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The Scribes and the Pharisees would cite
scripture and ancient rabbis. Jesus,
however, disregarding external authorities,
countered with, "But I say to you..."
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Preview and Summary: Jesus, as did the apostles John and Paul, would put to the side ancient scripture in favor of new insights, the promptings of the Spirit, which leads every man and woman into truth.
A few places in the New Testament we find Jesus speaking in this general format:
"You have heard in old times that, according to the scripture, such-and-such should be done or is the case - but, I say to you..."
Well, this really set them off with this kind of talk. "Who does he think he is blaspheming the holy scripture this way!"
Big Religion, always on the look-out for seeming evidence that Jesus is God, will say just that - that Jesus' non-conformance here is well explained, falling within the purview of God's authority; ours, however, is to obey, pray, and pay.
This sounds to me like "snowballs in July, Doc," because we find John and Paul teaching in the spirit of Jesus.
Ancient "holy" books, all of them, are man-made, a mixture of "good and evil," originating from the mind of man, and, as such, will contain errors; but, the "Spirit of truth" will "judge all things," as Paul said in Corinthians, and will sort it out.
What Jesus did is what we all will yet do as we grow "into the fullness and stature of Christ" with "Christ being formed in us."
We will trust ourselves, our true selves, having accessed Universal Wisdom, allowing us, each of us in our mature state, to assert, "But I say to you..."
Editor's last word:
“assertion is not evidence”
In my travels, reviewing various articles and lectures by noted professors, I have at times come across the statement, “assertion is not evidence.” On its face, this objection is quite correct. People say all sorts of things, they can say whatever they want, but, when they do, “assertion,” of and by itself, “is not evidence.” You need something to back up your statements.
“Assertion is not evidence” – unless you’re an unscrupulous politician, who has no hope of winning on the merits of the case, and then you simply lie, make a big splash, you “shout at the jury,” as we used the phrase in the “Clear Thinking” article. In such cases, “assertion,” in the short run, can seem to become evidence, if you shout your lie loudly enough and claim grievous injury.
However, for most of us, attempting some semblance of civilized decorum for one’s life, and wishing to avoid the mandated introspection, “assertion is not evidence.”
What I mean to say is, the scientific method is not the only avenue by which we might access knowledge production. In fact, once our eyes begin to open, we will perceive an entire realm of knowledge unavailable to the five senses. Those of a materialistic persuasion, those who believe that the five senses stand as final word on what’s real, will not accept what I say here. I don’t blame them. I once was on their side. If that’s all you see, then there is nothing else for you. And there will never be anything else for you until a better level of awareness is gained. This is true on the other side of life, as well, where there are lots of people who still live as materialists.
Physicist Peter Russell once said that scientists need to become mystics in order to tap into higher levels of perception and consciousness. Yes, exactly. And when we do, we will see things that those of materialistic mindset can never see.
In that day, strangely, assertion will become evidence. Why? Because you will know what you know, and it doesn't matter if others can't see it - and therefore, Jesus words will apply to all those who “live in the spirit,” the purified consciousness. For these, ones born out of time, it is no brash hubris to state – “But I say to you…”