Episode:Jesus Faces Death—Farewell Instruction (Part 1)

From Symmetry of Soul

Jesus addressed his apostles, saying: "The time has now come for the Son of Man to be glorified, and the Father shall be glorified in me. My friends, I am to be with you only a little longer..., for I am going to a place to which you cannot, at this time, come. But when you have finished your work on earth as I have now finished mine, you shall then come to me even as I now prepare to go to my Father."

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Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Love, Service, Prayer

Summary by Kermit

Commentary after Review

In a similar manner whereby the same word in the revelation can have somewhat different meanings, as with “personality” in some instances meaning personality itself, and in others referring to the self with which personality is identified, we looked at “worship” and observed that in the narrowest sense it denotes the worship state itself, while in a more general sense it can also include the adoration of the creature, transmitted to the Father via his personality circuit through synchronization with Mother Deity.

Briefly we noted that considering the nature of selfhood from the bottom up or top down perspective will yield different results. Top-down considerations demand that the creature transcend the sequentiality of time and engage the eternal, an unfamiliar perspective indeed.

Paper 180 The Farewell Discourse

We keep in mind in this new arc Jesus Faces Death that Jesus is now, as a human being entering upon the final phase of his mission. As a man he prepares to meet death as we all must. Note that we are picking up the story immediately following the Last Supper which concluded with everyone singing Psalm 118 wherein Jesus is reminding his apostles and himself to fear not!

The Master immediately reminds his hearers of the troublous times immediately ahead. His first instruction here is for them to be mindful in providing for their material needs. God is not a technique for meeting these material needs.

Jesus then proceeds to explain in very plain language that he is about to leave them. In so doing he shall be glorified and the Father shall be glorified in him. He even speaks clearly that they will see him on high in the age to come, notwithstanding their cherished notion that he was to return soon.

180:1. The New Commandment

Jesus now follows up on his poignant demonstration of loving service, washing the apostles feet prior to the Last Supper. He reminds them of the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself, and now takes that up a notch with a new commandment, to love one another as he has loved them. And by so doing, all who thus see will know them to be his disciples.

Listen to our discussion on this teaching in relation to moving up the levels of meaning (LoM), which Jesus delivered in connection with the golden rule. The Master is now commanding his apostles to move up from the 4th LoM, the level of brotherly love to the full 6th LoM, personal realization of divine fellowship. Note that as a spiritual uplifter Jesus’ dispensational revelation is intended to change the entire evolutionary stream on our world. Simply enacting brotherly love, mutual self-sacrifice, is common sense. Jesus calls his disciples to transcend common sense and do the unnatural and bring the uncommon into commonality.

Alluding to his death Jesus declares that he is about to experience supreme joy, even though enduring outward sorrow. The secret of his glorification is found in this contrast of the Master’s inner joy and outer sorrow. Expanding on his command to love one another as he loves, he takes it up another notch declaring the supreme measure of true affection to be the laying down of one’s life for his friends. Listen to the discussion about the exalted meaning of friend on the 6th LoM in distinction to brethren on the 4th LoM. Now consider Jesus’ teaching to love even your enemy. Jesus makes it clear that such loving service does not bring deliverance from the difficulties of the world or even create a new world, but it does make the world new by highlighting the positive potentialities. Note the inevitabilities.

To drive home the new commandment, Jesus draws clear distinction between the 4th LoM of brethren (mutual self-sacrifice), and the 5th LoM of duty, with the 6th LoM, realization of divine fellowship.

180:2. The Vine and the Branches

The vine and the branches forecasts the living connection Jesus has with his disciples. This inner living connection (Spirit of Truth) is manifested as spiritual fruits (loving service). The analogy also served to remind the apostles of the teachings concerning the Messiah as a stem arising out of the vine of David’s ancestors and emblematized on the entrance to Herod’s temple.

The section concludes with an attempt to disabuse believers from regarding prayer in Jesus name as some supreme magic to obtain deliverance from their difficulties of living in an evolutionary realm—a material technique. We are thus reminded that prayer is a spiritual technique answered with increased revelation of truth, enhanced appreciation of beauty, and augmented concept of goodness—increased grape bearing.

Notes by Brad

  • Jesus had to face the death of his non-resurrectable material, mortal self. Just as we all must.
    • If you don't believe this, this study won't be of much use. And certainly cannot be of much comfort.
    • If you're agree, then get ready: we'll be seeing a real mortal in the final hours before death. And how he confronted it courageously.

  • We join Jesus & the apostles just as they've finished singing Psalm 118 at then end of the Last Supper.
    • Verse 6 is salient. "The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?"
      • Important words Jesus needs to remind him mortal self of. No real harm can befall him in the coming hours.
    • Jesus' opening remarks are about materially pragmatic matters.
      • The multitude have their pitchforks and torches out. No goodwill left there.
      • God has goodwill toward them still, sure. But God is not a material technique.
    • "I have come to bring peace, but it will not appear for a time."
      • Jesus' bestowal was not in any typical order.
      • And remember: a day above is like 1000 years here below.

