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Enjoy CC Insights for citations on “God” (the Christian Science Bible Lesson for January 7, 2018

Warren Huff (with insights from Cobbey Crisler)
Posted Sunday, December 31st, 2017

Here are Cobbey Crisler insights on some citations for
“God"
(the Christian Science Bible Lesson for January 7, 2018)

We wish you and yours your happiest New Year yet!
--one that is Love-filled and Christ-centered!
Warren Huff, on behalf of CedarS whole team

Warren’s (W's) PS#1--Cobbey Crisler insights on Ps 46:10 (B5) “Be still and know...” “Psalm 46, Verse 10. One of the simplest prescriptions for the human mind to take and one of the most difficult. The human mind resists to the hilt taking this one. “Be still and know that I [am] God.” The racket of thought quieted. It’s a very strong word, “Be still.” Jesus used those words to calm violence in nature [Mark 4:39], and also to cast out an unclean spirit [Mark 1:25]. It doesn’t belong in nature or human nature. Certainly it’s not part of the divine nature. So, “Be still” is [a] very emphatic verbal rebuke.”
Leaves of the Tree: Prescriptions from Psalms, by B. Cobbey Crisler**

W’s PS#3—Cobbey Crisler insights on John 3:1-7 (B9) “you must be born from above
“John 3:1 begins with an introduction to "Nicodemus." Nicodemus was a rather cautious man that ran around back alleys after twilight. He didn't want to be seen by his day time friends. …

“John 3:2, "He comes to Jesus by night.” He's in a rather awkward position because he is a member of the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of Jews, that later convicts Jesus. If what he says is accurate, it is an unfortunate commentary on the motives that led to the crucifixion of Jesus. If he is really speaking for the Sanhedrin when he says, "We know that thou art a teacher came from God,” then that is a tremendous commitment. If we know that you are a teacher come from God, where is the evidence? What evidence do they use as proof? Such semeia, or signs, or significant results, can’t happen unless God is with you.

“John 3:3, “Jesus makes this comment, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” You know how popular that particular verse has become in our century. Yet it’s based on a misapprehension of the original word. We really don’t find John here using the Greek word “anothen” here in the sense of “again”. It can suggest the idea of “again.” But John uses it more in these terms, “from above."
"Anothen” means "from above." Now look at that statement that Jesus is making, "Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom, or dominion, of God." This is a theological breakthrough that’s incalculable. You can’t see the kingdom, which, by the way, he told us was not only within, but here, right here. It wasn't a future far off thing. "But to see it one must be born from above.” This is a definition of nativity which sounds totally impractical for us as human beings, and yet it's apparently something that Jesus based his whole theology upon. And he got the results from the concept that man is born from above…
“A nativity higher, is that practical?

“John 3:4. Nicodemus wonders about that himself. He even goes to the extreme of saying, "How do you do that? Do you climb back into your mother’s womb, and get born all over again?” This is obviously a negatively impossible event, so Nicodemus is somewhat laughing up his sleeve.
“John 3:5. Then Jesus says, "Except a man be born of water, which was the usual way by which children were born in the presence of water, "and of the Spirit, · he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." The normal, natural biological birth is not going to do anything. In order to enter the kingdom or dominion of God, something about nativity has to be understood. A nativity that is higher and not tied into biology. Why?

“Because of John 3:6 one of the most practical statements ever made in the Bible, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh.” And it's not going to rise any higher than its source. Should we be doing something about recognizing origin in Spirit? Is this what is behind the meaning, again, logos? Get to the meaning. Nativity in Spirit. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh.” It's never going to go anywhere else. That's pretty clear cut.
“We've got to get out of that concept of flesh. Again, is this really practical theology? Or is it, again, pie in the sky? If we have any concept of arising at some spiritual goal, then we've got to start as if we originated there…

“How practical this is, "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man already there." Never moved. That claim, then, of heavenly nativity. It has to have something that is of major importance, John including it, and giving it so much space.”
John, the Beloved Disciple, by B. Cobbey Crisler**

W’s PS#3--Cobbey Crisler insights on John 5:2-9, 17-20 (B11):
“John 5:2 We’re now at the famous incident at the “Pool of Bethesda”. Near what serves as an occasional sheep market today, there is still a pool that has been excavated, that has archeological remnants that suggest the five porches. There is apparently, if this is the correct location of the pools, a structure that had two pools, each with two porches. Down the middle was a fifth porch with pools on either side. It may have been the ancient equivalent of a hospital.

