Episode:Jesus in Galilee—Building to the Climax (Part 4)
January 1, 2019 [Paper 150:7-9, p. 1683]
When Jesus visited Nazareth for the first time since the beginning of his public ministry, the Master found himself in the midst of, not a welcome homecoming, but a decidedly hostile and hypercritical atmosphere. The inhabitants of Nazareth had indeed heard of Jesus’ fame, but the majority of the citizens were angry because he had done none of his great works in the city of his youth.
Summary by Kermit
Commentary on the Review
Our post review discussion was given to some exploration of how the fundamental tenets of astrology are philosophically speaking materialistic yet one’s belief in astrology brings into the picture the role and function of mind. This unrecognized influence of mind leads to phenomena that are falsely ascribed to the physical action of stars and planets (in the case of astrology) and erroneously judged as validation of this popular superstition. Even so, astrology with its view of a causal universe is not so bankrupt as the illogical world view of acausal quantum mechanics. As one of our team pointed out, at least astrology induces you to look up, providing an impetus for the pursuit of astronomy if not cosmic contemplation.
150:7. The Sojourn at Nazareth
In this first visit to Nazareth since beginning his public ministry, the Master spent a Friday afternoon unobserved and unrecognized walking about the scenes of his younger days. He experienced a veritable flood of human emotion stirred up within his soul. We examined the meaning of this passage in terms of the levels of meaning and considered some serious implications, from the standpoint of the hourglass analogy of the human mind, of elevating doings on the level of the feelings up into the spiritualized mind. Even the Master with his perfected personality has been witness to some of the pitfalls involved in doing this. Might this have been a case of Jesus processing his human reactions to revisiting his childhood and young adulthood in preparation for the trying events immediately ahead?
The citizenry of Nazareth were largely unfavorably disposed to Jesus because of his failure to perform wonders in his native village. Add to this the fact that his enemies had engaged rough and uncouth men to deliberately harass him and make all manner of trouble for him. Most of Jesus’ friends and supporters of his early days in Nazareth were either dead or had moved away, leaving a younger generation prone to strong jealousy.
150:8. The Sabbath Service
The midwayers present in this section a detailed description of the Sabbath service at which Jesus would speak. We are told this service was conducted just as when Jesus attended them as a boy. As we stepped through the prayers and readings we remarked on the normality of the service. It was such a service as anyone in that day might attend. These were the spiritual forms and practices in which the young Jesus’ faith grew, gradually and steadily without extraordinary divine visitations or manifestations. We noted numerous Old Testament scripture references highlighting elements as light, love and father, off of which Jesus could leverage his new gospel.
Ironically, with the considerable details of the Sabbath service, we are left only with the title of Jesus' actual fifteen minute address to the congregation, “The Sons and Daughters of God.” What we have is a portrayal of the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.
All of Nazareth turned out to hear Jesus’ discourse. The synagogue was filled to overflowing leaving many of Jesus’ apostles and associates outside. Following the formal service Jesus remained to answer questions, as was customary. At this point the debased men hired to cause trouble began to press him. Jesus refused the entreaties of his supporters to leave with them.
150:9. The Nazareth Rejection
Jesus was holding his own with the caviling crowd, poking back at them with scripture references to the effect that prophets were frequently dishonored in their own country and among their own people, and would have managed them peacefully had not Simon Zelotes and a group of Jesus’ friends become belligerent with the Masters’ enemies, thus escalating the whole scene to the point where the aroused enemies of Jesus laid hold of him and rushed him out of the synagogue to the edge of a cliff, poised to push him to his death below. Continuing in the words of the midwayers: “But just as they were about to push him over the edge of the cliff, Jesus turned suddenly upon his captors and, facing them, quietly folded his arms. He said nothing, but his friends were more than astonished when, as he started to walk forward, the mob parted and permitted him to pass on unmolested.”
As to exactly what transpired that the mob parted and permitted him to pass unmolested we might wonder. What change of mind in the mob caused such a reversal of events?
So Jesus allows all of this to play out that the apostles and kingdom builders might come to the recognition that his kingdom will come only through much sorrow and bitter disappointment. Thus, they left Nazareth travelling by different routes assembling at Bethsaida on March 10. They came together as a sober and serious group of disillusioned preachers of the gospel of truth and not as an enthusiastic and all-conquering band of triumphant crusaders.
Notes by Brad
- Nostalgia welled up in Jesus' soul?? Wait, what does that signify? Emotions in the soul? Isn't that contradictory from the hourglass analogy?
- Stirred up is key.
- And it being a "flood" is key--hard to keep one's footing in a flood.
- And it being an "indulgence" is key. We can lose ourselves in the flood.
- And a holistic and well-aligned approach to feelings is possible. They're not inherently contaminating.
- But it's a delicate balancing act for us unmastered selves. Jesus, the Master, had a handle on all this in a way none of us do.
- Was Jesus thinking, "I'm feeling my grip on objectivity washing away. Time to come down from the mountain."
- Also, this was an inoculation of sorts for what was about to come during his time in Nazareth.
- What are "low moral standards" here? Nothing overly cosmic or exalted.
- Yet there's always a show of cosmic validity cast.
- We're shown here that everything can be interpeted negatively, if that's your will.
- The citizens of Nazareth were "an offense waiting to happen" so to speak.
- But this is just 8th grade schoolyard behavior. Just animal-origin beings doing what adolescents do naturally. Not some grand scheme on the scale of a rebellious Lucifer, say.
- Note: Jesus' readings in the synagogue were in Greek, not Hebrew.
- "Apostolic retinue" is such a sophisticated phrase. Why did the authors go there instead of being formal in such a low-stakes paragraph?
