Episode:Jesus Goes Public—Preparation and Preaching (Part 12)
If Jesus were ministering today, he would be a great disappointment to the majority of good men and women for the simple reason that he would not take sides in present-day political, social, or economic disputes. He would remain grandly aloof while teaching you how to perfect your inner spiritual life so as to render you manyfold more competent to attack the solution of your purely human problems.
Opening thought: Mr. Gradgrind [a caricature of a utilitarian] sat writing in the room with the deadly statistical clock, proving something no doubt—probably, in the main, that the Good Samaritan was a Bad Economist. —Dickens
Closing thought: Make some time to have a reflective life. That's the beginning of everything. The kingdom of heaven awaits your eyes (not just your back, backing into it).
Summary by Kermit
Commentary after Review
Considering the “doing of the Father’s will” portion of the four-hour Q & A Jesus had with Peter, James, and John, Jesus expects his men and larger audience to have a foundation in righteousness derived from the first three epochal revelations—the seven commandments of moral law originally presented by the Prince’s staff and later slightly modified by Adam and Eve and Melchizedek. These represent outer life proscriptions, taboos. He further endeavors to awaken in his hearers the conscious recognition that the source for outward acts of obedience comes from an inner initiating and directionizing Father presence. And that God’s instructions for living and obeying are to be written in their hearts such that they become observable in daily living as the fruits of an inner righteousness.
140:8.14 Thursday Afternoon on the Lake (cont.)
Beginning our reading with the final paragraph of the subsection on social attitude of the summary of the Thursday afternoon conference we find his teaching concerning the family. Jesus’ philosophy of life is centered on the experiential divine ideal of family life. Yet he makes it plain that family relationships are not to be allowed to interfere with religious obligations. The basis for the divine ideal of the family takes origin on high in the relationship of the Creator Son and the Local Universe Mother, but as a human institution the family does not survive death. As for divorce, the revelation clarifies how gospel records attribute stringent ideas about divorce to Jesus notwithstanding the fact that he actually made no such pronouncements, but during this conference did direct the attention of the three to the times of Adam and Eve in contrast to the lax divorce practices of contemporary Palestine.
A caller’s inquiry led to a discussion of how one might distinguish between ideas and ideals through reflective thinking. Consult the archive of the broadcast for details, which concludes with a proposition that an ideal is a unity sensation plus the reflective interpretation of a personal self.
4. Economic attitude. Jesus of course was not an economic reformer but he did make note of the injustice of the unequal distribution of wealth. Jesus himself made no pronouncements as to a remedy for this problem but his followers down through the ages have not hesitated to so prescribe many such remedies. Jesus did instruct his apostles they were to avoid holding property, but not his disciples or followers.
Much of the misunderstanding today of the Master’s teachings as applied to social justice stem from the bias of Luke who was a strong believer in social equality. Jesus never directed his followers to adopt a communal mode of life as Luke’s writings suggest. Careful reflection on the spiritual meaning of equality and the cosmic meaning of equity along with their implications for issues of social justice are required to avoid the misunderstandings of two thousand years. The redistribution of wealth called for by some in the name of Jesus represents a gravely dangerous corruption of the religious impulse which does not bode well for progressing civilization.
Concerning wealth Jesus warned the individual believer against covetousness. He ever and always reiterated to seek first the kingdom of heaven whereupon all else necessary follows. Spiritual values have primacy over material considerations, both for the individual (salvation) and the collective (civilization).
5. Personal religion. Speaking directly to us today the revelators direct us to observe Jesus’ life for insights into his teachings. Remember, the 4th ER was Jesus himself not his teachings. His perfected life on Urantia must be appreciated in the context of the times of his visitation.
As the 4th ER Jesus added to the previous ERs. He sought to add to the good things which preceded him--the voluntary conformity of man’s will to God’s will. He was not attempting to produce a religious man wholly occupied with religious feelings and spiritual impulses, but to initiate in man a religious mode of living which would condition and flavor his experience with the many things of this world.
Always positive in his teaching, refusing to advertise evil, he directed his few denunciations against pride, cruelty, oppression, and hypocrisy. He did not even denounce the Pharisees, recognizing among many of them their honesty of heart even while being in bondage to religious traditions.
Each of the three apostles gained something specific for themselves during the conference. Jesus’ focus of ministry was the individual, understanding the uniqueness of each person he exhorted his apostles to avoid the cookie cutter approach to molding believers according to a set pattern.
Jesus made no provision for the obsessive introspective self-absorption implied in spiritual self-examination, but did not proscribe reflective self-analysis as a prevention of conceited egotism.
Faith opens the door of entrance to the kingdom of heaven; sincerity ensures continuance therein.
Consider that Jesus’ religion is the hope of all religions. Part IV of the 5th ER (the life and teachings of Jesus) is not the 4th ER (Jesus of Nazareth himself).
He was solely a religious uplifter exalting love—truth, beauty, and goodness as the divine ideal and the eternal reality.