Episode:Jesus Goes Public—Preparation and Preaching (Part 1)

From Symmetry of Soul


The twelve apostles represented many different types of human temperament, and they had not been made alike by schooling. But do not make the mistake of regarding these men as being altogether ignorant and unlearned. All of them, except the Alpheus twins, were graduates of the synagogue schools, having been thoroughly trained in the Hebrew scriptures and in much of the current knowledge of that day.

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Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, The Twelve Apostles, Andrew, Simon Peter

Opening thought: "Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble. / They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure. / A person’s days are determined; [Lord] you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. / So look away from him and let him alone [Lord], till he has put in his time like a hired laborer." [Job 14]

Closing thought: We hope you find this a fresh, insightful new look into Paper 139.

Summary by Kermit

Commentary after Review

In anticipation of the paper on the twelve apostles, much of the pre-reading discussion was devoted to an exploration of two aspects of personhood—temperament and character. For our purposes fundamentally,

  • Temperament is the constellation of mental, emotional, and physical qualities of a person which is derived primarily from biological, genetic endowment. It is generally derived from material antecedents.
  • Character refers to the aggregate of qualities of an individual acquired through experience including moral-ethical training and personal choosing.

Temperament is temporal, character is potentially eternally enduring and growing.

Only in the 5th ER do we find clarification between temperament and personality. Personality is revealed as a transcendent cosmic fact, a level of deified reality. The purposing function of personality engaging the universal harmony of the cosmos is the very process whereby righteousness is established in the character of an individual.

Stop to consider: Jesus was a “human source” for the 5th ER, and the midwayers treat him as such, restating his discourses in modern phraseology for current day edification. He came to be a human source work through whom we creatures can recognize an infinitely transcendent father-God.


Paper 139 The Twelve Apostles

Jesus’ charm and righteousness was such that even though he repeatedly rebuked and forcefully dismantled the apostles’ egoistic ambitions, all but one remained loyal to him and the work to which he called them.

The twelve represented different types of human temperaments. They were not rendered alike by schooling. Listen to the discussion on the unfortunate consequences of seeking satisfaction for the urge for unity through the imposition of uniformity, i.e., loss of uniqueness of personality expression.

The subtle clarification of the terms “unlearned and ignorant” found in [Acts 4:13] in describing apostles Peter and John points to the finely crafted precision of revelation. In the midwayer narrative the order of the words is reversed rendering the foundational term unlearned as opposed to ignorant. The midwayers proceed to emphasize that the apostles were unlearned in the lore of the rabbis and not foundationally ignorant. Admittedly this is a small point, but indicative of the attention to the finer points of meaning in the revelation.

These depictions of the apostles serve to humanize them and make them accessible for us. Their strengths and weaknesses of temperament are presented. Also, we learn the personality traits of Jesus which drew each apostle to him.


139:1 Andrew, the First Chosen

The descriptions of the apostles are full of factual information fulfilling the role of revelation in coordinating essential knowledge. It is no surprise Jesus would designate Andrew the chairman of the twelve, his being the peer of his associates in almost every imaginable quality, the ablest man of the twelve. His outstanding strength of character was his superb stability. As with the other apostles, he was drawn to Jesus because of a specific trait of personality, which was in his case Jesus’ sincerity, his unaffected dignity. This is not surprising inasmuch as Andrew is said to have abhorred flattery and insincerity. And this in turn contributed to his reticence to praise the worthy accomplishments of his associates.

Remarkably, Andrew demonstrated his own sincerity and unaffected dignity in his relationship with his younger brother Peter. Despite Peter’s oratorical gifts, Andrew was never jealous. He was a much-needed stabilizing influence over his gifted but impulsive brother. To his credit he was never irritated spending the rest of his life after Pentecost being introduced as “Simon Peter’s brother.”

Andrew began the earliest writing of a personal record of the Master’s sayings and doings shortly after his ascension. We are told elsewhere in the revelation that the memory of this record served as source material for Part IV of this revelation.

As with many of the apostles, Andrew’s career of bringing thousands into the kingdom ended with his crucifixion.


139:2 Simon Peter

Peter was very unlike his older brother Andrew in temperament. He was known to Jesus for some time prior to becoming the second chosen apostle. Simon was given the nickname Peter (meaning rock) somewhat humorously as he was well known for being erratic and impulsive. Described as a man of impulse and an optimist, a curious juxtaposition of terms used by the midwayers to possibly arrest our attention to deeper significance of terms in a more general application.

Peter’s fluency and eloquence were notable. He did not have a deep mind, but he did know it and was capable of quick decisions, when he was not being impulsively rash. It was the Master’s tenderness and mercy that Peter most admired. No surprise here inasmuch as Peter was in continual need of such forgiveness.

We continue reading about Simon Peter in the next episode.


Notes by Brad

  • Plato: Mythos versus Q&A
  • Early psychiatrist in the Urantia movement "threw in the towel" with his skepticism after reading Paper 139