Friday, 3 April 2015

Repentance, Kingdom of God, Baptism, Healing

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Reflections from the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, Repent, be Baptised - and Healing

John the Baptist and then Jesus Christ have the message to repent because the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, imminent.

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The imminence Kingdom of Heaven refers to the fact that soon Man would, for the first time be resurrected and therefore able to inhabit Heaven (a new place and possibility); and therefore it was now time for each Man to repent.

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So, the imminent resurrection of Christ allow, makes-possible the imminent resurrection of Men; which means that the Kingdom of Heaven will soon be accessible to Men.

Repentance is now necessary because we will each soon have to make a decision to accept or reject the Kingdom of Heaven - accepting Heaven requires repentance; repentance is this acknowledgement of the need for Christ, that Resurrection is made possible by Christ.

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Why the emphasis on Baptism (John the Baptist)? - because Baptism is washing away sin and emergence from the water as rebirth - rebirth is resurrection.

Baptism is a Repentance and the Kingdom of Heaven.

(Baptism ought, therefore, to be by immersion or - at least - by a volume of water washing-over the person, and the person emerging-from the volume of water. Baptism by the - mere - application of water onto the body is an error. Also, Baptism is supposed, ideally (not exclusively) to be done to a person who can appreciate this - not explicitly as theology, but someone who can feel what is happening - can feel the washing and rebirth. For this to be more than just symbolism, the Holy Ghost would need to become operative by this; would need to be welcomed into his heart by the newly-baptised.)

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John and the Apostles baptised, but Jesus healed.

Healing is a means to the end - Mortal Man is recognized as intrinsically 'sick', and healing by Christ is a miniature resurrection; and restoration of health by Christ is a miniature of our entry into the (imminent) eternal Kingdom of God.

So a spiritual act of Healing by Christ is a picture of rebirth and resurrection, a story of it - it is the same process, the same sequence of events, as Baptism.

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John Baptised, Christ Healed; both were about Repentance and the Kingdom.

To be healed is a repentance, to be restored to health is to be resurrected.

Baptism and Healing were a microcosm of the imminence of Christ's new gift of Man's Resurrection into the Kingdom of Heaven.

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