John 5:4 There’s some indication that it might have at some point in its history a spot that might have been associated with Aesculapius, the pagan founder of medicine, and that this superstition may have gotten to the point “that those who stepped into the pool when the water was troubled would be instantly healed.”

John 5:3 At least “an awful lot of people were waiting around for that event,” so the news must have spread that this occurred.

John 5:5 Here we run into a man that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. “He’d been there for thirty-eight years.” I’m sure that many of us would feel for him. We all have been sitting around our own pool of Bethesda waiting for something to happen, something miraculous, something fateful. We have all waited for something unexpected from the outside to lift us out of a condition that we haven’t made too much of an effort to do anything about.
There was an environment there that did not help the problem. As a matter of fact, here’s how Professor Dodd describes it. I like this:
‘There is another story about a man who had given way to a chronic disability, and for years had nursed a grievance which excused him from doing anything about it.’

John 5:7. “Someone else always gets in before me.” If that sounds like a familiar excuse, then Bethesda isn’t so far back in history. So he translates Jesus’ statements this way. Do you want to recover? That pinpoints it, doesn’t it? Do you see how that translation exhibits Jesus dealing with the thought of the patient? Where must it happen?
If communication from God to man must work, where must we work? In the thought of the receiver. Do we want to recover? That almost sounds silly to people who have been in a longtime condition, but it may very well be the core of the issue. Do we really want to be healed? Or have we become so settled into our condition that for thirty eight years, we just sit there with our friends and talk about our operations? Misery loving company is a quality that attaches itself to human nature.

John 5: 6. Here’s how Dodd again translates Jesus’ question and then his demand on the patient. “Do you want to recover?”
John 5:8, “Then, pick up your bed and walk.” Jesus wasn’t about to volunteer to pick up his bed for him.

That says a lot. How else do we know Jesus, but to study his thoughts, his words, his methods, his messages, his intent, the logos, not but the word, but the thought behind it? What is required for the healing of a paralytic condition that has lasted practically a generation? It’s the very thing that he thought he couldn’t do, to pick up his bed and walk. Do you want to be healed? ‘Let there be light!’ (Genesis 1:3) That’s permission. Let it in.
John 5:9, “Immediately the man was made whole.” We don’t have any sense that there was a convalescence period. “He took up his bed and walked.”

Jesus responds to the debate on the Sabbath with a brilliant exegesis of the seven days of creation.
In John 5:17, “Jesus said, You’re stopping me for healing on the Sabbath day. But my reading of the Scripture is this, My Father worketh hitherto and I work.” If the original works, what can the image or reflection do?

Notice also John 5:19 is Jesus’ famous statement, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do.” Taking this apart, it really gives you what man’s role is. What is it? It’s reflection. It’s image.
Man is not original in what he does. What he does stems from the original which is God. Then it reflects originality. Otherwise there would be competition for the job of Creator. Under monotheism there is no possibility for such competition (“For what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”)
He took the Son of Man through every problem that the world could hurl at him and proved that even the Son of Man can be victorious and not a creature of circumstances when the understanding of his true nature as the Son of God can be applied.
Our understanding of the Son of Man and the Son of God, and the difference, might be heightened by realizing that the Christ comes to the Son of Man. The Christ doesn’t come to the Son of God because the Christ really presents the Son of God.
We’re on the human side of things, who feel the foot of domination on our necks from outside circumstances. Is that where the Son of Man belongs? Notice the argument of Bildad in the book of Job… It uses the very same phrase that Jesus does, elevating him way above the outlines of fleshly domination. So, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do.” Why?

John 5:20, “The Father loves the Son.”
John 5:30. The same point is repeated, “I can of mine own self do nothing.” Is this false humility or is Jesus actually giving us the facts straight out? What is the secret and source of everything he thought or did? What is the obstacle then between us and following Jesus? There’s something in there. Some kind of different concept of our selfhood than what he had. His was so transparent that there was nothing obstructing his at-one-ment with God, even on earth. His summons to us is to follow his example and shows his own expectation that we’re equipped to do it. So, we’re equipped to receive and to act on the instructions given us via communication. All we need to do is tune in.
We’re coming to understand Jesus’ view of himself, and where he thinks this authority originates, “The Son of Man can do nothing of himself. (John 5:19)

John, the Beloved Disciple, by B. Cobbey Crisler**

**You can buy your own transcripts [IN FULL!!] to most of Cobbey’s 28 inspiring Bible talks at a new website: www.crislerlibrary.co.uk Please email your order or inquiry to office@crislerlibrary.co.uk, or directly to Janet Crisler, at janetcrisler7@gmail.com

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