Episode:Jesus in Galilee—Building to the Climax (Part 5)

From Symmetry of Soul

In the wake of the third preaching tour, Jesus began to employ the parable method of teaching the throngs that so frequently gathered about him. The parable of the sower was one of the first of a long series of such parables which he taught the multitudes. And when the apostles, and those who were with them, first heard Jesus teach the people in this indirect manner, they were greatly perplexed.

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Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Parables, Religious Speculation, Confusion

Summary by Kermit

Commentary on the Review

We revisited the idea that the detailed narrative of the Sabbath service which resulted in the Nazareth rejection was presented to underscore the normality and unextraordinary nature of Jesus early religious training. And that the fundamental elements of the Jewish worship were sufficient to foster the genuine faith of a normal person. We were reminded that the significance of the manner in which the authors present specific information or particular incidents in Jesus life is best understood by keeping a holistic picture of the revelation in mind, and attempting to ascertain their relevance and application for today. The midwayers, rather than disclosing manifold facts of Jesus’ life, are here encouraging us to aspire to the faith of Jesus in our spiritual journey.

Our discussion proceeded to take up a signal feature of the many threats to the stability and integrity of civilization today. That being the troublesome proclivity of well-meaning individuals to zealously seek the reform, modification and perfection of outer life phenomena in the pursuit of inner life spiritual ideals. Instead, the transformations sought in the outer life are successfully achieved through the evolutionary outworking of such reforms and modifications, which take place in the genuinely creative inner life, the religious life of the individual.

Paper 151 Tarrying and Teaching by the Seaside

We noted that again the midwayers present us with specific details of the doings of the Master and crew but withhold the substance of his address to the assembled groups, "the mission of adversity and the spiritual value of disappointment" notwithstanding it was described as memorable and further that his hearers never forgot the lesson he imparted. Careful examination of the title his talk challenges the reader to reflect and attempt to imagine its content.

In Bethsaida we find Jesus, not fully recovered from the sorrow of the Nazareth rejection, powerfully demonstrating his humanness. Even a Creator Son, living as a material mortal is not exempt from the demands of his animal-origin frame of dust.

151:1. The Parable of the Sower

It is about this time in his public ministry that Jesus begins to employ the parable method of teaching. He does this in spite of the risk of pitfalls and confusion inherent in such an indirect form of instruction. Jesus concludes the telling of this parable and others with, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Following the telling of the parable of the sower the apostles were greatly perplexed querying the Master as to the meaning of his “dark sayings” and indirect method of instruction for those who seek the truth. We note that the truth cannot be defined with words and further that its comprehension is an individual matter leveraged off of such indirect stimulus as a parable and facilitated by synthetic reflective thinking. Jesus explains his purpose in presenting the mysteries of the kingdom in parables in terms of confounding his enemies as well as those who love not the truth and enabling those who truly desire to enter the kingdom to do so.

Jesus reminded the apostles and those who were with them of the law of the spirit which decrees that to him who has shall be given so that he shall have an abundance; but from him who has not shall be taken away even that which he has. This paradoxical statement alludes to the encircuitment in the Holy Spirit with its three cosmic intuitions. All men and women have this superconsciously by grace. Having these ears to hear and cultivating these faculties ensures that more will be given. Failure to consciously cultivate these gifts (those who have not) risks separation from the superconscious grace gift (even that which they have). Jesus also made clear that the parables were intended to confound not only his enemies, but those who love not the truth. The key to grasping the truth of the parables rests with the individual’s desire to find the truth.

Jesus selection of Scriptures from Isaiah and Jeremiah referring to “heart” indicates that these prophets understood the heart to mean spiritualized mind and not merely feelings.

151:2. Interpretation of the Parable

Peter and Nathaniel each proffered their interpretation of the parable as allegory, wherein each detail of the story is given a spiritual significance. Thomas reminded the group that Jesus had previously instructed them that in presenting instruction to the multitudes they should employ stories best suited to illustrate one central and vital truth. The bottom-line truth contained in this parable given by Thomas was that their efforts to teach the gospel would be attended by differing degrees of success due to conditions and circumstances beyond their control.

Jesus went on to encourage the apostles in their religious speculation concerning the meaning of parables being clear to emphasize that such speculation and conclusions are not to be offered as part of their public teaching.

