“But blessed are your eyes because they see ...” (Matthew 13:16-17)

“But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” (Matthew 13:16-17)

'Blessed' are whose eyes?

Jesus is speaking directly at his students and disciples - who were following his teachings. For this reason, he says:
"But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear."
Many who read Jesus' words try to read into them some kind of magical, mysterious meaning. Many try to use their imagination to understand the words “hear” and “see.” This is unfortunate.

The reality is that both “seeing” and “hearing” are done not simply using the sense organs, as all those around Jesus heard his words and saw his actions. Real "seeing" and "hearing" is done with the heart.

This deeper sense of "seeing" and "hearing" means that we must see that behind Jesus' words and actions is a relationship of love between Jesus and the Supreme Being.

This is a heartfelt relationship, one that cannot be dissected by the logic centers of the mind.

Why are they 'blessed'?

Jesus' teachings reveal a relationship of love, dedication, and service. This is confirmed with such statements as:
"By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me." (John 5:36)
Jesus was wanting to please the Supreme Being because he loved the Supreme Being.

Such a loving relationship with the Supreme Being is so rare in this physical world. It is so rare, Jesus points out, that even the prophets, who themselves served and represented God, yearn to be in the presence of one who is experiencing and expressing a loving service relationship with the Supreme Being.

Those who have a chance to hear from one with such a loving relationship with the Supreme Being are truly blessed. So is the person who actually can perceive the relationship that Jesus displayed with his life and words. A person who can peer into and understand even a portion of Jesus’ confidential relationship with the Supreme Being is blessed with one of life’s highest benedictions.

Why do so many disagree about Jesus?

Ever since Paul debated with James and Peter regarding who Jesus was and what his teachings meant, many have disagreed about Jesus and his role.

This is quite odd because while James and Peter had heard Jesus' teachings directly and had been guided by him, Paul was not a disciple of Jesus. Paul's claim to Jesus was that he had a "vision" of Jesus while he was walking along a road.

Note that no one else observed this vision, and the claim is that Paul only saw a light - not Jesus' body or otherwise.  Acts 9:3 states that there was "a light from heaven," meaning there was a light in the sky. And then in Acts 9:4, it states that Paul fell to the ground and heard Jesus speak to him. 

Yes, there was a voice, but how would Paul have recognized that the voice was from Jesus if he didn't see Jesus or know Jesus beforehand? Literally, anyone could have spoken to Paul - or the voice could have come from Paul himself for that matter.

There is significant evidence that Paul utilized this "vision" to advance himself as a spiritual teacher in the name of Jesus without having done the hard work of learning Jesus' teachings and following those teachings. Almost immediately upon advancing his "vision of Jesus" Paul began teaching in the Synagogues in Jesus' name, despite the fact that he had not trained under Jesus. Jesus himself spoke of such people:
"Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming 'I am the Messiah,' and will deceive many." (Matthew 24:5)
Prior to this, Paul, a Roman with Jewish ancestry, worked for the Roman government and was active in persecuting Jesus' followers. Then he had this "vision" and began teaching things that Jesus didn't teach at all. He created his own doctrine loosely based on Jesus' life but did not strictly adhere to Jesus' teachings. For this reason, Paul was criticized by Jesus' teaching disciples Peter and James - for having departed from Jesus' teachings in order to attract the masses.

It would be one thing if Paul were to have been a close disciple of Jesus, then begin adapting Jesus' teachings for a broader audience. But this was not Paul's position. He had not been close enough to Jesus to really learn his teachings directly. He learned of them secondhand and modified them to appeal to a broad audience, setting himself up as the leader of the early church. 

Paul effectively watered down Jesus' teachings and made them about being saved by Jesus' crucifixion instead of about coming to know and love the Supreme Being.

James and Peter, and other disciples of Jesus, were "blessed" because they got to hear directly from Jesus about God and His mission. They got to hear Jesus' teachings directly, inclusive of being corrected by Jesus from time to time.

Jesus' teachings were clearly aligned with the teachings of the Prophets. This lineage of ancient teachers spoke of establishing a loving relationship with God through devotion, worship and offerings.

