Sunday, August 24, 2014

Matthew 14

Jesus practiced a solitary form of prayer, alone on a mountain or in
the wilderness, fasting, and speaking to the universal Dad. His prayer
or meditation put him in an altered state (I think). Maybe he learned
this from John the Baptist, or maybe he learned it independently of
the baptizer, but they both seemed to practice a kind of mysticism
that used fasting and prayer to contact another reality, or another
perspective, another reference point, and maybe today people like this
are put under psychiatric care and medicated back to the norm. This is
why many said they were demon-possessed (psychotic) and others said
they were prophets.
When Jesus went into the wilderness after being baptized and initiated
into John's movement, he didn't talk to God, he talked to Satan and
the various traps he encounters could be the various pitfalls faced by
all the Jews of his generation, repeating the mistakes of the
Israelites in the wilderness, or creating a imitation empire, or
self-destructing by "tempting God." I haven't worked out this idea
yet. Maybe the temptations also correspond to roles he is expected to
play, as miracle worker, or as king of an empire, or as dead messiah?
Jesus didn't become a leader until John was put in prison. His style
is very different. The crowds don't go to him at first. He goes to the
people of Galilee, visiting different towns, and gets accepted or
rejected. He has a new revolutionary message and it is said he works
miracles. When John is killed Jesus seeks solitude, to be "apart." But
the crowds follow him, because John the Baptist is dead and Jesus is
IT, but many say Jesus is the reincarnation of John, who may have been
the reincarnation of Elijah. His compassion overrides his need for
privacy and he declares the spontaneous gathering a free festival. His
disciples are against this and claim there isn't enough food for
everybody, but Jesus officiates, like a priest, or a god, and there is
a surplus left over. After the crowds leave, Jesus gets his time alone
and the disciples get in a boat and get caught in a storm. When they
see him coming, and they are miles from shore, they think he is a
ghost. Jesus gives the classic "Fear not" of a Buddha and Peter tests
him, tempts him, but falls into his own fears. Now they think he is
Son of God. They have been travelling all over Galilee with him, but
he has become uncanny to them.
The earlier miracles were for individuals, people who were sick and
isolated. The feeding of the multitude met the ordinary collective
need for daily bread and could be read as a parable of the redistribution
of wealth, or as an expectation the masses had for their messiah.


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