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The Feelings of Jesus' Heart

His Whole Person's Affective Narrative

 

 

 

Chapter 4                             His Outcomes

 

 

Sections

 

His Interpersonal Outcomes

His Personal Outcomes

Chap.1

Chap.2

Chap.3

Chap.4

Chap.5

Printable pdf

(Entire study)

Table of Contents

 

Supplemental Resources

 

 

“She has been intimately involved with me to enact

a beautiful response to me, touching my whole person.”

Matthew 26:10

 

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Matthew 27:46

 

 

 

            The affective narrative revealing vulnerably the heart of Jesus’ whole person intensifies even more to magnify integrally the outcomes embodied from his identity and enacted from his function.  Constituted by the righteous nature of who, what and how he is, these outcomes will unfold at the depth of the interpersonal level as well as the personal level.

            Before the outcomes in his trajectory unfold, Jesus is emphatic in clarifying that they do not, will not and cannot result from common illusions of faith and prevailing simulations of its practice.  As Jesus continues through towns and villages, teaching, healing and making his way to Jerusalem, someone asks him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”  He responds with an uncommon measure of exclusive parameters: “You do not have the option of a variable way but you must enter through the narrow door; I counsel you, many will try to enter and won’t be able to on their terms.  Once the Master shuts this door to close off any way inside, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’  But he will answer unequivocally ‘I don’t know you or where you’re coming from.’  Then you will testify, ‘We ate and drank with you in the same context, and you taught in our streets.’  His emphatic reply, ‘You were not directly involved with me, my person, so I don’t know you from inner out.  So, get away from me, all you engaged in misdeeds.!’” 

 

The reality is that there is no shortcut or wide approach to this relational outcome of his gospel and his terms for discipleship—no matter what activities are participated in together.  Even with good intentions, we cannot claim to know a person just by knowing things about that person.  A person is never known from inner out until we make our heart vulnerable from inner out to have heart-to-heart connection.

 

            Many simulate following Jesus and are only associated with him.  Moreover, many are embedded in illusions about their faith.  As the Good Shepherd, Jesus laments over this reality: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who silence the messengers from God, how often I have longed to gather your children in relationship, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.  But you were not willing to make your heart vulnerable to me.”

            Knowing each other from inner out, heart to heart, is the key to the narrow door of following Jesus; and this discipleship is nonnegotiable for this outcome.  Anything less is consequential in not knowing each other.  The Good Shepherd always knows his sheep intimately, because his heart is vulnerably involved with them ongoingly.  Sadly, and to Jesus’ frustration, it becomes clear that after all the time they spent together, his twelve disciples still struggled to know his person from inner out—“And you still don’t know me” (Jn 14:9).  This elusive outcome is consequential in their hearts yet to be fully vulnerable to him.

            Jesus is emphatic, unequivocal and even unsettling about who can be his disciple, when he outlines contingencies for discipleship:

 

“If anyone wants to follow me and does not make, for example, their biological family—yes, even their own life—secondary to me, they cannot be my disciple.  Whoever does not die to their self-interests down to their heart, cannot be my disciple.”  That is to say, “you are accountable for fulfilling the contingencies for discipleship in order to come together with my person for relationship as my disciple.  Therefore, no one else but you can bear this cost, which you then must seriously consider before making any claim to follow me.”

 

            In other words, coming together with Jesus on his trajectory is only a relational process leading to reconciliation.  And this reconciliation is the relational outcome that can unfold only from the redemptive change enabled by the heart of Jesus’ whole person.  He embodies from inner out the experiential truth of this relational outcome, and he enacts heart to heart for this relational outcome to be the relational reality person to person.  His interpersonal outcomes unfold measured only on the integral basis of his personal outcomes.

 

 

His Interpersonal Outcomes

 

 

            Jesus enters Jericho and is passing through.  A man is there by the name of Zaccheus, who is a chief tax collector and wealthy from his dealings.  He is trying to see who Jesus is, but since he is a short man he can’t because of the crowd.  His status doesn’t give him the privilege to be in front of the crowd, but in fact he is looked down upon and pushed aside.  So, he runs ahead of the flow and climbs up a sycamore tree to see Jesus as he comes by.

