Using material from "Love Without End, Jesus Speaks" by Glenda Green
In 2008, I delivered the following talk at Unity Church of Little Rock.
As part of his “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5: 3-10, Jesus gave us suggestions for behavior (ways to “be”) which will make us happy, and bring us closer to the Kingdom. In the KJV, each beatitude begins with “Blessed are…”. Some modern translations use “Happy are…” instead. Although there is much wisdom in these verses, many people, myself included, have felt that some parts are confusing, and we could use some additional guidance.
Glenda Green painted a portrait of Jeshua (pronounced "yeshua") called The Lamb and the Lion. (The Romans changed his name to “Jesus”.) She claims that Jesus actually came in the flesh and sat for his portrait! During these sittings, Glenda and Jesus had extensive dialogues in which she asked many of the same questions each of us might ask. Jesus’ answers were profound! You may choose not to believe this, but I hope that, just for today, you will keep an open mind to the possibility that Jesus has used a young artist to deliver a message for today’s men and women. At first, Glenda took notes after each painting session, for her own use only. Imagine her surprise when Jesus asked her to combine these notes into a book! An entire chapter, The Blessed Life, is devoted to explaining the beatitudes. First the KJV:
1. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
How can being poor give one the kingdom of heaven? In Aramaic the word ‘poor’ had several meanings. One that is not used in today’s English is ‘simple’. That’s the one Jesus meant here. So we read Blessed are the simple in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Quoted passages are taken directly from the book.) “If you surround your sacred experiences with endless requirements sanctioned by man, then basically what you have done is to shut the doors of Heaven. Keep it simple. Love and simplicity are the only requirements of a fulfilled spiritual life.”
2. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
What might we mourn? (loss of life, or anything else) “In Aramaic the word ‘mourning’ could mean sorrow, grief, pain, or regret. Most of these meanings have negative connotations and suggest a clinging to loss. However, there is an even more important meaning that could be expressed only in a context which focused upon the value of mourning. I was referring to the act of purging and releasing.” First we experience the pain of our loss, but then we must let go in order to heal. “Grieving is clinging to that which has been lost — mourning is the act of letting go.” “there are two parts of love — attaching and letting go.” Attaching is the easy part, letting go is harder. But when we release and say good-bye to that which no longer serves, we receive a great blessing! Blessed are they that let go for they shall be comforted.
3. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Does this seem backward to you? “The word for meek had several meanings in Aramaic. It could mean humble, poor, subservient, or self-effacing. Yet none of those is what I meant. The closest word in the English language for what I intended is moderation. This is the way is should read. ‘Blessed are those who live in moderation for they shall inherit the earth.’ Moderation is the economy of God, and the economy of blessing!” “What a man requires is governed by what he can love!” Use what you need, but don’t hoard out of fear of lack. “Sharing will become a joy as you learn that everything you share will become the basis of your own receiving.”
4. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
What is righteousness? “Righteousness is you being the love that you are. It means that you are right with yourself, right with our Father, and right with the one spirit. Simply be the love that your are. That is discovered and developed through a right relationship with the heart.”
“The heart is a powerful magnet which generates life energy for the body and soul and draws to you all the needs and requirements of your life. Within the Sacred Chamber of the heart you will feel the presence of your Creator and be anointed with His righteousness. From these holy communions, higher principles of intelligence will be revealed to you, and through them rightness will come to your life.”
5. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Or “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” What was meant by being merciful? Forgiveness! In forgiving, we are forgiven. “Practice forgiveness every day. It liberates the soul from bondage, and beyond that, forgiveness is an action which your mind can never understand. Your mind’s sole intent is to balance the books. In issues of morality it only wants to get even. Instead, we should be governed by the heart! Therefore, practice forgiveness, if only in trivial matters. This is an excellent way of tempering the mind and empowering the heart. The greater reason for practicing forgiveness is that whenever you are merciful, you grow. As you grow, you become more blessed, and the very things that might harm you or cause you resistance will be given no power. Mercy is the flower of growth. Those who are restrained in mercy will have limited influence in life.” Blessed are the forgiving, for they shall be forgiven.
6. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
How can we be pure of heart? “In the sacred center of your heart the Father knows you to be nothing less than perfect. The Father knows nothing of sin, which is why the very act of sin separates you from your Father. In the purity of your heart you are one with the Father. Until you see yourself as pure, perfect, and innocent, you will not enter the Sacred Chamber of the heart. As long as you try to carry all of your unworthiness and mistakes in with you, you will stay on the threshold of your heart and not enter. My apostles were constantly asking me how to pray, seeking for words and formulas. my reply was always that being in the heart is prayer. Finally I gave them a prayer which would unlock the heart’s door. Praying my prayer, anyone can be restored to his purity and innocence. It is an invocation to the heart. Therefore, when you say the words be sure and linger for a while in silence, peace, and innocence. In the sacred chamber you are one with the Father, and in that oneness your Source knows everything you need, and beholds no imperfection. When you enter the sacred heart, you are restored in your life and you are made whole again. How can this happen to you, and the face of God not be revealed?”
