Episode:Jesus Goes Public—Precursor and Prelude (Part 18)
Jesus made plain to his apostles the difference between the repentance of so-called good works as taught by the Jews and the change of mind by faith—the new birth—which he required as the price of admission to the kingdom. He taught them to preach the forgiveness of sin through faith in God without penance or sacrifice, and that the Father in heaven loves all his children with the same eternal love.
Opening thought: Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or set foot on the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. / But his delight is in the Law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. / He is like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding its fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither, and who prospers in all he does. [Psalm 1]
Summary by Kermit
Commentary after Review
We pointed out that the growth which is facilitated by the cultivation of favorable conditions is counted as righteousness. Adding to this idea we noted that the conquest of the seven psychic circles denominated soul growth and cosmic growth likewise is characterized by enhanced righteousness, inasmuch as theses circles are referred as cosmic levels, and righteousness is conformity with the cosmos.
We also noted the negative baggage associated with the word “righteousness.” The Hebrews evolved a religion around the idea of works righteousness, i.e., obtaining God’s favor and salvation through outer-life conformity with approved social standards. Despite religious doctrine promising salvation through faith in Jesus, many current day Christian religionists continue to labor under this notion of salvation through good works (so-called righteousness).
During the two thousand years since Jesus walked on our world and poured out the Spirit of Truth, the minds of men have become progressively and increasingly animated spiritually. Spiritualization of false notions and wrong thinking now carry far greater potential for dangerous consequences to civilization than in earlier times.
138:8 First Work of the Twelve
The initial work of the newly constituted twelve apostles is characterized by significant attention to materially pragmatic considerations. In alternating two-week periods, the apostles fished earning money for their support and the support of their families, then going into the fields two-by-two doing missionary work for the kingdom. Jesus enjoined the apostles to refrain from discussing three issues:
- John the Baptist’s work and imprisonment,
- The voice at the baptism, unless it was directly experienced, and
- the water into wine at Cana.
In addition to emphasizing entrance to the kingdom by faith instead of the repentance of so-called good works, the twelve were impressed by the Master’s profound respect and sympathetic regard for every human being he met. Further, Jesus’ treatment of women, according them equal rights in the kingdom initially shocked the twelve, but early on they became accustomed to this.
Jesus’ public teaching was mainly in the form of parables, while he taught his apostles by questions and answers.
138:9 Five Months of Testing
The five months of alternating work for their daily bread and kingdom building was at one and the same time monotonous but punctuated by wonderful times in intimate association with Jesus. It was this personal association with the Master that so endeared him to the apostles, forging a friendship-loyalty bond that held them all together (save the betrayer) during the dark hours of his death, when their inner lives were so disrupted that all reason, judgement, and logic were set aside.
Sadly, this time of public inactivity was such a trial to his family, all of them save Ruth practically deserted him. And on the few occasions they tried to contact him it was to try to persuade him to return home. They actually thought he was beside himself.
Again, the authors make a point of noting the materially pragmatic manner by which the kingdom building efforts were conducted such that the financial welfare of the apostles’ families were seen to, leaving the apostles free to devote their entire energies to the work of the kingdom without worry for their well-being.
138:10 Organization of the Twelve
The twelve early organized themselves, again pragmatically to attend to the practical aspects of their work.
- Andrew was designated chairman, or director general.
- Peter, James, and John were appointed personal companions of Jesus.
- Philip was responsible for the food.
- Nathaniel was assigned to watch over the needs of the families of the twelve.
- Matthew was the fiscal agent of the group.
- Thomas was responsible for itinerary and logistics.
- The Alpheus twins were responsible for crowd control.
- Simon Zelotes was in charge of recreation and play.
- Judas Iscariot carried the bag, kept the books and paid the bills on Andrew’s authorization. They functioned in these roles up until the desertion of Judas.
Here ends the first series of our arc. The next paper will examine in depth the character and temperament of each of the apostles.
Notes by Brad
- Righteousness is about the inner life.
- It cannot be directly measured.
- Conformity with the cosmos cannot be quantitatively measured.