"Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you ..." (Luke 6:22)

"Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the son of man." (Luke 6:22)
Jesus is continuing this direct discussion with his disciples. How do we know Jesus was directing this discussion at his disciples? This discussion begins with the following description:
Looking at his disciples, he said: (Luke 6:20)
We can also see that Jesus is speaking directly to his disciples here because Jesus is speaking of people insulting them, excluding them and rejecting them because they are following Jesus. This by necessity separates those who may be hearing Jesus for the first time or otherwise hearing him without commitment.

Why did so many hate Jesus and his followers?

We can also understand by Jesus' statement that he was a controversial teacher and was hated by many. Even though he was able to speak in synagogues and temple courtyards, the ecclesiastical organized Jewish teachers and their followers were deeply critical of Jesus, his teachings, and his followers.

Why is this? Why would people reject such an exalted teacher as Jesus? Why, even when they were in the presence of the greatest pure lover of the Supreme Being, would they not realize he was speaking the truth? What kind of person would reject Jesus and his followers?

To understand the answer to this question we must first understand who we are and why we are here. To simply assume that all those people living in Judea - many of whom were direct descendants of David and even Moses - were just blind is too simplistic.

Why does someone reject God's messenger?

There is a clear reason why someone would be so insulting and offensive to God's messenger and his followers:

We are in this physical world because at some point each of us rejected the Supreme Being and wanted to be away from Him. We might be compared to a son who turns 18 and rebels against his parents and runs away from home.

One of the more critical issues in this rejection, however, is that we rejected our Best Friend not just because we felt rebellious. We rejected Him because we became envious of His position as God. We saw Him receiving all the attention of others, and enjoying all the perks of being the Supreme Being. We wanted those things. We became jealous.

This state of jealousy is symbolized in the story of Adam and Eve, as the serpent described the "forbidden fruit":
"For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:1-5)
Since Adam and Eve ate the fruit, we know they wanted to "be like God." This desire to "be like God" when we are obviously not God is quite clearly envy - jealousy.

This consciousness - enviousness - creates some very heavy negativity against the person we are envious of. Consider what can happen in a relationship between two childhood friends. One of them gets some recognition for something, and the other gets jealous. This jealousy spawns all sorts of negativity between the former friends, and their relationship spirals downward into negativity.

Once this envious consciousness came upon us, we immediately lost our position in the spiritual realm. We could no longer 'fit in' with the consciousness of the spiritual realm - which is based upon loving, selfless relationships between the Supreme Being and His children. Once we became jealous, we were forced to leave the spiritual realm.

This is symbolized by the Supreme Being's tossing Adam out of the Garden of Eden:
So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23)
Where did the Supreme Being banish us to? The physical world. We were forced to take on physical bodies:
The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21)

What are 'garments of skin'?

Consider this carefully: What are "garments of skin"? Many ecclesiastical interpreters have assumed these are animal skins. As though the Supreme Being went out and killed a couple of animals in the Garden of Eden and skinned them, and put them on Adam and Eve. That is a preposterous thought.

But we must also include the understanding that God was banishing them virtually at the same time He was giving them "garments of skin."

As discussed with these verses, the word "garments" is translated from the Hebrew word כתנת (kĕthoneth), used to describe a tunic or under-garment - worn underneath the clothes. And "of skin" is translated from the Hebrew word עור (`owr) which means, foremost, human skin; the skin of the gums; and more appropriately, the physical body; according to the Hebrew Lexicon. While it can also mean the skin of animals, this usage is not typical.

Thus we can clearly see that the statement "garments of skin" originally indicated the physical body is a covering over the spiritual person - symbolized by Adam and Eve.

And since it is clear that the story of Eden is a symbolic story describing how each of us fell from the spiritual realm to the physical world, we can understand that being covered by these physical bodies landed us squarely in the physical realm.

Once in the physical realm, our spiritual selves and our connection with the Supreme Being becomes completely obscured. This is arranged by the illusory nature of the physical dimension. Why?

Because this is what we wanted and the Supreme Being graciously arranged it for us. We wanted to "be like God." We wanted to enjoy separately from God. We wanted to have others praise us. We wanted to have others serve us. We wanted to be famous, have lots of things, and in general, be king of all we survey.