            When Jesus reaches Zaccheus’ observation place, he surprisingly looks up directly at him and vulnerably shares, “Zaccheus, come down immediately, because I must by necessity (not obligation) stay at your house today.”  Zaccheus is flabbergasted but comes down quickly and openly welcomes him with joyful excitement that makes his heart vulnerable to Jesus.  All the people observing this are shocked, if not dismayed, and complain, “He has gone to stay with a sinful outcast.”  Jesus initiates this connection for the purpose of redemptive change, so that this interpersonal outcome will impact the inequitable surrounding context and establish equality in God’s family.

            Signifying his turnaround change, Zaccheus stands up and responds vulnerably to Jesus heart to heart, “Look Lord, from this decisive point in my life forward I give half of my possessions to the poor, and where I have extorted anything from anyone, I will pay back four times the amount.”  Zaccheus’ action makes clear that his redemptive change of the old Zaccheus dying so that the new Zaccheus can rise, constitutes the following interpersonal outcome that deeply touched Jesus’ heart to then exclaim: “Today, being saved from sin and to wholeness has become a reality in this person, because his former self was rejected, denied belonging, but now his whole person is a son of Abraham, that is, fully belonging in God’s family.  This interpersonal outcome is a relational reality because the Son of Man has come to seek and to save those fragmented by the human relational condition prevailing in the world and pervading even among the descendants of Abraham.”  Zaccheus signifies a pivotal outcome that equalizes those belonging in God’s family in equitable intimate relationships together.

 

This human relational condition that earlier afflicted Zaccheus fragments Jesus’ followers into partisan views, the condition which pervades even the church of his name—all of which is consequential in reinforcing and sustaining the injustices in the surrounding context, and thus in direct conflict with the outcome of Jesus bringing justice to victory (Mt 12:20).  The reality of this existing condition prevents the interpersonal outcomes that Jesus enacted in the experiential truth of the process for redemptive reconciliation.  Therefore, the only means to this relational outcome is redemptive change; and Jesus would have to critique anything less and any substitutes assumed to make this outcome a relational reality, in order to turn existential conditions around by redemptive change.  The narrative of his critique unfolds in his post-ascension feedback with the Spirit (discussed in the next chapter).

 

            An earlier interaction demonstrates the relational process involved in Jesus’ interpersonal outcomes.  Back in Bethany, Martha and Mary’s brother Lazarus becomes very sick and near death.  When Jesus hears about this, his heart is stirred because he loves this family very much.  He says confidently, “This sickness will not end in death.  No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”  Yet, even though Lazarus  and his sisters are special to him, he nevertheless stays two more days in the place where he is.  Finally, he says to his disciples, “Let’s go back quickly to Judea.”  The disciples raise another issue of concern to them, “Rabbi, just a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you’re going back there?”

            Then, Jesus vulnerably shares his feelings with them of his close affection for this family, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I’m going there to wake him up.”  Not understanding where Jesus is coming from, his disciples reply, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will get well.”  Jesus doesn’t agree with their pessimism about his welfare, or the optimism about Lazarus.  So, he then tells them clearly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I’m glad I wasn’t there, so that you may believe more deeply.  But now let’s go to him for this interpersonal outcome to be fulfilled.”  At that point, Thomas (called Didymus) says from his predisposed bias to the other disciples, “OK, let’s go also so that we may die with him.”

            When Jesus arrives at Bethany, he hears that Lazarus has already been in the tomb for four days.  Since Bethany is only two miles from Jerusalem, many Jews have come to comfort Martha and Mary in the loss of their brother.  As soon as Martha hears that Jesus is coming, she goes out to meet him, but Mary remains seated at home.  The following interactions take place, which lead to their interpersonal outcomes.

            When Martha comes together with Jesus, she starts to share her disappointment, “Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  Then she tempers her feelings by adding, “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”  She doesn’t share the feelings in her heart underlying those words.  Jesus responds to her assuredly, “Your brother will rise again.”  Keeping her heart distant from Jesus, Martha just says from the cerebral level, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day”—which demonstrates her belief in the information heard from Jesus before.  Knowing that Martha merely expresses an intellectual belief, Jesus tenderly challenges her: “I, my person, am the resurrection and the life.  The ones who trust in me with their hearts, even if they die, will live.  Everyone who lives from inner out and thereby trusts in me will never die.  Do you, Martha, believe deeply enough to make your heart vulnerable in trust of my person from inner out?”  Martha simply replies, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world”—thus limiting the interpersonal outcome between them, leaving Jesus disappointed, if not hurt, because his interpersonal outcomes unfold from person-to-person, heart-to-heart relational involvement.

