"If Jesus Is A Wayshower, What Did He Show Us?"
Nancy Detweiler, M.Ed., M.Div.
Part 5 of Series
"I Have Overcome the World"
"These things I have said to you that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but have courage I have conquered the world."(John 16:33) How many times have we wished we could conquer, or overcome, the world’s tyranny over us? We may study truths (or universal laws) that, when integrated into our lifestyles, will render our lives filled with joy, peace, abundance, and love. But the gap between talking about universal laws and integrating the truth is wide and deep-seated. We feel hampered by the pressures of meeting physical plane requirements and by the firm grip with which the status quo exerts influence upon our thinking and behavior. How can we overcome the world? By studying and practicing these universal laws until they become second-nature to us. Meditating on the life of Jesus can be very instructive because he, as a Wayshower, demonstrated the integration of these laws into his lifestyle.
After he was baptized, "Jesus was carried away by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil." (John 4:1) Jesus spent forty days and nights praying in the wilderness, struggling with the temptations relating to his future ministry and how he would conduct it. The world’s standards, as depicted by the devil, would have him perform spectacular feats like turning stones to bread and jumping off the pinnacle of the temple. Palestine has very rocky soil. If Jesus turned all the rocks into bread, he could feed the poor. If he jumped off the pinnacle of the temple and allowed the angels to form a parachute around him, slowly lowering him to the ground, everyone would see how the angels care marvelously for us. He could commence his ministry with a big splash not soon forgotten. People would worship him and therefore, listen to what he had to teach. What could be the harm?
Jesus conquered the world’s standards by realizing that these marketing techniques would be ego-based spectacles. He would be drawing attention to himself rather than allowing God to manifest through him. How could he discern between his ego and his intuitive guidance?
Jesus was very familiar with the sacred texts of his time. He used the Scriptures as his guide in making decisions. Thus, while devising his techniques for embarking on his ministry, Jesus could compare his ideas with the scriptural teachings, "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:2) He, therefore, knew he could make no decisions that would deflect the people’s attention from God onto himself.
As we study the Bible, we find guidelines that assist us in making decisions. The world and its customs may be saying one thing, while sacred scripture states another. We can overcome the world by following biblical teachings and integrating them into the manner by which we approach earth plane life.
One of these universal laws is: "No one can serve two masters. For either you will hate the one and like the other; or you will honor one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth .... Therefore do not worry or say, what will we eat, or what will we drink, or with what will we be clothed? For worldly people seek after all these things. Your Father in heaven knows that all of these things are also necessary for you. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:24a, 31-33) Jesus performed his ministry, while teaching and trusting in this universal law. He and his disciples walked throughout the land of Palestine. Though Jesus owned nothing for himself—and could have viewed life through the lens of his own lack—he, instead, had everything at his fingertips. He chose to serve God while being unconcerned over acquiring his own wealth. His needs were richly supplied. Jesus’ great uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, was one of the wealthiest men in the known world. Several of his disciples were well off financially. A group of wealthy women traveled with Jesus and his disciples, paying for the expenses. (Luke 8:3) Wealthy friends provided lodging and food. Whenever he needed a large room in which to celebrate a religious feast, a wealthy friend made one available to him. Even his seamless robe was a symbol of wealth, so much so the Roman soldiers threw dice to see who would get it after they had crucified him. Jesus walked the land, teaching and healing. God provided abundantly for him while he did so.
The world would have us believe that we must work for all we acquire. Jesus revealed that when we seek first the kingdom of God, our needs are met while we go about fulfilling our role in the divine plan. We allow the world to conquer us when we buy into the belief that we must seek first to support ourselves, then—if any time is left—perform the vocation of our dreams. It is a matter of deciding: whom do we believe? The world or the teachings of Jesus? When we seek first the kingdom of God while following our soul’s vocation, we can overcome the world and its influences.
Jesus exhibited another universal law that can be very difficult for us to comprehend and integrate into our lives. This law states: "You have heard it said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you that you should not resist evil." (Matthew 5:38-39a) If we are not to resist evil, how are we to cope with life as we know it on physical plane? Two contrasting examples within Jesus’ life stand out.