Paul tossed all of this out the window in lieu of establishing a religious philosophy that aligned with the Roman Empire, and made Jesus' role be all about his dying for our sins. Paul taught that Jesus' teachings were new, and departed from the teachings of the Prophets, even though Jesus quoted the Prophets throughout his teachings, including his 'first and foremost commandment' to love God and love others (quoted from Moses).

Paul's interpretation of Jesus' life and teachings was clearly aimed to attract followers, who sought an easy departure to heaven by focusing on 'the blood of Jesus.' Amazingly, this is despite the fact that Paul was not a follower of Jesus and did not hear directly from him when he walked the earth.

Was the concept of 'son of God' Roman?

As an example of the alignment of Paul's teachings with the Romans', we find that the title of 'son of God' was an important political role to the Romans. For example, the Roman Emperor Augustus was given the title of divi filius, which loosely means son of God.

Before and after Augustus, other Roman Emperors, along with other emperors in different regions, were claimed to be the son of a god. Then we find that Emperor Constantine "the Great" pushed for Jesus to be given the title of 'son of God.'

The Roman-driven theology was that Jesus would be part of a holy trinity, putting him at the level of God - not unlike the status of certain Roman emperors before.

This role was argued among early Christian theologians. Then the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD took place. Here the attending bishops argued amongst themselves and were pushed to vote to officially authorize Paul's teachings while disregarding the teachings of Jesus' true disciples - thus disregarding Jesus' own teachings.

In other words, Jesus' role as defined by Jesus' closest disciples like James, Peter, John and others was completely rejected, in lieu of the mystical role defined by Paul - out of context with Jesus' actual life and teachings.

This is why, for example, Jesus' adherence to the teachings of the Prophets has been virtually ignored by so many. And many of the references Jesus made to the teachings of the Prophets have been misinterpreted and mistranslated to seem that the role of the Prophets was to predict Jesus' arrival.

Jesus' closest disciples were 'blessed' because they understood Jesus' role as a great loving servant of God. He was thus God's representative. They saw the relationship between Jesus and God in an intimate way because they saw Jesus' life up close.

Today, the reason why so many people debate about Jesus, and reach all sorts of bent conclusions about the meaning of his life and teachings, is because they do not see this loving service relationship that exists between Jesus and the Supreme Being.
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)

What are the byproducts of blurring God's individuality?

One of the unfortunate byproducts of Paul's teachings and the Nicene Creed is that it blurred God's individuality. This in turn blurred the relationship between Jesus and God.

As a result, many sectarian teachings say that Jesus is the Supreme Being. This is unfortunate because when you eliminate the most important Individual of the relationship between Jesus and the Supreme Being, you remove the loving relationship itself. There must be two individuals in order to experience love.

In other words, when Jesus, and Moses before him, instructed us to love the Supreme Being with all our hearts and souls, they were speaking of our developing a relationship with an Individual - the Supreme Being. There can be no love without there being an individual object of love - the individual that is loved.

(Someone can say they love an object, but that is not the same as true love. By definition, true love can only be given to an individual or a group of individuals.)

This doesn't negate the union that exists between Jesus and God. There is a definite union between Jesus and the Supreme Being. Jesus is representing the Supreme Being, and acting on behalf of the Supreme Being. So in that sense, the words he speaks are coming from the Supreme Being, and we can worship Jesus as God’s messenger.

But to confuse the loving servant with his master and Beloved is to make a drastic mistake. To ignore the Supreme Being, the Father, whom Jesus loves and sacrificed his physical body for, is to eliminate the possibility that one day, we too, may be able to have a loving relationship with the Supreme Being. And this was the very reason Jesus taught those around him. He wanted others to develop their own personal loving relationship with the Supreme Being.

And as for seeing the Supreme Being as a vague force or void - as many do: how can we love a vague force or void? And how can a vague force have a will? How can a void have a will? In order to love and do the will of someone, there must be an individual - a person with a will. A person - in this case, the Supreme Person: The Person that Jesus is loving and serving - and teaching about.