Jesus the Christ Chapter 17
Incredibly good stuff in this chapter!
i was very forcibly struck by the comment that the beginning of the beatitudes explains “what constitutes genuine blessedness”. I’ve talked about this before; that I think most of us miss opportunities for true understanding by assuming that we know what God’s definitions are. We have our ideas of what perfect or equal or blessed is, and work off of that, instead of really searching out what God means by those words. So I really appreciate that here we have been given what it means to be blessed.
I also really appreciate the differentiation laid out between the gospel and the law.The law is physical, with physical ramifications and physical penance, the gospel is spiritual, and requires spiritual atonement/offering.
I sing songs about Jesus to Z, and one of them is Love One Another. I’ve been struck by the words, “By this shall man know, ye are my disciples, if ye have love, one to another”- because that seems like such a huge statement. Is there so little love in the world that disciples of Christ will be recognized because they show love? Then I read this, and it makes so much sense: “Never before had Israel been required to love their foes. Friendship for enemies had found no place in the Mosaic code: indeed the people had grown to look upon Israel’s enemies as God’s enemies”. What a huge shift that must have required. To see everyone as God’s children, as all having the potential to be his “chosen ones”. How humbling, or, if taken in the wrong spirit, humiliating.
I really like the differentiation of “the saying of prayers” vs. “praying”. “Prayer is made up of heart throbs and the righteous yearnings of the soul, of supplication based on the realization of need, of contrition and pure desire.” I really need to ponder that.
“The capacity to be grateful is a blessing, for the possession of which we should be further grateful.” Love that.
What jumped out to you?
I was struck by lots, so let’s see…
“the pure in heart shall be admitted to the very presence of God”–i think it is amazing that i’ve been granted the gift of the holy ghost, and that therefore i can already experience this. when i am pure in heart i am worthy to be in the presence of God; what a blessing.
in the context of bruce and others comments on your blog and others blogs in regards to mr. hanks and prop 8 in general, this quote really stood out to me:
“Have the centuries between the days of Christ and our own time made us less eager to cure the defective vision of those who cannot or will not assume our point of view, and see things as we see them?”
I am guilty of this sin, of thinking the many people who hold a different opinion than I do on Prop 8 are defective in their vision. I’ve asked forgiveness of my Heavenly Father for my unChristlike attitude, and I ask your forgiveness too.
Thanks again for arranging this reading, Maryanne. I can feel myself grow closer to my Heavenly Father each day.
I love you, Brandy.
It’s also interesting to contrast with the prophesies of the last days saying that one of the signs of the times will be the hearts of men, and the love of men, growing cold.