Episode:Jesus Goes Public—Precaution and Preaching (Part 7)
When Jesus heard the report from the disciples of John the Baptist, he dismissed the multitude and, calling John’s and his twenty-four apostles together, said: “John is dead. Herod has beheaded him. Tonight go into joint council and arrange your affairs accordingly. There shall be delay no longer. The hour has come to proclaim the kingdom openly and with power. Tomorrow we go into Galilee.”
Opening thought: Truth often becomes confusing and even misleading when it is dismembered, segregated, isolated, and too much analyzed. Living truth teaches the truth seeker aright only when it is embraced in wholeness and as a living spiritual reality. [195:5.2]
Summary by Andrea
Commentary after Review
After last week’s review, we again discussed the idea of repentance and how it is a necessary, even mandatory, step in our march toward eternity. The question about why the love of God can’t just get into our hearts and set us straight was answered by the simple fact that we are free-will beings, and it is our choice as to how we set our course. Are we ready to turn around? Repentance creates that turning.
The idea of repentance holds a sort of old-timey, ultra-religious connotation for many. Our society’s pendulum swing away from ecclesiastic authority has us erroneously embracing these false ideas. We little realize that not only has the pendulum swung too far into secularism but it also threw out God and our efforts to align ourselves with God along with it. In our inner life it’s just ourselves and God. We can’t blame the devil or anything else for what is happening in our inner life.
God the Father is not about the outer life. He can’t see all the good or the bad that we might do. He does not have an outer life. Most of us are too overweight with material issues to climb the ladder to our inner life; we are so weighed down with the outer-life experience. And our inner life is not thoughts or feelings about the outer life, as we’ve mentioned many times before.
Religionists, when they once get a hold of rock-solid certitude of the divine, tend to turn it into rough and rigid forms. It may seem inappropriate, but when certitude happens to a religionist, those forms and beliefs are only natural. It’s up to the slow evolutionary process of the Mother to finally sand off our rough edges.
Those rough edges come with being a religionist. In fact, being full of wisdom, right out of the starting gate is not appropriate because then you can never take firm hold on an unwavering religious nature. By definition, a religionist may not always act wisely, but they act.
When the secular revolt happened as a reaction to ecclesiastic totalitarianism, we erroneously started to believe that being a religionist should be avoided altogether. Having religious certitude has fallen completely out of favor in our so-called modern, secular society. Many people believe that avoiding religion and the mistakes that can be made by religionists will be the best thing for humanity. But it is just this belief that has set us at the doorstep of the planetary emergency that we currently face.
Back when Jesus lived, he needed religionists that would die for their beliefs. In his own death, he exemplified what dying for something real looked like. If it hadn’t been for that, the gospel as we know it or any memory of Jesus would likely have been forgotten. The profound display of courage by him and his apostles and so many other martyrs echoes throughout the centuries to benefit us all.
We discussed how Truth is the superadditive consequence of the relationship between fact and goodness. This type of truth, gained through experience, encompasses a transcendent wisdom. But if there can be no truth without fact, how is it that truth is available to anyone and can be had by even the most humble and unlearned individual?
The Revelation uses truth in two ways, just like they do with many concepts. When you first initiate your inner life you’re using the existential triad of beauty-truth-goodness. Using that triad to get to truth you don’t need fact at all. That truth is the superadditive consequence of the relationship between beauty and perfectness. They are available to anyone with one brave stretch of faith.
Discerning this difference allows us to find the nucleus of our inner life. When coming across the word truth in the revelation, consider in which way it is being used.
144:9 The Death of John the Baptist
The book validates where John the Baptist was held in prison, Machaerus, and where his body was laid to rest. The revelation frequently gives us this type of precision that clears up eons of confusion about various things. The Urantia Book is the co-ordination of essential knowledge and the authoritative elimination of error.
It was just 4 days short of 2 years from the time of the baptism that John was beheaded. At that point, Jesus boldly makes the announcement that “There shall be delay no longer. The hour has come to proclaim the kingdom openly and with power.” The power he refers to is spiritual power, not material power. He is speaking of the type of top-down spiritual orientation and assistance we can all lay claim to.
Brad shared with us his experience of watching The Chosen and how the differences between what we are learning about Jesus’ life in the UB and the way it is depicted on the show bring up tensions. It was pointed out that there is no understanding without these differentials. The importance of seeking out these differentials is important for the growth of understanding. If understanding is desirable then must mankind find himself continually caught between what he thinks he knows and new information that is being presented and allow that differential to propel him forward.
Paper 145 Four Eventful Days at Capernaum
Jesus began his public preaching tour of Galilee in Capernaum. We commented on how Mary, the mother of Jesus did not want to visit with him even though she was in the area. The only member of the family that Jesus did meet with was his youngest sister, Ruth. Only Ruth had unquestioning loyalty for her father-brother. For the most part, Jesus had to break off relations with the rest of his family because it was a weight on him that dragged him down. They simply didn’t understand him and nothing he could do or say would change that. It must have been so difficult for him. We pondered the impact of this on their eternal future and soberly realized our own issues in this regard.
145:1 The Draught of Fishes
We discussed how Jesus, being an experienced man of the world knew where the fish were. The draught of fishes was not a miracle, but the apostles and others refused to see it any other way.
145:2 Afternoon at the Synagogue
On Sunday, Jesus preached in the synagogue and, reading from the Book of Exodus said: "And you shall serve the Lord, your God, and he shall bless your bread and your water, and all sickness shall be taken away from you." At first glance, it seems he is suggesting free food and healthcare. But upon closer examination, we can discern that he is challenging them and us to hear these things with spiritual ears. When referring to the bread and water, he wants us to think about hungering for truth and thirsting for righteousness. And the removal of sickness he refers to is a turning away from evil and also has nothing to do with the external world. He wants us to interpret this spiritually, not materially. We can be in the world but not of the world.
In this sermon, Jesus also makes the amazing statement that he came to reveal more than just a racial or national religion. He continually reiterates that God loves each of us individually and that we can embrace a personal religion. This is him reinforcing the spiritual over the social, the individual before the community. He was trying to disabuse them of believing in the collective consequences of sin, like the olden idea that the sins of the father were passed to his children.
This community or communal idea is natural, the preeminence of the individual is not. It is unnatural and, therefore, worthy of our striving. Jesus wanted us to realize that “the hope of a better nation—or a better world—is bound up in the progress and enlightenment of preeminence of the individual.”
When we can discern our spiritual freedom in spite of any outer world circumstances, including even something like social injustices, we have found the inner life. Many nowadays think that we have no freedom until there is social justice for all. But social injustice is NOT sin. People who have elevated this idea that the community is more important than the individual are, in effect, saying that social injustice is sinful and make it their sad secular religion.
Notes by Brad
- Why repent? Can't God's love penetrate my mess and fix it?
- No! We are sovereign in our inner lives.