Jesus responds to Pharisee demands
Jesus is replying to some Pharisees as he was walking down the path from the Mount of Olives towards Jerusalem. Here is the verse explaining what they said to him:
Once he neared the descent of the Mount of Olives, an entire crowd of disciples began glorifying God joyfully with loud voices – being touched by all the power they had been shown. They chanted, “Blessed is the spiritual leader who appears in the Name of the LORD! Peace through heaven and praises to the Most High!” (Luke 19:37-38)We can see from the Pharisees' response to Jesus' disciples, that they were envious that Jesus was being glorified, and of Jesus' position with respect to the Supreme Being. They were, in fact, chanting that Jesus appeared as God's representative, and glorifying God at the same time.
This is the effect of someone who comes or appears "in the Name of the LORD."
Coming in the Name of the Lord
Appearing or coming in the name of someone else has two simultaneous indications. The first relates to representation. The second relates to a relationship. Someone who comes or appears in the Name of the LORD is not only representing God, but has a loving relationship with Him. For this reason, such a person will be teaching love for God and glorifying the Supreme Being.
These two are related, because glorifying the Supreme Being awakens our innate love for God.
In reality, this is the sum and substance of Jesus' appearance. He came as God's messenger:
"My teaching is not mine, but comes from He who sent me." (John 7:16)Someone who delivers the teachings of someone else is certainly coming in the name of that person. This is why the Greek word ὄνομα (onoma) also means, according to Thayer's lexicon:
"By a usage chiefly Hebralstic the name is used for everything which the name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which is roused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembers the name...."and
"To do a thing by one's command and authority, acting on his behalf, promoting his cause."So we find that with this Greek word ὄνομα (onoma) it is being simultaneously conveyed that Jesus is representing God and glorifying the Holy Name of the Supreme Being.
This aspect of Jesus' mission as glorifying the Supreme Being is overwhelmingly overlooked by sectarian institutions who seek to identify Jesus as the Supreme Being for the purpose of gaining their own authority.
Yet Jesus himself condemned this interpretation:
"Not everyone who says to me, ‘master, master,’ shall enter into the sanctuary of the spiritual realm – only one who does what pleases my LORD in the spiritual realm. Many will say to me at that time, ‘Master, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles? And I will say to them, ‘I never knew you: Get away from me, you who practice wickedness.’" (Matt. 7:21-23)This illustrates clearly that Jesus' mission was not to become lord or master and be worshiped as God. His mission was to deliver God's message to us:
“‘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. And the second is related: ‘Love others as yourself.’" (Matt. 22:37-39)We must notice here that Jesus' instruction here is not new. Jesus is actually quoting Moses' instruction given more than a thousand years prior - from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18.
Why have these teachings been muted?
One might wonder why teachers of so many sects claiming to be followers of Jesus are not emphasizing or passing on these clear teachings by Jesus?
It is the same reason why some priests have molested children. And it is the same reason why some who claim to be faithful are terrorizing people in the name of God. And it is the same reason why there has been so much bloodshed in the name of religion over the past two thousand years:
It is because those who are claiming to represent Jesus - or Moses or any other messenger of God - are not following this prime teaching themselves.
Because they don't follow these two critical teachings of Jesus, they have become fanatical. They have claimed that their institution or organization is the best institution and have focused upon creating power and authority for that organization or institution, sometimes by harming others in the name of their sect, institution or organization.
Jesus' teachings portray the precise opposite of this mentality in the commandment that is "related" to the greatest - "Love others as yourself."
Most translations suggest the Greek word πλησίον (plēsion) - and the Hebrew word רֵעַ (rea`) from Lev. 19:18 - mean "neighbor" as in, someone who lives next door or perhaps down the street, or someone of the same religion or country or race.
This, however, is not what these words mean in the context of Jesus and Moses' teachings. They mean, according to Thayer's lexicon, "any other person" - or "another person." These are captured in normal speaking by the word "others."
"Any other person" - "others" - includes by definition:
- someone from another family
- someone from another country
- someone from another race
- someone of another gender
- someone with another religious belief
- someone who doesn't worship God
- anyone else
Thus we find that those who terrorize people or otherwise harm others for the purpose of "spreading" their religious beliefs are certainly not followers of Jesus, or Moses - or any of God's representatives.
This is confirmed by Jesus when he instructed his followers:
"You have heard that it was taught, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, don’t resist the wicked, but whoever shall smack you on the right cheek, turn the other towards him as well. If anyone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And should someone compel you to go a mile, go two with him. Give to one who asks of you, and do not turn from one who seeks to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who despise and persecute you: Thus you will be servants of your LORD in the spiritual realm, for He makes the sun rise on the wicked and the good, and sends rain upon the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, where is the benefit? Even the publicans do this, do they not? If you only salute your brothers, how is this different from others? Even the publicans do this, do they not? Be therefore perfect, just as your LORD in the spiritual realm is perfect." (Matt. 5:38-48)
The verses above are quoted from the Gospels of Jesus.