Episode:Jesus in Galilee—Building to the Climax (Part 1)

From Symmetry of Soul

Of all the daring things which Jesus did in connection with his earth career, the most amazing was his sudden announcement: “On the morrow we will set apart ten women for the ministering work of the kingdom.” It was most astounding in that day, when women were not even allowed on the main floor of the synagogue, to behold them being recognized as authorized teachers of the new gospel of the kingdom.

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Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Women’s Corps, Mary Magdalene, Spiritual Equality

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on the Review

We discussed the value in appreciating ancient wisdom e.g. “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” However, think of ancient wisdom as the beginning of a progressive evolutionary journey rather than the final word in an existentialized and static view of God and the creature’s relation thereto.

Paper 150-The Third Preaching Tour

A major pitfall in the practice of religion is illustrated by the attempt made by the apostles of John to establish a uniform procedure of applying anointing oil to the sick in connection with prayers for healing. Such an attempt to satisfy the spiritual sensibilities of unity with uniformity of a material nature is still very much part of modern day religious activity. Jesus declined to participate in any discussion of the matter and his apostles likewise declined to be bound by such a regulation.

This third preaching tour of Galilee of seven weeks duration included the 75 or so evangelists going out in groups of five and Jesus and the twelve traveling together with the apostles periodically going out two and two. For about three weeks Abner and John’s apostles worked with the evangelistic corps. As we have noted before, Jesus made no attempt to ensure religious uniformity. Such efforts at uniformity amount to turning the spiritual unity of the inner life into a material uniformity in the outer life. Consider the examples of mercy and justice. Mercy is a personal inner life experience, while justice is an outer life group activity. Further, consider mercy is applied love and takes origin on the 6th level of meaning in the form of love, personal realization of divine fellowship. Consider, justice is applied law, an external fact concerned with conduct.

150:1. The Women’s Evangelistic Corps

As the midwayers tell us, the most amazing among all of Jesus daring doings in connection with his earth career was his announcement that he had selected and commissioned ten women for the ministering work of the kingdom. Mary Magdalene and Rebecca were subsequently added to this group.

We discussed the implications and meaning of Jesus’ bold and courageous move in some detail. For Jesus to reveal the ideal of God as the spiritual father of all of his children it was imperative that his public ministry exemplify the spiritual equality of men and women. Men and women are different physically and mentally in countless and profound ways but not spiritually. Unfortunately, the general failure of mankind to clearly distinguish and separate the inner and outer domains of human experience without succumbing to dichotomous thinking has led to centuries of confusion on this issue of gender equality. The Father’s existential nature renders him indifferent to external gender differences. But such differences are leveraged by Mother Deity in harmonizing and coordinating these differences experientially. Note the immediate advantage in kingdom ministry with the women having access to locations and circumstances essentially off limits to men only, e.g., nefarious resorts.

This controversial step in the Master’s public ministry stunned his apostles and stirred up the populace while giving his enemies further justification for moving against him. Upon the Master’s departure the apostles to their credit continued to acknowledge the women’s enhanced role in teaching and ministering, albeit subsequent generations backslid into the olden customs.

150:2. The Stop at Magdala

Notwithstanding the spiritual equality accorded to women by Jesus, outwardly in their kingdom work they conformed to the social usages of the day. Again the major theme here is the necessity of keeping the inner life and outer life domains separate and clearly distinguished. Do not make the mistake of confusing inner spiritual equality with outer social usage.

It was in Magdala that the women first demonstrated their usefulness freely entering brothels to draw near to their afflicted sisters and deliver the saving good news of their sonship with God. For it was under just such circumstances that Mary Magdalene was won for the kingdom, having received the good news from two of the women’s corps, and subsequently being baptized by Peter.

Mary Magdalene went on to prove herself the most effective gospel teacher of the twelve women. The midwayers go on to underscore the courage and loyalty of this women’s corps reminding the reader that they were all present at the crucifixion unlike the apostles, and not one either denied or betrayed him, unlike you know who (Peter), and you know who (Judas).

