Kingdom Principle: A pierced heart yields alignment of oneself and an understanding of the Kingdom.
|Genesis 25:19-34||Psalm 119:105-112||Romans 8:1-11||Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23|
The heart is the seat of alignment in the spirit, soul, and body.
The Spirit of Jesus comes to pierce our heart through the spirit, body, and soul. Tattoo’s mark the flesh (skin) to tell the story, but piercing cuts the Flesh (nature) to change the story. The “Flesh” is not the physical verses the spiritual nor is it body and soul as opposed to the spirit – this is Gnostic thinking. The Flesh is the very nature we are born with making us enemies of God, until we are saved by the blood of Jesus. (Romans 5:8-10) Our Flesh nature is redeemed, rather than removed from us. (Gal. 2:20, Col. 1:19-23) This piercing and redemption reveals the gift of God in our lives and very divine nature from which we now build our lives. (2 Peter 1:3-9) Therefore the body, soul and spirit of a person is pierced rather than separated by the Holy Spirit. What therefore is being pierced?
This piercing of our heart is a spiritual act, with physical implications. It is prophesied in the Old Testament (Deut 10:16, 30:6, Jer. 4:3-4, Joel 2:13), experienced in the Gospels and by the disciples (Mark 1:10, Luke 2:35, Matt 5:30, 7:19, Acts 2:37, 7:51-54), and reflected upon by Paul and the New Testament (Romans 2:29, 15:8, Col. 2:11, Eph 6:17-18, Heb. 4:12). Therefore – the heart of the body is pierced in 3 practical ways each with unique implications. First, in a very practical sense, the heart is the center most organ in our body. The heart of the soul is within the will, and the heart of the spirit is within the conscience. (See a western thinking grid of our “bodies”) This three-way understanding creates come confusion in translation in the OT translation of the Hebrew word – Leb -Heart, which has to do with the core of our being. It does not get any clearer, when the church teaches people that they must invite Jesus into their heart. What does it mean for a child to say “Jesus lives in my heart”, except to the child that the physical reality of the blood pumping organ to have a room for Jesus to live inside. Adults can smile and say, “Yes, Jesus lives in you’re heart” but this is not really clear… I say we must let Jesus “out” of the chambers of our physical heart, so that he can speak to our spiritual heart of our conscience and redeem our will. This may cause confusion for some and solve it for others, the confusion is not for the person who lives with a Hebrew or Hebraic understanding, (see the table below) as opposed to a Western or “Greek” mind-set. But the bottom line is that this process of understanding is a matter of the heart.
The human spirit, body and soul cannot be separated or compartmentalized, but much like we can identify the Trinity, and look at the distinct persons, so we can do so with the self. The human spirit has been rendered dead through the Original Sin of Adam, yet is remains part of every human person, made in the image of God. Yet because of this death, the spirit must be born again or from above. (John 3:1-5)
The Matt 13 parable is not about salvation, it is about understanding (Hebrew) and experiencing the Kingdom of God… much like you can be on the Path of Life, but never come to truly understand and/or celebrate the true gift of God’s Grace & Mercy. The Soil of the parable represents the heart of the person who receives the seed; the condition of the soil is a result of the discipleship and growth in one’s life.
I am greatly challenged in my “western” mind to understand the reasoning and selection of God to bless the lives of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob… for me it is clearly influenced by my desire to see the Law upheld. But there was no Law given in their day. They had the Spirit given to them, and only them…. What a mystery that is! But in my heart (conscience) I know they walked by faith, and feared the Lord. Their choices and actions seem confusing to me, yet there is no doubt they walked with God and followed God’s Spirit. After reading the table below re-read the Genesis text and see how it changes the way you read the story. Maybe you struggle with the concepts of having a spirit, soul and body you too may be benefited by reflecting on having a Hebrew mentality.
Back to the work of the Spirit, to penetrate the heart, and to breathe new life in you.
The Hard Path, which represents no penetration of the seed, demonstrates the life of a person whose spirit has not been pierced/cut/circumcised by the Holy Spirit.
- Do you see the Kingdom? Do you have intimacy, fecundity, and ecstasy with the King?
