MEN AS TREES
Last night I came across an interesting passage in the book of Judges, it was an allegory put forth about, Abimelech ruling. Who was not exactly the best King to have. In fact, he became a great example of man’s wickedness, as he introduced idolatry to a people who had once know the love of God. The allegory compared Abimelech to a Bramble, which, for those who don’t know what a bramble is, it is a tangle of thorny underbrush, which can indeed hurt you if you try to pass through it. Here it is below, please read it.
8 The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us.
9 But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?
10 And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us.
11 But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?
12 Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us.
13 And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?
14 Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us.
15 And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.
Now this is a wonderful parable because notice all the “TREES” that did NOT want to RULE over all the other trees. They were trees that had something wonderful and pleasant to offer. The Olive Tree,The Fig tree, The Grape Vine, these all understood that what they produce would be corrupted if they were to begin judging and ruling over others. They knew their role. Their purpose was to serve, to give, to bring joy, and sustenance. BUT NOT THAT BRAMBLE! That thorny, prickly bramble, was ready to go! It had nothing pleasant to offer, it only had pain to offer those who came near, and YET IT WAS THE BRAMBLE that said I WILL BE KING! And notice what it says next… put your trust in my SHADOW, meaning this Bramble wants the other trees to trust in how IT, the thorny, prickly bramble block out the LIGHT, the very LIGHT that all trees NEED TO LIVE! The Bramble offers nothing but death as King, and if you don’t trust in that death, it will BURN YOU and DEVOUR YOU!
Now doesn’t that sound a lot like the worldly and religious leaders we know. “my way or the high way”. You see the TREES that has goodness to offer, they don’t want to rule, they simply want to be who they are, and bless the world because of it.
Now as wonderful as this allegory is, and as relevant as it for us all to read today. There is another mention of TREES that I want to share with you today. It is the parable of the BLIND MAN who receives his sight and sees MEN AS TREES.
But what I learned from this simple parable, was something that was a big old check to my heart. It put me in my place and taught me, how much I still have to learn.
So let’s start with those passages in the Gospel of Mark, where the Blind Man is given his sight, and first sees men as trees. Why is this is significant? The reason of course is, this blind man, like every other man and woman in scripture is an allegory of you and me. And when the verses are opened up, a new story is revealed that will blow you away.
It starts in Mark 8:22
22And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.
Let’s take this piece by piece, because not everything is as it seems in scripture. The bible is a like a book that God has sealed, only to be revealed by God to those he chooses, not of their doing “lest they should boast”. But revealed by the spirit of God, not flesh (carnal reasoning) and bone.
First we come across the word “cometh” – which is a metaphoric word that literally translates into the following: to come into being, arise, come forth, show itself, find place or influence
Now Jesus said he is the “way, truth, and light” – If we take that “he/Jesus” is a physical representation of “the Truth/Way/Light” and the word “come” means “arises, comes into being” – Then we would find a very different story unfolding before our eyes.
The question then becomes, why Bethsaida? Well the answer to that lies in what “Bethsaida” literally means… HOUSE OF FISH.
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men
FISH is a wonderful representation of mankind in their ignorant state. Abiding in the very SEA of DEATH (vain imagination)
And the sea gave up the DEAD which were in it
Yes, that’s right. That is why Jesus walked ABOVE the sea. It is a place of death (carnality). And the SEA OF IGNORANT HUMANITY is where Jesus said we must cast our nets. To deliver those dead there. The FISH are continually compared to ignorant people. People who are not delivered from the bondage of the sea (ignorance).
For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them
You may remember Jonah, when he refused the way of God, where did he end up? In the belly of a great Fish. Which he called HELL, for that is what HELL truly is, the grave, ignorance, suffering, a prison.
And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of HELL cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
The FISH Jonah was trapped in was his own carnality, his own ignorance. He refused to believe God was in control, thought he could chart his own course, do what HE wanted to do, but God’s will cannot be thwarted and he works all things together for the good of his will/creation.
The Fish is yet another symbol of mankind in its ignorant state, in hell. Which is why, when Jesus was asked to pay that temple tribute, he said…
25He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
So much for paying tribute to Churches, Temples, Mosques, etc… no, you see the Children of the King do not pay tribute… but you know who does, on a weekly basis? FISH! That’s right.
26Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
27Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
Peter got a clue, he understood ONLY STRANGERS to the King. Meaning people who do NOT KNOW THE KING, pay tribute to man-made kingdoms/churches/temples/mosques/etc. So Jesus said, go to the STRANGER, find a fish to pay, because those ignorant FISH believe they must. And in their mouth you will always find MONEY, because that is what FISH (Ignorant Human Beings) treasure the most, what ignorant human beings put their trust in.
