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The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but Jesus holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.
This is the Epistle selection to be read aloud on the twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost [Proper 25], Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It will follow either a Track 1 or Track 2 pairing of Old Testament and Psalms readings, depending on the track set for an individual church. Track 1 will offer Job’s response to Yahweh, where he said, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Psalm 34 then sings, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are they who trust in him!” Track 2 offers a reading from Jeremiah, where Yahweh spoke, saying “See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here.” Psalm 126 then sings [adjusted for truth], “Yahweh has done great things for us, and we are glad indeed.” All will accompany the Gospel reading from Mark, where it is written: “So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.”
I wrote deeply about this reading selection the last time it came up in the lectionary cycle (2018). I broke the verses down by segments, which is a most important step for grasping the truth of all the Epistles, as the Apostles wrote divinely, in the language of Yahweh, which does not translate well with English syntax. Because I wrote in-depth about these six verses then and that interpretation is still very valid today, there is no need for me to rewrite what has already been written. I fully stand behind my observations then; and, I welcome all readers to see that commentary by clicking on this link. I welcome your input on those words; but today I will focus on how this reading selection fits the theme of this Sunday, as one of six possible readings.
In verse twenty-three, the NRSV shows written: “The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office.” From that translation, without any of the prior twenty-two verses read [entering the vacuum of a reading selection], it is easy to quickly become lost and assume “former priests” means a long list of names of Israelites who served as an official “high priest” of the Tabernacle-Temple (beginning with Aaron). Because they were all mortals, they died. That is not the intent of what Paul wrote, as this needs to be seen as a reference to Job and Jeremiah (et al like them), neither of which were official “high priests” in that way.
In the Jeremiah reading, where he sang that Yahweh said the people of Jacob should be happy, because Yahweh will save the remnants of Israel, that rejoicing was the expectation of those souls who had been truly married to Yahweh and were thus true Israelites [a name meaning “Those Who Retain Yahweh and His elohim”]. That means each soul married to Yahweh also possesses (animates) a body of flesh, which then becomes the Tabernacle in which Yahweh resides – He rests between the Cherubim atop the Ark that is one’s heart. This makes the soul be the 'low' priest who maintains that fleshy temple; but marriage to Yahweh then brings about the divine possession of a separate soul – the meaning of “Ephraim” is “Doubly Fruitful” – who is then the Spiritual “high priest.” That “high priest” is the soul of Jesus resurrected, merged with the host soul, who is then reborn in the name of Jesus” – a name that means “Yah[weh] Will Save.”
When Paul then wrote, “but Jesus holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever” [the referencing of “Jesus” comes from verse twenty-two, which is applied to “auton” here (meaning “of him”)], this speaks of the eternity of a soul, which extends both before and beyond birth and death of a physical body. A soul alone is not the “high priest” as it has to first become married to Yahweh [out of love], and from that divine marriage give birth [the purpose of marriage and the meaning of Husband and wife] to the Son of man, who is forever the one and only “high priest” of those Tabernacles given in marriage to Yahweh. Once this state of being comes, it lasts forever, and this means Redemption allows for marriage and Salvation is the result of becoming possessed by a most divine “high priest.”
When Paul then wrote, “Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them,” this is how one needs to see the lives of Job, David and Jeremiah, all of whom are important figures of the “all time” that is portrayed in Biblical texts. The ‘characters’ of the Holy Bible are models for being “saved,” because of their “approach to God” and them being moved as God’s hands. The meaning of “intercession for them” is the ability to communicate with Yahweh directly, which is seen in Job 42 beginning by saying, “Job answered Yahweh” [the truth of that] and Jeremiah 31 beginning by saying, “Thus says Yahweh.’ [The truth of that also.] Intercession means a soul has become totally subservient to the Will of Yahweh, due to the divine marriage of one’s soul to His Spirit. The ‘intercessor’ is then the “high priest,” which is always “Jesus.”
