Episode:Jesus—His Living Faith (Part 2)
Jesus of Nazareth was a religious man who, by faith, achieved the knowing and the doing of the will of God; he was the most truly religious man who has ever lived. Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.
Summary by Kermit
Discussion: Comments on the length of the preface to this paper being the longest in the book, emphasizing that the “on ramp” to Jesus faith required considerable day-by-day experience on Jesus’ part. His faith was a gradual, progressive growth over years of living, as opposed to a sudden epiphany as illustrated in Paul’s conversion experience.
1. Jesus — The Man
The Master ascended on high as a man as well as God. The human Jesus was the most truly religious who has ever lived on Urantia. The concept of the glorified Christ, must not be allowed to eclipse the value of the human Jesus to mankind.
Discussion: Note the distinction between Christ (the idea underlying Christianity) and Jesus of Nazareth the man and the 4th ER of truth to mankind. Here we were reminded of another contrast in our previous discussions concerning the terms ‘spiritual’ and ‘religious’. Spiritual consisting of an inner life. Religious, the personal joining of the inner life with the outer life.
The time is ripe for Jesus of Nazareth to be presented as the living Jesus to Christianity and all other religions. The social, economic, moral, and religious transformations to Christian civilization would be drastic should the living religion OF Jesus be supplant the theologic religion ABOUT Jesus.
Discussion: We return to the wording “real life” of Jesus, remembering that real living takes place between the inner (spiritual) life and the outer material life not simply the inner life.
The following sentence stimulated an interesting discussion: What a transcendent service if, through this revelation, the Son of Man should be recovered from the tomb of traditional theology and be presented as the living Jesus to the church that bears his name, and to all other religions!
Instead of interpreting this passage as marching orders to evangelize the UBook, a serious consideration of the word ‘through’ and the phrase ‘living Jesus’ suggests that our task is to; as a result of our transforming contact with the 5th ER, live out the truth of Jesus’ gospel as his spirit-born disciples. It is TRUTH, flowing through persons that will ultimately transform mankind, not a book or even words from a book.
Our charge is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals and to strive for the achievement of his exalted purpose—to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it. We are to share his faith, trust God and believe in men, rather than imitate the outward life of the Master.
The Master ascended from the human to the divine by the conjoint achievement of the faith of his mortal intellect and the acts of his indwelling Adjuster. This ascension was marked by seven extraordinary events. Each of these events was discussed and the listener is encouraged to consult to the archives for page references and more detailed discussion.
2. The Religion of Jesus
The religion about Jesus can be preached, but the religion of Jesus must be lived. Christianity is founded primarily on the personal religious experience of Paul, with the Jesus of the Damascus road. Jesus’ gospel is based on his religious life of progressive growth over his entire lifetime.
Jesus’ progressing ascent from the human to the divine was an exclusively mortal achievement. Reference was made to the six levels of meaning, introduced in Jesus’ discussion of the golden rule, a foundational feature of his gospel. (Paper 147:4, p. 1650)
(As a personal testimony, I urge everyone to reflect and contemplate on these levels of meaning, as yardsticks against which to measure one’s motivation in executing the manifold teachings of Jesus.) They are not limited to the application of the golden rule.
We have lost a great truth of the 4th ER, that Jesus was human and divine. Further, that in his life he manifested creature-creator unifying deity, the essence of Supremacy.
In pointing out Jesus’ attitudes toward the poor and the rich, we see a clue to the philosophical emergency of today, the false conclusion that social injustice is the root of human inequality.
While Jesus as the 4th ER did not offer rules for social advancement in his religion of individual personal spiritual experience; He did provide the necessary foundation for the ideal of all social advancement, the brotherhood of men based on the recognition of the fatherhood of God. But, mistake not, the 5th ER DOES contain guidance and direction for the social advancement so urgently needed now.