March 2, 2016 by Stephen Bentley
Eternal Truth – Part 1
Eternal truth is something many seek. I venture that eternal truth cannot be found in drugs, alcohol or any other trappings of this world. This is the first part of a series and it is a challenge to myself. At the outset permit me to say that I respect all views. Many of you know me and whether or not you share my Christian beliefs, we respect each other. That’s the way it should be.
The purpose of this series is NOT to ram my beliefs down anyone’s throat. I make no apologies for my beliefs nor should I have to apologize. The nearest I will come to an apology is to any of you that are learned theologians. I am not. You may disagree with my rewriting of the Gospel according to John. But to me, it is an interesting exercise and I intend no offense, nor do I believe that cause is given for offense.
It is interesting for two reasons and this is why I decided to tackle this project. One, it is quite a challenge in the writing sense. I have tried to modify the words but not the meaning of the Scriptures.
Two, as a Christian I am ashamed to say I do not read the Gospels often enough. This is one way in which I can remedy that.
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Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Those words are heard at so many Christian funeral services the world over.
My own father, dying of lung cancer and aware of his mortality, took great comfort from that verse. It seems fitting that I chose the Gospel according to John.
The writing was a challenge so please do not expect a part to be written and published every week. I will aim for a monthly schedule. If I fit in more than one in a calendar month – so be it.
You will observe at the beginning that John becomes Ray and Jesus is Cyrus. Merely, a literary device. Enjoy –
The Eternal Truth
The truth is forever the Truth. It was the truth in the beginning and it will be so in the end. The Word was there at the beginning and it was God’s Word. Everything was made through Him and without Him nothing was made. He was Light and shone in darkness and the darkness failed to understand.
Imagine in 2016 a man wandering around the streets of any big city proclaiming the above. Let’s call him Ray. He claimed that he was sent from God to foretell of the coming of a form of the Light. That form would be a man. This man would be God’s Light on our planet and through Him all would have the opportunity to believe. The dark forces would have him locked up in all probability.
Let’s say Ray was talking about a man called Cyrus. Ray would tell people who cared to listen that Cyrus was present in the world and the world was made through Him (Cyrus) but the world didn’t know that or even care. The world was busy making money; engrossed in Facebook or interested in so-called celebrity gossip. Even worse, so-called religious factions were engaged in killing and maiming people indiscriminately. Cyrus went to live among his own kind but their leaders rejected Him. But many people accepted Him and they believed in Him.
They had some trouble at first in accepting Him as they were so used to the old ways and the old laws. Soon, they understood and experienced the grace and truth of what Cyrus was all about. They wondered at the glory of it all as it was revealed to them. It was revealed because they opened their hearts, minds and souls. Ray made it clear that Cyrus was “The Man” and he was merely foretelling of the Truth and the Light. Ray went even further in controversially claiming that grace and truth only came through Cyrus because he was the Son of God. That upset many people especially the leaders who held the reins of power in society.
Ray’s voice was viewed by many as a voice in the wilderness. However, some were disturbed by Ray’s rantings. It was not surprising that those who were most disturbed were those who had much to lose. They tackled him head on about his speeches.
Ray did not deny any of what he foretold. He made it clear that he was not the Son of God. Unhappy at that answer, they asked him if he was Elijah. The interrogators revealed their hand when saying they needed an answer for those who had sent them. They asked, “What do you say about yourself” as they were puzzled as well as concerned. Ray said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness and paving a straight road all the way to the Lord.”
The more tenacious of the inquisitors asked why he, Ray, baptized people if he wasn’t the Christ, Elijah or the Prophet. Ray said, “I baptize with water only but a man comes after me and I am not fit to tie his shoe laces.” They knew about the baptisms in the local river in the municipal park. These leaders and their representatives all wore uniforms. They left and climbed into the limousines that were parked close to the park.
The next day Ray saw Cyrus walking toward him and cried out, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is the man I told you all about.” Ray explained that he had seen a vision and it was the Holy Spirit that commanded him to baptize with water in preparation for the coming of the Lord, the Son of God. He knew that it was the Lord because he now saw the same Holy Spirit both descend on and stay with this man, the Son of God, who stood there before the crowd. He said to the crowd, “This is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and not water. I can see and testify that He is the Son of God.”
The following day Ray was standing with two of his followers when they saw Cyrus. “Look, the Son of God,” said Ray to his disciples. The two followers began to walk after Cyrus who turned around and said, “What are you looking for?” They addressed Cyrus as “Teacher” and asked Him where He was staying. “Come, take a look,” replied Cyrus. They followed Him to a makeshift street shelter and spent many hours with him that day. Andrew was the name of one of the followers and he called his brother, Simon, on his cell phone and said, “Come on over here. We have found the Christ.”
When Simon arrived Cyrus spoke and said, “You’re Simon, Jonah’s son. You shall be known as the Rock.”
This happened on the Tuesday, so the following day Cyrus needed a change of scenery. A man named Philip was lurking in the background and Cyrus said, “Come with me. I’m going somewhere different.” Philip agreed but said, “Is it okay if I call someone first?” Cyrus nodded. Philip called his friend Nat and spoke excitedly, “Guess who I’m with? Cyrus from Nazareth, the son of Joseph, you know, the carpenter. The one all the prophecies bang on about.” Nat sardonically countered, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” “Come and find out.” Nat replied.
Cyrus saw Nat coming toward Him and greeted him. Nat in turn said to Him, “How do You know me?”
“Before Philip called you, when you were resting under the tree, I saw you.”
“Teacher, You are the Son of God! You are the Lord!”
“Just because I said, ‘I saw you under the tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.”
“I can tell you that one day you will see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”Follow Me On Social Media