Episode:Last Ministry of the Master—Jesus' Final Tour (Part 2)
Clarifying his parable of the shrewd steward, Jesus affirmed: "He who is faithful in little will also be faithful in much, while he who is unrighteous in little will also be unrighteous in much. If you have not shown foresight and integrity in the affairs of this world, how can you hope to be faithful and prudent when you are trusted with the stewardship of the true riches of the heavenly kingdom?"
Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Stewards of God, Mammon of Unrighteousness, Serving Two Masters
Summary by Kermit
Commentary after Review
Post review discussion explored the significance and implications of two modes of interaction of the individual creature and the whole (cosmos). In the process of the Supreme evolving (actualizing) the Supreme Being, an individual person performs two distinct functions, which are to be found in the creature consecrations necessary for progressing in the cosmos and eternalizing the soul. Consecration of creature will to the doing of the will of the Father is the secret of eternal survival as an individual within the context of the whole. Consecration of the mind to the universal harmony of God the Mother constitutes the discharge of creature duty to the Supreme Being’s actualization as an individuality of the whole.
As we often and fondly point out, the exercise of will is always fraught with risk to be exercised unwisely. With that understood, it remains true that cosmic identity and reality are not automatic acquirements in the universe ascension, they require wholehearted choosing. The Supreme Being is guaranteed of full actualization and will retain all of the values of experience contributed by every person, whether or not that person attains eternal survival.
As the above is applied to the Pharisees who prepare to destroy the Master and his gospel, we know that some of them knew they were deliberately acting contrary to their role as religious leaders of the Jewish people and nation. Their insincerity led them into sin and unless any of them saw fit to rescind their sinful choices their outcome would appear to be most problematic.
Do not let the revelation’s role in coordinating essential knowledge of historical events eclipse the value to the individual student of finding personal application of the truths of the revelation to one’s life.
169:2 Parable of the Shrewd Steward
The midwayer narrative returns to its parallel with the gospel of Luke. Particular attention was given to the phrase “mammon of unrighteousness.” Mammon signifying material wealth or riches coupled with unrighteousness signifies the dangerous state of the spiritualization of relationship with material abundance—love of wealth, replacing enduring spiritual value with transient material concerns—evil leaning into sin.
In the parable the Master chides his disciples in their failure to use the wisdom, insight, and foresight shown by the shrewd but unjust steward in attending to his material affairs, in their efforts to gain souls for the kingdom. Practicing material pragmatism in the affairs of the kingdom need not detract from the spiritually idealistic motivations of sincere kingdom believers. True enough that all children of God originally apply the gifts of Holy Spirit encircuitment in the service of self, but maturation in kingdom affairs through exercise of the two consecrations mentioned above moves self-service to unselfish service in the kingdom as adults of God.
Comparing the revelation’s version with Luke’s gospel we see stark differences which over the history of Christianity have led to a serious conflation of social justice action with genuine religious living. As previously observed, our authors have provided us with Luke’s social justice bent and its influence on his version of the gospel.
We are fond of noting that in our lives on this world man must perforce serve two masters. Yet the Master declares in this lesson that no man can serve two masters, God and mammon. Comparing [109:5.5] and [140:6.13] and using the hourglass analogy of the human mind we discern no contradiction when we ascribe the two masters which must be served in this life of the flesh as
- the material master of the animal origin adjutant mind (lower domain), and
- the spiritual master of the spirit ministries in the spiritualized mind (upper domain).
It is in the upper domain where the attempt to wholeheartedly serve each master leads to evil and worse.
169:3 The Rich Man and the Beggar
Jesus’ pronouncements struck a nerve with the Pharisees present, themselves being devotees of mammonism, precipitating noisy squabbling amongst themselves and large numbers of the nearby multitude, whereupon he retired for the evening.
Here, the midwayers set the record straight again by presenting this parable in its entirety, but as repeated by Peter with attribution to the Baptist as an ancient Nazarite parable. Curiously, this follows on the heels of the raising of Lazarus from the dead and portrays the futility of using supernatural demonstrations to persuade the unrepentant to mend their ways in the face of their failure to heed Moses and the prophets.
Notes by Brad
- Concerning opportunities, look for those where you can discern that you could do something genuinely individual.
- But not to the point of self-exaltation.
- And not with impatience.
- The danger (even risk of sin) for the pharisees was that they knew better--they were insincere.
- It's okay for innocent children of God to not be doing the right thing. This happens. It may be evil.
- But those who are deceitful? Saying the opposite of that which they know to be reality? That's a problem.
- What about the politician who knows reality isn't a certain way, yet still promises they can bring it to fruition?
- On being covered over by the things of men (and the children of the world)
- This author decided this poetic phrase indeed could be about objects (forms) in the mind. If those objects are about the outer life.
- Being distracted by the things of men leads to unrighteousness.
- The love of material wealth (love in the true sense, not just feelings) certainly counts as unrighteous.
- Replacing a spiritual concept with a material concept in your inner life?
- It starts as pollution. But it doesn't remain passive there.
- Spirit is a powerful energy put into your freewill hands. To be wielded for good or ill.
- Everything in the lower domain of mind is material based.
- But if it's falsely exalted to the upper domain, that's mammon.
- Wisdom, insight, and foresight also are not innately divine
- If they are wielded in the service of self (instead of service to the cosmos), they are being wielded negatively.
- We all start with this self-serving of spiritual gifts. We are called to be born again, to transcend this
- Start by being just, then fair, then patient, then kind, etc
- So you can observe someone who is wise but materially oriented. Can you strive to have wisdom as well, but in the kingdom of heaven?
- But many people spend all their lives in the first two adjutants, where using these spiritual gifts is impossible
- 1st adjutant: Energy of instinct. Just your mere temperament.
- 2nd adjutant: Energy of... "Pavlovian" (mere) associativity. Not really cause and effect
- All just self focused. "What is right is what I do."
- Prudence is wise judgment.
- Insight applied to the past yields wisdom.
- Insight applied to the future yields foresight.
- Sagacity is insight and foresight--thinking toward the future.
- The shrewd steward got into a reflective mode, while being self-focused. "What shall I do?"
- He was an effective steward of himself. When then can we not be stewards of God?
- "What shall I do" relative to the kingdom?
- People will spend years to study to be a tax accountant... why would we assume the kingdom advances magically?
- Work is still required for the kingdom. Certification and study is needed!
- Jesus suggests studying those obsesses with the things of men, and much they wield wisdom, insight, and foresight.,
- Then, go do likewise--but in the opposite polarity. Serve the cosmos, not yourself.
- Luke completely warped this concept, though, in his gospel.
- Leading to interpretations of group salvation. Help those in need with your wealth, making them into your friends. And then you'll have eternal life.
- Christian thinking has been warped by this line of thought.
- In the upper domain of mind, you cannot serve two master.
- In the lower domain, perforce in this life, you serve two masters.
- Pay attention: The rich man and the beggar was not told by Jesus! It was Simon Peter!
- Simon starts right off showing his confusion: he calls Jesus' parables "allegories." No, they are analogies
- Analogies take a more philosophic mind. The childish religious mind delights in the seeming mysteries of allegory.
- Peter wasn't totally off base though. Maybe this Dives and Lazarus story is a baby step for those not ready for the shrewd steward.