John 14:12, “It is certainly true (Most assuredly; Amen; amen), I am saying to you folks, the one habitually trusting and progressively believing into Me, the works (actions; deeds) which I, Myself, am constantly doing (habitually performing; progressively making, constructing creating, forming) that one also will do (perform; make; create; form), and he will do greater than these, because I, Myself, am progressively journeying (traveling; going from this place to another) toward (or: facing) the Father.”

John 20:22. And saying this, He suddenly blows on, and says to, them (or: He breathes within [them], so as to inflate them [note: same verb as used in Gen. 2:7, LXX], and is saying to them), “Receive a set-apart spirit! (or: Get [the] Holy Spirit!; Take the Sacred Breath!; or: Receive a sacred attitude),

23. “If YOU folks should send away (dismiss; allow to depart; forgive; pardon; divorce) the mistakes (sins; errors; failures) of certain ones, they have been sent away for them (or: have been and remain pardoned in them; have been dismissed or divorced by them). If you would continue holding fast and controlling (or: should keep on grasping and exercising strength; or: can restrain, hinder, hold back) those of certain ones, they have been and continue being held fast and controlled (seized; grasped; restrained).”

Before you read on, ponder what Jesus said in vs. 23. This is a part of our mission in the earth.

1 Cor. 12:25. to the end that there should be no tearing split, causing division, within the body, but rather that the members should constantly show the same care over, and have the same concern about, the welfare of ONE ANOTHER.

26. And further, whether one member is continuing to experience the effect of something, or constantly undergoes suffering, ALL the members continually experience the effect or the suffering together with [it]; or if a member is being constantly glorified or is progressively receiving a good reputation, ALL the members are continuously rejoicing together with [it].

Heb. 13:8. Jesus Christ [is] the same yesterday and today and on into the ages, (or: Jesus [is and continues being] Christ [= the Messiah] – the Man Himself {or: the Very One}: yesterday as well as today, and even into the midst of the ages,)

9. [so] do not be carried aside (or: swept away) by various and strange (or: with many-colored [as in tapestries], intricate and foreign) teachings. You see, [it is] beautiful (fine; ideal; admirably proportionate) for the heart (= core of our being) to be continuously made firm with a fixed footing by Grace, whose source is joy and which comes with favor – not by (or: in; with) foods (= rules and regulations pertaining to eating or what is edible), in which those [thus] walking about (= occupying themselves) were not increased (or: = which have not helped or benefited those who follow this way of life).

10. We continue having an altar from out of which those who continue habitually serving in the Tabernacle (= those involved with the whole ceremonial economy) do not have authority (or: right; privilege) to eat.

11. For you see, the bodies of those animals, whose blood is still repeatedly being brought [some MSS add: concerning sin] into the set-apart (or: holy) places by means of the chief priest, are habitually being burned down outside of the Camp.

12. Wherefore Jesus also suffered (and/or: had experiences of His bodily senses and emotions) outside of the gate [p46 and others: the camp], so that He may set-apart (or: make holy and sacred) the People through His own blood. [comment: this was a fulfillment of the Day of Atonement]

13. Now then, WE can keep on coming out (or: should be progressively going out) toward Him – outside of the camp – habitually bearing His reproach (= the censure and disgrace which He bore; or: the insult which pertains to Him).

This was a call to participate in His sacrifice (i.e., live a cruciform life), and also to leave Judaism (or: the Law; or: religion), and thus to bear the same reproach and insults that He bore. It is also a call to bear away from people their mistakes and failures – John 20:23, above – and to forgive their sins, their deviations and their errors. This is the work of the covenant communities.

Recall Rom. 15:1.

Now we ourselves, the able ones (the powerful people), owe and thus are constantly obliged (or: are continually indebted) to pick up and habitually carry (or: embrace) the weaknesses (the areas of being without strength) of the unable ones (the powerless or disabled people; the incapable), and not to constantly be pleasing ourselves.

Does this admonition not fly in the face of our self-centered (and, capitalistic) culture? And, does it not speak to our corporate (notice the “we”) responsibility? Does it not describe a cruciform life?

2. Let each one of us be habitually pleasing to the near one (or: be continuously accommodating for [his] neighbor or associate), [leading] into The Good, toward building the House (or: unto [his] good, toward edification).

This is putting other people before ourselves. Here, Paul addresses the individual within the community, and the purpose of this focus is to “build [God’s] House” – the Body of Christ. This expands The Good (Christ) and “goes on growing and increasing God’s growth. (Col. 2:19)

3. For Christ also did not please Himself (or: For even Christ does not make accommodations for Himself), but rather, just as it has been written, “The insults (unjustifiable verbal abuses; reproaches) of those habitually insulting You fell (or: fall) upon Me.” [Ps. 69:10]

We have just come through a season of verbal abuses (a national election). As agents of the Messiah, continuing the work that He did – and yet does through us – can we take all this negative commentary into ourselves and cast it into the lake of holy Fire that dwells in the core of our being (Heb. 12:29) and let it there be consumed out of our environment – instead of passing-on those emails, and thus polluting others?

Let us consider the clause in Heb. 13:9, above, “to be continuously made firm with a fixed footing by Grace, whose source is joy and which comes with favor…”

In the phrase, “by Grace, whose source is joy and which comes with favor,” I give the association of these words, grace and joy, for they are of the same word family and are closely associated:

    CHAIRO: to rejoice, be glad, be joyful

    CHARA: joy, gladness, rejoicing

    CHARIS: grace, joyous favor

    CHARIS-MA: a result or an effect of grace; a benefit; a gift from favor

Joy to the World, His grace has come! And the result of His grace, the CHARIS-MA, can be seen in the following verses:

    Rom. 1:11; 6:23; 11:29; 12:6; 1 Cor. 1:7; 12:4, 9, 28, 31; 1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6

Let us go outside the camp of our personal communities, bearing His grace and forgiveness to the culture that surrounds us. Christ is in His temple; we are the light of the world. Let us shine.


GO OUTSIDE the CAMP…BEARING [Jonathan Mitchell]          1


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