Episode:Jesus in Galilee—Crisis and Consequences (Part 5)

From Symmetry of Soul

Many intelligent and well-meaning mortals have long maintained that modern civilization could not have been built upon the teachings of Jesus—and they are partially right. But all such doubters forget that a much better civilization could have been built upon his teachings, and sometime will be. This world has never seriously tried to carry out the actual teachings of Jesus on a large scale.

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Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Herod's Arrest Decree, Emergency Council, Family Intervention

Summary by Kermit

Commentary after Review

We examined the phrase “moral courage” from the standpoint of its contemporary meaning compared with the meaning found in the revelation. Courage is often required for the performance of duty. Morality is popularly and firmly associated with the mores and the violation of taboo. There does exist on the part of some individuals a general sense of the nexus of morality being influential and resident in the inner realm of the individual in distinction from the domain of ethics, an aspect of the external life involving others. Moral duty suggests the question, duty to what? Often this perceived duty is in service of the internalized mores. The 5th ER suggests moral duty more appropriately is to be directed by and centered on the cosmos. Moral duty directed by the internalized mores (bottom up) differs significantly from the moral duty to the top down cosmic influence from our spirit ministries and our encircuitment in the Holy Spirit. The consecrated efforts to develop and sharpen these endowments of mind increasingly enable the individual to discriminate more accurately between the demands of the mores based on morality and the loyalty to the cosmically sourced morality. In the full 5th ER sense, moral courage can be thought of as the courage to engage the rigors of duty to the cosmos.

We discussed overcoming evil with goodness, but on the other hand, goodness is unavailing in overcoming sin. Sin is met with force both on high and in the life of the flesh. In the realms where natural dissolution of the body is not inherent, the persistent exercise of sin (iniquity) results in extinction at the hands of the Divine Executioners. Certainly the sinner is capable of redemption, but such a turnaround is the province of the sinner himself.

Our conversation also included a topic from the previous week, the distinction between an idea and an ideal. Ideals are not merely the best ideas. In keeping with ideas being time bound and ideals being tied to eternity, Jesus [161:1.3] states to Thomas, “It matters little what idea of the Father you may entertain as long as you are spiritually acquainted with the ideal of his infinite and eternal nature.” The 5th ER now challenges us, having embraced this simple ideal, to upgrade our ideas of God. Herein lies the formidable task for those who earnestly seek the living God to release our grasp on our preconceived opinions, settled ideas, and long-standing prejudices. Of course one of the conundrums of this business lies in the fact of the Father’s existential nature and that he has no relationship to time. Improved ideas of God are spawned from the ideal.

154:3. The Second Tiberias Conference

Returning to breaking developments in our story, at a second conference with Herod in Tiberias the Jewish leaders increase the intensity of their demands to arrest Jesus. While he refuses to arrest Jesus, he does acquiesce to their plan that the Sanhedrin be given permission to arrest him themselves and forcibly remove him to Jerusalem for trial, Roman authorities permitting. In addition these enemies of Jesus industriously circulate rumors that Herod has become hostile to Jesus and intended to move against all believers.

154:4. Saturday Night in Capernaum

Meanwhile, back in Capernaum fifty leading citizens held a meeting to decide what they should do with Jesus. Apparently none among them were in favor of trusting the evolutionary process to unfold. Such an attitude might not be surprising for first century men, but what about today? We are asked to trust, stay in our lane, and focus on self-mastery as our contribution to the evolutionary process toward a better civilization. Job #1: seek first the kingdom of heaven.

Aside from the few present who were inclined to believe Jesus to be the Messiah, a holy man or a prophet, the meeting was divided into four roughly equal groups believing Jesus to be:

  1. a harmless religious fanatic,
  2. a dangerous and designing agitator,
  3. in league with devils,
  4. or mentally unbalanced.

Jesus’ enemies claimed that his teachings were impractical, unworkable, even disruptive. And so with subsequent generations. Claims that modern civilization could not have been built upon the teachings of Jesus are only partially right. A much better civilization could have been built, Inasmuch as the world has never seriously tried to carry out his program.

Imagine a world wherein each individual were in earnest in seeking first the kingdom of heaven. What kind of citizens would we have? What kind of leaders? Such a phenomenon is not likely to be found in our current material comfort era, but will be closer of realization in the approaching time of the quest for knowledge and wisdom.

154:5. The Eventful Sunday Morning

This Sunday was an eventful day in the life of Jesus, characterized by simultaneous activities on several fronts. News of Jesus impending arrest sparked David Zebedee to mobilize his messengers to summon local groups to assemble at seven o’clock. Jesus’ family who were nearby were likewise summoned.

