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Fri, March 17, 2017

Not for the Faint of Heart

By TruthBook Staff

Here's a very good article from current popular press that will likely resonate with many Urantia Book readers, as it did me: Christianity ain't easy by Bill Cummings. There's a good deal of material in The Urantia Book that speaks directly to this statement, and those following; our blog will explore some of it below. But first, here's a list of points from the article that makes walking the Christian talk a challenge...

"if I'm going to be an imitating Christian and not just a believing Christian, here are just a few of the things I must do:

"1. I must love other people. Many Christians say they love God, and that's enough.

"2. I must exclude favoritism. Jesus welcomed everybody, prostitutes, the hated tax collectors, the unclean Samaritans.

"3. I must serve other people. Jesus said: I am among you as one who serves (Luke 22:24), and he acted like it.

"4. I must be a pacifist. Jesus was a sucker for bullies. "Turn the other cheek," he said. I seldom do that. How about you?"

Click to read the entire article

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The challenges of actually following Jesus

154:4.6 There was much talk about Jesus' preaching doctrines which were upsetting for the common people; his enemies maintained that his teachings were impractical, that everything would go to pieces if everybody made an honest effort to live in accordance with his ideas. And the men of many subsequent generations have said the same things. Many intelligent and well-meaning men, even in the more enlightened age of these revelations, maintain 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 teachings of Jesus on a large scale, notwithstanding that halfhearted attempts have often been made to follow the doctrines of so-called Christianity.

195:9.6  Modern, civilized men dread the thought of falling under the dominance of strong religious convictions. Thinking man has always feared to be held by a religion. When a strong and moving religion threatens to dominate him, he invariably tries to rationalize, traditionalize, and institutionalize it, thereby hoping to gain control of it. By such procedure, even a revealed religion becomes man-made and man-dominated. Modern men and women of intelligence evade the religion of Jesus because of their fears of what it will do to them—and with them. And all such fears are well founded. The religion of Jesus does, indeed, dominate and transform its believers, demanding that men dedicate their lives to seeking for a knowledge of the will of the Father in heaven and requiring that the energies of living be consecrated to the unselfish service of the brotherhood of man.

Selfish men and women simply will not pay such a price for even the greatest spiritual treasure ever offered mortal man. Only when man has become sufficiently disillusioned by the sorrowful disappointments attendant upon the foolish and deceptive pursuits of selfishness, and subsequent to the discovery of the barrenness of formalized religion, will he be disposed to turn wholeheartedly to the gospel of the kingdom, the religion of Jesus of Nazareth.

What Does The Urantia Book teach?

Now, let's look at these four behaviors mentioned in the article, one at a time, and see what we can find in Urantia Book teachings about them

I must love other people.

The Urantia Book teaches that love is the cornerstone of the kingdom of heaven. God IS love.

188:4.8 The infinite love of God is not secondary to anything in the divine nature.

Said Jesus: 143:1.4 Truth is a liberating revelation, but love is the supreme relationship. And no matter what blunders your fellow men make in their world management of today, in an age to come the gospel which I declare to you will rule this very world. The ultimate goal of human progress is the reverent recognition of the fatherhood of God and the loving materialization of the brotherhood of man."

192:2.1 When they had finished breakfast, and while the others sat by the fire, Jesus beckoned to Peter and to John that they should come with him for a stroll on the beach. As they walked along, Jesus said to John, "John, do you love me?" And when John answered, "Yes, Master, with all my heart," the Master said: "Then, John, give up your intolerance and learn to love men as I have loved you. Devote your life to proving that love is the greatest thing in the world. It is the love of God that impels men to seek salvation. Love is the ancestor of all spiritual goodness, the essence of the true and the beautiful."

Read more about LOVE

I must exclude favoritism.

190:4.1 "Peace be upon you. While the Son of Man appeared on earth among the Jews, he came to minister to all men. In the kingdom of my Father there shall be neither Jew nor gentile; you will all be brethren—the sons of God. Go you, therefore, to all the world, proclaiming this gospel of salvation as you have received it from the ambassadors of the kingdom, and I will fellowship you in the brotherhood of the Father's sons of faith and truth."

