Episode:Jesus Faces Death—Brought to Trial (Part 7)

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February 11, 2020 [Paper 185:0-1, p. 1987]

Shortly after six o’clock on Friday morning, April 7, A.D. 30, Jesus was brought before Pilate, the Roman procurator who governed Judea, Samaria, and Idumea under the immediate supervision of the legatus of Syria. The Master was taken into the presence of the Roman governor by the temple guards, bound, and was accompanied by about fifty of his accusers, including Judas Iscariot and the high priest, Caiaphas.

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Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Pontius Pilate, Skeptic, Moral Coward


Summary by Kermit

Commentary after Review

Considering further Jesus’ hour of humiliation and the manner in which he met this assault, we referred to [156:5.13], a description of a God-knowing individual’s immunity to depression associated with purely material upheavals. As frequently mentioned on SoS, there is a significant difference between God-knowing and God-believing. Further regarding the practice of religion and the inner and outer life. Inner life religious fellowship is love based, and outer-life fellowship is service based. Thus we have the holistic cosmic fruit of the spirit, the inner and outer in harmony, loving service. Observe the final single sentence paragraph of [Paper 56]: "Love is the desire to do good to others." (emphasis added) Love—desire (inner), do good—service (outer), love and service—the heart of the Master’s gospel. Sad to record, that present-day religion overemphasizes on the outer life activities of social service while so largely missing the inner predicate of genuine 6th level of meaning, love.


Paper 185: The Trial Before Pilate

Coordinating essential information, the midwayer authors’ preface to this paper provides precise information orienting the reader to the time, place, and cast of characters assembled for this well-known episode in the Master’s trial. The Jews were so obsessive about ceremonial cleanness they would not enter a gentile building where leaven might be used during Passover preparations. We are reminded that this misguided urge to purity is not negative in and of itself, but represents the functioning of the 6th adjutant, the religious impulse in a quest for unity and represents a legitimate aspect of religious practice. Lest we be too quick to point fingers at the hypocritical behavior of the Jews in their machinations to effect Jesus’ destruction, while scrupulously observing ceremonial cleanness and traditional regularity, the midwayers remind us that the Jews are not alone in this practice of “straining at gnats and swallowing camels.”


185:1. Pontius Pilate

The midwayers provide more coordination of essential knowledge in their treatment of Pontius Pilate. Pilate’s critical flaw which led to his missteps in handling the trial of Jesus was his skepticism. He could not fathom the nature and effect of religious conviction and assurance on the Jews. Even though the Jews were prisoners of ceremonialism, they did possess a real religion, if only superconsciously. Pilate’s failure to understand this led him to err badly in his dealings with them. Early in Pilate’s tenure as procurator of Judea he made a number of well-nigh suicidal blunders which essentially “put him in the pocket” of the Jews. The midwayer account of Pilate’s history of missteps in governing them explains why the Jewish leaders were so audacious in pressuring him to consent to Jesus’ murder. This account will someday enable interested historians to sort out the fact from figment in the numerous extant versions of these events.

In describing Pilate’s deep seated hatred of the Jews, we are warned of the necessity of maintaining an orientation of love for our fellows. Without this love predicate as our regard for others it is all too easy to unwittingly fall into actual hatred of others, particularly those whom we see as adversaries.

We discussed the negative effects of skepticism as a philosophic world view in discounting the existence of truth and the validity of insight.

We learn of Pilate’s dismissal as procurator, retirement, and ultimate suicide. As we are told, he never fully recovered from the regretful condemnation of having consented to the crucifixion of Jesus. Pilate’s wife Claudia did indeed become prominently identified with the spread of the good news following her husband’s death.

We can only speculate as to the alternative narrative that might have played out had the emperor Tiberius not become somewhat disinterested in the details of ruling an empire and given more consideration to sending the best provincial administrator to govern Palestine instead of the second rate Pilate.

Our final commentary spoke to the distinction between zealotry and fanaticism, with fanaticism being the more dangerous in that it adds to the zeal of the 6th adjutant the unbalanced action of the third cosmic intuition. A final question to consider, does religious fanaticism constitute real religion?


Notes by Brad

  • God-knowingness is a high concept, far above professing a belief in God, or assenting to the use of that name in a ghost-cult framework.
    • Do you exalt sadness as a badge of humanity? That isn't very human.
    • But that doesn't mean "be cold and heartless" like some Stoic. Go up, not horizontal.
    • The opposite of false sentiment is not absence of sentiment. It's true sentiment--top-down sentiment.
    • Sentiment is defined as thoughtful feeling.
    • Thoughts, not feelings lead you Godward.
    • It's God-knowingness, not God-feelingness.


  • Love-expanding fellowship versus service-oriented fellowship.
    • Have you ever seen the former? This author hasn't, unless possibly our weekly study here is an attempt at one!
  • The Romans are excellent political administrators. We will see Pilate deeply questioning these Jewish charges against Jesus.
  • The Jews are very concerned about details like being ceremonially unclean.
    • Hence the trial is held outside for technical reasons.
    • Do you feel like criticizing them? Look in the mirror--how much do you want to be pure, too?
    • What they're doing isn't innately bad, it simply lacks cosmic perspective.
    • This author reports he likes keeping his room clean. A sort of purity.
      • Is there a more cosmic reason? A potential behind this? Don't count on getting to actualize it much in this life, but be patient. It's a foreshadow of unity.


  • Despite any critiques here, the Jews "had a real religion."
    • It was not much of a conscious possession, mind you. (consciously, they were ceremony obsessed)
    • But there was a shadow cast downward from a real religion above in their minds.


  • "The opposite of love is indifference" is a popular maxim these days
    • That's only the case for love-as-a-feeling.
    • Watch out: if you begin to mature, if you're capable of true love (with will in play), you are correspondingly more capable of hate, actual hate.
    • Pilate, motivated by internal hatred of them, might well have told himself, "I know everything I need to know about these people." And he consistently blundered as a result.


  • Another of Pilate's problems was his philosophical skepticism.
    • A "negative philosophy". Knowledge is fallacious. Insight is impossible. Convictions are impossible.
    • That's why the Jews' willingness to die for their religion so caught him off guard. Philosophically, his mind couldn't encompass this.
    • He asked quid est veritas perhaps in jest, in a shallow way. And yet, all of us could stand to be reminded of the profundity of this question every day.


  • Pilate's hatred of the Jews led him to blunder after blunder after blunder. The inside is wrong, so can it be a surprise that the outer life turns out this way?


  • This section is an excellent example of "coordinating of essential knowledge" the 5th ER does so well.