- Perhaps they're trying to help us be a little less simplistic in our use of language, for times in the 5th ER when sophisticated language is required.
- Slow down and take note of the detail of this service in Section 8.
- Jesus faith grew gradually, in the evolutionary context he found himself.
- That is, his synagogue was utterly average and of its day. This service was "the same as when Jesus was a boy."
- But it was genuine, and had seeds of promise for a growing connection with God.
- Fertile ground. They even referred to God as "Father."
- Little seeds, like saying the terribly and mighty volcano God does things "in love." Plenty to work with here.
- Cherry picking by Jesus in his own teaching? Sure. But these are good cherries.
- Jesus' selected passages
- opening passage is: seek first the kingdom of heaven. Which is within. You can't go out and about looking for it.
- Then Isaiah, one of Jesus' favorites.
- His own sermon on The Songs And Daughters of God
- The authors didn't write this down for us.
- So what is the point of this section?
- Well, once again the key here is that Jesus was firmly brought up in an evolutionary context, not some singular conversion experience a la Paul.
- The point is not for us to get the word of Jesus, but the Faith of Jesus (the title of the last paper in the book).
- Graciousness (what Jesus possessed here) implies something that is a gift, a very acceptable one.
- Yet those determined to see Jesus in a negative light could see graciousness as, let's say, unctuousness (smug, slick, oily, etc).
- A beautiful day, weather wise in the material world. But in the mindal domain, it was all turbulence and tornadoes.
- How were the minds of the mob so abruptly changed when they were about to push him off a cliff? Kindof mysterious.
- How would one ever film a scene like this an make it authentic and believeable? Hard to say.
- Face facts and adjust them to ideals.
- Sober facts. His followers had to be disillusioned by this experience in Nazareth.
- This is relevant to us today. Think the 5th ER is ready to change the world? Don't think so. Most of the world today is Nazareth. You'd be thrown off a cliff and couldn't stop the mob.
- As a Urantia Book reader, what do you more resemble:
- sober and serious group of disillusioned preachers of the gospel of truth
- enthusiastic and all-conquering band of triumphant crusaders
- Which one of these does Paper 150 teach us is warranted?
- If an incarnated Creator Son couldn't alter the evolutionary process, can you?
Brad's Reflections on 2018
- Initiator. Left my job as an initiator not an upholder. Can seem like a cop out.
- Death. It really is possible to live the 5th ER's philosophy in the light of a father's death. I struggled as anyone would, but tried each day to do what ought to be done.
- Inner life discovery. Ecclesiates view on the hopelessness of chasing success int he outer life helped me see the "folly" of much of my "anxious striving." Reviewing my 25-year journal helped to confirm the prevalance of this anxious striving.
- Stoic. Marcus Aurelius explanation of a far simpler, more meat-and-potates, approach to daily living helped me immensely. I studied a great deal about how he approached life.
- Plan Z. Seeing how often a Jesus best-laid plans were dashed to pieces by the universal evolutionary process, I allowed myself to release my white-knuckle grip on life a bit more. Is it possible God's will can now and is now acting in my life? I shall try to stay humble and not presume to say definitively. But I am sincerely doing what I can. Do your little part, and trust the overall evolutionary context.
- Restate in modern phraseology. A new respect for the depth of this concept. Trying to allow truth to flow better. Meeting minutes try to do this, too. Wondering if I can do the same for my 25-year old journal, whose teenage ramblings have a lot of brambles and thorns amid the few flowers of quality thought.
- Adaptability. As in "the meaning of life is its adaptability."
Brad's Itemized prayer thoughts from Paper 150, Section 8
An attempt to see the forest for the trees. This began to resemble the paper titles in Part I of the Urantia Book. Give credit where credit is to due to this service!
Attributes of God:
- King of the world
- You are Yahweh,
- Your name is from everlasting
- there is no God beside you
- our King
- our Savior
- the Savior of our fathers
- our Creator
- the rock of our salvation
- our help
- our deliverer
- King and the Lord of all peace.
- our God and the God of our fathers
- the God of our fathers,
- the God of Abraham,
- the God of Isaac,
- the God of Jacob
- He is our Father
- King of our fathers
- the shield of Abraham.
God's actions in the heavens:
- He forms the light and creates the darkness
- He makes peace and creates everything
- In mercy, He gives light to the earth and to those who dwell upon it
- In goodness, day by day and every day, renews the works of creation.
- The glory of his handiworks
- The light-giving lights which he has made for his praise.
- He has formed the lights.
- creates all things
God's actions on Earth:
- In love He chose his people Israel
- With much overflowing pity has he pitied us for the sake of our fathers who trusted in him.
- With great love has the Lord our God loved us
- Us have you chosen from among all nations and tongues
- shows mercy and kindness
- remembers the gracious promises to the fathers
- brings a savior to their children’s children for his own name’s sake, in love.
- taught them the statutes of life
- prepares salvation
- brought us near your great name
- blesses Israel at all times and at every hour with peace.
- blesses his people Israel with peace.
- Have mercy upon us and teach us
- Enlighten our eyes in the law
- Cause our hearts to cleave to your commandments
- Unite our hearts to love and fear your name
- bestow on your people Israel great peace forever
What we did:
- They sang a new song to your name by the seashore (2nd person)
- all praised and owned you (2nd person)
- They said "Yahweh shall reign, world without end. Blessed is the Lord who saves Israel.”
What we do:
- We may lovingly praise your unity.
- Take the yoke of the kingdom of heaven
- Take the yoke of the commandments as applied to the day and the night.
- We shall not be put to shame, world without end.