            Having said this without going deeper, she goes back and calls her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher [using a less personal title] is here and is asking for you.”  As soon as Mary hears this, she jumps up immediately and runs to him.  When the Jews, who are in the house comforting her, see how quickly she leaves, they follow her, thinking that she is going to Lazarus’ tomb to cry there.

            In deeper contrast to Martha than at the dinner earlier, when Mary sees Jesus, she falls at his feet and pours her heart out crying, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  Even saying the same words as Martha, the contrast is obvious, especially to Jesus.  When Jesus sees her bawling, his heart is deeply moved and stirred up like never seen before.  He then asks the Jews crying along side of Mary, “Where have you laid him?”  They reply “Come and see, Lord,” as Jesus weeps profusely.  The Jews then say to one another, “See how much he loved Lazarus.”  But some of them say, “Couldn’t he who opened the blind man’s eyes also have kept Lazarus from dying?”—a valid assumption swirling in Mary and Martha.

            Then Jesus comes to the tomb as his feelings can’t be contained.  A stone covered the opening of the cave tomb, so Jesus strongly directs others, “Take away the stone.”  When Martha hears him, as a further indication of her level of belief in him, she retorts, “But Lord, there is already a very bad odor because he has been dead four days.”  Jesus confronts where Martha is—distracted by secondary circumstances at the expense of the primary.  “Didn’t I tell you that if you trust in me with your heart, not just believe in your mind, you will experience the outcome of the heart of God?”  Mary, however, likely anticipated the outcome about to unfold, which she wanted from Jesus from the beginning.

            So they take away the stone.  Then, with intimate connection with the heart of the Father, Jesus’ heart pours out, “Lazarus, come out!”—and his relational outcome is fulfilled.  This also sets into motion the final stages of his personal outcome soon to unfold.

            Another interaction takes place earlier in a village to distinguish the relational process of his interpersonal outcomes from those results experienced centered on situations and circumstances.  Ten men with leprosy approach him from a distance and shout out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”  When he sees them, he responds compassionately, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”  And as they are going, they are cleansed, which obviously makes all of them happy with satisfaction.  But one of them, upon seeing that he is healed, returns to Jesus praising God with a loud voice.  Making his heart vulnerable, he falls face down at Jesus’ feet, sharing his deepest feelings of thanks to him.  Notably, he is a Samaritan, which doesn’t elude Jesus’ awareness.

            Then Jesus shares his feelings of disappointment and also joy, “Were not all ten cleansed?  So, where are the other nine?  Why don’t the others return also to give their praise to God just like this foreigner, who is considered less among the Jews?”  Then, he shares warmly with the Samaritan, “Rise anew because the faith from your heart has this outcome that makes you well in wholeness.”  In other words, the Samaritan experiences Jesus’ interpersonal outcome heart to heart, while the others are constrained by the situation to experience, thus, only a limited result (however positive) in their circumstances, nothing more.

            Later, little children are brought to Jesus in order for them to make relational connection with him.  But the disciples see this as negative distraction and thus intervene to prevent such involvement with Jesus.  Then Jesus’ heart bursts, “Leave the little children alone, and don’t try to block them from connecting with me, because, as I told you earlier, the kingdom of God belongs to persons whose hearts are vulnerably involved like a little child.  So, I cannot emphasize enough the experiential truth that whoever is not involved in the kingdom of God with their heart like a child will not have the outcome of belonging in God’s family as the relational reality.”  Then he warmly embraces the little children for this interpersonal outcome.

            This elemental relational outcome will soon be further enacted after Jesus makes his triumphant entry uncommonly into Jerusalem to intensify his trajectory to his penultimate outcome.  As he expands his function in the temple, the children lead the chorus, shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David.”  This offends the chief priests and the scribes, who protest to Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?”—implying they don’t have the knowledge to speak, namely in place of the educated like them.  Building on his excitement before how God revealed his function to little children and not the wise and educated (Lk 10:21), Jesus shames those leaders by reminding them, “Have you never read, ‘You have prepared praise to come from the mouth of infants and nursing babies’?”  His interpersonal outcomes always silence the logic of the educated, who depend solely on their reason to determine their function.