Jesus in his farewell instruction to the assembled disciples directed them to seek guidance from God and to carry on the work of the kingdom. He selected twelve evangelists to accompany him and further instructed the apostles to remain with him no matter what happened. The women he told to sit tight until summoned.

David obtained consent from Jesus to continue his messenger service and further, from his heart pledged continuity of his service regardless of his own fate.

This solemn occasion was marked by Jesus’ return to his normal cheerful self, having resolved his conflicts and settling on his next steps.

154:6. Jesus’ Family Arrives

Jesus’ family arrived about eight o’clock, having spent the previous evening in the company of the Jerusalem rulers, having been convinced that Jesus was behaving strangely and needed to be dissuaded from further kingdom work. His family, save Ruth who remained a steadfast believer in his mission and nature, were of in agreement to urge Jesus to come home with them and give up the foolishness of trying to preach a new religion which would only bring trouble for himself and dishonor upon his family.

Notes by Brad

  • What is moral courage?
    • How transcendent is your concept of the word "moral?" Does it least signify something originating from within?
      • An internal origination is a fine idea. But what's the ... calibration of that system?
      • Did it come from the cosmos? Or from society?
    • A duty to the cosmos, a very transcendent whole, is the acme of the use of this word.
    • Set the bar higher.
    • And keep an eye out for your own affinity for some fervent ideology.
      • Have you "uploaded" a favored set of mores into your inner life, and then do you call that morality?
    • Yet don't be too hard on yourself. Even mores in the external world likely reflects some shadow of a true morality.
    • How does one discern what one's duty to the cosmos is?
      • Start by entering the kingdom as a little child.
      • Know that the cosmos is ceaselessly trying to write itself onto your heart, no matter what you might be doing in an ill-advised or unwitting way in your spiritized mind.
      • The "still, small voice", or a "suggestion" from the cosmos. That's what you're looking for.
      • It's what the 3 cosmic intuitions write upon your heart.
      • It could be a very simple thing, a quiet thing. Common sense. You have a duty to common sense.

  • Sin has to be battled to be overcome, yes.
    • But the definition of the word "battle," as well as the time lag involved relative to mercy, varies between Earth and the heavens.
  • A "bad conscience" would suggest a fractured conscience. A conscience that is not very whole, not functioning very properly.
    • So, yes, a bad conscience (disrupted by evil) is possible.
  • Ideas versus ideals.
    • Consider p. 1783... "The ideal is the Father's infinite and eternal nature."
      • Very concise. Very transcendent. Not at all a temporal statement.
    • Ideal should not mean "the best idea", which is a common misnomer in today's material comfort era.
  • A better idea of the Father implies the entertaining many other ideas. Creator sons, ancients of Days, etc.
    • If the Father is removed from experiential time--purely existential--a infinite set of ideas of beings is needed to make up for this.

  • "What shall we do with Jesus?" Why are they so obsessed with doing anything?
    • Why not trust the evolutionary process?
    • We always are so obsessed about DOING things.
    • Can you respect the sphereof life you occupy?
      • Even if we're not a member of the Supreme Court, so many of us proceed as if we are, for example.
    • How about start with yourself?

  • The material-comfort era we are in today (and in trouble in an emergency way) is not exactly a "seek first the kingdom of heaven" phenomenon.
    • Anything beyond this era MUST be predicated on seeking first the kingdom of heaven.
    • True knowledge. True wisdom. These require an inner life of a true human. Data can be collected by machines!

  • Wholehearted does not mean full-feelinged. We often think it does.
    • Without a genuine inner life connected to the cosmos, it isn't even possible to be wholehearted in this world.
    • Don't pollute your inner life. Don't use your zeal and free will to drag religious doctrines into the upper domain in the hourglass analogy of your mind.
      • This is happening a lot today. Which is an emergency for civilization.
    • Wholehearted isn't about quantity, it's about quality.
      • Even young Ruth (Jesus sister) believed wholeheartedly in him. Innocent enough to not have been polluted by the ideas and ways of the world.

  • Any writing in Part IV that appears to be matter-of-fact, or just a mere story? That's only an appearance.
    • There is always something more synthetic--more non-linear--at play in a paragraph!
    • Example reflective question: How does this one seemingly prosaic paragraph affect our ideas from the New Testament.

  • Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is a high word.
    • Even if material science is all but complete on a world, there still are parts that must be synthesized into the whole.

  • Once Jesus decided what to do, he moved on. He did not ruminate.
    • We could all stand to be inspired by this example. Move on. Stop re-litigating, ruminating, etc.
    • Although we can't carbon-copy Jesus' life, his approach to making serious decisions can inspire us.