Filling the Inner Vessel
What Came Before
In Cleansing the Inner Vessel, perspective on what Jesus Christ taught about how to truly be clean inside. Somewhere in the centuries after God gave that initiative, society left out the inward vessel cleansing, focusing on the outward appearances. Christ meant for us to keep ourselves clean and worthy on the inside as well as the outside. This article covers how God wants human vessels filled with love.
The ritual washing of the body was a custom among the ancient civilizations, specifically the Ancient Hebrews of Christ time. Doing so was a way to stay clean from the things of this mortal life and not defile the body with impurities. Washings were an outward manifestation of an inner connection to holiness. Affluent and wealthy citizens of Israel made cleanliness next to godliness. Religious and cultural norms of cleanliness were of the highest importance demonstrating the piety of the faithful.
The Gospel According to St Mark chapter seven details the story of what happened when leaders of the Jewish sects of Pharisees and Scribes noticed that some of the followers of the new sect of Judaism founded by Jesus did not observe the cleansing ritual before eating.
Aghast, these leaders questioned the Master "Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?" (Mark 7:5)
In modern society, with all the rituals of cleanliness that exist, people may not realize the actions they take are ritual. In most societies for health and spiritual reasons, a ritual to wash exists. When those behaviors are not followed, onlookers my sneer as did these leaders. Leaving the restroom without washing hands can offend people!
The same with these Pharisees and Scribes who took offense at the disciples of Jesus Christ not holding to the rules of spiritual hygiene. Jesus took that opportunity to show those leaders what it means to truly be clean.
"...there is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man." Mark 7:15
Whosoever drinks of Earth's waters shall thirst again.
But whosoever drinks of the water Christ shall give him,
Shall never thirst again
But drink life everlasting— Rodric Anthony Johnson
That Which Comes Out
Eating with dirty hands or failing to take care of family responsibility, which one breaks the eternal law of Love?
Those religious leaders cared about honoring the traditions of the elders; so, Jesus reminded them of one tradition that was also a commandment according to Mosaic law that society had corrupted and abandoned, the care of parents.
Parental care was of such importance in the Law of Moses, that avoiding to do so was a crime punishable by death. Liturgic rules subverted the religious law by having the means of those who wished to abstain from parental responsibility only needed to profess that their funds were Corban, a gift dedicated to the temple of God.
Accusing the disciples of Jesus of disregarding cleansing tradition, while they disregarded the law of Moses through stratagem was the epitome of hypocrisy as the Lord pointed out when he taught his disciples later:
Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. Mark 7:18-20
In short, the things that people do are what make them unclean, not the things around them that they touch. This was no indictment on cleanliness, but a reminder that good works are the sign of a clean inner vessel filled with devotion to God.
Train Them Up
Once a child is born, he or she is a blank slate. A baby is nothing but instincts when he or she enters life. To the child, the parents are everything as they teach him or her—fill the child with information and teachings.
Parents care for the child and train the child to become as versatile as are they. Food, clothing, entertainment, shelter, and such are all things the child receives from the parents being he or she cannot provide those things for his or herself immediately.
Compared to the parents the infant is nothing—by far not as glorious, knowledgeable, and powerful. Infants cannot walk with grace or care for themselves. We want our children to grow up and be like us, responsible adults. We groom them to become as we think they should with the hope that they will accept our instruction.
With God, we are the infants. Is it any wonder that God wants that same thing for us, His children?
Humans are spiritual beings having a physical experience.
...he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.— 2 Timothy 2:21
Filling Our Vessels
We cannot exist without God. We do not care for ourselves, but the biosphere that holds the atmosphere to this planet called Earth God fashioned over eons until it was ready to house humans. As any good parent would, God provides a place for His children to learn and to grow, a safe place. The ecosystems that exist on the planet were ordered by God.
Humans are spiritual beings having a physical experience. Learning to feel and recognize pain and hate so that love and compassion can bud in the human heart towards others is what life is about--o become like God. Being free to act and make mistakes in a world where cooperation means mortal survival is what humanity must learn. Once this test of life is complete, God will judge how well the lessons were learned before giving the just reward in heaven.
We are not as glorious, knowledgeable and powerful as God. We spiritually are infants in comparison and therefore are nothing. God wants to groom us to become like He is and provides us with all the implements of instruction in this life to do so—things that we call trials, failure, sorrow, and tragedy; in addition to peace, success, joy, and blessings. Knowing what it takes to make men free and truly happy, God provides a plan of behavior designed to produce joy!
Two great commandments that Jesus taught are to love God and love mankind.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)
All the truths revealed to the prophets hang on the power of Love. With this love filling the inner vessels, the human soul the world will change one person at a time becoming like Heavenly Father as do infants grow to become like their parents--not replacing, but sharing in adulthood.
© 2018 Rodric Anthony Johnson