            Shortly, Jesus will forcefully clean out the temple of its discriminatory ways and inequitable structures, in order for the redemptive change necessary to unfold so that the interpersonal outcome “My house will be a house of prayerful relational involvement for all persons, peoples, tribes, nations and languages without any comparative distinctions” will be the relational reality.

            Then, Jesus reveals urgently to his disciples, “You’re aware that the Passover takes place after two days, and at that time the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”  They are aware of the religious schedule, but they aren’t conscious of this critical juncture in his life because they have yet to make their hearts fully vulnerable to him to be involved heart to heart. 

            At their Passover table fellowship, with his time getting short, Jesus wants them to experience intimately the heart of his whole person vulnerably involved with them by his love—the interpersonal outcome which they can always count on him for in relationship together person to person, heart to heart.  So, he gets up from the meal, takes off his outer clothing and wraps a towel around his waist.  Then, surprisingly, he begins to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them tenderly with the towel tied around him.

            Peter is shocked and says in disbelief to Jesus when it is his turn, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”  Jesus answers pointing to his relational context, “Since you haven’t listened carefully to my words and integrated them along the way, you don’t realize now the significance of my actions, but when you do, you will understand.”

 

The relational context that Jesus points to is the essential relational involvement that he made definitive in order to “Follow me,” which engages the relational process of being vulnerably involved “with my person where I am” (Jn 12:26).  Therefore, only those vulnerably involved in this relational context and process with his person—not simply knowing his teachings or just his deeds, his example and things about him—will experience his interpersonal outcome as the relational reality of belonging to him.  The Twelve have yet to be vulnerably involved with his person, so Jesus vulnerably enacts this unlikely relational process for their vulnerable involvement.  That is to say, by making his person even more vulnerable to his disciples by washing their feet, they too are rendered vulnerable as does this intimate act.

 

            Peter reacts defiantly, “No, you shall never wash my feet!”  With empathy Jesus clarifies for Peter, “Unless you receive my person vulnerably before you by making your person vulnerable, you are not involved with ‘me, being where I am’.”  But, Peter doesn’t listen carefully and thus doesn’t become vulnerable from inner out.  With his biased outer-in lens, he replies (not submits), “OK Lord, not just my feet but my hands and my head as well”—obviously constrained by the outer in both for himself and for Jesus, which sustains the relational gap that Jesus’ vulnerable action seeks to close.  Therefore, Jesus’ action and words are not directed to Peter only but to any and all who identify themselves as his followers.

            In other words, washing their feet is not the essential function that Jesus wants from his disciples to do also.  When he finishes washing their feet, he makes clear the relational action he just completed for the primacy of their function to be in his likeness—“following my person and being where I am.”  He pursues them first to see if they learned anything yet, “Do you understand what I have enacted for you?”  Then, he makes clear the uncommon relational process they just experienced of him making vulnerable the heart of his whole person, in order for them to be involved with him as never before, and thereby to function with one another in relationship together for nothing less than his interpersonal outcome: 

 

“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’, and rightly so because that is my role and my title.  But those are secondary things about me and do not define my person and determine my primary function.  I make my whole person vulnerable to you for the only depth of relationship that matters, person to person, heart to heart.  Therefore, this is the person in my likeness that I expect you to be, and the primary function I count on from you.  Since you are nothing greater than me, your likeness will be blessed and satisfied with nothing less and no substitutes.”

 

            Jesus’ interpersonal outcomes are not circumstantial, and thus they do not happen disconnected from his relational context.  Nor do they happen tangentially to his relational process, but they are always relational outcomes from vulnerable involvement person to person, heart to heart with him.  This is the good news that constitutes his gospel, which is no longer good news when claimed and proclaimed without the essential vulnerable involvement directly in his relational context and process. 

            The relational measure used for constituting his gospel are magnified in an intimate relational involvement he has that is at the heart of the good news.  And his affective narrative neither distorts nor misinforms the substance of this good news, which cannot be said for wherever the gospel is proclaimed throughout the world.