First, Jesus frequently read the Scriptures in the synagogues, then expounded on them. When speaking in his hometown of Nazareth, he enraged the crowds. They proceeded to take him to the edge of a mountain cliff, plotting to throw him over it. Jesus paid no attention to them, passed through the crowds, and went on his way. (Luke 4:16-30) He resisted not evil by giving it no thought energy and walking away. It is important to note that Jesus did not allow the enraged people to have their way with him. He did not remain in the crowd and beg them for mercy, nor did he fight his way out of harm’s way. Instead, he permeated himself with the conscious realization of the Father’s presence. He so intently concentrated on the Good that evil could not touch him.
In stark contrast, Jesus’ crucifixion seems to be a time when evil overpowered him. He was arrested, beaten, and crucified. However, Jesus was still in charge. He did not resist evil; he submitted to it. He could have walked away. This time, allowing himself to appear to be controlled by evil was a part of the Divine Plan. Jesus explains, "For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father." (John 10:17-18) Jesus knew that humanity is so fearful of death that we can be manipulated by the threat of it. He knew there is no death. He was aware that it is our resistance that creates pain. Jesus agreed to allow himself to be crucified, in order to resurrect his physical body and to prove to humanity: there is no death. The only way we could be set free—from the authority fear of death holds over us—was for someone to prove, in a very concrete manner, that death does not exist. Jesus permitted evil to have its way over him in order to accomplish this higher goal. He overcame the world and emerged victorious.
His ability to do so was based upon knowledge of another universal law: "Like attracts like." All of life is made up of neutral energy, which we qualify as positive or negative by the way we think, feel, and act. Our thoughts, feelings, and behavior literally determine the quality of the energy field surrounding us. Therefore, if we think and feel in predominantly negative ways, our energy field is permeated with negativity. Since like attracts like, this negativity magnetizes more negativity. A predominantly positive energy field attracts more positive. The positive energy has no kinship with the negative; it simply flows past it. In order to retain the quality of either positive or negative, all energy must be fed with more of the same; otherwise, the energy returns to a neutral state. Thus, we can repel negativity by concentrating on the positive. Take the example of Jesus and the murderous crowd in Nazareth. Had Jesus allowed himself to be afraid and to think in terms of being thrown over the cliff, his energy field would have magnetized the danger to him. Instead, Jesus focused on the positive in the form of God’s protecting presence around him and walked away unharmed.
Unity’s Prayer of Protection teaches us to think as Jesus thought. It is a very helpful prayer for children and adults. This prayer is a series of affirmations that remind us of Truth and can be made even more beneficial by visualizing the energy around us as we pray. I encourage you to use this prayer often.
The Light of God surrounds me,
evil." The same law is
true for dis-ease in our physical bodies. To resist the dis-ease is to focus our
thoughts and feelings upon the problem. Instead, give thanks to the source of
your dis-ease, expressing your appreciation for this opportunity to integrate
Truth into your lifestyle. Then, visualize yourself possessing radiant health.
Allow your emotions to feel the state of perfect health. Affirm perfect health.
Whenever you are tempted to allow your thoughts to dwell on the dis-ease,
practice self-discipline by instantly moving your thoughts from your dis-ease to
visualizing and affirming perfect health. Our bodies have no choice. As long as
we concentrate our emotional and mental energies upon perfect health, our bodies
obey the command. Because like attracts like, the dis-ease withers away from
lack of attention. (IMPORTANT NOTE: this example is not intended to encourage
anyone to ignore professional medical assistance, change in lifestyle required,
and a nutritious diet. These modalities are the way by which we implement
actively the perfect health we are affirming and envisioning. As we progress
into the 5th dimensional consciousness that Jesus exhibited, we will be able to
heal the physical body with our thoughts. However, at this point in time, few of
us possess this 5th dimensional consciousness.)
Via this method, we overcome the world and its challenges. We obey the teaching of Jesus: "If you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." (Mark 11:23-24)
UNITY’S PRAYER OF PROTECTION
The Light of God surrounds me,
The Love of God enfolds me,
The Power of God protects me,
The Presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is.
And, all is well.
Go forth, knowing that as you seek first the kingdom of God, the world is an open door. "Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."