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Understanding John 5:19-43

By Shlomo Phillips © 11.17.2013

John's is the most mystically oriented of the four gospel accounts of Y'shua's life. Some knowledge of this mystical element is essential if one wishes to differentiate the Jewish Y'shua from the Christian Jesus. In this study we will examine one of his mystical teachings. Bolded words are my emphasis and do not appear in the texts.

John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
5:20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel...
5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son...
5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
5:27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man....
5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
5:31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true....
5:36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape...
5:43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

* All of these verses make it abundantly clear that Y'shua claimed (at least) to be subservient to HaShem in all things. If he was, he was by definition a tzadik. Any of these statements could be made by a tzadik (a truly righteous person) but none of them could be said of God, blessed be He. It is important to understand what Y'shua was speaking about in these types of comments. Of one who has merited this level of consciousness it is taught:
One who thus serves [HaShem] in perfection has conquered the primeval duality and has brought hitlahavut [i.e. the burning ecstasy of oneness with God] into the heart of avoda [i.e. into his service to God]. He dwells in the kingdom of life, and yet all walls have fallen, all boundary-stones are uprooted, all separation is destroyed. He is the brother of the creatures and feels their glance as it were his own, their step as if his own feet walked, their blood as if it flowed through his own body. He is the son of God and lays his soul anxiously and securely in the [Great Hand] beside all the heavens and earths and unknown worlds, and stands on the flood of the sea into which all his thoughts and the wanderings of all beings flow. He makes his body the throne of life and life the throne of the spirit and the spirit the throne of the soul and the soul the throne of the light of God's glory, and the light streams round about him and he sits in the midst of the light and trembles and rejoices – Martin Buber, The Legend of the Baal-Shem page 32.
This is the level of consciousness Y'shua claimed to dwell in and this is the level of potentiality he offered to his students. This is what he meant when he referred to himself as a son of God and this, in his teachings, is the goal of all sons and daughters of Adam. One may or may not accept his claims, that isn't the point here, but this is what he taught and this is what some of his more controversial comments were addressing. Because John became a mystic in his later years [if not earlier] we have some insight into Y'shua's mystical teachings that we otherwise would not.
Why Doesn't Judaism Accept Jesus? Most Jews don't know him nor what he taught. They rightly reject the god-man Jesus created by the Roman Emperor Constantine and his Pagan bishops.

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Don't let the perfect defeat the good