            Six days before the Passover, Jesus is in Bethany at a dinner given in his honor at the house of Simon the leper.  Lazarus is one of those sharing this table fellowship with him, while Martha stays at a distance in her role of serving.  Mary, however, takes a jar of expensive perfume and intimately anoints his head and feet, then tenderly wipes his feet with her hair.  The heart of her whole person is vulnerably poured out to Jesus at the level he never before experienced from another person.  This touches the depths of his heart unlike any of his interactions with others, including the prostitute washing his feet. 

            When the disciples see her action—no doubt with Mary’s earlier boldness sitting with them at Jesus’ feet still in their memory—they are indignant, protesting, “Why has this perfume been wasted?  For this perfume could have been sold for more than 300 days’ wages and given to the poor.”  So, they begin to rebuke her harshly—perhaps partly from their unresolved anger still harbored over Mary’s earlier boldness. 

            Jesus immediately corrects them about the primacy of his relational context and process, which requires their vulnerable involvement with him person to person, heart to heart—the essential priority over serving and all else, even caring for the poor.  “Leave her alone, now!  Why are you harassing her?  Haven’t you learned yet what is primary and what is only secondary?  She has enacted a deeply beautiful response that embraces my heart at this important time.  You always have the poor around you, so you can care for them at any time.  But you won’t always have me for such involvement.  In her intimate response to my heart, she anoints my person in anticipation of my burial.  This relational involvement and its interpersonal outcome in relationship together of wholeness is the good news constituting my gospel.  Therefore, let my words be heeded:

 

Wherever and whenever the gospel is proclaimed throughout the world, her intimate heart-to-heart interpersonal involvement needs to be shared also in memory of her precedence, which brings the good news embodying the interpersonal outcome of my gospel.”

 

            During this week Jesus enacts the good news to make definitive his interpersonal outcome in the primacy of relationship together in wholeness.  At their last table fellowship together, Jesus shares a defining relational statement with his disciples that will be clarifying, confronting and correcting for all his followers, present and future:

 

“I will not leave you as orphans, that is, relational orphans, who are not redeemed from your old relational condition but adopted in the new relational condition belonging in my family as one of our very own.  If you continue to be relationally involved with me ongoingly, you will never be relationally disconnected from the whole of God—the triune God whose Spirit will be vulnerably present and relationally involved with you in contrast to others at a relational distance.  In addition, if you love me by your relational involvement, my Father will love you; and thereby our relational involvement, we will come to you directly and make our home together with you.  This is not a baseless promise but shared with you directly from my Father, who sent me to you for this interpersonal outcome.  Therefore, the Father, the Spirit and I, constituting the whole of God, is the ongoing relational basis for you not becoming relational orphans.  Receive and embrace us person to person, heart to heart, and this interpersonal outcome will be your experiential truth and relational reality—nothing less and no substitutes.”

 

            Later, on the cross Jesus takes defining action on his promise not to leave his followers as relational orphans.  Likely the most affected persons witnessing his painful death are his mother Mary and his beloved disciple John.  What will become of the widow Mary, whose oldest son Jesus has the traditional responsibility to take care of her.  But, Jesus doesn’t merely promise that his followers will be taken care of, which by itself is no guarantee against being a relational orphan.  (Many households are filled with relational orphans.)  No, first and foremost, Mary belongs to God’s family, and that is the only relational context that would fulfill his promise. 

            So, in his painful condition Jesus expresses his heart, lovingly involved with Mary and John, to complete his interpersonal outcome for constituting his family—the good news embodying his gospel in the wholeness of family together.  With the deepest involvement of love, he shares with his mother, “Mary, my dear woman, here beside you is now your son in my new family together.”  Then further sharing with John, “Here is your new mother, whom I entrust to you in my family together.”  From that time on, John embraces her into his home as his very own—belonging together in Jesus’ family and thus never to be relational orphans. 

 

This interpersonal outcome is the precedence for the church family he embodies.  And what he embodied is inseparable from the who of his person and the how of his function.  Therefore, his church family should not be confused for or conflated with merely membership joining a church.  Anything less than his interpersonal outcome enables a gathering of relational orphans.

