Jesus101I am often perplexed by the Masonic cognoscenti (pundit) that claims Christian beliefs do not belong or have anything to do with Freemasonry. Sadly, this belief is often perpetuated in many Masonic Blue Lodges. It is true that no one belief is taught within the Craft; in fact, it is well understood that Masonic lessons and ideas predate most contemporary religions. Nevertheless, even this fact is often lost within the Craft due to the belief in not harming another Brothers feelings; that we need to be more inclusive. In no way am I claiming the Craft is a Christian order; no, my writing will make the point that the ideas that Jesus promoted most certainly influenced the Craft – as have other religious ideas from various religions.

Moreover, it can also be argued that the ideas within Freemasonry more than likely influenced Jesus. This can be clearly seen in the York Rite bodies, which are filled with pre-Christian and post-Christian doctrine. Always remember, the story of Hiram and the Building of King Solomon’s Temple did not originate with Christianity; although, there are similarities, through allegory, to the death of Jesus. No, the story’s premise actually predates the Jesus era. It has been written, the teachings of Christ can actually be traced to the mystery schools and teachings that dominated the Mediterranean area and time period before and after Jesus; like the mystery schools from Greece, Rome and Alexandria, etc.  Therefore, in order to make my point, I will now break down Jesus’s word from his now famous Sermon on the Mount, which may include comments from your author.

Taken and adapted from Matthew Chapters 5-7, New International Version (NIV).

Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount:

  • Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down.
  • His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes (Blessings): (These Blessing are used in several Masonic bodies).

  •        He said:
  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
  • Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
  • Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

You are a Shinning Light:

  • You are the salt of the earth. (Salt is an important component of Alchemy, which is taught within Freemasonry).
  • But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? (Same as previously mentioned).
  • It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. (Same as previously mentioned).
  • You are the light of the world. (Light is taught in every level of Freemasonry).
  • A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. (The truth is often hidden from the uninitiated, but not from the educated and informed Mason). 
  • Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. (an allegory about the uninformed vs. the informed; a lesson within the Craft). 
  • Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. (A light on a lamp is used within several levels of Freemasonry; including Blue Lodge). 
  • In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (The changes a Mason makes in his character, if properly learned and applied, will become visible to the world). 

How to Treat Others (Law and Reward):

  • Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. (A Mason has not come to change Masonic traditions; no, he has come to fulfill his responsibilities by following its laws). 
  • For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (This confirms the previous statement).
  • Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Freemasonry has levels; those who are worthy rise within the ranks and those who do not, remain in lower ranks; much of it based on behavior and commitment to the Craft and its laws and traditions).
  • For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Those men found unworthy will never be allowed to join the Craft). 

Anger and Murder – Punishment (Alternative Path):

  • You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ (The story of Hiram Abiff is an allegorical story about the ills of such behavior). 
  • But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. (Masonry teaches us Brotherly love).
  • Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Masonry teaches to have only friendly conversations; and the dangers of talking about such things as politics, religion and sexuality, etc).
  • Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Masonry instructs men to be perfect, like God; one would be a hypocrite if he went to God and ask for something, if he had not made things right with his brother).
  • Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. (Masonry teaches men to humble themselves, to admit their faults and to become better men; that life is full of lessons, including those of evil). 
  • Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. (Masonry instructs a man that his word is his bond; if your agree to it verbally or agree to something in writing, you are required to do your best to fulfil those obligations). 
  • Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny. (Masonry instructs men that their are sanctions for bad behavior; as well as rewards to good behavior).  

Adultery and Lust:

  • You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ (Freemasonry instructs a man to love and be faithful to his wife).
  • But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Freemasonry also instruct a man to have a pure heart).
  • If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. (This lesson is used as a sign in a York Rite Body).
  • It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. (This lesson is used as a sign in a York Rite Body).
  • And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. (This lesson is used as a sign in a York Rite Body).
  • It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. (This lesson is used as a sign in a York Rite Body).

