Love, Faith & Stewardship
First Sermon at Gennesaret
A wealthy pious man owning many olive groves challenges Yeshua regarding the temple of God and says that he has been blessed by God with wealth while Yeshua has not because he is poor. From that day on, his olive trees become diseased and nothing he ever plants again on his land ever grows. Yeshua’s fame spreads among the people of the delta, and hundreds begin to come to hear him speak. Yeshua gives a sermon on the virtues of the Twelve Commandments and the higher path of Celestine Light, which will overcome any darkness.
1 And it came to pass that Yeshua taught his disciples many things during the days that followed and word soon spread in the delta area of his sayings, and many people from the delta region began to come to hear him speak on the day after the Sabbath.
2 But in the three weeks they had been in Capernaum, Yeshua had not visited the synagogue, even on the Sabbath, and for this, some condemned him and spoke ill of him.
3 There was one man from nearby Chorazin who owned many olive groves, and he was very pious; believing God had blessed him with wealth.
4 He came to Yeshua as he was teaching his disciples and many people on a hill near Lake Gennesaret, and he challenged him, saying, “Why do you claim to be teaching the ways of God when you do not even come to the synagogue on the Sabbath?”
5 Yeshua replied boldly, saying, “I am standing upon a temple built by Elohim. What are the works of man to this?”
6 The wealthy man scoffed at the words of Yeshua and said, “That is but a hill of rock, no different than a hundred other hills of rock. Surely the Almighty must be angry that you would claim a hill as sacred and reject the finery of the synagogue, which pays true homage to the all-powerful.”
7 Yeshua answered him, saying, “Why is your heart so hardened to the light? Did Elohim not create all the Earth?
8 You must understand that Elohim made the Earth as a temple for man to live in and prosper and gave man a body most intricate to be cared for and loved, and these are the temples of God.
9 Be good stewards of the temple of your body and the temple of the Earth and keep the commandments of Sinai and you will be giving the greatest homage to God that man can give.”
10 But again the rich man scoffed at the words of Yeshua, saying, “Those who live as they should are blessed with prosperity, property, and servants, while those who have words without substance are cursed with poverty, no land to call their own and no servants to help with their chores.
11 Look at me and look at you, and it should be obvious to all who God is with and who God is not with. I claim none of my wealth because of my own efforts, but only as blessings from God because of my faithfulness. Do you say that you have been blessed with poverty because of yours?”
12 Yeshua looked up into the sky before answering, then gazed unwaveringly at the rich man and said, “Surely it will be easier for a lion to fly than for a rich man to get into Heaven.
13 If you are so sure that your wealth is a gift of God because of your faithfulness and not because of your prudence as a planter of olives, then by your word, so be it. From this day forth, may your lands be blessed or cursed according to the light of Elohim that truly dwells within your heart.”
14 And it came to pass that the man returned to his home and groves of olives in Chorazin, and from that very day, his olive trees became diseased. Though he gave great alms to the synagogue and said long and pious prayers in public, by two moons, all of his trees died, and nothing he ever planted again grew upon his land.
15 When word spread of what had happened to the rich man from Chorazin and the words Yeshua had spoken to him, Yeshua’s fame spread among the people of the delta and hundreds began to come to hear him speak.
16 One day as he walked along the shore of the lake, the crowd began to press him into the water and pleaded with him to speak to them his wisdom.
17 He saw two ships anchored nearby in the lake, for the fishermen were ashore repairing their nets.
18 Yeshua waded out to one of the ships, and Cephas, his disciple, followed him, for it was a vessel of his friend. And they entered onto the ship and moved off near the shore into deeper water.
19 Yeshua sat upon the ship’s bench, and facing the crowd nearby, he taught them, saying, “The wealthy often spend their lives striving to gain that which can be quickly taken by Caesar or bandits or made empty and worthless by illness.
20 Even if they hold it safe until the end of their days, their wealth cannot be carried with them to the next life, nor will they have one coin in the eternity to come.
21 I say unto you, be wiser than the rich. Let your days be filled enriching your good character by keeping the commandments of Sinai, not just in deed but also with a good spirit and happiness with the simple joys of life.
22 Seek out, good friends, not just with common interests of little worth, but with common characters that seek the greater light of Celestine brilliance, and act selflessly to serve one another and those in need.
23 It is your relationships, one with another, that are a true treasure of this life and eternity.
24 Do not judge others, for every hurtful word or action you mete in judgment against others shall be measured against you by Elohim in the hereafter, and it is only Elohim who sees all and knows all, that can fairly judge anyone for their righteousness and propriety.
25 Do not be afraid of those who are different from you in the way they dress or speak or eat or worship God, for all are the spirit children of Elohim and are your brothers and sisters of spirit.
26 Instead, rejoice in the things you have in common and respect their right to differ from you, as they respect your right to differ from them.
27 In the words that I say, think not that I am condoning any evil act contrary to the commandments of Sinai.
28 I merely implore you to not be as the scribes and Pharisees who strain at gnats and swallow camels.
29 If you have devotion to God, show it by loving the temple of your body which Elohim has given you for your sojourn in life.
30 Praising Elohim in your words and songs brings happiness in Heaven, and when you honor the temple you have been given, you honor the gift, and in honoring the gift, you honor the giver.
31 But if you honor not the temple of your body with the purity of the things you eat and drink and with the simple yet elegant beauty of your clothes and adornment, then you trample upon the gift of God that you are and dishonor Elohim with your actions far greater than any praises or pious acts may ever overcome.
32 And beware of what evil your eyes behold, for as your eyes see so your life becomes.
33 Look therefore to surround yourself with virtuous friends. Choose to see things that respect, uplift, and edify you and others and turn your back upon that which does not.
34 In the things that you eat, look beyond that which is clean or unclean and choose that which shows respect for life over that which does not.
35 Eat first those things which have been put upon the Earth by Elohim to nourish you without taking their life and those plants which will fade after a season.
36 Consider the olive and the fig trees. They give you wonderful substance that comes again and again without harm to the trees of life. And when you eat their fruits, or the birds or animals eat, they help the trees by carrying their seeds to propagate them.
37 Look at the crops of the fields that are here today and wither tomorrow. They also seek only to make again their kind, and as you plant their seeds, you fulfill them even as they fill you.
38 Nor should you neglect the insects that come numberless as the sands of the sea. Most are not sent to consume your crops, but given to feed you in great abundance. Their lives are short that in them yours may be long.
39 In these gifts of God, you find the light of life to live long and in health.
40 “But if you need still more, especially because of famine or drought or cold, gather to you the fish that school, for they have been given in great numbers that in them your years upon the Earth may be greatly numbered.
41 In the world, there is much darkness among men in the disrespect they have for life in the food they eat.
42 Show by your example the higher path of life. You can fight against the darkness and thereby make enemies of the men of darkness, or you can bring the Celestine Light and the darkness will depart, for it cannot stand to be in the presence of the light.
43 Darkness cannot bear the Celestine Light, and light can always overcome darkness if it stays connected to the source, which is Elohim.