 

            Jesus’ love for his followers is incomplete until it enacts his interpersonal outcome as his own family together.  His love, therefore, is distinguished not by mere sacrifice, even on the cross, but by the essential relational process of family love.  He loves his followers with nothing less and no substitutes for family love.  Only on this relational basis is his new commandment to all his followers constituted; and, thus, “Just as I have loved you with family love, in likeness you are to be involved with one another on my basis of family love.  As you are relationally involved deeply from your heart, anyone observing this will know that you are my disciples in your whole identity and function.”  Accordingly, “just on the whole basis of my family love, you are to be my embodied witnesses testifying to the experiential truth and relational reality of the good news of my interpersonal outcome for all the world to receive.”

            For his interpersonal outcome to keep unfolding for his followers in their identity (ontology) and function, Jesus supports them with his formative family prayer (also considered his high priestly prayer, Jn 17).  Sharing his heart fully with his Father in the wholeness of their relationship together—the wholeness of their ontology and function as persons belonging together as One, heart to heart—Jesus prays for the formation of his family to be from inner out, distinguished uncommon from the common surrounding them, thus “just as I am distinguished from it.”  His feelings shared with his Father flow freely to witness to the depth of their oneness together—as will be verified in his personal outcomes.  And on the essential basis of their whole ontology and function, “you, Father, sent me into the world” so “that all of my followers will belong together with us as one in our relational likeness,” and thereby “intimately be with me where I am, in order that the love you, Father, have for me may also be in them and that my person will be inseparably in them.”

            As this interpersonal outcome unfolds in them, on this basis alone “I send them into the world, just as you sent me.”  This relational process is critical for his interpersonal outcome to propagate, “so that the world may believe you sent me and witness the relational reality that you, Father, have loved my followers just as you have loved me.”

            His formative family prayer ongoingly remains at the heart of his interpersonal outcomes—the heart of his person constituting the whole of God in his personal outcomes.  As this affective narrative shifts to his personal outcomes, his interpersonal outcomes don’t cease but are always integrally interrelated.  Notably, his personal outcomes will help clarify any illusions and correct any simulations his followers may have about his interpersonal outcomes.  Most important, his personal outcomes unfold always directly correlated to his intimate interaction with the Father (as his prayer above reveals) and his ongoing involvement with the Spirit.  Yet, his person will be distinct from them—with one personal outcome leaving him disconnected in a moment of mystery on the cross.

 

 

His Personal Outcomes

 

 

            Jesus’ life on earth embodies his personal outcomes that reveal the ontology (identity) of who and what he is, whom he always enacts by how he is to determine his personal outcomes.  Each and every outcome, personal and interpersonal, in his life are all inseparable from who, what and how he is, because they are based on his righteousness—that is, the whole of who, what and how he is, whose integrity can always be counted on to be nothing less than who and what and no substitutes for how, thereby to embody and enact the ontology and function of the whole of God.  Therefore, only the heart of his whole person integrally encompasses, conjoins, integrates and unifies the Jesus seen, heard, claimed and proclaimed; and anything less and any substitutes reconstitutes his person and revises his gospel from their wholeness.

            “In the beginning, before the universe and all of created life, existed the Word, who was together with God because the Word was God—an integral person of the whole of God.  Accordingly, through him all things were created, and apart form him not one thing came into being.  What came into being in him was life in its qualitative significance, not merely its quantitative existence, which was the light illuminated for all humankind.  Yet, even though this light shines in the human context of darkness, those in the darkness have not understood it—despite the existential reality of the light overcoming the darkness.

            “The Word became embodied in the world for him to enact the relational context and process of God as the essential basis for his personal outcomes.  An initial summary of his personal outcomes flows variably from his interpersonal outcomes as follows:

 

1.     Though he came vulnerably to God’s own people, his own people did not accept him, or
 

2.     To all who embraced him and trusted his person heart to heart, he enacted their redemptive change to belong in God’s family as his very own children—persons born anew, not born of natural descent, nor of human will and means, but born new only by God.”

 

            Therefore, his personal outcomes that will unfold in his affective narrative will be inclusive of the spectrum of feelings in his heart, including the range of negative feelings that he makes vulnerable and never harbors in his heart.  Anything less will diminish his person and fragment his outcomes, both personal and interpersonal, from their intrinsic wholeness embodying and enacting God.