191:6.2 "Peace be upon you. That which my Father sent me into the world to establish belongs not to a race, a nation, nor to a special group of teachers or preachers. This gospel of the kingdom belongs to both Jew and gentile, to rich and poor, to free and bond, to male and female, even to the little children. And you are all to proclaim this gospel of love and truth by the lives which you live in the flesh.

I must serve other people.

3:5.7 Is altruism—service of one's fellows—desirable? Then must life experience provide for encountering situations of social inequality.

196:1.3 To "follow Jesus" means to personally share his religious faith and to enter into the spirit of the Master's life of unselfish service for man.

100:3.1 Religion is not a technique for attaining a static and blissful peace of mind; it is an impulse for organizing the soul for dynamic service. It is the enlistment of the totality of selfhood in the loyal service of loving God and serving man. Religion pays any price essential to the attainment of the supreme goal, the eternal prize. There is a consecrated completeness in religious loyalty which is superbly sublime. And these loyalties are socially effective and spiritually progressive.

192:6.2 You shall love one another with a new and startling affection, even as I have loved you. You will serve mankind with a new and amazing devotion, even as I have served you. And when men see you so love them, and when they behold how fervently you serve them, they will perceive that you have become faith-fellows of the kingdom of heaven, and they will follow after the Spirit of Truth which they see in your lives, to the finding of eternal salvation.

Read more about SERVICE

I must be a pacifist.

99:2.5 The institutionalized church may have appeared to serve society in the past by glorifying the established political and economic orders, but it must speedily cease such action if it is to survive. Its only proper attitude consists in the teaching of nonviolence, the doctrine of peaceful evolution in the place of violent revolution— peace on earth and good will among all men.

149:2.11 [Jesus] was not a militant revolutionist; he was a progressive evolutionist. He engaged in the destruction of that which was only when he simultaneously offered his fellows the superior thing which ought to be.

140:3.14 "I am sending you out into the world to represent me and to act as ambassadors of my Father's kingdom, and as you go forth to proclaim the glad tidings, put your trust in the Father whose messengers you are. Do not forcibly resist injustice; put not your trust in the arm of the flesh. If your neighbor smites you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. Be willing to suffer injustice rather than to go to law among yourselves. In kindness and with mercy minister to all who are in distress and in need.

159:5.9 Jesus did not hesitate to appropriate the better half of a Scripture while he repudiated the lesser portion. His great exhortation, "Love your neighbor as yourself," he took from the Scripture which reads: "You shall not take vengeance against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus appropriated the positive portion of this Scripture while rejecting the negative part. He even opposed negative or purely passive nonresistance. Said he: "When an enemy smites you on one cheek, do not stand there dumb and passive but in positive attitude turn the other; that is, do the best thing possible actively to lead your brother in error away from the evil paths into the better ways of righteous living." Jesus required his followers to react positively and aggressively to every life situation. The turning of the other cheek, or whatever act that may typify, demands initiative, necessitates vigorous, active, and courageous expression of the believer's personality.

143:1.7 "Today, the unbelievers may taunt you with preaching a gospel of nonresistance and with living lives of nonviolence, but you are the first volunteers of a long line of sincere believers in the gospel of this kingdom who will astonish all mankind by their heroic devotion to these teachings. No armies of the world have ever displayed more courage and bravery than will be portrayed by you and your loyal successors who shall go forth to all the world proclaiming the good news—the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men. The courage of the flesh is the lowest form of bravery. Mind bravery is a higher type of human courage, but the highest and supreme is uncompromising loyalty to the enlightened convictions of profound spiritual realities. And such courage constitutes the heroism of the God- knowing man.

If you are a Bible-believing Christian and reading this blog, you may be looking for more of Jesus. Perhaps these passages offered above might stir your heart, as they do for so many Urantia Book readers, who have found Jesus in its pages. He is the same Jesus that you've always known and loved...there's just so much MORE of him to know and love in The Urantia Book. And by the study of his matchless life that has been restated and re-gifted to mankind in PART IV, we can really delve into the way he lived HIS life - and then go, and do likewise.

The authors of the book admonish us:

196:1.3 One of the most important things in human living is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals, and to strive for the achievement of his exalted life purpose. Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.

