Episode:Jesus Faces Death—Brought to Trial (Part 1)
December 17, 2019 [Paper 183:0-2, p. 1971]
There is great danger of misunderstanding the meaning of numerous sayings and many events associated with the termination of the Master’s career in the flesh. The Father in heaven desired the bestowal Son to finish his earth career naturally. Ordinary men and women cannot expect to have their last hours on earth and the supervening episode of death made easy by a special dispensation.
Note: Ann filled in for Brad, who was away this week.
Summary by Kermit
We continued our consideration of material gravity’s influence on Jesus in the garden. Jesus’ prayer touchingly demonstrates that he was in real need of consciously antidoting material gravity’s effects on his mind with his faith grasp on spirit. It is just such a technique as each of us can bring to bear in our moments of life’s tribulations. We are here invited to share the faith of Jesus, in our inner life, not to attempt imitation of his outward behaviors and acts. Evolution without the up-stepping influence of revelation does not produce religions of the inner life. The resultant group phenomena associated with evolutionary religion do not qualify as genuine religion. The challenge of the 5th ER is, as an individual, to establish by and for yourself a genuine spiritual nucleus of personal experience, then in association with others share the fruits of the inner life of the spirit.
Paper 183: The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
We commented that Jesus’ time alone in the garden marked perhaps the greatest personal challenge of his life in the flesh. At least this is concerning his inner life. He has greater external trials to meet, but he can do so having recovered his equilibrium of mind and spiritual surety. His immediate concerns now shifted to the well-being of his apostles and disciples. The rapidly moving events of the temple guards and Roman soldiers on their way to arrest the Master and the numerous Greek disciples and remaining eight sleeping apostles at the encampment all well-armed presented great potential for violence. Accordingly Jesus tried to separate himself from his associates and walked down by an olive press, while urging, to no avail those about him to return to their places of rest.
The midwayer account testifies to the fact that Jesus, while being fully composed and strengthened by his time in the garden was still fully human and subject to human emotions. He is twice referred to as fearing for his apostles’ safety, notwithstanding that the Master’s watchword throughout his bestowal mission was “Fear not!”
Even with Jesus’ equanimity and composure his mortal nature was still in play. He still experienced fear welling up from the foundation of his mortal mind. In fact as was mentioned, without his Thought Adjuster, Jesus had to be more diligent in consciously controlling his mortal nature than we, who have the help of our Thought Adjusters to supply spiritual buoyancy, keeping our hearts true.
We are reminded that though the plans for Jesus’ death originated in the councils of the Jewish rulers, such plans were fully approved by Lucifer, Satan, and Caligastia, all of whom were on the planet with other rebel personalities to witness these final scenes of Jesus’ Urantian bestowal. And thanks to the witness of John Mark, the Christian record depicts the happenings at the olive press.
183:1. The Father’s Will
We commented on the midwayers’ reference to Jesus’ threefold prayer in the garden wherein he pledged to carry out the Father’s will. Noting the movement from Jesus’ initial focus on himself (individuality) in the first phase of his prayer, wherein his expressions included self-references as “My Father”, and repeated use of “I” and “me” as well as appearing to be personally grieved by the apostles inability to remain awake with him. The prayers transition through associativity to his transcendent renunciation of his will for that of the Father, “Not my will but yours be done”, moving from self, to selfless, then to God-likeness. As we have commented, in this movement from fear to love, individuality to unity, Jesus personifies the human condition in striking and glorious fashion.
The midwayers warn of the great danger in misunderstanding the meaning of numerous events and sayings associated with the termination of the Master’s career in the flesh. We spent considerable time exploring the topic of will and the Father’s will. We started with the 5th ER’s statement concerning the will of God. [111:5.1] “The doing of the will of God is nothing more or less than an exhibition of creature willingness to share the inner life with God.” Notice, this statement describes the doing of the will of God. What about the will of God itself, an even more abstract fact? Remember, God being purely existential, his will is not to be found in a temporal expression, neither is it an external act or behavior.
We first drew a necessary distinction between will and self-assertion. Will having no immediate relationship to the external world is more abstract yet. Self-assertion, frequently mistaken for will, comes from a mindal intent which causes physical phenomena to occur (mind dominates matter). Antecedent to this is mental activity forming an intent. Another step antecedent to this leads us to spiritual motive. It is in this realm of the spiritual motive that we find genuine will and the relationship to the Father’s will. This is where (above mind) the fact of personality wields spirit, from above, upon the mind. The spiritual motive (a potential) is actualized into a mindal intent.
The existential Father’s spiritual motives are not temporal. So think of the Father’s motive in terms of the life of the human Jesus as the Creator Son’s fullness of existential endowment from the Father becomes experientially expressed from beginning to end. The external events of his life are not what is being referred to as the will of God. The Father did not dictate the details of Jesus’ humiliation and crucifixion. The challenge for the serious student is to reflect upon the distinction between will (an inner life phenomenon) and intent (expressed in the outer life). Remembering Lucifer’s battle cry of self-assertion, it is apparent that he made no such distinction.
183:2. Judas in the City
Meanwhile, our authors bring us up to date on the machinations of Judas in his conspiracy to deliver Jesus into the hands of his enemies. Interestingly, because of certain miscalculations and delays, Jesus’ apprehenders numbering more than sixty persons set out for the Gethsemane camp over an hour later than originally planned. And it was this hour that Jesus spent in the garden collecting himself and stabilizing his mind in preparation for the ordeals ahead.