 

There is a vital distinctions needing to be made, especially by those engaged in the theological task at any level.  There is an ironic difference between the Word and the Bible; the use of the latter has evolved to diminish his person and fragment his outcomes.  The Word embodied and enacted the whole of God in God’s essential relational context and process, by which God’s ontology and function were vulnerably revealed face to face, person to person, heart to heart for the sole relational purpose and outcome of relationship together in wholeness.  Only on this relational basis did the Word constitute his gospel, by which he communicated the Word of God just by relational language to compose the relational terms necessary for belonging in covenant relationship together.  His outcomes are contained in the Bible.  However, when the Word is not received and understood in his relational language and terms, all this content becomes merely information about God composed in referential language for its transmission.  Because of this, the Bible has become this reference book about God that many Christian identity with in their faith and use for their theology and practice, whereby the Word’s relational outcomes become effectively elusive, with the relational consequence of gatherings as relational orphans, even with good intentions in adhering to the Bible without embracing or even understanding the Word’s relational promise “I will not leave you as relational orphans.”  Moreover, the Word as the light of life has also eluded many, thereby putting their theology in a theological fog and blurring their vision in their practice. 

            The Word, however, continues to live today only by the incarnation principle measure of nothing less and no substitutes.  In other words, when the historical epochs of the Bible are transmitted by referential language, the Word and his outcomes become variably shaped by what prevails in the surrounding context; the invariable consequence reduces his whole person and reimagines the heart of his outcomes to a quantitative aspect from outer in.  Thus, no matter how much the Bible is engaged for our theology and practice, we should neither assume nor confuse that engagement with the relational involvement directly with the Word from and therefore of God.  Any questions?  Ask the Word, not the Bible.

 

           “No one has ever seen God.  But the one and only Son, who is himself God and is intimately one with the Father heart to heart, his person has revealed the Father vulnerably to be known by others in intimate relationship together also heart to heart.”  This relational outcome constitutes the unfathomable depth of his personal outcome, which he shares intimately with the Father for his interpersonal outcome to be the relational reality of their family together: “I have revealed (phaneroo) your being in relational language to those whom you gave me from the world…that they may have eternal life.  And this alone is eternal life, that they may intimately know you from inner out, as well as my whole person whom you have sent.”

            His personal outcome is inseparably integrated with this interpersonal outcome, because his qualitative function always involves the relational process and outcome of phaneroo—whereas apokalypto is a quantitative process limited only to the object revealed.  Apokalypto is what the Bible effectively reveals in contrast to the phaneroo magnified by the Word.  Therefore, the Word’s personal outcome continues ongoingly, “I have made you known in your relational language, and I will keep being relationally involved with them for the deepest outcomes so that the love you have for me may also be their experiential truth and relational reality, and that my person will always be involved with them heart to heart…and thus that they together may be one just as we, Father, are one together with the Spirit.”

            His unique incarnation initiated the relational process of his earthly personal outcomes.  Even as a baby, his heart is conscious of his person and thus aware of those involved with him.  As his conscious awareness develops, his person at age twelve enacts the relational purpose that his Father had for him.  Contrary to his parents’ wishes for him, he goes to the temple by himself and engages the teachers in the theological task.  They are simply amazed by his theological understanding, in contrast to their lack due to what amounts to theological fog.  But his parents are conflicted with his person’s function.  Therefore, he clarifies for them the identity and function of his whole person underlying his personal outcome, “Why were you searching for me?  Didn’t you know that it was necessary for my to be in my Father’s house in order to fulfill his purpose for sending me into the world?”

            As Jesus continues as an adult to fulfill his Father’s purpose, his personal outcomes are taking their toll on him and burden his heart to the point where he no longer wants to enact his purpose.  The stress from knowing the outcome he will soon endure, drives him to a garden in Gethsemane.  In an intimate moment with his disciples, he shares, “My heart is deeply grieved, overwhelmed to the point of death.”  It is understandable that the disciples could not be empathetic with what is on his heart, because no human has ever faced what he is about to go through.  Yet, his disciples could be sympathetic to him if they made their hearts vulnerable to his feelings.  That outcome doesn’t occur at this time, which sadly hurts him, adding to his heavy heart. 