  • Then, just after this practical stuff, Jesus speaks of being glorified.
    • Do we even know what that word signifies? Jesus will endeavor to explain it.
    • The "supreme glory" even with outward sorrow (the crucifixion) is what he's talking about.
    • That is:
      • the negative environment he's about to be in, versus
      • the positive action he can have even in the face of such a negative environment.

  • Jesus' core teaching here can be interpreted in the context of the levels of meaning.
    • He starts by citing Leviticus: love your neighbor even as you love yourself.
      • What kind of love is that? Brotherly love. Kind-like love The 4th level of meaning.
      • Starting with family, then radiating outward.
      • Family is hard enough for most of us!
    • An family love is fine. As a start. "But I would lead you up..." A new commandment, though he's alluded to this concept before in less concrete form--never before as a commandment.
      • Commandment is a strong, definitive word.

  • The new commandment: Love one another even as Jesus has loved us.
    • Not just brotherly love (that's already known on Earth at the time). Not just some devout member of a ghost cult. Not just strong affection for one another.
    • But love on this higher level of meaning--the level of God-knowingness--is unknown on Earth. Then, and mostly now, today.
      • Not kindly mystics. Not syrupy sentimentalists. 6th level of meaning love.
    • That's why they must "thus" love in this way to be known as his disciples. Like THIS, not like the old way.
    • Genuine 6th-level-of-meaning love is wholly unnatural! You've can't naturally get above brotherly love (kindness), not with biology alone.
      • Even our highest holiday--Christmas--is 4th level of meaning at its best. A bottom-up product of the ghost cult.

  • The word affection appears several times
    • Literally "do-to-ingness"
    • The classic 10 commandments are not very affectionate, are they?

  • Friend is a high word.
    • It's one thing to lay down your life for you kin (bloodline, brother, etc). But for your friend?
    • The root of the word friend is "to love."
    • A friend is two levels of meaning above kin! Much as the true meaning of the word love is at the 6th level of meaning.
    • If you find friendship, you'll find only loyalty, not sacrifice, there.

  • Section 1 find Jesus very much in teacher mode. Stating his new commandment, and then restating it and approaching it from many angles.
    • This high love is a choice.
    • This is loving service, not just feeling-ful service. Service with that deepest, highest predicate.
      • Even if all you can see in the outer life is the service, one's insight can recognize the true-love predicate.
      • Should you observe it in the wild, you'll say, "That's an unnatural person. They either are God-like, or beside themself."
      • You'd say, "That person loves their enemies. They'd die for their enemies sake. They either are god-like, or beside themself."

  • This high love doesn't deliver you from difficulties of this world. It really depends on those difficulties for its manifestation!
    • The world is one vast negative actuality--I think we'd all agree with that.
    • So how can this world be "made new?" Only through the new positive potentialites seen through insight. You see the world's value--its potential--through insight, which can recognize potentialities.

  • The 4th level of meaning is the level of mutual self sacrifice
  • The 5th level of meaning is the level of moral duty.
  • These are fine starts. But true friendship is above both of these.
    • And God expects you to grow up eventually. A child has, at best, only kindness on the 4th level.

  • In the vine and branches teaching
    • What does Jesus mean by "clean"? Not a ghost cult thing. But it's about an unpolluted upper domain in the hourglass analogy of mind.
    • And that's the Thought Adjuster doing that unconsciously--a focusing agent, a catalyzing agent--to facilitate a cleaning so that you have a clean foundation in your upper mind, just as you are initiated with by grace.
    • This is a laden metaphor from the Old Testament. Jesus knows this. He has long ago resigned himself to people thinking he is the material Messiah.

  • Provocative idea: Jesus is ministering to his mortal self here as well.
    • Your mortal self has certain fears and thoughts. You can't turn off those inherited urges (and Jesus has chosen not to turn them off in this bestowal).

  • Do you wreck your faith by magically praying to God for material matters?
    • "Don't let my dad die." Then your dad died. But everyone dies, as Jesus is experiencing now. Why would you wreck your faith on something like this?
    • God answers our prayers in one definitive way (not fancier parking spaces): "God answers man’s prayer by giving him an increased revelation of truth, an enhanced appreciation of beauty, and an augmented concept of goodness." [91:8.11]
      • Period. Hard stop.
    • Prayer is a spiritual technique (spirit-born believers in the spirit-dominated kingdom). Prayer is not a material technique.
    • This author recalls evening prayers with his young nephew. Already at age 8 he is praying to God to "make sure all the homeless people have food." Already a material technique taught to him by elders, wiping out anything more subtle that might have been there by grace.
      • This pretty much happens to all of us. We need our higher mind cleansed by the Father, for sure.