The Sermon represents the first culminating move by Jesus to present his message to the world, says RUBY LILAOWALA.
Jesus had to speak to the people in a language that they could understand and so he spoke in stories, similes, symbols and parables. Jesus had clairvoyant powers, which he received from God at the time of his baptism by John. Hence he knew that Peter would deny even knowing him and that Judas Iscariot would betray him.
The Sermon represents the first culminating move by Jesus to present his message to the world. Before this, he was subjected to great temptation. He went into the wilderness and was tempted by the devil. The ‘devil’ then, as now, is that adverse (negative) element of Nature that seeps to keep man’s consciousness imprisoned in negativity. This adverse element has existed since the beginning of creation.
It is nothing new, and it has its place since it gives us the opportunity to bring out the latent spiritual strength within us. Without that strife between good and evil, we could never “grow”. Evil has its place but it has to be overcome. It is a continuous battle and we have the freedom to choose whether we want to become like Jesus or like Judas. The choice is entirely ours.
As we grow through life and our experiences increase, we gain more understanding of the forces which are at work in life and as we understand them, we can consciously take our stand and work out our incarnation until we finally attain liberation (Moksh). Even Jesus had to live through human experiences. He did this in his earlier years.
Later, he had to live through superhuman experiences and those on the path to “initiation” (as we say in Freemasonry) before he could satisfactorily undertake his self-imposed mission. He could have easily had his personality exalted and obtained a high position in society. He refused, as he was not interested in exalting his personality. He had something else to do and because he passed that final test, he was ready to begin his work on Earth.
He gathered people together and gave them the most famous of all addresses: The Sermon on the Mount. The essence of this sermon is contained in the beautiful way it opens. Jesus said: “Love your enemies and bless those that curse you.” It was difficult for people then (as it is now) to understand this doctrine. It takes courage to switch over from the worldly outlook to a higher spiritual outlook. However, the tests of life are the same as the tests on the spiritual path. Everyone is tested – individuals, as well as prophets but in the end, every word from a prophet (in this case Jesus) becomes not merely a word but a force – almost an ultimatum which challenges people.
Those who meet the challenge satisfactorily gain a great reward (The Kingdom of Heaven). Those who don’t are left behind. From time to time prophets have visited our planet but has humanity learnt anything? Unfortunately, the answer is “no”, and as one Freemason put it in his Lodge recently, “If Jesus comes to earth today, humanity will again crucify him.”
And the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ will once more be required to be taught – in a future time and space dimension.