Notes by Brad

  • Do the cultural goings on in the external world have anything to do with your inner life?
    • They don't have to. But people often let them.
    • In spite of the mainstream conventionality of his upbringing, Jesus inner life was wholly his own.
    • Sincere Urantia Book readers often think they ought to hold a bake sale, or the 1001 equivalents thereto.
      • The spiritual barrenness of bake sales is perhaps starting to become apparent to some.
      • That's what the excesses of the material-comfort era eventually net us. Painful process, though.
    • Seek first the kingdom of heaven.
      • Not "seek only the kingdom of heaven." Bake sales are still OK. Just keep them on the outside where they belong.
    • Stop turning yourself inside out.

  • "I have a burning desire for a better world. I desire progress! What else could a person need besides that?"
    • Careful. You're implying your mind is innately divine.

  • The apostolic retinue is a sober and disillusioned group of teachers now.
    • This is appropriate.
    • Jesus found a way to remove the dollops of pride they all had, though the Nazareth rejection.
    • Yes, even Jesus was disillusioned, too. He was a man just like us, his mind worked like ours.
      • Even a fusion-ready mind is, perforce, still influenced by an animal-origin mind and chemistry.

  • The point of Part IV is not to disclose the words and facts of Jesus.
    • If it were they would have transcibed his amazing talk about the value of adversity.
    • Could you write the "fan fiction" and write your own 1-hour talk or essay on adversity and disappointment?
      • Or at least an outline??

  • Watch the subtleties:
    • The mission of adversity. That suggests adversity was sent to us.
      • Our system's very name (Satania) suggests adversity, after all!
    • the use of "of" in the "spiritual value of disappointment." Derived from? Related to? etc.
    • Why disappointment? Perhaps you've tried to satisfy your ideals in the external world? That will never, ever work.
      • After the 500th time, maybe you'll say, "Hmm. Perhaps spiritual satisfaction is not to be found in the external world?"
      • Or perhaps you mistook an emotional upwelling in the external for spirit? If so, you'll be disappointed because it will fade.

  • This author wonders if Jesus' sorrow here was the untranslatable Japanese mono no aware
    • A Japanese aesthetic that is more profound than mere hurt feeligns.
    • This author is fond of this concept. I even cited it in a job resignation letter.

  • Parable: literally means to throw aside. Related to parabola.
    • You throw the gist of things off to the side, and count on the listener to "have ears to hear."
    • These are "dark sayings" in the sense that:
      • they are not self-illuminated. The listener must cast their own light.
      • or that they are obscure and you can't get the point.
    • In this sense, there are many "dark sayings" in the 5th ER.
      • Truth is not knowledge. Each individual must discover it themselves through dynamic, reflective thinking.
      • Analysis versus synthesis. Synthesis is the path to truth.

  • "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
    • The literal-minded will miss this, of course. This isn't about earlobes.
    • Jesus is less concerned about those seeking their destruction, more concerned about brushing aside those who have not ears to hear.
      • The undiscerning multitudes? Jesus will let it be. He will simply pass by.

  • The quality of one's desire seems to condition the experience.
    • Those who desire to destroy will not understand these parables. Even if someone explains it to them for free, it just won't sink in.
    • Sincere truth seekers will get it. Ask and you shall receive, etc.
    • A heart that has waxed gross has become coarse—unrefined.
      • Distinguishing (coarse) versus discriminate (subtle differences).

  • And now the interpretations from the apostles. Like an insufferable group breakout exercise at a workshop. Get your flipcharts and markers!
    • Anyone with spiritual tendencies will drift toward allegory, endless hidden meanings.
    • Notice carefully how Andrew and Thomas stayed back with Jesus. Later, one of them was the one who hit upon the problem of allegory. "Jesus, you warned us about this very thing."
    • Allegory also will match whatever you existing old wineskins. More affirmative than revelatory.
      • Because allegory is rooted in your own natural self-centerdness, not in humble reflection.
    • Allegory is like watching a fine movie crafted artfully, designed to "hold a mirror up to nature." You will see your wineskins.
      • You'll experience the pleasure of affirmation, not the delight in cultivating cosmic intuitions and truth.
    • With allegory, you won't experience "considerable commotion in the philosophic realms of the mind." Which is what we really should desire if we want to be grown.
    • Watch the apostles get lost in the facts of the parable, and have the truth recede further and further away.
    • In fairness, Jesus says going all allegorical privately, on your own, is okay. If it's in your heart.

  • Now, even when a parable is taken in the right way (one central truth), you'll still see something of the person learning from it.
    • Of course. It's really personal.

  • And watch how Jesus was as a facilitator-teacher. The last one to speak. Letting the evolutionary process play out.
    • Not saying, "no no no! It's like this."