- Do you consider yourself born again? And if so, How can you explain this experience?
- Who do you know that attends church, but is not filled with life and peace?
The Rocky Ground, has seed which penetrates the soil, but it is short lived, due to trouble or persecution, demonstrates the life of a person whose body has not been pierced/cut/circumcised by the Holy Spirit.
- Have you experience persecution because of your faith? (did you endure or wither)
- Where does your body reject or limit the call of Jesus to expand the Kingdom?
- The sun is needed to bring life to the seed, the sun also can kills the sapling. What feels like the sun in your life?
The Thorns & Weeds, has seed which penetrates the soil, but it does not produce fruit, do to being choked and overcome by the worries of the world, this demonstrates the life of person whose soul has not be pierced/cut/circumcised by the Holy Spirit.
- Where have you been doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results?
- How often do you feel frustrated, anxious, troubled, and worried? Is this normative? Or is it normative to feel at peace, hope, joy and freedom?
- Is prayer rewarding and renewing for you?
The parable is about the soil, not the seed. The seed is scattered without measure and concern… Much like God’s prodigal love is given to the whole world. It is the soil which draws for the discussion of growth and discipleship. Again – this passage is not specifically about salvation, it is about understanding the message of the Kingdom. To see the Kingdom you must be born of the Spirit (John 3:3). While this is not a physical re-birth, without physical (body) transformation and “piercing” and renewed mind (soul) one’s experience of the Kingdom will be short lived and without transformation.
Western or Greek Thinking separates the Body & Soul. Where the Body leads to death and the soul/spirit leads to life and peace.
- Picture two circles one is the body, the other is the soul, now picture a sword vertically between the two.
While Hebrew thinking does not separate the body, soul rather it pieces all three. The piercing of all three creates the old self (below), which is to be put off and the new self (above)which is to be put on.
- Picture three circles, one is the body, one is the soul, and one is the spirit. now picture a sword horizontally piercing through all three…
The death is below and separated while life and peace is above.
Hebraic vs Western Thinking
– A Comparison
|Western Approach||Hebraic Approach|
|Life analyzed in precise categories.||Everything blurs into everything else.|
|A split between natural & supernatural||Supernatural affects everything.|
|Linear logic||Contextual or “block” logic|
|“Rugged Individualism”||Importance of being part of group|
|Equality of persons||Value comes from place in hierarchies|
|Freedom orientation||Security orientation|
|Competition is good||Competition is evil (cooperation better)|
|Man-centered universe||God/tribe/family-centered universe|
|Worth of person based on money/material possessions/power||Worth derived from family relationships|
|Biological life sacred||Social life supremely important|
|Chance + cause & effect limit what can happen||God causes everything in his universe|
|Man rules nature through understanding and applying laws of science||God rules everything, so relationship with God determines how things turn out.|
|Power over others achieved through business, politics and human organizations.||Power over others is structured by social patterns ordained by God.|
|All that exists is the material||The universe is filled with powerful spirit beings|
|Linear time divided into neat segments. Each event is new.||Cyclical or spiraling time. Similar events constantly reoccur.|
|History is recording facts objectively and chronologically.||History is an attempt to preserve significant truths in meaningful or memorable ways whether or not details are objective facts.|
|Oriented to the near future||Oriented to lessons of history|
|Change is good = progress||Change is bad = destruction of traditions|
|Universe evolved by chance||Universe created by God|
|Universe dominated and controlled by science and technology||God gave man stewardship over his earthly creation. Accountability to God.|
|Material goods = measure of personal achievement||Material goods = measure of God’s blessing|
|Blind faith||Knowledge-based faith|
|Time as points on straight line (“at this point in time…”||Time determined by content (“In the day that the Lord did…”)|
Sources: Irrational Man, by William Barrett; Christianity With Power by Charles Kraft; Hebrew Thought Compared With Greek by Thorleif Boman; Judaism and Christianity – The Differences by Trude Weiss-Rosmarin, Our Father Abraham, by Marvin Wilson, God in Search of Man by Abraham Heschel. Diagram taken from this source.