It is like Jesus is saying, “You know... you don’t have to get married.“
Or, “You know...you could castrate yourselves.“
And strangely I can not really imagine saying the former anymore than I can the latter to either my children or anyone upon whom that was not already forced. It disturbs my sensibilities. And just as much as a man in 36 AD would have found it, we today find it disturbing to the point of not comprehending it.
It’s like man has this deep sense of a covenant relationship with the other; of a blood bond that’s somehow both one time and eternal with another. A sense that a bridegroom is not merely a bridegroom of brains or brawn, but a bridegroom of blood. And then society, which almost by definition is mankind’s deep sense of things in aggregate and brought to the surface, brings them so much to the surface that they become superficial, and the deep sense of things is lost. And then over time, what’s on the surface has growth, but it is a stagnant kind of growth. And what occurs is a kind of curdling, which man can enjoy but it is a necessarily spoilt enjoyment because of the effort required and because it is an acquired taste. But the exact point is that all of this has lost the freshness of milk, which is one thing made of many parts but it is one thing, and it is most clearly one thing at the beginning.
So as society develops into something thought and talked about, it corrupts marriage because it corrupts everything it touches; corrupts it in direct proportion to how long it has handled it; which is not far from saying: in direct proportion to its legality. But Jesus says marriage is, and always has been, either one time and one life—or it’s adultery, which is a sawing and a bloody hacking and a self-mutilation of one body. And so, if you are unable to commit to the oneness that is not merely required by marriage but is marriage itself, then it IS possible to sever the sense and choose voluntarily, in the sense of castration, separation from this idea from the beginning for the sake of oneness with God.
It is one of the great oddities of New Testament scripture that Jesus already knows what the Pharisees are thinking, but is amazed and surprised by what a Canaanite woman or a Roman soldier thinks. One is “ye of little faith!” and the other “ye of great faith!”
Often Jesus is disappointed or angry at man’s unfaithfulness; but he never seems truly surprised, in the sense of being amazed. But God himself will stop in his tracks in utter amazement at a faithful heart.
Who is on the witness stand testifying against you?
He rebuts your facts and figures, your words, your photo documentation, your lengthy explanations and reasons, your graphs and diagrams and methodologies. He rebuts all these and more; every polished, intellectual testament you present to defend your life.
And guess whose testimony is more persuasive in the long, arduous trial of existence that, in fact, you learned nothing about being human--a soul unfit to walk in the cool of paradise?
A stumbling block would not be a very effective one if it was at all noticeable. Even a mediocre stumbling block needs to be hidden. A wicked stumbling block has to be incredibly hidden. Deadly, precisely because it mimics a clear path. Otherwise it would be obvious, not stumbled upon, and therefore, only a block in the road to go around. In a sense, it is just the same to say stumbling will inevitably occur when the one walking the path is massively blind but arrogantly thinks he isn't. And the most wicked part: The blind and arrogant Walker places the stumbling block in front of himself. Hides a clear path from his own self. That is why the stumbling block looks just like God.
You objectified Thinking and Actions. You rationalized when rationality was not yours to set before you as a thing of highest value, then prostitute yourselves unto.
Judgment and Reason—the gold and silver that beautifies and adorns you—-is not yours: it is from God.
Except ye become as little children.
(Apocatastasis: starting over; restoration of an initial state.)
(Jesus as the alpha and the omega. The omega and the alpha.)
Jesus bends the straight line of time and experienced reality from a straight line into a circle or a horseshoe. And the end and the beginning look at each other, They are the closest to each other. Jesus crosses that divide. It is the rebirth. Jesus tells Nicodemus, “I know how to get where you want to go, but you can’t start from here. Anywhere you are on this circle is further from the place I am; and the place you should be. The closest place to the end is the beginning.”
...Every goldsmith is shamed by his idols.
Man’s every creation in which he trusts—401k’s, houses, companies, money—shames him. They are rubbish on judgement day (the day of reckoning for a life of spiritual poverty)
Is your life half gone?
“When their lives are half gone, their riches will desert them, and in the end they will prove to be fools.”
That is the fate of the man who gained riches by unjust means.
It is speaking of false character and false spiritual wealth—NOT material wealth. That is exactly Jeremiah’s point. We think we understand the difference between material and spiritual worth. But we fail to understand that ANY worth we give to our “material world” (in essence, “what ‘matters’ to me”) comes from somewhere. We fail to understand that we siphon DIRECTLY from what really matters. We are stealing treasure from somewhere we can’t even see. And then, when we finally look back—because we sense the hollowness underneath—we see that our true treasure chest has been emptied out. We are like the baron stealing oil from underneath the preacher’s neighboring land in “There Will be Blood.” We are actually both those characters. The false preacher winds up empty; equally as impoverished as the oil baron.
Jeremiah is saying that when you polish your character (or soul) as a thing outside of you, and believe it can be improved and maintained by a false morality—you are LYING to yourself; stealing from yourself. The worth you stored up within material wealth built up over half a lifetime turns out sadly to be your worth—even worse, it turns out to be you! And when you reach out, it sublimates away because there was nothing there. You had foolishly poured your worth into thin air.
…to understand the Old Testament idea of the Judaic God and sacrifice as different from all others. Sacrifice crosses all cultures, barriers and continents. The idea is so fundamental to man that it simply pops into existence in the earliest chapters of Genesis without preamble or explanation. It is treated as an a priori concept. Somehow humanity—mankind—human consciousness—Adam’s spawn—had awakened worldwide to the idea that sacrificial behavior (“give up something now for something better later”) is linked to survival. But to whom, to what, how, and why? Out of all gods to whom sacrifice is made, the Hebrews miraculously discovered only one way works for life and eternity: God is invisible. He MUST be. Otherwise He is simply an image made by man, even if the image is in his head. Man shouldn’t even name God, which is to say, even concepts, thoughts and ideas of God are already wrong. He is the God that we CAN’T see. When the Lord says “They ascend for acceptance in Mine alter” (Isaiah 60:7), He speaks of the only alter in the world with NOTHING where an image should sit to watch—an empty seat—a holy place for one only with the truest heart to fill with the Glory of the Living God.
There is Living God and living man. A relationship marvelously and purposefully beautified in the enfleshed Jesus at the culmination of redemption. God and man. No image in between the Cherubim who cover their eyes. A mirror for each other. The most perfect reflection of God requires wiping our conscious mind as cleanly as possible. To see. To see what can’t be seen.
The Lord teaches Isaiah to be a lightening rod: Isaiah has received instruction well from his experience of suffering. Daily he has learned to accept it willingly like a sink does water, like a lightening rod does the bolt. Because he did not turn away from these powerful strikes, but stood upright in their midst; he received them without damage. There seems to be no end to the hits the lightening rod can absorb with no effect. Instead of receiving shame and disgrace, which was the destructive intent of his suffering, he receives understanding. A daily lesson on how to be sustained without disgrace or shame.
“Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.” (V10)
But the ones who don’t trust anymore and rely on their own knowledge to escape their darkness; they will lie down in torment."