This is just a simple dialogue I’ve written which chronicles a fire-side conversation between Jesus and an unnamed disciple. I use the narrative to explain my own personal views on spirituality. Whether you love it or hate it, read it all or stop after the first line, please tell me what you think!
As I sat down beside the Master, he gave me that friendly and welcoming expression he often gave to those who came asking. Just being there with him should have been enough; but I had doubts and I had questions, and I could not help but ask of him.
For a few long moments, we sat together in silence as he tended to the fire.
“And there are other worlds?” I asked, finally.
“Yes,” he said, looking up at me.
“And when we die, we may see these other worlds?”
“Yes,” he said again.
“And you came down to us, from these worlds?”
“Yes,” he said, a third time.
I was amazed. The Master often seemed to speak in riddles, especially when he was talking of things spiritual. Looking back, we were like children, and he spoke to us in the only way we could understand.
“Why now do you speak to me so plainly?”
“Because you ask plain questions,” he replied, with a friendly smile.
“I’m sorry Master,” I said, rising to leave. “I don’t want to trouble you any further.”
He smiled, and motioned gently for me to sit back down.
With such tenderness, the Master looked out upon the multitudes that surrounded our camp at Pella and said, “All men are pilgrims, and my brothers. Truly I say to you, each man must enter the Kingdom in his own way. Your path to peace with the Universal Father is through inquiry and wonder. Along the way, you will stumble; but you must follow your own path to its natural end, not the path of another. Then, and only then, will you enter fully into the Kingdom of God.”
Then I asked, “And entering into the Kingdom of God means entering into the family of God?”
“Indeed. I called man’s relationship with the Father a ‘kingdom’ because I wanted to continue John’s message, and because the Jewish people were looking forward to such a thing; but regardless of the words I used to describe that relationship, all who seek the Father will eventually come to understand Him in their own way.
In truth, had I the freedom, I would have called it ‘The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man’, for that is indeed what has come near; but the Jewish people would never accept such an idea. They desire earthly victory over their oppressors, not the spiritual things of my Father in Heaven. Even now, they seek to make of me a mighty king, sitting terrible upon a golden throne, with my arms outstretched in wrath against the enemies of Israel. But I am a friend and servant of man, and not his ruler.”
“But these Jews, they will be saved as well?”
The Master smiled and said, “Yes, my friend. All men will be saved, in time.”
I was amazed by this statement.
“But what of the scriptures?” I asked. “They speak of God’s law, his wrath and his jealous nature. The Jewish leaders say that anyone who does not follow their religion cannot know God.”
“The Hebrew prophets and the Jewish scribes of old wrote according to the light of the times in which they lived. They were wrong about a great many things, but they were less wrong than the other nations; that is why I came to them. Still, the Jewish leaders of today are blind in their hearts, and they cannot see me for who I truly am. But as for you, you must walk your own path.
The religious leaders, and those who follow them, are small minded people; they only love those who are like themselves. All others they hate and fear, including me, because I am not like them. They like to say ‘this man is my brother, but that man is not’; but I would say that all men who have ever lived, and shall ever live, are your brothers, no matter who they are or what they have done. Truly, you shall be judged on how you have treated even the least of these men.
Regarding God’s nature; jealousy, anger and wrath are mere human emotions that stem from man’s material limitations. It is impossible for material man to understand God without first applying qualities to him that they can comprehend. The first idols were of wood and stone, but the last idols are idols of the mind.
Human emotions, ideals and conceptions do not apply to the Father. The same could even be said of the concept of love, but I speak of ‘the Father’s love’ because the word ‘love’ is the closest human speech can come to describing the limitless affection that your Father feels for all living things.
Truly I say to you, the Father’s love is beyond all description; it’s unconditional in its patience, powerful in its conviction, strong enough to bind the vast universe together and tender enough to mend any broken heart. You are never beyond it and you can never be without it.
When children are still young, their father must guide them carefully, or else they might fail to mature into healthy adults. The father does this only out of love for his children; but because the children are immature and lacking in foresight, they cannot see beyond their father’s reproach. But soon, when they pass beyond the realm of childish things, then will they come to understand the good things their father has done for them, and who he truly is.
And so it is with my Father, who is always working. His plan for you, and for everyone, is to be refined within the fires of adversity, suffering, doubt and the temptations of the material world. The Father does not reprove men by means of a law, but his love convicts the very heart and soul of a man. When mankind is finally able to put aside the crude selfishness of material existence and seek the higher spiritual ideals of my Father in Heaven, they will come to understand why He began their lives here, on this world.”
“And this is the reason for creation?”
“God is a Father who wanted children of his own; children that he could love, and that could love him in return. He wanted to love them, watch them grow, and give them an inheritance.”
“And what is this inheritance?”
“Words cannot express,” he said simply, before closing his eyes for a moment. Suddenly he looked weary, and filled with longing.
After a moment, the Master placed his trembling hand on my shoulder and said, “To love someone, not because of anything they have done; but simply to love them, just because of who they are; that is the rarest thing in all creation. Such love holds this vast, vast universe together.”
“If only men could understand. If only the veil could be lifted and men could somehow see. Then they would rather give their own lives than bring harm to another; they would give their last bite of food to an enemy rather than keep it for themselves. My time spent on this world can be summed up with the phrase, ‘if only’.”
Men followed the Master, spent their days with him, but no man truly knew him; his unique nature set him apart. His Father was always with him, but he had no earthly peer, and I could see that he was truly lonely. Despite his exalted nature, he was profoundly human. How much I loved him in that moment of vulnerability! In that moment, he wasn’t Christ, nor was he a King, God’s Son or the Logos, he was simply a man whose heart was breaking.
He was the fullness of divine expression, wearing a meek human form. Every word he spoke was majestic, and those words filled all who heard them with love and wonder of the divine. He could tell a simple story to a group of strangers resting for a moment by a roadside fire, and in the telling, reveal the mysterious and limitless Kingdom of God to everyone present, regardless of their previous level of understanding. His every breath, his every thought and his every action were performed solely to show men the true love of their Father in Heaven.
But his time was coming, and even now, the others only spoke to him when they wanted something; even I was guilty of this.
I spent the remainder of the evening there with him, sitting in peaceful silence; and that silence taught me more about him than any answer to any question I could have ever asked.