Episode:Last Ministry of the Master—Beyond the Jordan (Part 3)
Jesus did not teach nor countenance improvidence, idleness, indifference to providing the physical necessities for one’s family, or dependence upon alms. But he did teach that the material and temporal must be subordinated to the welfare of the soul and the progress of the spiritual nature in the kingdom of heaven. He said, "What shall it profit you if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul?"
Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Wealth, Covetousness, Consider the Lilies
Summary by Kermit
Commentary after Review
The continuing topic of riches and the love thereof (covetousness) prompted a deeper look at the actuality dynamics (physics) of the threefold system of cosmic reality. Essentially, genuine 6th LoM love is engagement in the uppermost regions of the inner life with spirit energy. Abstracting and elevating the covetous desire for riches to the higher realms of the spiritualized mind is inimical to soul growth and spirit perception.
Commentary ensued pertaining to the purpose of the inclusion by the midwayers of commonplace details when setting the scene for their narrative, e.g. the role of rainfall in determining their teaching schedule at the Pella camp. Such a technique adds a richness to the account and also helps to disabuse the reader of picturing Jesus as the supernatural magic man possessed of powers over the forces of nature, in favor of his being a normal human being subject to the natural environment. Note all of this in light of the early church’s almost complete disregard for Jesus’ humanity evinced by the fact that they only began celebrating his birth in the fourth century A.D.
165:4.7 Dividing the Inheritance (cont.)
It is significant that the midwayer narrative closely parallels the New Testament gospel of Luke. Yet, as we are accustomed to discovering the revelation with its authoritative elimination of error and coordination of essential knowledge provides details, exposing the olden records as being virtually one hundred-eighty degrees diametric to the Master’s true teachings. The opening passage of our reading: “Jesus did not teach nor countenance improvidence, idleness, indifference to providing the physical necessities for one’s family, or dependence upon alms.” can be seen as a disclaimer of the erroneous ideas perpetuated through the centuries that his followers are to divest themselves of their material possessions and give them to the poor. In all his teaching Jesus always prioritized soul growth and spiritual progress over the material and temporal details of living.
Even today the term spiritual is routinely misapplied to matters temporal. The religion of the spirit is still a relatively rare commodity in today’s world when compared with the religions of the mind.
Further entreaty by the covetous young man elicited a veritable barrage of scripture passages from the Master on the nature and consequences of avarice. He sends the young man away with one of his oft repeated invitations for reflection, “What shall it profit you if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul?”
The section concludes with further invitation for reflection concerning how the wealthy shall stand in the day of judgement with three questions pertaining to their wealth: how much did they accumulate, how did they get it, and how did they use it.
165:5 Talks to the Apostles on Wealth
Inasmuch as the apostles were busy baptizing believers while Jesus spoke to the young man, Andrew requested that Jesus repeat his teaching for the benefit of the twelve. Here is where things get interesting. Luke failed to distinguish the instruction which Jesus intended for his apostles from that which applied to disciples and believers. It was for the apostles only that he uttered his famous “consider the lilies of the field”, and “consider the ravens”, reminding them that the things of the temporal life would be supplied without their worry. He went on to make clear that the disciples and believers bore the responsibility for earning their own bread and contributing to the sustenance of those who teach, preach, and heal.
As mentioned last week, Luke’s gospel added to Jesus’ watchword “Fear not!” the threat of going to hell. This week we note two more blunders Luke saw fit to imprint upon Christianity. The admonition attributed to Jesus apparently instructing his followers to sell their possessions and give the proceeds to the poor was the product of Luke’s own bias. In [140:8.17] the midwayers identify Luke’s strong beliefs in social equality as the reason for this inclusion concerning the redistribution of wealth.
The section ends with Jesus’ warning of his impending departure (about two months hence), whereas Luke represents Jesus as returning in an hour least expected and in an unexpected manner. The effect of this proclamation was to greatly delay the writing down of records of Jesus life and teaching, inasmuch as he was supposed to soon return. Well, Luke, that makes three pretty big ones! Fear of going to hell, sell all your stuff for the benefit of the poor, and now Jesus will be right back.
Notes by Brad
- This author saw a play where a parent accuses their grown child of not listening to his lessons growing up.
- The grown child says "No I remember exactly what you were about: the dollar bill." Loyalty to riches.
- Children are permanently impressed by loyalties of parents.
- Aim higher by looking upward. Can you re-found/re-frame your thoughts, instead of up from the humus, instead found them on the eternal?
- Most listening to Jesus teaching could not or would not. "What about my money inheritance?" "What about my illness?"
- Subordinate the material, don't suppress or dismiss it. It exists! It's just below.
- Don't be improvident. Plan for tomorrow--be a person of the future.
- Jesus made all kind of material plans for his family, for example. To say nothing of the apostolic team's organization (treasurer, etc).
- "But wait, what about consider the lilies?" Not worrying about your bread for tomorrow? Remember the audience he was speaking to.
- Can you have religion of spirit instead of religion of matter, or religion of mind--as has been the case for 1,000,000 years here?
- That's the challenge the 5th ER lays down for us.
- Without this, you can hardly hope to grasp Deity versus reality and other advanced concepts.
- Yet, err of the side of humility--assume you know not of what you speak. "Blessed are the poor in spirit."
- Can you have a consistent grasp of the threefold actuality of matter, mind and spirit?
- The greatest thinkers of ever to live could only conceive of dualism (matter and mind). This is relatively new ground.
- Humor can be used to gently challenge yourself?
- When you chuckle about the material mindedness of Jesus apostles and disciples, you're chuckling about yourself.
- "Your problem is not your dad's money or your brother, young man," said Jesus to the covetous lad.
- "Your problem is you have a vacant space in your heart, and filled it up with covetousness."
- Can you just let the traditional laws of inheritance play out and let it be?
- The only thing you really own, that you truly posses (are sovereign over) is your own soul. The word own here helps emphasize that, it isn't just a throwaway word.
- A sermon spiritual matters was pulled down by the material gravity of listeners asking about material inheritance.
- Perhaps Jesus needed that afternoon nap, in the midst of all this material discussion, to recover.
- Material gravity is wearying. World-weariness happens when material gravity pulls you down.
- A disciple is a follower.
- An ambassador of the kingdom is something else. Something greater. An apostle.
- Hence the misinterpretation of these matters in the gospel of Luke. Where this speech on wealth was recorded in a general way.
- "I say to you" about the lilies, he was talking to the apostles, not to you.
- Luke was a biased storyteller.
- He interviewed people. But what captured his imagination? What was his filter? His concept frame?
- Even more--what was Luke's agenda? Why was he writing his gospel?
- "Luke, the physician, was a strong believer in social equality..." [140:8.16]
- Luke was a pro-re-distibutionist of wealth.
- Jesus did not teach/countenance improvidence, idleness, etc... but Luke did. And he put those words in Jesus' mouth.
- So we've recently observed the following things Luke got pretty incorrect when he put words in Jesus' mouth:
- Going to hell (no, Jesus said fear no one in heaven or on earth. Fear not, unconditionally).
- Everyone sell all your stuff and give the proceeds to the poor (no, only the apostles, and nothing expressly about the poor)
- Jesus is coming when you least expect it (no, he's leaving when you east expect it)