I Pray All Is Well With Everyone…And Your Hearts And Minds Are Full Of Love, Joy, And Compassion…For Yourselves…And Everyone Else…All Over The World! If Not, Let Us First Start With Ourselves…Acknowledging And Showing Love To The “Mighty I AM Presence” Within Us; And Then Radiating That Loving Energy Throughout All The Atmosphere – Saturating The Whole Of Earth And Beyond The Stratosphere! Not A Limiting Kind Of Love, Y’all – Designated Only For Worldly Things And Pleasures – But A Love That Permeates The Entire Universe…And All The Dimensions Surrounding Us! Cuz That Is The Loving Energy Of Our Divine Creator! That Is The Loving Energy Within Every Individual! And That Loving Energy Is The Salvation…Of All Humanity! Amen…
Give Thanks And Praises For Love And Life…
And Y’all Be Love…
“It is quite natural that some of John’s adherents should have attached themselves to Jesus on his public appearance as a proclaimer before the martyrdom of their own imprisoned prophet. The suddenness with which, (Mark), our earliest narrative, introduces Jesus ‘calling’ the first four of his disciples and their instant leaving all and following him to become ‘fishers of men,’ is inexplicable without there having been some prior knowledge of the Way on the part of Simon and Andrew, James and John. They may well have already been familiar with John’s teaching. Indeed, the writer of the Fourth Gospel tells us categorically, (John. 1:40), that Andrew, the brother of Simon-Peter-Kephas, had been a disciple of the Baptizer.
But if some of John’s actual ‘disciples’ followed Jesus before any question of Messiahship arose, it is probable that far more of his lay adherents also did so. Indeed, the earliest history of the expansion of Christianity, that is of the Jesus Messianic movement, preserves traces that in some places there was a considerable Johannine influence, notably the continued use of John’s baptism. On the contrary, most of John’s disciples to all seeming refused to recognize the Jesus Messianic claims, and the echoes of history preserved in the Mandæan traditions declare that they most emphatically rejected them. In any case it may well be that some of the great figures, types, and symbols used by Jesus in his exhortations and teachings were not original to him, but that he shared them, together with other mystic, apocalyptic and prophetical notions, with circles that had been instructed by John.
Jesus is made to distinguish John as the greatest prophet who had come before him, nay as more than a prophet; and yet the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is said to be greater than a John. This can only mean in the Kingdom in its fulness; for surely most of the Christians fell far short of the high virtue of the Baptist. What is furthermore exceedingly probable, if not unquestionably evident, is that the whole of John’s mentality was flooded with what we can only call mystic notions and conceits, graphic figures, highly spiritualized, the mentality of a prophet and seer. If John is the forerunner of Jesus, many of the Baptizer’s eschatological and associated beliefs are probably the forerunners of earliest Christian general doctrine. And with all this in mind, it is difficult not to believe that Jesus not only knew more of John personally and what lay at the back of him, but used more of his ideas and symbolisms than the gospels would lead us to suppose.”
Though the Synoptics in some passages are at pains to let it appear as if John recognized the Messiahship of Jesus, and the later and ‘correcting’ Fourth Gospel emphatically affirms that he did so from the baptism onwards, there was evidently very considerable doubt on the question in the earliest tradition. Matthew 11:3 and Luke 7:19 lets the reader see that John, to the end, had no conviction, much less prior spiritual apperception on the subject. For it tells us that just before his end, the imprisoned prophet sent messengers to Jesus asking him in complete uncertainty: “Art thou he that should come, or look we for another?” To this unambiguous question no direct answer is given. John’s disciple-messengers are bidden simply to report to their master the wonderful healings of which they have been told or which they have witnessed.
The proof of Messiahship is made here to rest solely on wonder-doings; any prior spiritual recognition by John of Jesus as the Expected One is unknown to this tradition, nor is it able to report that John accepted the wonders as proof of the fulfilment of his expectation. From this we may reasonably feel assured that, though some of John’s disciples followed Jesus when he began his public ministry after John had been put in prison and continued the proclamation of the near Coming of the Kingdom, the majority refrained. They continued in their own way and discipline; nor did they subsequently recognize the Messiahship of Jesus, for above all, they had no authority from their master to do so.
This is a negative inference; but the positive rejection of the Christian Messianic claim is brought out with sharp polemical emphasis in the Mandæan tradition, which claims to derive from John and regards Jesus as the Deceiver-Messiah. The baptism of Jesus by John is acknowledged but explained in polemic mystic fashion. There are however signs that, apart from the subsequent bitterness of outer theological controversy, there was originally an inner deeper gnostic ground of division, for Jesus is not represented as unknowing, but on the contrary, is made to answer certain test questions of John with profound moral insight. But the most surprising fact of Mandæan tradition is that it preserves no indications of having entertained any belief in distinctive Jewish Messianism at all. Its soteriology is peculiar to itself, and the tradition repudiates Jewish prophecy and apocalyptic and in fact the whole Torah, as emphatically as it does Christian doctrine.
Nevertheless, on its own showing, in the beginning the particular community of which John was so great a prophet, is depicted as settled in Judæa, even in Jerusalem, and is claimed to have had a profound knowledge of the inner meaning of the Law. It is made to look back to a still more ancient tradition which is claimed to be purer and wiser than that of the Hebrews. Though the legendary ‘historical’ side of the question is exceedingly obscure, our best authorities are agreed that, as far as the mythic element is concerned, the Mandæan tradition preserves many traces of the earliest forms of the pre-Christian Gnosis known to us. The problem is thus exceedingly complex.”
Gnostic John the Baptizer: Selections from the Mandæan John-Book, by G. R. S. Mead, 1924