Episode:Jesus Goes Public—Precursor and Prelude (Part 16)
Jesus directed the six to go forth, two and two, to teach the glad tidings of the kingdom. He purposed to make their first tour entirely one of personal work. No initial public preaching was something of a disappointment to the apostles, still they saw, at least in part, Jesus’ reason for thus beginning the proclamation of the kingdom, and they started out in good heart and with confident enthusiasm.
Opening thought: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. [Psalm 51]
Closing thought: Keep challenging yourself to be in living relationship to the 5th Epochal Revelation—The Urantia Papers. Be ever open to finding some new thread of truth from it.
Summary by Kermit
Commentary after Review
Our post review discussion was wide ranging with several focal points. Righteousness was again a main topic. We suggested a model of righteousness (conformity with the cosmos) as being a conductor in a cosmic circuitry, as opposed to a resistor. The primitive notions of righteousness encountered in early religious practices should be seen as evidence of a pre-existent genuine righteousness as a cosmic value to be recognized and appreciated in concert with the love of God. The admonition found in the 5th ER concerning first and second milers [195:10.5] should be a clue as to the need for a “righteousness renewal.” “Be ye perfect, even as I am perfect” is the opening theme of the revelation and reiterated throughout, framed variously as a command, mandate, injunction, calling, present goal of the superuniverse, decree, admonishment, and eternal urge. The good news of God’s absolute and infinite love for each of his children is the foundational initiating recognition for the creature’s response to the divine injunction.
Overemphasis on God’s love while being deaf to God’s call to righteousness leads to declarations of liberty, falsely so-called, ultimately leading to darkness and death. The gospel of “all you need is love” is a first step along that path.
Paper 138 Training the Kingdom’s Messengers
Jesus called his six apostles together in preparation for their visits two by two about the Sea of Galilee. His failure to include his brothers James and Jude with the six, and their subsequent hurt feelings provided opportunity to reflect on the fact that Jesus many times was seemingly aloof and apparently lacking in sympathy with his family, apostles, and followers. Jesus did not conduct himself according to the established standards of social usage. Only by judging his behavior in consonance with the highest spiritual ideals can we begin to find a correct understanding of this God-man. Could not his apparent coldness allow those near him an opportunity to struggle with their conflicting emotions and motives and mobilize increased measures of faith to surmount such difficulties? As it was we are told his family nearly rejected him, only finding resolution after his death and resurrection. Even so, the authors assure us that he did everything humanly consistent with doing the Father’s will to retain the confidence and affection of his family.
138:1 Final Instructions
The six apostles were assigned in pairs to spend two weeks about the Sea of Galilee. Their instructions were to do only personal work. They were to do no public preaching. Somewhat disappointed the six embarked on their mission in good heart and with confident enthusiasm.
Prior to sending out the six Jesus announced that each of the six were to choose one man from the early converts to become apostles with them. Note, Jesus did not personally manage the selection of the remaining six apostles. As representative of the Father he initiated and did not micromanage the outworking of the apostolic organization.
We are reminded that Jesus was not immune from the temptation to use his potential powers to effect John the Baptist’s release from prison. But his recent experience in Cana must have been powerful inducement to resist such temptation and wait upon the Father’s will.
138:2 Choosing the Six
The two-week missionary tour was a success. The six apostles were beginning to understand the value in personal ministry inasmuch as religion is wholly a matter of personal experience. Andrew assumed charge of their debriefing as the six, one by one presented their nominees for the new apostles.
The new apostles were as follows:
- 1) Matthew was selected by Andrew.
- 2) Thomas was selected by Philip.
- 3 and 4) The Alpheus twins (James and Judas) were selected by James and John Zebedee, respectively.
- 5) Simon Zelotes was selected by Peter
- 6) Judas Iscariot was selected by Nathaniel.
We will delve more into the temperament, character, and life circumstances of each of the apostles in the next paper in this arc.
=138:3 The Call of Matthew and Simon
Jesus and the six called upon Matthew at his workplace, and with Jesus’ familiar two-word invitation “Follow me” Matthew went to his mouse with Jesus and the six. Anticipating this call, Matthew had arranged for a banquet with Jesus as the guest of honor. Simon Zelotes was likewise invited to the banquet.
Going to Simon’s place of work, Jesus greeted him as he did the others with the invitation, “Follow me.”
Matthew’s family having long been engaged in tax collection had many friends attending the banquet who would have been denominated “publicans and sinners” by the Pharisees. The banquet was characterized by good cheer and lightheartedness which aroused the critical reaction of Pharisees in attendance. Whereupon Jesus reminded them that those who are whole do not need a physician, but rather those who are sick. He has come not to call the righteous, but sinners.
The people went to their homes speaking of but one thing, the goodness and friendliness of Jesus.
Notes by Brad
- The core recognition of the need for humility--to not just assert yourself--is far older than the Greek's "Know Thyself."
- Amenomope's Psalm 1 Verse 1 is key: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful [of God]."
- Be in the world not of the world.
- Be in the ocean, but not of the undifferentiated mass of ocean water.
- Jesus apparently seems cold and aloof to his blood family at times. That can trip us up.
- If you have a sentimental assessment of niceness in the outer life, you'd says "Jesus is not a good person" for behaving like this.
- If approved social standards, and the social usage of your day, are your definition of good, you'll think he's in the wrong dealing with his family this way.
- Can you judge Jesus by spiritual ideals, not material ideals?