Episode:Jesus Faces Death—Farewell Instruction (Part 9)

From Symmetry of Soul

The cheerful attitude of Jesus was waning. As the hour passed, he grew more and more serious, even sorrowful. Nonetheless, Jesus addressed the concerns of David Zebedee and John Mark, saying: "My friends, nothing can happen to the Son of Man unless the Father in heaven so wills. Let not your hearts be troubled; all things will work together for the glory of God and the salvation of men."

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Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Last Hour with Friends, Final Farewells, The Enemies Approach

Summary by Kermit

Commentary after Review

Our discussion began with some reflection on the meaning of the term “word” in the Master’s prayer, “I have given these men your word and taught them the truth.” Current day reference to the word of God often implies the scriptures. However, this superficial interpretation referring to the written word of the Bible is not correct. We remember how the Universal Father, Eternal Son, and Infinite Spirit are said to represent the thought, word and act of God respectively. This idea of Jesus being the word of God is expressed clearly in the opening passages of the New Testament gospel of John.

We also visited the idea of Jesus’ mission to give experiential expression of the existential Father. We reviewed the list of sixteen “I am…” statements noting those expressions which do not logically apply to the Creator Son’s bestowal, for example, “I am the infinite Father of my finite children.” In viewing these expressions as characteristics of the Father seen through the lens of Jesus’ life we can avoid the temptation to make Jesus eclipse the Father as the central feature of the kingdom of heaven—Jesus-ism. This is a problematic feature of many “flavors” of Christianity today, notwithstanding Jesus’ utterances that he came to reveal God the Father, not himself. But as we further discussed, for an atheist to take the faith step to accept Jesus as the alpha and omega, and there remain is still a step forward. For many, a first step of believing IN Jesus as God moves them closer to where the 5th ER would have us be, believing WITH Jesus in the Fatherhood of God, and the brotherhood of man. Even “I am the good shepherd” is profitably viewed as an experiential manifestation of God the Father inasmuch as Jesus’ entire bestowal life was in service of revealing the Father, and notwithstanding the Master’s many scriptural references to himself as a shepherd. The 5th ER calls us to recognize that Jesus has actualized potentials of God the Father which the Father himself is unable to actualize. In this way we can begin to appreciate the eternal and existential reality source behind the appearance of Jesus’ life.

182:2. Last Hour Before the Betrayal

We now enter upon the threshold of the nadir of Jesus’ earth life. Upon their return to camp the apostles’ attention is now fully focused on the fact of Judas’s absence. Jesus’ human nature is more fully revealed as he must now confront the immediacy of his impending death. Through his patterns of speech e.g., referring to himself in the third person we infer that his words of encouragement and faith are intended for himself as much as they are for his men. We are about to witness a fully self-mastered human Jesus vanquish the sorrow and fear of an ignominious death.

After being apprised by John Mark and David Zebedee of their intelligence concerning the betrayal plans of Judas Jesus sends his men to their rest. Testifying to the apostles failure to fully comprehend the true meaning of the kingdom, Simon Zelotes has procured a cache of swords and other arms with which to equip his fellows in the face of the anticipated arrival of their enemies. Even the chief, Andrew accepted the sword, subsequently returning it only after Nathaniel reminded them all of the Master’s refusal to resort to weaponry in his defense as well as previous demonstrations of his mighty power. Thus were nine of the eleven apostles armed. The apostles’ minds were still dominated by their resentment at Judas’s perfidy. We could ask ourselves how steadfast each of us might be under such sudden and surprising events, that we could keep hold of the big picture and not be disrupted in the exigencies of the moment.

We noted how the midwayer account of these events gives to the world for the first time so many behind the scenes details including, Jesus’ conversation with David Zebedee employing one of his messengers along with the assurance of celestial protection to take word to Abner of his imminent arrest, death, and resurrection. We conjectured what kind of superhuman protector Jesus engaged, secondary midwayer? or one of the unrevealed lesser angels? In any case we figured it would have to be a being capable of directly interacting with material reality. We also learn of the presence of a number of Greek believers camped along with the apostles. To their chief Jesus presages that which is about to transpire.

John Mark and David Zebedee were the only ones among the group who knew that their enemies were coming that very night. Accordingly they had arranged to keep a look out for their arrival. However, John Mark was overcome with devotion to the Master as well as curiosity and forsook his watch post and followed after Jesus, Peter, James, and John as they withdrew into a nearby ravine. This was fortunate for all of Christendom as John Mark was thereby enabled to be an ear and eyewitness to all that transpired until just before their enemies came to arrest Jesus. Of course John Mark was thus able to supply his account for the written account, eventually finding its way into the New Testament.

Meanwhile as these events were taking place at the camp, Judas and the temple guards were in conference in preparation to setting out to arrest Jesus.

Notes by Brad

  • What is "the word" Jesus gave to his apostles?
    • Consider the 3 Sources and Centers: The thought God, the word God, and the God of action
    • Son-type Deity is "the Word made flesh."
    • "In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with god" begins the gospel of John.