Notes by Brad

  • Ancient wisdom is a fine start, but don't limit yourself to it.
    • Like classic movies, it's valued in and of itself but don't crystallize it for all future time.

  • Unity versus uniformity.
    • Uniformity is poor man's unity.
    • e.g., "Let's all anoint with oil in the exact same material way."
    • Jesus offered no opinion on this. He was a spiritual uplifter, not a scientific uplifter. The 5th ER is a different mode of revelation.
    • The 75 evangelists are no longer being chaperoned in this Third Preaching Tour.

  • Critical thinking: separate this from that (crit).
    • You don't need to seek the outer life--you're born into it! Can you seek the inner life, of which you are born utterly oblivious?
    • Can you separate the inner life from the outer life?
    • Can you keep mercy (inner) and justice (outer) separated?
      • Mercy is applied love (6th level of meaning--genuine love, personal recognition of divine fellowship)
      • And genuine love is spiritual in origin, so it originates in the inner life.
      • Justice is applied law--an external fact.
      • Is your mercy just predicated on sympathy (lower domain feelings)? If so, it's not properly anchored.

  • Why was it evolutionarily acceptable to have women evangelists?
    • From the outside looking it, it appears societally radical--hardly evolutionary!
    • But Jesus mission was spiritual, and men and women share a plane of spiritual equality.
      • After all, there is only creator and creature in the cosmos. Men and women are equally creature.
      • Spirit is transcendent of sex.
      • Spirit pattern (personality) also is transcendent of sex.
    • This controversial step, indeed, is a major part of why this is building to the climax.
    • And even then, this move was timed most likely to be not too much at once. He didn't start the public ministry with this.
    • In a sense, Jesus had to do this, because his mission was to reveal the ideal of God the Father, who doesn't see any man/woman difference as a spiritual father.
      • Spiritual equality, the essence of this ideal, needed to find expression on Earth.
    • Remember: Jesus was saying nothing about the outer life.
    • Jesus worked hard at personal connection, forming bonds among the apostles and evangelists that would endure this controversial move.

  • God the Father wants the same thing for a man and a woman--he is our spiritual father.
    • God the Mother is where mental and physical differences come into play.
    • We don't call him father because, say, men are closer to God. God the Father is far transcendent.
    • God the Father is blind to such matters, because he delegated all that.
  • Yes, the imprint and effect of gender always remains with up, but we are bottom-up creatures.
    • God is seeing us from top-down. He's not "looking at the soles of our feet" from the bottom up.

  • The apostles stuck with this women evangelist idea. Later generations, with Jesus becoming more of an abstraction, lost sight of this.
    • And in fairness to Paul, he was part of the evolutionary process. And never thought his letters-of-the-moment would be existentialized into the Bible!

  • We are "sons and daughters of God" is a softer way of fusing together God the Father and God the Mother.

  • Notice how materially the women traveled in the rear (not "equal" with the men). But that has absolutely nothing to do with the spiritual, inner life.
    • Try to read this and ensure you aren't offended by the women traveling in the rear.
    • If you are offended, you will never be content. Seeking equality in the material outer life is folly.

  • Even a brothel is an outer life issue. Don't confuse morals with sexual mores.
    • God the Father sees us existentially. In eternity, you're not stuck in a brothel forever.
    • Sure, eventually in time women got the right to vote. But the inner life is transcendent of voting. And marriage. And the workplace. And all other things under the sun as they say.

  • Grasp the facts of eternity, and then see the facts of time anew. With your feet planted in a superior orientation.

  • Women are the foundation of mankind's relation to the cosmos. This might help explain why none of them fled Jesus when times got tough at the end of his life.
  • God did not look at Mary Magdalane based on her mind or body. But on her spirit.

  • Real liberation, emancipation, is on the inside, in the inner life.