Enlightenment is the most important blessing you want to receive. Life is meaningless without Enlightenment because, thourgh Enlightenment, you make a contribution to the world. With Enlightenment, life is bliss. You are in heaven on earth. Your life bears fruit, and you feel fulfilled. Enlightenment is the dream of every race and religion.
The English word “Enlightenment” has a double meaning. Most of the time, when we hear the word “Enlightenment,” we think about being enlightened. We don’t usually think about the other meaning—enlightening others. When you learn, you get enlightened; when you teach, you enlighten others. Both activities constitute the meaning of Enlightenment.
You have heard that teaching is a more profound way of learning. As you grow in your knowledge and wisdom by learning, you will reach a limit where the only way for you to learn further is to teach. As a Teaching Elder, I have been teaching for 24 years now, and I feel much blessed by the wealth of knowledge and wisdom I received through teachings.
The blessing of Enlightenment is attained by enlightening others. To enlighten others, you must first test whether you have the light at all. John gave us a simple way to check whether we have the light. He said,
“Whoever says, ‘I am in the light,’ while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling.” (1 Jn 2:9–10).
So, if there is anyone in your life that you cannot love (including your enemies), you need to go back to the previous six blessings. You are not ready for Enlightenment yet because you are still in darkness.
Based on this verse and other verses in the Bible, the evidence of Enlightenment is not your knowledge, but your absolute love—loving God and loving people—nothing more and nothing less. So, education is not required for Enlightenment. A humble peasant in a poor village may have Enlightenment if she has love.
Many people think Englitenment is about knowledge, but knowledge is useless without love. Paul said,
“If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (1 Co 13:1–3).
In summary, without love, nothing matters. So, your personal Enlightenment is when you have attained the level of love that you can love everyone, including your enemies. It is obviously very challenging for those who have been hurt deeply, but I have discussed how we can solve that problem in the blessing of Forbearance—the fifth blessing.
At this stage, I expect that you have resolved those problems, namely your relational issues with God and people. As you enlighten others, some hidden relational problems could surface, especially when people ask you challenging questions. However, you are already equipped with ways to solve those problems using the previous six blessings.
Now, let’s talk about Enlightenment in terms of enlightening others. You enlighten others by helping them reconcile their relationships between them and God and fellow human beings. Jesus used the term “peacemaker” to describe this task because help other people to love one another is peacemaking.
Just as you have made peace with God and others, now you are trying to help others make peace between them and God and among themselves. Jesus said,
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Mt 5:9).
This is our key verse for the seventh blessing. It is the highest spiritual attainment because, as a child of God, you are now at the same rank as Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus is known as the Prince of Peace. So when you become a peacemaker, you become Christ-like—a prince or princess of the King of kings.
Some people think Enlightenment is all about their personal achievement, but Jesus reveals to us that Enlightenment is never complete without enlightening others—helping others to reconcile their relationship. Paul used the term “ambassador” instead of “peacemaker.” He said,
“God has given us the ministry of reconciliation … So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor 5:18b, 20).
Again, the word “reconciliation” implies that Enlightenment is not about knowledge, but about relationships—with God and people.
How do we enlighten others and reconcile the world? After training his disciples for three years, Jesus commissioned them to reconcile the world. It is called the Great Commission. There are only two “Great” instructions by Jesus Christ—the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.
The Great Commandment is for your personal Enlightenment, and the Great Commission is for global Enlightenment. We have already talked about the Great Comment in the previous lessons, so I will only talk about the Great Commission here. Jesus said,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:18–20).
Jesus began by saying that “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” This short sentence summarizes what he has accomplished in his lifetime on earth. Only God has all authority in heaven and on earth. That means he has been given the authority of God. Who gave it to him? The Father did. John said,
“The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands.” (Jn 3:35).
We live in a world where people like to ask for your credential, “Where did you graduate from? What degree do you have? Who gave you the authority?” Jesus was given the highest authority from the most top institution—God himself.
Jesus is saying that everything in heaven and on earth will be his sole decision because God has entrusted it to him. Then he said, “Go therefore …” You might wonder what “therefore” means? What does his authority have anything to do with me going? It sounds like his receiving of the authority equals my receiving of the authority.
This goes back to our previous lessons about oneness with Christ—“It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” The term “Christian” means “Little Christ.” So, if you wonder, “What authority do I have to enlighten others?” the answer is, through Christ, you have all authority in heaven and on earth. That is significant!
