Good News that Liberates
The Galilean sage taught and lived his insight of the “kingdom” of the Father. It offended the religious folks in his audience, but it was a comforting message to those who were not so religious, including the immoral people among them. Joshua invited them to join him at the dinner table of all things! The good religious people called them “sinners” not only because of their immoral lives but especially because they did not participate in the rituals of the temple worship, nor did they practice an exclusive behavior toward outsiders.
What was this message of the “kingdom” of the Father? It was not unlike the message of the Old Testament prophets who spoke of the Father-God’s mercy without sacrifice, accepting and coming to the aid of the fatherless, the widow, and the stranger among them at no cost to them. It was treating others as they would like to be treated. (Not just as you would like it, but as they would like it.) It meant loving them rather than paying them back or getting even with them. It meant forgiving those who caused you harm – over and over again – until they finally stop their behavior! It meant imaging the Father's way of justice.
This is not as difficult as it first seems because the Father already placed his consciousness into humans when they were called out of muddy clay. This is what set humans apart from other creatures. Humans are free to actually mirror the Father's greatest attributes of unconditional love, acceptance, and forgiveness for unloving choices made by others. It was an amazing act of love to take this risk. It turns out that when humans make the unloving choice, such choices only make the better loving choices shine all that much brighter. Because loving choices are so beneficial to all, and harm no one, humans can learn from their mistakes and choose better ways in the future. Children learn this faster than adults.
This message called religion into question. It even called the authenticity of the scriptures as being the very word of God into question (such as an “eye for an eye” or many other scriptures speaking of an angry sky-god destroying enemies, even the Babylonian idea of an end-time judgment and apocalypse which had crept into Judaism after their captivity). It called the need for a mediator into question and it called religious rituals into question. It set humans free to be humane toward each other. It put an end to the need of appeasingan angry sky-god, and it abolished the fall and hell mythology. Instead, it taught the presence of the generous Creator-Father among us, revealed in sometimes insignificant but unconditional loving acts between humans. Little wonder that this message was so scandalous to the religious mindset. It was indeed offensive to such thinking, and it still is, especially because it threatens the payback punishment myth and the further existenceof an authoritative religious force among mankind. It required some hard rethinking. It meant moving on to something much better than the harmful, exclusive and inhumanbehavior while under an old payback justice system. No wonder that the religious leadership called out for the Galilean's death! Everything they stood for was being questioned by the generous message of an accepting, forgiving presence of a Father-God, a presence which released humanity’s fears and encouraged the best in them to shine.