  • Regarding that long list of "I am..." statements in [182:1]?
    • "Why do you exist, I AM?" "I AM that I AM."
      • The purpose of my existence is to exist. Existentially, that's all the existential Father can say about these things.
      • But that doesn't put him remote from you--you have personality (which is what truly makes you a capital-I pronoun)
    • The Creator Son (Michael, incarnated as Jesus) embodies the existential I AM.
    • But in his incarnations, the I AM has become manifested experientially.
    • Michael, our Creator Son, is a way of experientalizing the Father and making him engageable.
      • Even if it appears the Jesus is the good shepherd. But in reality, the Father is is the good shepherd.
      • "Why do you call me good?" asked Jesus. He came to exalt the Father, not himself.
    • But don't tear down your status of Jesus as a shepherd. Just use more abstraction
      • Through Jesus, you're seeing the Father. If the Father could be incarnated, he would be the good shepherd.
      • Even the Bible captured this. "He who has seen me has seen the Father."
    • In this list, see the fullness of Jesus. But see more: see through the list to the Universal father as a good shepherd. Add God to Jesus in this list.
    • When Jesus incarnated 7 times, each time he was a conduit for 1 the 7 modes of the Universal Father's personality.
      • And yet someday we will see the Master Son, himself, acting in his own way.
      • And there are 700,000 flavors of Creator Sons!

  • So there's a focus on Jesus over God the last 2,000 years. Sure!
    • "What do I need God for if I have Jesus?"
    • All good things taken to an extreme become bad. Jesus as the alpha and omega is not the cosmic truth.
    • This author reports praying, while on travel, and finding it easier to address Jesus than the God the Father.
      • Almost as if he (temporarily) needs a more basic one of the four phases of religious philosophy--a little stabilizing of daily living as he travels far from Western civilization (Africa).

  • This author wonders if Western Civilization came to be, in part, because of the power of these abstractions.
    • [Paper 195] refers to this "unrecognized" influence of Jesus behind the scenes of Western civilization...
    • Jesus certainly laid down a challenge. And civilization has been propelled forward, to now, "quivering on the very brink."
      • But to go further now, we need something bigger. A new revelation.
      • And we now ourselves must take delight in cultivating..., instead of resting on how Jesus took this delight 2,000 years ago.
    • "Innocent until proven guilty" is derived from "love your enemies."
      • Which is unnatural for us; it's civilized! An animal is naturally suspicious of others.
      • Lady justice wears a blindfold. Not by accident.
      • Each generation must choose this unnatural condition for civilization to endure.

  • How can Jesus' cheerful attitude be waning? Is he not inconcussible? Peace that passes all understanding, etc?
    • Jesus the man is feeling some serious material gravity. Confronting the fact of an impendening violent death can do that to any man.
    • He's speaking words of comfort not only to the apostles but to his mortal self, from his elevated observer point.
    • "Remember, WE should all submit ourselves to the will of the Father in heaven." He's talking to himself here, too.
    • And remember in the hourglass analogy we have two quasi-domains. In our own lives our higher self can speak these words to our mortal self.
    • Your mortal self is 100% subjective. Strive to make your mortal self subject to YOUR objectivity which you've tied to eternity, not a helpless victim of antecedent causation.
    • To speak these words of strength to yourself is sublime thinking, not mere self-reminding thinking.
    • And for self-control there is no autopilot; selves are not self managing, they ought to be personality managed. Even an infinite self!
    • And remember you're not an island: synchronize your controllable self with the cosmos.

  • This part of the story is told partly in non-linear fashion.
    • Non-linear storytelling helps foster reflective thinking for the reflective student (or inevitably for all readers, superconsciously, this author supposes).
    • Nathaniel, the "odd philosophic genius," correctly observes they don't need their swords.
      • His philosophic big picture is the only phenomenon here that can see through the fog of their anger about Judas.
      • And only Andrew's cool administrative mind can follow his line of thought.
      • Can you hold onto the big picture? Can you be philosophic, not only religious? The big-picture frame? Can you do something, as well as be something?

  • So the 11 apostles are resentful and angry about Judas.
    • How much do you resemble them in your life today? Do you let anger be a stone cast into a hornet's nest, and poison you?
    • Can you be immune from the outrage du jour?

  • "My peace I leave with you" versus "peace be with you" versus "peace be upon you."
    • Subtle, but there is a distinction.
    • Approach something using "upon", i.e., up- + -on. From the top down.

  • The chief priests hated Jesus more than they respected their Jewish traditions.
    • They violated the Sabbath. They accused Jesus of violating it too, but only demanded that Jesus be put to death for it.
    • This is how poisonous hatred is: it can be placed above that which you hold most dear.
      • The fact that they were arbitrary mores and Jewish traditions is not the point. The point is they abandoned that which they held dear.

  • John Mark, the lad in the linen coat, overhears a lot of this.
    • He didn't want to stand lone sentinel watch all night.
    • He wrote the Gospel of Mark, at the instigation of Peter and the Church of Rome (see [121.8]).
      • And there were a lot of notes he made from Simon Peter. In a way the gospel of Mark is something of the gospel of Peter.