V


The New Doctrine

Whoever hears my words and acts upon them is wise, and builds on a foundation made of stone.

The rains descend, and the floods rise. Hurricane winds beat against the house, yet it stands strong: for it is built on solid rock.

But whoever hears my life-giving words and rejects them chooses to build on a foundation of sand. The rains descend, and the floods rise. Hurricane winds beat against the house, and the foundation crumbles. The house collapses, and great is its fall.

Once, there were two men who went into the temple to pray. One was a proud, self-righteous man, while the other was a miserable tax collector well known for his dishonesty. The proud man prayed: "Thank God I am not a sinner like other people, especially that cheating tax collector I see here today. I never cheat, nor do I commit adultery. I fast twice a week, and I give the temple a tenth of all that I earn."

The tax collector remained in the back of the temple, and dared not lift his eyes toward heaven. He prayed sorrowfully: "God, please be merciful to me. I am unworthy and have fallen short of what you ask."

I tell you now that the tax collector who recognized his need for God's mercy returned to his house lighthearted, free from anxiety, and forgiven. Those who, in their pride, exalt themselves will be humbled, while those who humble themselves will rise above the cares of this world to a place of blessing and honor.

Let the little children come to me, and do not refuse them. The kingdom of God belongs to hearts so trusting; for without a childlike faith, you will never enter the kingdom.

My doctrine is not my own, but his who has sent me. If you choose to do my Father's will, you will quickly discover whether or not my teaching comes from God.

The world worships blindly. At least as Jews we know what we worship, and that the world's salvation is born from among us. Believe me: the time is coming, and has already come, when those who would worship God will cease from their constant searching. No longer will people search for the dwelling place of God, announcing: "Here it is! This is where we should pray."

No, true believers will worship God in spirit and truth, and God the Father will seek out those who approach him offering the sacrifice of worship and praise. If you keep silent your praise, the very stones at your feet will cry out.

Perhaps you have read that when King David and his soldiers were hungry, they entered the temple and ate from the holy bread normally reserved for the priests. This was an act clearly forbidden by the religious laws. And yet, if you were an observer of the Hebrew laws, you would know that on the Sabbath days the priests that work in the temple desecrate the Sabbath by their labor, yet are counted blameless.

Are there not more important things than the laws of the temple? Understand then, the meaning of the scripture, "I prefer mercy to sacrifice. By so doing, you will cease from your condemnation of the guiltless. The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.

Suppose an animal in your care fell into a ditch on the Sabbath, would not you make every effort to free it? Is not your life equally valuable? You think nothing of spending the Sabbath observing the ceremony of religion or practicing long liturgies, how is it then that you criticize me for healing on the Lord's day? When will you stop judging by outward appearances and begin to make right your judgments? The Sabbath was created for you. You were not created for the Sabbath.

I have come into this world that the blind might see, and they that boast of their vision might become aware of the blindness that has befallen them.




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