I'm working on a commentary of the book of Luke, by request, for a friend. It's the same friend, if you remember, that I sent an essay to earlier this year. Let me know what you think, feel free to tear this commentary apart. But if you do, please email me a copy of changes you feel I should make. Its my mission to make this as sincere and intelligent as possible for my friend. Here's the link of what I have so far:
[The text in the File]
I’ve operated under the assumption that nothing has been lost, smudged, mistranslated, or changed in this text over the past two thousand years. I am also assuming every word is fixed with undeniable absolute truth, with the only limits to this being our own interpretations of the words, for interpretation is necessary and vital to all language. In order for words to make any sense to an individual at all, that individual must relate the words to his own conceptions and experiences. On multiple levels, nothing is understood without interpretation, be that interpretation your own, or that of one who lived a few hundred years ago.
1:15 “And he [John] shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.”
The Spirit filled this baby before Jesus was conceived. Belief in Jesus is therefore not a prerequisite for the birth of the Spirit within you. Two separate processes.
1:31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”
An angel calling Jesus “the Son of the Most High” does not simultaneously exclude the rest of humanity from being Sons of the Most High as well, just as an angel calling Jesus “great” does not mean that no one else has ever been, or ever will be great.
1:35 “And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy- the Son of God.”
Not having an earthly father implies nothing other than a miracle has taken place. That is all. According to Biblical tradition, if you trace back the lineage of humanity to Adam, we also share a miracle of conception. We, like Jesus, have God as our original and true father.
1:41 “And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!’”
Once again, we see the Holy Spirit working of its own accord, completely independent of the personality of Jesus.
1:46 “And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God as my Savior.’”
Her soul has the power to make to make God larger within her. Also, her spirit, which is the deepest part of her being, already rejoices in God as her savior. She says God has saved her already, not that she is looking forward to being saved later with a blood-sacrifice.
1:50 “’And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.’”
Or: “his mercy is for those who recognize him as a real force that operates in the world.” Once again, not: “his mercy is for those who recognize Jesus as a blood-sacrifice for the world.” It’s interesting what “from generation to generation” might imply about the nature of humanity.
1:74 “’That we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.’”
This verse states that we, as human beings serving God, are holy and righteous. Therefore, humans must be able to completely destroy their sin-nature. We could not be said to be holy and righteous if we were still at our core corrupt and flawed beings. And who are our true enemies, but our own materialistic and selfish egos? Once delivered from the hands of those entities within us, those devils and demons, we truly will serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
1:76 “’ And you child, [John] will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall dawn upon us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Zechariah says to his son, you will “give knowledge in the forgiveness of their sins.” Zechariah doesn’t say “give knowledge that they ‘might’ be forgiven,” but “give knowledge in the forgiveness” showing that they already are forgiven through God’s “tender mercy.” He doesn’t say that they were forgiven through cold-calculated blood sacrifice atonement, but the opposite. To very-redundantly reiterate, mercy requires nothing to compensate for its gift, as illustrated by the fact that the Holy Spirit here inspired Zechariah to say “give knowledge of forgiveness” not “give knowledge of the way to be forgiven.” Mercy means you are forgiven through no act of your own. Not even the act of “believing” in something. If it required you to believe something, it wouldn’t be mercy. It’d be this-for-that. And all this was said over 30 years before Jesus was on the cross at all.
Also of note, through this tender mercy of God, “the sunrise shall dawn upon us from on high to give light.” It’s clear it’s not a literal sunrise, and it’s not literal light. What the “dawning” and “light from on high” is alluding to, is what’s called by many “enlightenment”: the realization of what we Truly are. It’s the dropping of the veils of illusion from our eyes. It’s the finding of peace in reality as it is, based upon the knowledge of Reality itself. This is the backbone of Jesus’s power, and his message. This is what is meant by the “Kingdom of God.” This Kingdom is not a place, but a state. This will be illustrated further in the text later on.
“To guide our feet into the way of peace.” For peace is not a place, or a condition of the external world, but a “way” to be traveled. Peace is found in nothing but the way: this “way” of which it was Jesus’ mission to teach, and to himself follow.
2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those whom he is pleased!”
Because it’s important to stress this, it says peace among those whom he is pleased, not among those whom blindly believe in their personal salvation.
2:30 [Simeon regarding Jesus] “For my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
Simeon calls Jesus a “light for revelation” because that’s exactly what Jesus is: an enlightening beacon for the masses. Once again, he doesn’t call Jesus a sacrifice, but a light. And he calls the salvation a light because that’s exactly what this salvation is: a light to dispel the darkness and ignorance surrounding our True Selves. The salvation we need is Truth itself. Then, after we find Truth, that’s when we need faith. We need faith to keep Truth at the forefront of our minds, and therefore, actions.
