This post is from an author named Walter Lanyon. He lived and worked in the early to mid nineteen hundreds. He was a prolific author of spiritual books, and plays, and I believe that Mr. Lanyon was also a painter. He lived His life for God, a most admirable conquest. Thank you, Mr. Lanyon.
In this article, which we will post over 3 days, we are encouraged to see Jesus as natural and normal, so that we can understand what He was trying to teach us. The tendency of man is to put God far off in an impossibly distant land where we cannot contact Him, nor He us, unless we are a saint. God wants to engage us on a personal and real level here and now. He wants to prove to us that He and His kingdom are not imaginary or removed from us at all. If we can see Jesus moving and living among us maybe we will begin to understand what He was trying to say. What would Jesus wear today? Listen.
JESUS IN TWEEDS
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, – even the death of the cross.”
THE DRAMATIC INSTINCT in man is so strong that whenever he mentions or thinks of Jesus, he automatically places Him in a theatrical background, so glorified as to set it completely apart from the remotest possibility of naturalness. He forgets that at the time of Jesus, flowing robes, purple, fine linen and long hair were the vogue of that time, just as sack suits and military haircuts are today.
There is no mention made of the robes of Jesus being outstandingly beautiful. True, there was the seamless robe, – not so much a comment on His clothes, perhaps, as an illustration of the wholeness of His teaching. In fact, Jesus asked the very pertinent question, – “What went ye out for to see”, – a fashion show, or to hear a revelation. It is more than possible that the rich young man mentioned in the Bible, as well as many others, were dressed in silks and brocades.
Have we, then, been caught in the very thing against which He cautioned us? Is this beautiful teaching and revelation given us by Jesus as a usable every-day pattern of life always to be wrapped in dramatics? Will we perpetually be an audience watching a drama?
The tendency to glamorize anyone in the limelight is common to all men. It has a tremendous financial urge back of it. But as with Jesus, so with all the idols of the stage, – sooner or later lots will be cast for the robes. The sport of the human mind is to build an idol, – and then attempt to discover its clay feet.
And again, the décor and background against which Jesus moved were natural and normal to the times.
Can you imagine Jesus in a tweed suit? At first the idea shocks the sensibilities. But suppose He was with us today, – or rather, suppose your consciousness was of such a level as to permit you to see Him today, – would you want Him to go about in flowing robes True, there is yet this practice in America, a thousand and one “prophets” and “teachers” have donned robes entirely out of keeping with the times, playing on the dramatic value, – and people have followed. But Jesus was of all things, natural and normal. He said definitely, “I live in the world, but not of it”. This did not set Him apart anymore then than it would now, for we find ample proof of His moving with the people, high and low. In fact, He was accused of being a friend of harlots and wine bibbers. Jesus was unafraid to live His life. He held no brief with hypocrisy and spiritual wickedness, gossip or scandal,
Can you imagine Jesus and His mother attending a wedding of a Hollywood star? Well, why not? They attended a wedding-feast in Cana, which from the record, was very spirited, to say the least, – not very much different from our present-day affairs.
There is no intent to take from the Glory of Jesus, – but rather to emphasize the fundamental Truth of His teaching. It is not difficult for one to bend the knees at the Name of Jesus, so great is our reverence for Him, – but just reverence for a dramatic or historical character is not sufficient. If Jesus ever was sad or disconsolate, it must have been when He asked the question, – “Have I been so long with you, and yet … ?” He did not want them to set Him aside or apart in any way whatsoever. He only wanted what every true teacher and revelator wants, – namely, that the students and followers absorb and use the teachings, rather than deify the teacher. He wanted them not only to do the works He did, but to exceed Him, – assuring them they could. “The works I do, ye shall also do, – and greater than these shall ye do.”
Until we take away the dramatic, emotional side of our acceptance of the beautiful Revelation, the whole endeavor is reduced to a fascinating story of a man, – and is of no practical use to us in every-day life.
You would laugh at the idea that every time you approached mathematics, you would have to put on a special garment of ancient origin and arrange yourself against a special back-ground of proper dramatic value.
We know that mathematics is not affected by race, color or creed. Neither is it more operative in one temperature than in another, nor is it more present in a magnificent university than in the little red school-house, or for that matter, the slums of a great city. All that is necessary is the recognition of the law of mathematics for the unfoldment from simple addition to the most complicated equation in relativity.
Talking of and about mathematics will not work out a problem, no matter how ever much you respect it. Unless you become a mathematician in one degree or another, nothing happens. And when you do, the stream of power comes through you, uses your body through which to express, – -proving the problem was already solved. Every mathematician knows the answers to all problems already exist, whether he is aware of the answer or not. But the recognition of it as passing through him enables him to arrive at the already established fact.
So with the Revelation of Jesus, – it is everywhere present, is no respecter of persons, is as available to the greatest criminal as to the most high priest. It is just as present in the worst hell-hole as in the lofty temple. Being everywhere, it is nowhere until it is recognized and “let” into manifestation, and it is of no value until this takes place.
…To Be Continued