Episode:Jesus Goes Public—Precursor and Prelude (Part 15)
Said Jesus: "Be not deceived by those who come saying here is the kingdom or there is the kingdom, for my Father’s kingdom concerns not things visible and material. And this kingdom is even now among you, for where the spirit of God teaches and leads the soul of man, there in reality is the kingdom of heaven. And this kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit."
Opening thought: There have been many events of religious revelation but only five of epochal significance. Jesus of Nazareth was the fourth. For a third of a century of earth time all eyes in all parts of this local universe were focused on Urantia.
Note: Justin Armstrong filled in for Andrea Barnes this week.
Summary by Kermit
Commentary after Review
A brief commentary on the spiritual drawing power of Jesus’ matchless personality led to clarifying the distinction between the two uses of the term “personality” by the revelators, i.e., as a spirit pattern influence from eternity, and the personalized self.
During these four months of training and teaching Jesus began the transformation of their approach and relation to God from fear and awe of the Almighty to love of the Father. In so doing he calls on them to appreciate and seek a righteousness based on divine love.
SoS noted a parallel in Jesus’ careful inclusions and exclusions in his scripture reading from Isaiah in his first public appearance since his baptism, and the manner in which the authors of the 5th ER employ content from human sources. Namely, picking and selecting that what is most appropriate, and leaving out what might lead to confusion.
137:7.4 Four Months of Training (cont.)
During these four months, Jesus saw to it that no apparent miracles occurred. He instructed them as to what their attitude was to be towards the religious groups and political parties of Palestine. In a nutshell, he would say, "We are seeking to win all of them, but we are not of any of them."
Our authors then proceeded to provide thumbnail descriptions of the predominant groups of the day, being the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Zealots, Herodians, and Samaritans. These groups along with the Nazarites looked for a national deliverer, the Messiah. While Jesus directed his kingdom builders to go forth preaching and teaching the gospel and instructing believers as John had, he laid emphasis on proclaiming the good tidings of the kingdom of heaven, moreover that they must show forth love, compassion, and sympathy and that the kingdom was a spiritual experience (inner life) having to do with the enthronement of God in the hearts of men. Note the precision of the wording employed by the authors—love, compassion, and sympathy—in describing the top-down directionality originating in the inner life contact with the Father’s love, through compassion, and down and out into the outer life of sympathetic service.
For the six apostles and James the brother of Jesus this period was the most precious and profitable of all their association with the Master. Jesus did not make the mistake of overteaching them, nor did he present truth too far beyond their capacity to comprehend. Note, Jesus did not make the “mistake”. Listen to the discussion on the significance of their using such a strong word suggesting the potential evil of elevating the individuality of the teacher over the whole of the cosmos.
137:8 Sermon on the Kingdom
With the news of the arrest and imprisonment of the Baptist, Jesus declared that the Father’s hour had come and presently made arrangements to inaugurate the proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom at the Capernaum synagogue.
We proceeded to explore the details of this sermon on “The Kingdom.” As preface to his remarks he deftly chose scripture passages establishing Yahweh (originally the volcano God) as king over all the earth. Thereafter, referring to the Father’s kingdom, he made clear that the kingdom is inclusive of not just Jews, but all mankind.
Rejecting the prevailing beliefs of a kingdom of glory and power established through military might, Jesus tries to make clear that the kingdom is to be discovered in the inner life and is established through the spirit ministries of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Truth. Further, it is characterized by a righteousness predicated on the Father’s infinite love, inherent in the acceptance of the divine fellowship of sonship with God.
Gaining entrance to the kingdom is with the faith and trusting dependence of a child. Yet once within the kingdom, progressive acquirement of righteousness is required to reach the full stature of the robust sons of God. We referred to [170:3.3] wherein the child’s faith is reciprocated in God’s forgiveness, the experience of which consists in four steps in inner righteousness.
Jesus forewarned believers of the interval between establishment of the kingdom in the soul and its ripening into the full fruit everlasting righteousness and eternal salvation. He further promised that whatever the worldly costs of entering the kingdom, the rewards would be manyfold more of joy and spiritual progress in this world and eternal life.
His hearers were all astonished and touched in their spiritualized minds. Only a third were minded to believe. Another third prepared to reject such a purely spiritual concept, and another third couldn't grasp his teachings and some of them truly believed he was beside himself.