And this physical world gives us these illusions. Here we get to pretend that we are the most important person and that everything revolves around us. We can develop our own little niche and think we are better than everyone else. We can use our bodies to procreate offspring and pretend that we are creators and our children belong to us. We can get really skilled at something - like a sport or acting - and receive the acclaim of others. Or we can think up some new-fangled approach to something and become a "guru" to others.

One way or another, this physical world allows us to play out our fantasies of pretending we are the center of the universe - "god-like."

But we are in reality each minuscule beings in comparison with God. We can never really become God. We can only pretend - in our own minds - that we are the center of the universe.

And the physical world is arranged to give us this illusion. It might be compared to a video game. We can sit down at a computer and start to play a video game, taking on the video game character (an "icon"). The game and its imagery give us the illusion of its imagery and allow our computer icon to do all sorts of awesome tricks. Maybe it's beating a bunch of people up or shooting down a whole bunch of people or just driving really fast without an accident.

This illusion all starts with taking on the "icon," and beginning to identify with it. The person playing the video game must assume that icon identity in the game. Once he assumes the identity and begins to identify with it, it is this self-identification that stimulates the illusion. Of course, video game software isn't as good as the illusory reality the Supreme Being uses to create the illusions of the physical world: a person playing a video game will still know he isn't really the icon.

The Supreme Being set up the physical world to give us complete immersion. We completely forget our real selves as we identify with these temporary physical bodies ("icons"). This allows us to completely forget the Supreme Being and our eternal relationship with Him as His servitor.

Why would we want to forget God?

Because we don't want to serve. We want to be served. This desire required us to leave the Supreme Being because the Supreme Being wants to exchange relationships of loving service. And because real love requires freedom, we are each given the choice of whether we want to love Him or not.

Now as for those who were rejecting Jesus and his followers - as well as most of us here in the present day who reject those who are teaching the truth - we can now understand why a person wants to reject God's messenger who is bringing us the truth:

Because we don't want to hear the truth. The truth will shatter our illusion that we are the center of the universe. The truth that Jesus was teaching was that in order to be happy we have to learn to love and serve the Supreme Being with all our heart and soul. This is the polar opposite of what most of us in the physical world wants:

We want others to love us with all their heart and soul.

Do you see the conflict here? This is also why so many ecclesiastical institutions and their teachers have rejected or ignored the real teachings of Jesus. Because each was seeking their own positions of glory within their institution - to be "guru" and have many followers, and be liked and appreciated by others. They don't want to be anyone's servant. They don't want to do someone else's will. They want others to do their will. And their followers use their teachings to seek their own followers.

Here is what Jesus says about these so-called followers and teachers:
“Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21)
Notice that the delineation is set with the word "only" here: "only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” This means that only those who see themselves as God's servants will enter the spiritual realm (kingdom of heaven).

Jesus followed this up by saying:
“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?" Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" (Matt. 7:22-23)
This is pretty heavy: "Evildoers!" Why are those who prophesy in Jesus' name and drive out demons and perform miracles in Jesus' name "evildoers"? Because, as stated clearly in the statement before, they do not see themselves as servants of God - doing "the will of my Father who is in heaven." They are doing their own will. They are wanting to maintain their self-imagined position as the center of the universe, and gain the appreciation and the praise of others. Their purpose is not to please God. Their purpose is to please themselves.

And this is why those people outside of Jesus' students were rejecting Jesus' followers. Because they could not accept what Jesus really taught. The Pharisees and Jewish teachers could not accept Jesus' teachings. Jesus' teachings tore at the very fabric of their self-centered lives, and their governance of their followers. They were thus envious of Jesus and his success, and they poisoned others against Jesus.

They were thinking they were so smart - feeling themselves the center of the universe - that they could make judgment upon God's beloved servant Jesus, who claimed only to be God's servant and the servant of humanity.

Yes, the correct translation of υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου - incorrectly translated here to "son of man" - is actually better translated to "servant of humanity". This is because the word υἱὸς only refers to being a physical son "in a restricted sense" according to the lexicon. It is also "used to describe one who depends on another or is his follower. 1) a pupil" according to the lexicon. And because ἀνθρώπου can mean "man," "mankind," or "humanity", this leaves the most appropriate translation, "servant of humanity."

This is consistent with Jesus' teachings, as he said:
"Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - just as the son of man (servant of humanity) did not come to be served, but to serve..." (Matt. 20:25-28)
And how did Jesus serve them? With his teachings. And what was his most important teaching?
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)