2:34 “And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also,) so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
Simeon first says Jesus is appointed for the “fall and rising of many in Israel.” He says fall and rising, not fall or rising. This is important, for we must fall before we rise. We must destroy the negative aspect of ourselves; the illusory ego we identify ourselves with must fall, if we are to rise with our Salvation into the Kingdom of God. This is his message. This is the meaning of “if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (9:23).
When Simeon says “this child is appointed for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also,) so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed,” he may be referencing bringing to light the various aspects we hold within ourselves. We all have different aspects: aspects of us that desire praise, parts of us that desire rebellion, parts of us that cling to self-pity, aspects of us that want to be looked up to. Jesus’s message will be like a sword, killing all of these various selves within in preference of a True Self that lives only to worship and love and grow closer to God. The reason for revealing the various thoughts of these different hearts we hold within us is so that we can combat these hearts and make them a slave to the Real heart, the one that belongs to God alone. We can only fight something once we’re aware of it.
2:49 “’Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them.
This verse applies on at least two levels. On the superficial, Jesus is saying this because he is a direct descendant of God. On the more meaningful level, Jesus is saying that he exists solely within the “house of the Father.” That is, Jesus exists solely within the spark inside- our seed of consciousness, or the life God breathed into us. This divine spark is exactly the same within all of us, from Jesus himself to Hitler. He is saying, “If you want salvation, stop looking for external signs and methods, and journey deeper within yourself.” There is, after all, no other way of obtaining True faith. Everything else is deception and illusion.
It’s also meaningful that they did not understand what he was saying. It highlights the fact that it seems most people have no idea what Jesus really intended with his words at all. Like the Pharisees at the time of Jesus, most of us are lost in meaningless traditions and directives based on little or no truth.
3:2 During the priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.
John was alone, just himself, no mention of angels or spirits. The word of God came to John while he was alone with nature.
3:9 “Even now the axe is laid to the root of the tress. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire.”
This is obviously a metaphor. It pertains to aspects of personality and ego; it is about the destroying of negative traits “even now,” before the coming of the Messiah- the Messiah whose purpose it is to broadcast the same meaningful message to all of humanity.
3:16 “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
The wheat is the divine spark within. The chaff is our illusions, our conceptions, and our false identifications of who we are. The chaff is experimentally known to be the sole bondage to this earth.
3:38 “… the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.”
Verily, WE ARE ALL SONS OF GOD. Even if Mary was not impregnated directly by God, Jesus would be a son of God just the same, as illustrated by this passage. How could we be said to be incurably corrupted, when it is shown to us we are all descendants of God himself? No, our only corruption is our own ignorance, our own self-delusions.
4:1 “And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.”
“Full of the Holy Spirit” and “led by the Spirit,” not “Full of Jesus” and “led by the Jesus.” For Jesus is a man. Only a man. He needs to be led by something larger than himself, just as we need to be led by something larger than ourselves. The Spirit within us is that universal leader we need, and it is simultaneously within us all, for we cannot exist without it. We are all the product of one flame. Multiplication is only possible by dividing. We share the same Reality at our core, and it is this reality Jesus draws form and is led by. It is this same Reality we are blinded to, because of our own ignorance and false identities.
And because Jesus is truly a man, he is tempted by the devil, just as all other men are. We are constantly battling a more materialistic world view, a world view that would like to laugh at the notion of God or spirituality or the greater good. It is this world view we fight, brought on by the devil within us, its sole purpose being self-preservation and gross pleasure.
4:8 “And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written,`You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.`’”
ONLY GOD should you serve, says Jesus. He doesn’t say “only me” should you serve, but God. Jesus here is having a dialog with his human selfish aspects, or devil, defeating it by depriving it and focusing on the only Truth: God. Same exact thing we must all do.
4:12 “And Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, `You shall not put the Lord our God to the test`’”
Jesus here shows us that logic alone is not the end all be all, but that we must comprehend the truth underlying the words, not just the bare words themselves. It is the squirmy-trickster-libertarian-sophist within us that must be guarded against. God transcends our intellect; it takes more than our minds to hear the Word of God.
4:13 “And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.”
Opportune because that’s exactly what the devil is: the selfish opportunistic entity within us, always lying in wait to make the best of a situation for itself.
4:14 “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee…”
He returned in the power of the Spirit, not the power of the Personality. Jesus is a man, he draws his power from the same Entities we do, and not from his personality itself.
4:24 “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.”
Most of those that watched you grow up feel a kind of immature superiority over you. They will not take kindly to you giving them directives, because in their eyes you have no right to do so. In their eyes, you are “beneath them” forever and always. You will never cease to be a child to in their eyes. Thus, those who have awakened cannot teach at home, or else they tend to become a martyr for their perception. Jesus told them, here in the passage, that just because He comes from Nazareth, doesn’t mean the Nazarenes will be saved. It was the crowds tipping point. Who was he to tell them they’re not automatically saved?