            Feeling the anxiety and fear of the personal outcome soon to happen to him, he then vulnerably pours out his feelings to his Father, the only one who could empathize with his heart, “My Father, if it is possible, let this outcome be removed from me.”  No doubt, Jesus knows that his Father receives him in his feelings, but intellectually he already knows what his Father wants.  Having shared the most vulnerable feelings in his heart, Jesus unequivocally affirms the priority of his Father’s will and his commitment to fulfill it, whatever the cost.  Accordingly, his personal outcome is fulfilled, so that his interpersonal outcomes will also be fulfilled—with one exceptional outcome that is beyond human comprehension.

 

The Gethsemane outcome enacts the heart of his whole person in vulnerable function.  His vulnerable function communicates to his followers: (1) the whole person to “follow me,” and (2) his vulnerable function of “where I am” whereby “his followers will also be in their function” (Jn 12:26).  This is definitive, thus irreducible and nonnegotiable, for the inner-out identity of his followers’ person and their function—the identity and function in full likeness to his, which (3) embodies nothing less than the wholeness of God (“my peace I give to you,” Jn 14:27) and (4) enacts no substitutes for the vulnerable relational involvement  of  love “just as I have loved you” (Jn 13:24).  In other words, the sheep follow who, what and how the Shepherd communicates, because they know his voice and he knows them by heart.  Yet, unlike sheep that merely follow a shepherd by rote function, Jesus’ followers in his likeness must function with the corresponding sentience expressing the heart of his whole person—function which can’t be duplicated even by the progress of AI, however advanced its outcomes.

 

            The exceptional outcome beyond human comprehension happens on the cross.  Jesus knows the cost and willfully pays the cost in this outcome.  Nevertheless, when it happens, his heart cries out his emotional pain that far exceeds his physical pain: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”—bringing his personal outcome to a consequential relational outcome that in effect fragments the whole of God’s oneness, as if God rejected God.  This mystery is beyond any theological understanding, but the relational dynamics cannot be ignored, much less be denied.  His cost, therefore, cannot be measured by mere sacrifice, nor by any human terms. 

            How his outcome on the cross is perceived is variable to those who witnessed it—and will continue to be variable for those who hear or read about it.  Before his outcome “is finished,” the two criminals crucified alongside of him demonstrate either a common biased perception of Jesus, or an uncommon essential perception.  One only sees Jesus from outer in and just wants his outcome for his self-concern and self-interest.  The other perceives the heart of Jesus’ whole person and responds to him person to person to claim his outcome heart to heart.  Based on these two perceptions, Jesus’ outcome continues to be claimed  either as merely a so-called gospel, or solely as his gospel.  His is the good news composed necessarily by his relational language and constituted solely by the heart of his whole person.  Indeed, “it is finished!”

            And the measure of Jesus used will the Jesus you get.  On the basis of the measure of Jesus you get will be the outcome you get.  Then the measure of his outcome you get will determine the gospel you get.  Therefore, the measure of the gospel you claim will be the outcome you have for yourself, nothing more no matter how good your intentions. Furthermore, just as Jesus made paradigmatic (Mk 4:24) about the measures used for faith, and its theology and practice, the outcomes (both personal and interpersonal) for those involved heart to heart will increase, while for others they will decrease.  This existential equation is unavoidable for the outcomes in everyday life. 

            Thus, his outcome finished on the cross is not the end—except for the old dying with him—but the beginning of the experiential truth and relational reality of the new, which rises with him for the outcomes that he together with the Spirit will continue to unfold only in nothing less and no substitutes for the wholeness of persons and relationships together in their likeness as God’s family—face to face, person to person, heart to heart.  Outcomes of anything less are not from “the Light of all life” but from some competing source, and may even include gaslighting.

            This narrative awaits the completion of his personal outcomes integrally integrated with his interpersonal outcomes.  “Whoever wants to be involved with me in this relational process must follow my whole person with their heart; and where the heart of my person is, their person will also be together heart to heart!”  For his outcomes to be completed in a narrative as our existential outcomes, and not merely as history, is contingent on his relational terms.

            Contrary to common practice, the contingency of his relational terms is nonnegotiable, even though it is subjected to ongoing bias of variable perceptions and terms,  This prevailing condition among Christians and churches causes conflict as the measured used, whereby many become engaged in competing narratives, not completing ones.

 

 

 

 

© 2023 T. Dave Matsuo

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