So, hopefully you get the idea. So back to this wonderful Parable of the Blind man. We found out that the words “come”, and “Bethsaida” mean, and we know Jesus is a symbol of the risen TRUTH revealed in mankind.
22And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.
Now the next part, by now, I hope and pray you understand the symbolism of someone who CANNOT SEE. As a literal BLIND PERSON cannot SEE something, unless someone reveals it to their other senses. So too a spiritually blind person cannot see THE TRUTH, unless it is revealed to him or her.
So now with all of that being said, let me un-veil that passage for you, and interpret it SPIRITUALLY. Remember the literal interpretation KILLS, the SPIRIT of the story GIVES LIFE (WISDOM).
Let me quick translate a few words in this verse from the Greek as well, Besought = called for, summon, TOUCH = to fasten one’s self to, adhere to, join, become one with
22 And THE TRUTH was REVEALED to the HOUSE OF FISH (Ignorant people trapped in hellish thinking) and the TRUTH was brought before the Person who could not SEE the TRUTH, and the ignorant person called for the TRUTH to Become ONE WITH IT!
Do you see how wonderful and vast that one single verse opens up to, when you SEE it for what it really means. This is not a story of a literal blind man, it is the story of you and me, first ignorant of God’s Truth and Wisdom, Blind Spiritually, until the Word of God is revealed to us, THEN WE CALL FOR IT, WE BEG FOR IT to become ONE WITH US, so we can know, so we can finally SEE, and never return to the IGNORANCE of that HOUSE OF FISH (HELL) again.
23And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
Notice what happens ONCE THE TRUTH is revealed to us, IT LEADS US OUT OF THAT TOWN OF IGNORANCE! the Blind man’s eyes (understanding) was a curse to him, it was THOSE EYES (that understanding) that kept the man from SEEING (UNDERSTANDING) the TRUTH.
Now many tell the story about Jesus literally spitting in the man’s eyes, but if you read every other instance in scripture when one is SPAT on, it is not a sign of love and encouragement, but of disapproval and disgust.
This is exactly what the TRUTH does, it hits us smack dab in the face with the FACT that what we once believed is no longer acceptable. We are disgusted by the lies we once believed. In fact, unless we come to a place where we are sickened by anything but God’s truth, which is LOVE, we won’t be able to see a thing. BUT THE INSTANT we are humbled by the revelation of how deceived we have been, the (HAND OF TRUTH) God’s AUTHORITY and GUIDANCE takes hold of us, is laid upon us, and we SEE!
And what do we see at FIRST?
24And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
Now this is significant, because once the TRUTH OF GOD’S LOVE and everything that goes along with it (do unto others as unto yourself, love all, reap what you sow), once we understand this we see EVERYONE as one would see a TREE… And how do we judge a TREE?
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles
Once we are enlightened to the TRUTH, we make the first mistake of JUDGEMENT. We see men as Trees. We see some as Good, and some as Bad. Now this is a necessary step to our spiritual progression, and we all have come to a place where we see people by their fruit…
BUT if that is what God wanted us to see, then why lay the hands (authority/guidance) of his Truth on us again?
The reason is, God wants us no longer to look to the OUTWARD MAN. God wants us to NO LONGER see people as TREES walking around, judging which tress we are to love and which trees to avoid… God wants us to look past the OUTWARD APPEARANCE, past the TREES FRUIT, and see all MANKIND as simply being where they are meant to be, loving them for who they are, regardless of fruit.
25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.
Now I for one will say, I have not yet reached this point. As I still see the fruit of people, and as Jesus spit on the blind eyes, I want to spit on the ignorance that is keeping people blind, prejudiced, and hateful too. Yet, now as I write this paper I see there is more than seeing people by their actions and their deeds, I need to see them clearly. To see them as a Father sees a child who knows no better, knowing that the child will one day learn it is better to not touch a hot stove or put his finger in a socket. For truly, one day all men will come to the knowledge of the truth and they will learn it is better to love than hate, better to build than tear down, better to accept and heal, then condemn and destroy. One day, not only will you and I see this clearly and be completely restored, everyone will.
This is why, the very next verse, Jesus makes a very strange demand….
26And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.
Once the TRUTH of God is revealed to us, we immediately understand from now on, we only need to turn within (our house/temple of God) to dwell. We are to dwell WITHIN, we learn we no longer must go into the TOWN where we were BLIND, we are NOT to return to those religious places that stole our hearts, and love away. We are not to return to worldly thinking where the cares strangle the TRUTH from our hearts. We are to AVOID AT ALL COST returning to the place that blinded us to begin with.
For many that is an easy task, for others not so easy, but ultimately it does not matter, because each man in his order. So stop seeing men as trees, LIVE AND LOVE, AND SEE CLEARLY ALREADY WILL YA?
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Peace to you and yours, Jacob
The Truth Will Change You