What should we practice in order to receive this blessing? “Through innocent perception, you may also perceive the presence of God in all of existence. This is purity of perception. Through practicing this, you can be at peace with your life and see the beauty of what is before you. Everything was created in innocence. Behold this, if you would see the face of God. It is not the mind’s province to create reality, but rather to observe, integrate, understand, and implement reality. It is the province of the heart to accept reality. The pure heart will accept unconditionally. Although the mind strives to understand, it will invent what it cannot understand — or worse still, it will judge. This is a dangerous phenomenon, for the mind will invent realities that lead you away from who you are and the true purposes of your life. When you surrender to the fact that existence does not require invention—that it simply is—you will be on the threshold of actually looking into the face of God.”
7. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
What is meant by making peace? “There are many ways to make peace in life. A person does not have to be a diplomat, negotiator, counselor, or minister. Nor is that blessing confined to the settling of arguments and disputes. Its power comes from the grace of ending duality. You will be blessed with wholeness as you end duality and rise above the concept that life must be viewed as a conflict between polar opposites. The critical recognition which humankind most needs to make at this time is that a dualistic approach to living is no longer useful. Our oneness of spirit needs to be recognized and implemented through acceptance.”
“The core of man’s duality is that he sets up problems for himself and then uses those same problems to declare, ‘How brilliant, we figured it out.’ When man creates a problem in the first place, he should be able to figure it out! What would be better to ask is, ‘did we really need the problem?’”
8. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Do we have to be persecuted? “There is a great lesson involved in this blessing, not just for heaven but also for Earth. It is the most difficult lesson anyone will ever master, yet in learning it, a person rises above the tyranny of hardship and experiences true liberation. This is why it is the last blessing.”
“The power of this blessing resides in the fact that our Father is the Creator of all things, whose presence is with all things and in all things. There is no place where God is not. There is no experience in which God is not. A man who has known God only in a state of well-being has just known the smallest portion of his Creator. A man who must place conditions on God in order to receive Him, cannot receive Him. One who can know God exclusively in the blissful and abundant experiences has no power over the rest of life. What is the kingdom of Heaven except the wholeness of everything? How can you have everything when you are only willing to know part of God? This was the lesson presented in the Book of Job, although not many people comprehend its true meaning.”
“God was removing Job’s limited attachments and dependencies in order to prepare him for having everything. In wealth and comfort, Job had only part of God. Job was content with his “bubble” and was not looking for an expanded relationship with his Creator. As his problems began, he first tried prayers for redemption and confessions of sin in hopes that God would forgive whatever trespasses he might have committed. Nevertheless, the problems only became worse. Then he pursued understanding in hopes that there possibly could be a lesson in all the hardships. Still the problems became worse. He counseled with his friends, yet nothing changed. Finally, in utter dejection, Job surrendered to the omnipotence, beauty, and vastness of the universe. He began to behold in awe and wonder the majesty of everything that is. Through those sublime realizations, he came to accept the love of God in all things. As he stopped his judgments, the dreadful conditions ended. Then, miraculously, the moment he accepted everything, everything was given to him!”
“In the English language, persecution implies an intentional harassment or punishment. In Aramaic, it typically meant ‘suffering’. It is through challenge and the survival of suffering that a person grows beyond his protective bubble to experience the love of God in a greater way.” Blessed are they who suffer for righteousness’ sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“There is a second meaning to this beatitude which relates to the vanishing of illusion. To attain this additional blessing, you must realize that ‘for righteousness sake’ means ‘for love’s sake.’ Whenever you stand firmly in the midst of a hardship, holding and expressing the love that you are, you will witness illusions falling away. Through being the love that your are, you are empowered to transcend your sufferings.”
“Love your enemies, if you would convince yourself that love is a power that comes from within. Only in the presence of your enemy can you really discover that truth. Only when you love beyond all of the external conditions which logically tell you not to do so, can you discover the deeper wellspring of love that you are.” Blessed are they who are challenged for love’s sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
In summary, do we have to follow these suggestions? No, but if we do, they provide a blueprint for our happiness.
Glenda Green has written other books, and has revised Love Without End, Jesus Speaks. I highly recommend this book! She remains active in the self-improvement movement. Her website is http://www.lovewithoutend.com/Glenda_Green.htm
A T BELL
(Bloch-SermonOnTheMount, image from Wikimedia)