So find out - so discover - so strive...you'll be happy you did!

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Tue, March 07, 2017

The Forty Days - Real or Myth?

By TruthBook Staff

Folks, this is a very good article in the popular press that I saw today, and I wanted to share it with you: Ash Wednesday Sermon by Jason Micheli.

Now that we have officially enetered the pre-Easter season of Lent, it's good to get some inspiration for the season and what it can mean for us. I do recommend this one. I like the author's style and his good grasp of the real Jesus and what he can do for, and with us.

In the article, Pastor Micheli mentions Jesus' forty-day sojourn in the wilderness - the time when, according to the Bible, Jesus is said to have been tempted by the devil before he formulates the principles which would govern him in his work; I see it as a great opportunity for a blog about the Urantia Book account of this pivotal event in the Master's lfe and ministry. We'll do that blog below, but first, here's a small snip from the article.

"Beginning in the 18th century, Christians began to take their cues from the Enlightenment. Now, only that which was rationally demonstrable and confirmed by our own private experience was considered 'true.'

Rather than conforming their definitions of truth to scripture, Christians looked to scripture to confirm their a priori presumptions about what was 'true.' Where it did not, scripture was now considered 'myth.'

"So, for example, the story of Jesus' 40 Day testing by Satan in the wilderness is no longer a 'true' or realistic story about what Jesus has done. Instead Christians turned to the story of Jesus' trials in the wilderness and saw in it a parable for their own times of trial and temptation.

"Rather than being a unique story about Jesus' absolutely singular vocation, it became a generalized story about our common human experience. "

Click to read the entire article: I recommend it!

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Is the Forty Days story real?

There is a question raised in this article about the forty days; it's seen here as a sort of myth...but is it? According to The Urantia Book, the forty days was not only real, but this period was a stunningly important time in Jesus' life. Both the Bible and The Urantia Book place this forty-day period right after Jesus' baptism; however, The Urantia Book teaches that the "temptation of Jesus" actualy happened months before.

In both books, The forty days is the time when Jesus formulates his plans for the remainder of his msssion to the world. In The Urantia Book, we can read the thrilling details of Jesus' plans for public work, as well as thrilling details of each of the Master's 6 great decisions that he made. This is no attempt to diminish the Biblical accounts, but the comparison between the two accounts is more than striking, I think you'll agree...

In the Biblical accounts, Jesus is said to have had the encounter with the devil during the forty days; instead, The Urantia Book teaches that while Jesus WAS visited by superhuman beings, those he met that day were far more benign; having already dealt with Lucifer months before, Jesus was visited by Gabriel and also met with a personal representative of the Most Highs who assured him that technically, his mission of incarnating as a man among men was completed; going forward was now his choice. And of course, he did choose to continue and complete the whole of his mission: that of revealing the Father to mortal man and estabishing the kingdom as a reality in the personal experience of mankind. Planning the details of that mission naturally followed.

Please see Paper 136: Baptism and the Forty Days

When did Jesus' Great Temptation Occur?

The great temptation, the subject of this article, actually occurred about six months previously. Jesus had just completed a year of solitary travel before he would be called once more to do the "Father's business." In August of that year, A.D 25, Jesus was led in his Spirit "to forsake the dwelling places of men and betake himself up to Mount Hermon that he might finish his work of mastering his human mind and complete the task of effecting his full consecration to the remainder of his lifework on earth."

And that full consecration evidently entailed meeting with his enemies - those who initiated the disastrous rebellion that had nearly destroyed our world thousands of years earlier:

Please see The Sojourn on Mount Hermon, where we read:

134:8.6 Near the end of the mountain sojourn Jesus asked his Father if he might be permitted to hold conference with his Satania enemies as the Son of Man, as Joshua ben Joseph. This request was granted. During the last week on Mount Hermon the great temptation, the universe trial, occurred. Satan (representing Lucifer ) and the rebellious Planetary Prince, Caligastia, were present with Jesus and were made fully visible to him. And this "temptation," this final trial of human loyalty in the face of the misrepresentations of rebel personalities, had not to do with food, temple pinnacles, or presumptuous acts. It had not to do with the kingdoms of this world but with the sovereignty of a mighty and glorious universe. The symbolism of your records was intended for the backward ages of the world's childlike thought. And subsequent generations should understand what a great struggle the Son of Man passed through that eventful day on Mount Hermon.

