Episode:Jesus in Galilee—Crisis and Consequences (Part 1)
This crisis in Jesus’ earth life, which began with the feeding of the five thousand and ended three days later with the Sabbath sermon in the Capernaum synagogue, was the outward turning of the tide of popular fame and acclaim. However, the crisis in the lives of the apostles began with this sermon in the synagogue and continued for a whole year, ending only with the Master’s trial and crucifixion.
Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, On the Offensive, Open Warfare, Courageous Choosing
Summary by Kermit
Commentary on the Review
We reviewed the phenomena whereby the seat of spiritual idealism (spiritualized mind) becomes contaminated with material ideation which later finds self-righteous expression in the outer life in the form of a material idealism. Clarity from such confusion is found in humbly and sincerely assuming the attitude of a trusting child. In spite of the relative strength of stimuli of the external world compared to the still small voice of inner cosmic guidance, the spirit dominance of mind in the presence of favorable conditions will gradually spiritualize the material mind. But the inertia of material mind resists rapid redirection. We further speculated about the situation on the mansion worlds where the material foundation (animal-origin nature) is no longer present thus allowing for the permanent removal of such disharmonies.
153: The Crisis at Capernaum
Upon their return to Bethsaida following their Passover visit to Jerusalem, Jesus was seriously preoccupied and uncommunicative as he prepared to deliver his epoch making sermon in the Capernaum synagogue. Uncertainty and apprehension were upon the twelve and their associates. The midwayers give a thumbnail description of the inner state of each apostle, save the Alpheus twins, for our edification and reflection. With which apostle do you find resonance? Only the Alpheus twins were up to the task of being of good cheer.
This crisis in Jesus’ earth life began with the feeding of the five thousand and ended with this sermon in the synagogue; the crisis in the lives of the apostles began with this sermon in the synagogue and continued for a whole year, ending only with the Master’s trial and crucifixion.
153:1. The Setting of the Stage
We note that more than once the authors remark on the exquisite weather of the day in contrast to the dark and foreboding inner mental climate experienced by the apostles and associates. The synagogue assembly included an illustrious array of fifty-three Pharisees and Sadducees up from Jerusalem, and more than thirty leaders and rulers of the neighboring synagogues. This was the orthodox vanguard which had come to inaugurate open warfare on Jesus and his disciples. In addition were official observers of Herod Antipas. Jesus is about to meet the religious leaders with a full frontal attack, calling the question for them and his followers, genuine and so-called as to their choice to accept or reject his call to the kingdom of heaven. On one hand he performed a Messiah-like feeding of the five thousand while on the other hand he rejected their version of the Messiah as a king.
This being pre-Pentecost, we remarked on how for many in the audience this choice they were being asked to make would have eternal implications. The fact that Jesus was standing before them as God only served to underscore the importance of their choice. We also wondered how many of these same religious leaders present might also have been present when Jesus made his final denunciation of the scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and the chief rulers of Israel in his last temple discourse a year from this time. This sermon marks the beginning of the transition from the period of discussion, controversy, and decision to that of open warfare and final acceptance or final rejection.
Our conversation also touched on some of the difficulties for Christianity, having record of only Jesus’ public ministry. Full appreciation of Jesus’ doings and sayings are possible only when his pre and post baptism nature is taken into account.
The 5th ER provides valuable insight into the Master’s method of preparing his kingdom messengers by subjecting them to repeated testing opportunities to choose between good and evil. As was mentioned, a long journey of grace lies ahead, but a fully transcendent foundation for such a journey is required to make progress, that involves the exercise of the absolute dimension of personality.
Awaiting Jesus to begin all were possessed of the supreme question: “Why did he himself so deliberately and effectively turn back the tide of popular enthusiasm?”
153:2. The Epochal Sermon
Jesus opens his remarks by reading from Deuteronomy a most stinging passage forecasting Israel’s defeat at the hands of their enemies and the long term dire consequences of refusing to harken to the word of the Lord. He then follows that with more harsh condemnation from Jeremiah. Following the recitation of Jeremiah’s fate for forecasting their political downfall he then queries the audience as to their intentions for him in the face of his forecasting their spiritual doom!