Christ and Jesus
By Rev. James Yeaw —
Last month I wrote about the Second Coming of Christ. That second coming occurs inside of us. Oftentimes, when individuals hear the terms “Christ” or “Jesus,” right away they may fall into preconceived notions based upon their upbringing or particular religious background. Throughout history, the perspectives people have had on the life and teachings of Jesus have been varied, oftentimes even at odds.
Sometimes individuals involved in so called “new age” philosophies or comparative religious studies have decided that Jesus was “just a teacher.” Was he only a prophet? Others have decided to disregard him altogether. Members of non-Christian faiths may have ignored his life and ministry. Was he a man who committed blasphemy? Others may have said, “Well, Christians have been cruel to me and therefore I’m not interested in Jesus.” Even among those who call themselves Christian there is not complete agreement about the meaning of Jesus’ life and work. These disagreements have resulted in dozens of denominational factions, charges of heresy or breaking away from the faith, and countless wars. There is an approach that offers a way of looking at Jesus’ life in a manner that unifies all of humankind rather than dividing it.
Because of our focus on the material things in life, many of us have forgotten our true birthright as an expression of God. We are not simply physical bodies, instead we are spiritual beings who are having a physical experience entailing personal growth and development. Many individuals have incorrectly assumed that the goal of being in the earth is to simply reach heaven, find enlightenment, or somehow “get out of the earth.” However, as children of God, our mission might be to bring spirit to the earth.
The dynamics of our deep and literal connection to God can be found throughout scripture, beginning with Genesis when we are told that we are made in an image. But our relationship is perhaps no more clearly illustrated than in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-24). This parable describes the journey of the soul: we were with God in the beginning, through the power of our free will we were able to make choices that were not necessarily in perfect accord. And, at some point, we will “arise” and decide to return, regaining our inheritance and experiencing our true relationship.
God is to be expressed in the world through us. The example set by Jesus is apparently a “pattern” of wholeness for each and every soul.
Regardless of an individual’s religious or personal beliefs, this Christ pattern exists in potential in the very fiber of our being. It is that part of each of us that is in perfect accord with Spirit and is simply waiting to find expression in our lives. This Christ pattern was further described by Edgar Cayce in his writings as “the awareness within each soul, imprinted in pattern on the mind and waiting to be awakened” (5749-14). Its manifestation is the eventual destiny of each and every soul. With this in mind, Jesus was a soul who came to show each one of us the way back to our spiritual Source by perfectly manifesting Spirit on earth.
What may surprise individuals is that this fact has nothing to do with religion, it has to do with spirituality and re-discovering our true relationship with God- a relationship we share with Jesus. Jesus was a Son of God, but the same thing is true about each and everyone of us. In other words: Jesus was like each one of us and, ultimately, each one of us is destined to be like Him.
I and my Father are one. Then they took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of these do you stone me? They answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, “I said, you are gods.” -John 10:30-34
Although many may be repelled at first by such a suggestion, evidence for this premise is found in both the Bible and the teachings of most world religions. When speaking of humankind, Jesus, himself, states, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world,” (John 17:16). I would like to quote Edgar Cayce again in that his writings are not unique, but serve as a sample of spiritual insight:
Before becoming offended by this incredible possibility, shouting out charges of heresy, or believing the idea to be the work of the devil, we need to look closely at the life of Jesus. Not only will we find that He was charged with blasphemy for this very claim, but we will find that He stated this truth for each and every one of us: Christ and Jesus Continued from page like it in the earth. He made Himself of no estate that you, through His grace, through His mercy, through His sacrifice might have an advocate with that First Cause, God; that first principle, spirit… Edgar Cayce Reading 4083-1
The law Jesus is referring to is the Old Testament, specifically the 82nd Psalm which asserts that not only are we God’s children, but we are also “gods” (in-the-making), as well. Although some individuals may be offended with the statement that we are a part of or an expression of God, in recent years more and more people working with esoteric spiritual traditions have come to the same conclusion. Unfortunately, oftentimes those individuals who accept this premise have forgotten the attitudinal stance that should accompany it. In reality, this claim is not true as a verbal statement made about oneself. Instead, it is only true as we become god-like toward one another:
For the Master, Jesus, even the Christ, is the pattern for every man in the earth, whether he be Gentile or Jew, Parthenian or Greek. For all have the pattern, whether they call on that name or not; but there is no other name given under heaven whereby men may be saved from themselves. – Edgar Cayce Reading 3528-1
When Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” (John 14:6) it was not a call to religious conversion; but rather an opportunity for us to realize that his life serves as an example for each one of us. Regardless of our religious background, in Jesus’ life we can find a pattern of how to live, enabling each of us to overcome what seems to be our personal weaknesses, our shortcomings, and even our problems. In the language of the Cayce readings:
Q. What is the main purpose of this incarnation?
A. To glorify the Christ Consciousness in the earth — in the lives of those with whom ye come in contact, and to live the same thyself. – Edgar Cayce Reading 2441-4
A. Just as indicated. Jesus is the man — the activity, the mind, the relationships that He bore to others. Yea, He was mindful of friends, He was sociable, He was loving, He was kind, He was gentle. He grew faint, He grew weak — and yet gained that strength that he has promised, in becoming the Christ… You are made strong — in body, in mind, in soul and purpose — by that power. The power, then, is the Christ. That pattern was in Jesus.– Edgar Cayce Reading 2533-7
I have adapted this from Twelve Lessons in Personal Spirituality by Kevin Todeschi, a book available in our bookstore. By Rev. James Yeaw, D.Div.
The Reverend James Yeaw, D. Div. minister at the Unity Spiritual Center 10101 West Coggins Dr. Sun City AZ 85351. Jim holds a bachelor’s, three Master’s degrees in Psychology, Human Resources and Business. He co-authored A Practical Life with a Powerful Purpose with his wife, Rev. Sharon Bush.