They [Jesus and his disciples] were once again in Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the teachers of the Law and the elders came to him and asked, “What authority do you have to act like this? Who gave you authority to do the things you do?”
Jesus said to them, “I will ask you a question, only one, and if you give me an answer, then I will tell you what authority I have to act like this. Was John’s preaching and baptism a work of God, or was it merely something human? Answer me.”
And they kept arguing among themselves, “If we answer that it was a work of God, he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’” But neither could they answer before the people that the baptism of John was merely something human, for everyone regarded John as a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know,” and Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you what authority I have to act as I do.”
When God revealed to Moses his holy name, Ehyeh asher Ehyeh, “I am what I am,” the great divide between heaven and earth disappears for a moment. Once revealed, this name exudes with sanctity, so it should be uttered once yearly. It is believed also that icons are merely not religious pictures, but are “windows on to heaven.” To say the name of God at some other time is sacrilegious. Once revealed, it had to be veiled again. A religious controversy started in 1907 in the monastic polity of Mount Athos, in the north Aegean Sea. On one side are the “deifiers,” and on the other side are the “glorifiers.” The former holds that when “Jesus Prayer” is recited, heaven descends to earth in the form of divine energy. The glorifiers want to keep his name holy in heaven. (In the Name of the Name, The Economist, 12/22/1) Religious tension continues to flare up between mystics and religious authorities, and folk Catholicism and official church teachings. To favor one is to admit that the other is wrong. Religion is not either-or. In Jesus there is neither Jew nor Greek, nor is there male and female. Religion is essentially holistic.
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