Divorce:

  • It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ (Freemason are taught to follow civil law).
  • But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Freemasonry instruct a man to have a pure heart).

Oaths:

  • Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ (Freemasonry instructs a man to fulfill his obligations).
  • But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. (Freemasons often take oaths, but they are only binding to each other; God is only our witness. Masons are taught not swear an oath to God; such activity is personal).
  • And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. (As mentioned previously).
  • All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. (As mentioned previously).

Do Not Resist Evil, But Instead Help Others:

  • You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ (Freemasonry teaches love for all of humanity).
  • But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. (Freemasonry teaches love for all of humanity).
  • If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. (York Rite in particular teaches this lesson).
  • And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. (Freemasonry teaches love for all of humanity).
  • If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. (Freemasonry teaches love for all of humanity).
  • Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. (A lesson within York Rite).

Love Your Enemy; Be Perfect:

  • You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ (Freemasonry teaches love for all of humanity).
  • But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. (Freemasonry teaches love for all of humanity).
  • He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Freemasonry instructs men about God’s love and power).
  • If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? (Freemasonry teaches love for all of humanity).
  • Are not even the tax collectors doing that? (Freemasonry teaches love for all of humanity; despite what others do).
  • And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others. (Freemasonry teaches love for all of humanity).
  • Do not even pagans do that? (Freemasonry teaches love for all of humanity; despite what others do).
  • Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Freemasonry is about make men better than their natural state; in God’s image).

Boasting (Secrecy and Reward):

  • Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. (Freemasonry instructs men to be silent; not to boast).
  • If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. (Freemasonry instructs men that rewards come from God; not other men).
  • So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. (Freemasonry instructs men to be silent; not to boast).
  • Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. (Freemasonry teaches that God loves all of his creations).
  • But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. (Freemasonry instructs men to be silent; not to boast).
  • Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Freemasonry instructs men that rewards come from God; not other men).

Prayer and Forgiveness(Secrecy and Reward):

  • And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. (Masonic prayers are most often conducted in secret; hidden from public view).
  • Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. (Freemasonry instructs men that rewards come from God; not other men).
  • But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. (Masonic prayers are most often conducted in secret; hidden from public view).
  • Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Knowledgeable Masons know that if righteous behavior is done in secret, God may reward him; that boasting is done in bad taste).
  • And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. (Freemasonry instructs its priests and prelates to keep prayers short and on topic).
  • Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Freemasons are taught that God is all Powerful and all knowing; i.e. the Eye of God).
  • This, then, is how you should pray: (The Lords Prayer is specifically conducted in a York Rite Body; but maybe used elsewhere in Freemasonry).
    • Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
    • Give us today our daily bread.
    • And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
    • And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
    • For yours is the kingdom and power forever.
    • Amen.
  • For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Freemasonry teaches forgiveness).
  • But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Same as listed previously).

Fasting (Secrecy and Reward):

  • When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. (Fasting is a healthy activity conducted by many knowledgeable Masons; but is something done in private).
  • Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. (Freemasonry teaches that God loves all of humanity, despite its failures).
  • But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Knowledgeable Masons know that if righteous behavior is done in secret, God may reward him; that boasting is done in bad taste).

Treasures (Do Right):

  • Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. (Freemasonry teaches to feed the poor, etc; that their rewards come from God, often rewarded in the future).
  • But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Same as previously mentioned).
  • For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Freemasonry instructs that rewards come from God, often rewarded in the future).

Eye (Outlook):

  • The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. (Freemasonry teaches love).
  • But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. (Freemasonry also instructs its initiates the lessons of failure).
  • If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (Freemasonry teaches that each man is given a choice).

Masters:

  • No one can serve two masters. (Blue Lodge Masons are taught that the Master rules his Lodge; just like a Commander rules his Commandery. The lesson of one ruler permeate all Masonic orders).
  • Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. (Same as listed previously).
  • You cannot serve both God and money. (Just like one God is one ruler, Freemasonry instructs such a rule).