When Paul then said, “For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens,” this speaks of the character of Job, who was deemed to be “blameless and upright, who feared elohim and turned away from evil.” The use of “heavens” [from “ouranōn”] needs to be read as a spiritual term, where outer space is still the material realm of Creation. The “heavens” are the immaterial presence of all things, such as a soul is the “heaven” of one’s body of flesh. For one’s soul to be “exalted above,” this is the elevation of a mere soul (through divine marriage) to that of a saint. That state of being means a soul is no longer alone, but joined with the soul of Jesus, which makes one’s soul be also a Son of Yahweh (regardless of human gender) and a brother to all other souls likewise divinely possessed (regardless of human gender). One can presume Jeremiah was also “a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens,” as his soul had also been possessed by Jesus, made an Anointed one by Yahweh (a Christ), sent to do Yahweh’s Will.
When Paul then wrote, “Unlike the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself,” “other high priests” are those of religions, where the rulers of those religions have rooted their way into positions of organizational significance, while having absolutely no connection to any “god,” other than their own souls, which “lord” over their sinful bodies of flesh. Daily sacrifices are done by those souls who forever offer themselves up on the altars of service to Yahweh. This sacrifice is first done through marriage to Yahweh, when one’s agreement to the marriage vows (the Covenant) are forever and are a commitment to forevermore turn away from the past and go forward into the future, newly cleansed of sins. The element of ministry is then when a “high priest” further sacrifices of self-soul, so others can benefit. Here is where so many Christians are misled and misunderstand what Yahweh meant, when He had Paul wrote, “this he did once for all when he offered himself.”
Try presenting this excuse at the 'Pearly Gates' and see if it works as well as it did with your ninth grade homeroom teacher.
The presumption is Jesus of Nazareth became cross bait for all the filthy sinners of the world. The misunderstanding is Jesus’ death on a cross saved countless sinners forevermore. The sacrifice of Jesus of Nazareth freed that divine soul so it could enter into ALL of the souls of Yahweh’s wives, who themselves have followed the model of Jesus of Nazareth and placed their own bodies (figuratively) on a cross of self-sacrifice. In the reading from Jeremiah, Yahweh sang about the need to praise how Yahweh would save the remnant of Israel. Yahweh wasn’t going to search for the lost sheep whose souls led to the ruin of Israel. They got what they caused, which is just for them. Yahweh knew who His wives were, who had been cursed like Job by Satan, unjustly. It is to those Who Retain Yahweh as His elohim [Israelites] that Jesus would be reborn within, making them offer sacrifices for those wanting salvation.
When Paul then wrote, “For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness,” that not only spoke condemningly towards the rulers of the Temple of Jerusalem [possessed by the spirit of Herod the Great], who helped themselves to all the profits of religion, but it speaks loudly today [and always]. Paul spoke a prophecy of all who would clothes themselves with fancy clothes and expect preferential treatment by the public, simply because they can memorize things written by others well enough to pass exams at a seminary. Anyone who needs to see a man or a woman in a robe to feel saved is a weakling. Both those in robes and those worshiping those in robes are the reason Israel was scattered to the four corners of the globe.
When Paul ended these verses by saying, “but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever,” that speaks of the marriage commitment that is the Covenant. The Law is written for all the berobed priests to nail on a wall in a church they call home, so they can point to it, letting all paying customers know how smart they are. What comes later is the realization that the Law is one’s soul’s marriage vows with Yahweh. That is not a group endeavor [like some mass marriage by a Asian guru]. Memorization becomes an act of defiance, refusing to bow down in submission to Yahweh, so one has faith Yahweh will always lead one to obey the Laws [His writing them on the walls of one's heart]. This is when Jesus’ soul is resurrected within each wife of Yahweh [males and females they are made], so ALL become the “Son, made perfect forever.”
As a required reading for the twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s own personal ministry for Yahweh should already be well underway, the lesson of Paul is to marry Yahweh, be reborn as His Son Jesus - be a Christ in his name - so one can enter ministry (without all the fancy robes) and lead others to do the same. The Ordinary time after Pentecost reflects the time of ministry. If one is listening to preachers or priests saying, “All you have to do is believe in JESUS! [pronounced “Geeez us] (and put a C-note in the basket)” and thinking everything is good to go, you are treading on thin ice. Only Jesus goes to heaven. If you plan on going there too, then you better start the ball rolling towards becoming Jesus reborn. The proof is then getting off your sinful ass and doing God’s work.