The closing sentence also reveals his presence in your life. He says, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” That means he is never leaving you. His presence is the greatest blessing of all because, without him and his authority, we cannot enlighten anyone.
With such confidence, we enlighten the world by fulfilling the Great Commission. There are three parts to the Great Commission.
1. Make Disciples of All Nations
We live in a time where there are tensions between superpowers. It used to be tension between Russia and the U.S., but now the focus has shifted to China and the U.S., as you hear it in the news these days. The only way to prevent another world war is by recruiting peacemakers of all nations.
A disciple is a learner. So, to “make disciples” means to “recruit learners” for Christ. The literal translation is, “make my disciples.” So, it is not about making disciples for ourselves, but Christ. Now, what does a disciple learn from Jesus? Jesus said,
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn 13:35).
So, you are recruiting learners of love who will become peacemakers like the Prince of Peace.
Jesus also indicates that you cannot have peacemakers from only one nation. You need peacemakers in every nation to ensure peace. That is why Jesus expects you to make disciples of “all nations.” How do you recruit learners of love?
Not everyone is a missionary or evangelist, but everyone has a creative imagination. You may be a busy doctor or a farmer that have no time to go out and recruit learners of love, but you can spend time at night before you go to bed with your creative imagination to send your light to people that you know.
As the saying goes, “Tell God about your friend before you tell your friend about God.” Include in your prayer that someone you know from around the world will become a learner of love, a disciple of the Prince of Peace.
Remember John Lennon’s Imagine,
“Imagine all the people living life in peace …
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.”
Be a dreamer first because everything begins with imagination, and imagination becomes a reality. Unfortunately, we don’t have many dreamers like that. We have a broken world because of too much negative imagination. The media leads the way of negativity. The more you watch the new, the more you imagine a negative world, and the more negative the world becomes.
So, make disciples of all nations by beginning with your prayer and creative imagination. You do shed your light through your imagination. Do not discount this step because having God talk to them may be more potent than you speak to them because these days, it often creates arguments. Job said,
“Indeed God speaks once,
Or twice, yet no one notices it.
In a dream, a vision of the night,
When sound sleep falls on people,
While they slumber in their beds,
Then He opens the ears of men,
And seals their instruction.” (Job 33:14–16).
The movie “Inception” is a facinating analogy for this concept.
God can use your prayers to arouse vision in people’s dream. I know it is challenging concept, but you to test it out. Consider what Paul Simon wrote in the Sound of Silence,
“Hello darkness, my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains within the sound of silence.” (Paul Simon’s Sound of Silence).
The first step to make disciples or to recruite the learners of love is to plant the seeds.
Baptism means immersion. Jesus said, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Through the Persons of Father (the Creator), Son (the Redeemer), and the Holy Spirit (the Sustainer), God brings people of all nations into oneness.
When we realize that we are from the same Creator, saved by the same Redeemer, and empowered by the same Sustainer, it breaks down the barriers of race, role, and nationality. The Bible says,
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Pe 2:9).
After baptism, we are no longer Burmese, Chinese, or Europeans, but we all have become one chosen race. Our role is being royal priests reconciling people with God, which means every believer is a priest. Our nationality is that of the holy nation. Our job is to proclaim God’s mighty act of Enlightenment.
So we do not just recruit them as learners, but we also initiate them into oneness with the Creator and the creations. You will see your imagination becomes a reality as they come forward to be baptized.
Jesus said, “and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” You might be overwhelmed by the word “everything.” Don’t worry because Jesus has given you a short and succinct syllabus that I have used it to teach you in these eight weeks.
Have you wondered why Jesus began his teaching with the Eight Blessings? It is because this is his syllabus of spiritual growth in which he laid out the path for his disciples to grow from Consciousness to Enlightenment. These eight blessings cover everything Jesus taught. Every part of the Bible belongs to developing one of these eight blessings.
Even though it is short and simple, the Beatitude is profound and broad because it is not a series of knowledge, but a journey of growth. Some people grow fast, and others slow, but they have to go through these eight stages to become spiritually mature.
If you are a wounded person, these eight blessings are also a process of healing. Some are wounded deeper than others, so their recovery takes different lengths of time.
By helping others grow through the stages of these eight blessings, you will be enlightened brighter and broader. You sow the seeds of Enlightenment and reap the fruit of Enlightenment.
There you have it: the three steps of Enlightenment.
1. Make Disciples of All Nations.
2. Immerse Them into Oneness.
3. Teach Them The Eight Blessings.
With this you become a peacemaker and a child of God. Amen!