Bathing in the Jordan River, Palestine, 1839
Many of the things that were not well understood in the past will be better understood, today, and other, entirely new things will have to be learned, for nothing is ever stagnant; everything changes and evolves. Jesus himself demonstrated this very clearly in teaching a new morality which was not that of Moses.
‘You have heard that it was said to those of old…’
The Gospels relate how, on several occasions, Jesus said, ‘You have heard that it was said to those of old… But I say to you…’ Let me give you some examples of this: ‘You have heard that it was said to those of old, “Thou shalt not kill”, and whoever kills shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgement’;
‘You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart’;
‘Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.” But I say to you, do not swear at all,’ and, finally,
‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven’.
The moral law taught by Jesus was no longer that of Moses
It is obvious, from these passages, that the moral law taught by Jesus was no longer that of Moses. While men were still primitive, what could they be expected to understand? Before anything else, they needed to learn justice, and Moses was sent to teach them justice. Later on, Jesus was sent to teach love and forgiveness. But, why stop there? That is not all there is.
So why should there not be another, even more perfect moral law today? Christians will be scandalized by this suggestion because they consider that Jesus taught the definitive doctrine: there is nothing more to be said. And what if Christ himself came again and added some new notions? Can Christians deny him the right to do that?
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
The Bonfin, September 12, 1963
Complete Works, Volume 12, Cosmic Moral Law
Chapter 20 Turn the other cheek
Image: Lithograph by David Roberts, April 1839, The banks of the Jordan