4:34 “[Said the demon] ‘Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are- the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent and come out of him!’”
In fact, Jesus had come to destroy them, just as Jesus had destroyed himself. Not in a literal way, of course, but metaphorically. Jesus’ message is the destruction of our illusions, and almost all of us identify our being with an illusion. Notice Jesus said “Be silent,” not “you’re wrong.” Also on a tangent, but of note, is the meaning of Lucifer’s name. “Light bringer.” Pain is a tool, used to lift us higher. I have a strong feeling that Lucifer smiles whenever his temptations and destruction fail to pull us down. Not all of us desire the role we’ve been given in this world, but those who are wise do it regardless, knowing it’s a part of God’s plan. How could anything not be a part of God’s plan? Would you deny God’s omnipotence?
4:42 “And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place.:
The best kind of place for meditation.
4:43 “[Quoth Jesus] I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”
He said he was sent to preach good news as his purpose, to enlighten; he doesn’t say his purpose is to be a blood sacrifice for a magical cleansing of sins, but he says his purpose is to teach.
To clarify, I'm not a religious person at all. I attach myself to no tradition. My friend, however, is a Baptist preacher. If you need any more backdrop, feel free to ask.
Seth, would you mind posting the document on this page? Shouldn't be too long, but just for us that don't have a .DOCX reader, can't download (public access) or are on a mobile?
how can you assume that "every word is fixed with undeniable absolute truth" while you are commenting a translation?
I'd not be able to do that!!!
Going against every fiber of my being and pretending for the sake of a Baptist preacher stuck in the middle ages
why should you go against every fiber of your being?
can this make you happy?
Words cannot contain absolute truth. Words are merely symbols representing human experience, so words in themselves have very limited uses. Assuming that the Bible's words are absolutely true and that they are the ultimate/only meaning in the universe is an absurd idea based on nothing other than ignorance and clinging to an unverifiable authority one either wishes to believe is true, or brainwashes himself to believe is true.
You are about one step from hitting on the whole truth. You have assumed that John the Baptist is an 'infant' when he was given birth by Elisabeth. Think of it this way, John was already in midlife when 'mortal mind (Elisabeth)' was filled by the Holy Spirit. If you were to put this in graphic form you would be creating a Vesica Piscis, where the Vesica Piscis is the womb filled with the Holy Spirit. The Vesica Piscis has always been known as the 'woman's womb'.
Anytime Christ talks about children in the New Testament he is referring to the new neophytes: as in "suffer the little children to come to me for such is the kingdom of heaven".
If you go back over your interpretation and stop assuming that the characters in the bible are speaking in human terminology you may grasp the better part of what is being said.
You see Jesus and John are two sides of the same coin. John is mortal mind and Christ is the spiritual mind. John was the greatest of all prophets because he could raise Christ out of the baptismal waters of the psyche (Old and New Testament: Ego-consciousness and the unconscious mind). John is symbolically Jesus when he is filled with the Holy Spirit (Orenda). This symbolism of the pope turning into Christ permeates the Sistine Chapel when the pope like John the Baptist is beheaded.
What the angel was saying to Elisabeth (mortal mind) was that mortal mind was going to be 'Born Again'; thus, when you are 'Born Again' you start your life all over again as a neophyte (child).
Remember that the New Testament is a very terse and succinct commentary on the esoteric science codified to the Old Testament.
You may not realize it but you are actually commenting on a commentary on the first chapter of Genesis.
That's extremely interesting, thank you very much Meegan for your insight. It's a little beyond me, however. I tend to shy away from things of this nature, its all seems so unverifiable and open to interpretation to me. But I have absolutely no place to say whether or not I'm right about that. I just don't know.
Actually, Seth, if you read the New Testament very carefully it is all verifiable. For example if Elisabeth was visited by the Holy Spirit before John the Baptist was born then he was born without sin. Wasn't Mary the only person beside Jesus suppose to be born without sin.
Another point is this, if the Holy Spirit visited Elisabeth then one of the three persons of the divine Trinity visited her. Each person of the Trinity is coequal with the other personages of the Trinity; thus, the entire Trinity visited Elisabeth. Would that not have made her womb blessed?
As a fundamentalist you do not think about what you are reading. Perusing a text is about 1% of what reading is all about. The other 99% of reading is thinking about what you read. All I did above was think about what the text said
One of John the Evangelist's letters say, "now that we are the sons of God". Would this not have made each of the disciples just as much as the son of God as Jesus was?
These different nuances in the texts are spread out over many volumes so that connections are not readily made with other remarks throughout the bible; however, if you have a good memory you will make those connections. The reason that fundamentalists do not think about what they read is because they get frightened by what such material suggest. These frightening barricades are there because fundamentalist are not use to thinking in this manner and such ideas are frightening.