Episode:Last Ministry of the Master—Beyond the Jordan (Part 1)

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March 2, 2021 [Paper 165:0-2, p. 1817]

The Perean mission spanned almost three months and was the final period of the development of the higher spiritual aspects of the gospel of the kingdom, and there was, accordingly, an absence of miracle working. No other part of Palestine was so thoroughly worked by the apostles and disciples of Jesus, and in no other region did the better classes of citizens so generally accept the Master’s teaching.

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Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Perea, The Seventy, True Shepherds

Note: Justin Armstrong filled in for Andrea Barnes on this episode.


Summary by Kermit

Commentary after Review

Further discussion concerning distinguishing appearance and reality included a philosophical exploration of how the revelation enables reflection on the core recognitions of elements of human philosophy progressing to clarification, expansion, and synthesis of a true metaphysics found in the 5th ER. The discussion touched on sensations which occur within the mind which are themselves representations of external appearances. Interestingly, these musings are applicable to the new arc we are undertaking.

In preparation for moving back into Part IV of the revelation, we recall that its narrative is solidly predicated on the New Testament story about Jesus. And that the words attributed to Jesus are not literal translations of his actual words but tailored by the midwayers to be coordinate with the truth (reality) which is approached in one’s inner-life and not merely the words on a page (appearance). We are further reminded of the statement in [Paper 101] “Religion is faith, trust, and assurance.” Faith is predicated on an invisible reality, not appearance.

For the bulk of our million year history mankind’s progress has been the result of grace. We have progressed in spite of ourselves. The revelation provides a resource with which we can identify and cultivate conditions favorable to being grown by God.


Paper 165: The Perean Mission

Reorienting ourselves with Part IV, we discussed the geography of the Perean Mission. The work actually was conducted in cities and towns on the east side of the Jordan and extended somewhat beyond Perea in both the north and south directions. The main work of the mission was conducted by the seventy evangelists under the direction of Abner, former chief of John the Baptist’s apostles. The composition of the seventy is given in [Paper 163], which we briefly reviewed.

Jesus and the twelve supplemented their work, alternating with teaching and preaching at the Pella camp. This final period of the Master’s ministry was characterized by development of higher spiritual aspects of the gospel and a relative absence of miracle working, a notable difference from the Master’s earlier work in Galilee. Also notable is the contrast between Christianity’s religion about Jesus and the importance it puts on his miracles and the final paper of Part IV showcasing the faith of Jesus which is the heart of his religion. Note also some of the modifiers attached to the fruits of the spirit in [Paper 193] suggesting their grounding in the eternal, e.g., undying hope, unfailing goodness, and enduring peace.

Further distinction on the inner- and outer-life features of the kingdom is observed in the practice of Abner’s instructions to the seventy to baptize all believers even though Jesus had not so charged them.


165:1 At the Pella Camp

The Master taught about twelve hundred persons each morning at the camp. The twelve taught in the afternoon and Jesus held evening Q & A sessions with about fifty persons consisting of the twelve and other advanced disciples.

This was the time of greatest interest in Jesus’ message during this nonmiraculous phase of the kingdom when he chose to end his work on earth. Three quarters of the multitudes during these days were truth seekers, the remaining quarter consisting of Pharisees and many doubters and cavilers. The cavilers are those troublesome, sometimes quarrelsome folk who disrupt and distract from the teachings with frivolous and inconsequential objections thereby diverting attention from the big picture of the Master’s message. We discussed present day implications for going forward with establishing the heavenly kingdom when relative proportions of truths seekers and doubters and cavilers reach ratios that are inimical to success.

Note that Jesus and the twelve were minimally attentive to the field work of Abner and crew. This was Abner’s stomping grounds from the early days when he accompanied and assisted the Baptist. This area was the most thoroughly worked by the kingdom builders and found wider acceptance by the better classes of citizens.


165:2 Sermon on the Good Shepherd

This sermon is found in the New Testament Gospel of John chapter 10. In the 5th ER version of this parable Jesus is never represented as saying “the good shepherd.” The usage of “good shepherd” is found in the revelation in connection with another parable of a good shepherd who leaves ninety-nine of his sheep to search for one who strays. Here the Master refers to a true or false shepherd. This subtle more philosophic use of true and false characterizations goes beyond goodness to a connection with truth. Further he is most direct in calling attention to the deliberate disloyalty to Deity of the “false shepherds.”

Jesus goes on to confuse and amaze his hearers with allusions that he has other sheep not only of this world, and that he himself is both the door to the Father’s sheepfold and true shepherd of the Father’s flocks. And even more astounding is his declaration that if he lays down his life in the service of his flocks, he will take it up again. Some Pharisees regarded him as mad or demon possessed, while others noted his authoritative manner and the incongruity of someone demon possessed engaging in restoring sight to the blind and other wonders. The following morning about half of the Jewish leaders professed belief in Jesus, the other half leaving in dismay.