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Jesus As The Divine Tapestry: Religion : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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Jesus As The Divine Tapestry

By: dayan (M) |Time : March 03, 2019, 09:12:28 AM
The title of this article is inspired by Romans 8:29 which says (in King James Version): “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

According to Dictionary.com, a tapestry is “a fabric consisting of a warp upon which coloured threads are woven by hand to produce a design, often pictorial, used for wall hangings, furniture coverings, etc.“

From my basic understanding of a tapestry, it is basically a singular picture carefully designed (woven by hand), to create a beautiful image, sometimes with a motif, or message.

These days, most of the preachings about God and spiritual things often focus on what people do wrong, that would land them in hell after death. I tend to wonder why few preachers, these days, bother about preaching about what people are supposed to do, to make heaven. Due to the excessive focus on people’s wrongs, and the punishment that awaits them after death, a lot of people give up, and simply live their  lives in fatalistic (or resigned) manner. It is therefore important, and a duty of true believers in Jesus Christ, to preach the good news which centers around what people SHOULD DO, rather than what they should not do, to make heaven.

So, since we know from Romans 8:29, that God has “the image of his son” - a picture which he predesigned and is keeping in front of himself always, to know who fits into that picture, it would be wise to find out the specifications of that picture, from Jesus himself who is THE original picture. We need to get from Jesus what a person MUST do to conform to that image.

At this point, with all due respect to the Epistles written by Apostles like Paul and others, I always prefer to quote Jesus directly from the Holy Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). That information comes directly from Matthew 22:35-40, Luke 10:27, Mark 12:30-31.

Quoting from Matthew: 35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

A lawyer of that era was not like a lawyer of today, because THE LAW was GOD’s LAW, not human ones, as we have lawyers practice today.

The Jews of the time were against Jesus, because they thought that he came to destroy the law, but they were wrong. Jesus came to reconcile THE WHOLE WORLD to God, not just the Jews. The existing 10 Commandments and other laws contained in “the law and prophets”(Torah, and Tanakh, mainly) are really only parts of God’s requirement for humans, and that point is proven by the story of the rich man who came to Jesus to inquire about what he needed to do to make heaven.

In the story in Matthew 19:16-26; Mark 10:17-27; Luke 18:18-27, the rich young ruler was abiding by the ten commandments and other laws, but Jesus tested him on his love for God, and he failed woefully.
Jesus came just at the right time to extend the opportunity of everlasting life to the Gentiles who would not have been able to make heaven. The following prophesies speak about Jesus’ mission, essentially his goals of bringing the gentiles to the knowledge of the true God:

Isaiah 11:10 "And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious."

Isaiah 42:1 "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, my Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; he will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
Isaiah 49:6 “And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. "

From these Bible passages, it becomes clear that Jesus had a mission to bring the knowledge of God to the gentiles as well as the Jews. Jesus had to emphasize this point in Matthew 5:17, when he said “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them.”

Having established that Jesus came to extend the acceptance and observance of God’s law to the gentiles -the whole world really- it becomes clear that his preferred method of fulfilling the law and the prophets as highlighted in Matthew 22:35-40 should be the prime focus of any group of humans that want to conform to the image of God’s son, be they Jew or Gentile.

Every law has an intent behind it, and this is true for both human and divine laws. When trying to observe any law, the one short cut to doing so is to try to find out what the makers of that law had in mind when they made the law. No law can speak in human language exactly what it wants to achieve, because human ability to communicate is limited. That is why we need lawyers to interpret them.

But still, any person determined not to violate any law can do so by stepping into the shoes of the makers of the law to envision the intents behind the law. I found out that this works for me very well even when I don’t fully understand some laws. I just ask myself, what is the giver of this law trying to achieve, prevent, or insure?

In like manner, the intent of God’s law is very easy to figure out. In fact it so easy that you don’t need any lawyer to interpret it, and God even says so himself. God’s intent is LOVE, for him and for others.
Jesus’ mission and death on the cross was a mission of love, and the Bible says so in John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Once you understand this intent, shaping your actions to conform to that of the image of God’s son starts to look easier than just trying to keep all laws as written. I personally found out that it is impossible to love God and worship (in any way, shape, or form) any other god; be it material or non-material things. Anything that I think about daily more than I think about God is an idol that I get rid of pretty fast.

When I came to this realization, I removed even computer desktop wallpaper pictures of loved ones, because I see them EVERY time I log unto my computer’s desktop. And so on and so forth. And of course I do my level best to love other people to the extent that most of the people don’t really know me at all. When some of them get close, they misjudge me, and sometimes leave puzzled. Most of the time, these days, acts of pure love is misunderstood as acts of foolishness (or being a “Mugu” in Nigeria speak  :)) ) , but it still doesn’t change the INTENT of the person offering the act of love.

Therefore, one must understand that, at the beginning, it can be hard to pass people’s judgement as one tries to live that way, but that is exactly what Jesus meant when he told the rich young ruler to go get rid of his wealth. Jesus was not against wealth; in fact some of Jesus’ friends were rich. But Jesus saw that man’s wealth as a wedge between the man and his love for God. Some rich people are still able to make their riches “transparent” in the sense that they see through the riches, to get to love of God and fellow humans. Other rich people simply can’t see through their riches.

So, to recap, it is about LOVE for God your creator and maker, and your fellow human beings, irrespective of race, tribe, colour, nationality, religion, etc. When Jesus died, he died for the whole world, and his death opened a path to God as never before. It is left to every human being on this earth to make use of that opportunity to get to know the God of Heaven, and his love for his creation.

Jesus as a tapestry? Yes, because the way one individual achieves the same love goal may differ from that of others, and Jesus made this clear as well in Matthew 25: 31-46.
In that passage, Jesus said that a lot of people will make heaven and wonder how they got there, while a lot will end up in hell and wonder as well how they ended up there.

This is the tapestry of God in that God will justify people of God’s own choosing when it comes to conformity to the image of his son. They would not all look alike, but they would certainly act alike.

On this earth, those different and disparate peoples would all act in ways that paint the singular image of God’s son; the tapestry of God.


-Nigerialog

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