit, day by day, moment by moment.

Let us enter into the Kingdom of Heaven by seeing and obeying Yeshua’s words with new eyes. Let us walk in intimate relationship with Yeshua by living as He did, obeying the will of the Father.
This article is 25th a series of articles on this Web site related to Exploring New Testament Realities which also includes (scroll to see the entire list):
19  Sep  2013
1  Oct  2013
7  Oct  2013
12  Oct  2013
15  Oct  2013
16  Oct  2013
30  Oct  2013
13  Nov  2013
28  Dec  2013
8  Jan  2014
15  Jan  2014
16  Jan  2014
21  Jul  2014
26  Jul  2014
27  Jul  2014
31  Jul  2014
5  Aug  2014
10  Aug  2014
11  Aug  2014
24  Aug  2014
25  Aug  2014
27  Aug  2014
16  Sep  2014
17  Oct  2014
See With New Eyes
18  Oct  2014
21  Oct  2014
28  Oct  2014
8  Nov  2014
13  Dec  2014
24  Dec  2014
11  Jan  2015
20  Jan  2015
21  Jan  2015
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