Life:

  • Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. (Freemasonry instructs men not to fear life, but to love and enjoy it).
  • Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? (Same as previously mentioned).
  • Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. (Freemasonry teaches that God has a plan).
  • Are you not much more valuable than they? (Based on Biblical and Masonic teaches, all God’s creations are important; however, man, being made in God’s image, is more important than his other creations).
  • Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (It is well understood within the Craft, especially Scottish Rite’s esoteric teachings, that negative behavior shortens ones life span).

Do Not Worry About Materiel Things:

  • And why do you worry about clothes? (Freemasonry instructs its initiates that God is firmly in control of your status in life).
  • See how the flowers of the field grow. (Same as previously mentioned).
  • They do not labor or spin. (Same as previously mentioned).
  • Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. (Freemasonry uses King Solomon as a metaphor for various instructions).
  • If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? (Freemasonry teaches men to have faith in God).
  • So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ (Freemasonry teaches men to have faith in God and his plan for each man).
  • For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. (Freemasons are taught that when useful knowledge is given, not all will listen).
  • But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Freemasonry teaches men to have faith in God and his plan for each man).
  • Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Freemasonry teaches men to have faith in God and his plan for each man).

Judging Others:

  • Do not judge, or you too will be judged. (A clearly taught lesson within the Craft).
  • For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (A clearly taught lesson within the Craft).
  • Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? (A metaphor for the previous lesson).
  • How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? (A metaphor for the previous lesson).
  • You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (A metaphor for the previous lesson).

Sacred Knowledge:

  • Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. (Freemasonry instructs its followers not to reveal the mysteries to the profane).

Ask, Seek and Knock:

  • Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Knocking is apart of Masonic tradition when asking for entrance into an activity).
  • For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (A lesson within the Blue Lodge).

How to Treat Others:

  • Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? (A Masonic lesson: seek God’s blessing, not man’s favor).
  • Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? (A Masonic lesson: seek God’s blessing, not man’s favor).
  • If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (A Masonic lesson: seek God’s blessing, not man’s favor).
  • So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (A Masonic lesson: seek God’s blessing, not man’s favor).

The Narrow Path:

  • Enter through the narrow gate. (A Masonic lesson: follow God’s way; not man’s).
  • For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. (A Masonic lesson: follow God’s way; not man’s).
  • But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (A Masonic lesson: follow God’s way; not man’s).

False Prophets (Teachers):

  • Watch out for false prophets. (Masonic lesson: based on the teaching Faith, Hope and Charity; Faith in God, Hope in Immorality and Charity towards all; and the Masonic lesson: eye to see and ears to hear).
  • They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. (Masonic lesson: eye to see and ears to hear).
  • By their fruit you will recognize them. (Masonic lesson: eye to see and ears to hear).
  • Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? (Masonic lesson: eye to see and ears to hear).
  • Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (Masonic lesson: eye to see and ears to hear).
  • A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. (Masonic lesson: eye to see and ears to hear).
  • Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Masonic lesson: eye to see and ears to hear).
  • Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (Masonic lesson: eye to see and ears to hear).

True and False Followers:

  • Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Masonic lesson: based on the teaching Faith, Hope and Charity; Faith in God, Hope in Immorality and Charity towards all; in particular Faith in God).
  • Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ (A Masonic lesson: Faith in God).
  • Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (A Masonic lesson: Faith in God).

The Rock (Stone):

  • Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. (The Masonic lessons based on the Rock or Stone; a rough ashlar turned into a smooth ashlar).
  • The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. (The Masonic lessons based on the Rock or Stone; a rough ashlar turned into a smooth ashlar).
  • But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. (The Masonic lessons based on the Rock or Stone; a rough ashlar turned into a smooth ashlar).
  • The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. (The Masonic lessons based on the Rock or Stone; a rough ashlar turned into a smooth ashlar).

Conclusion:

  • When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Therefore, I certainly hope this exercise helped put the issue of Christian influence on the Craft into a better perspective. Thanks for reading!

So Mote It Be!

Hank Kraychir