134:8.7 To the many proposals and counterproposals of the emissaries of Lucifer, Jesus only made reply: "May the will of my Paradise Father prevail, and you, my rebellious son, may the Ancients of Days judge you divinely. I am your Creator-father; I can hardly judge you justly, and my mercy you have already spurned. I commit you to the adjudication of the Judges of a greater universe."

134:8.8 To all the Lucifer-suggested compromises and makeshifts, to all such specious proposals about the incarnation bestowal, Jesus only made reply, "The will of my Father in Paradise be done." And when the trying ordeal was finished, the detached guardian seraphim returned to Jesus' side and ministered to him.

134:8.9 On an afternoon in late summer, amid the trees and in the silence of nature, Michael of Nebadon won the unquestioned sovereignty of his universe. On that day he completed the task set for Creator Sons to live to the full the incarnated life in the likeness of mortal flesh on the evolutionary worlds of time and space. The universe announcement of this momentous achievement was not made until the day of his baptism, months afterward, but it all really took place that day on the mountain. And when Jesus came down from his sojourn on Mount Hermon, the Lucifer rebellion in Satania and the Caligastia secession on Urantia were virtually settled. Jesus had paid the last price required of him to attain the sovereignty of his universe, which in itself regulates the status of all rebels and determines that all such future upheavals (if they ever occur) may be dealt with summarily and effectively. Accordingly, it may be seen that the so-called "great temptation" of Jesus took place sometime before his baptism and not just after that event.

Later that year:

134:9.8 ...rumors came to Capernaum of one John who was preaching while baptizing penitents in the Jordan, and John preached: "The kingdom of heaven is at hand; repent and be baptized." Jesus listened to these reports as John slowly worked his way up the Jordan valley from the ford of the river nearest to Jerusalem. But Jesus worked on, making boats, until John had journeyed up the river to a point near Pella in the month of January of the next year, A.D. 26, when he laid down his tools, declaring, "My hour has come," and presently presented himself to John for baptism.

134:9.9 But a great change had been coming over Jesus. Few of the people who had enjoyed his visits and ministrations as he had gone up and down in the land ever subsequently recognized in the public teacher the same person they had known and loved as a private individual in former years. And there was a reason for this failure of his early beneficiaries to recognize him in his later role of public and authoritative teacher. For long years this transformation of mind and spirit had been in progress, and it was finished during the eventful sojourn on Mount Hermon.

Following his baptism then, of course we go back to the forty days...

The Urantia Book provides "Ourstory"

If you are new to The Urantia Book, seeing these familiar stories so large, so expanded might seem strange, maybe even intimidating. But much in the Life and Teachings of Jesus is like that. Much like Jesus himself, The Urantia Book is larger than life. These pivotal events in the life of Jesus are part of our world's history - it is truly "our-story," and it is vital that we know and understand the significance of the totality of Jesus' matchless incarnation here as a Son of God.

The Urantia Book is a gift of revelation about the incarnation of this divine Son of God as a mortal man - a revelation that fills in all the details about Jesus that we have never had before. Not only these famous stories of the Forty Days and the Temptation of Christ, but unfamiliar ones like those never known from Jesus' "missing years," his childhood, his siblings, his travels. And many, many more...

The Urantia Book teaches:

196:1.3 To "follow Jesus" means to personally share his religious faith and to enter into the spirit of the Master's life of unselfish service for man. One of the most important things in human living is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals, and to strive for the achievement of his exalted life purpose. Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value (emphasis mine) is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.

If you love Jesus and sincerely want to know more about his life - how he lived, what were his religious values, what did he say, what did he do, how did he interact with his world, what did he think about - you really owe it to yourself to explore Jesus in The Urantia Book.

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Thu, March 02, 2017

Let's Watch Some Jesus Movies!

By TruthBook Staff

This looked like a good article that our readers might like to see: My Turn Lenten offering: Best films starring Jesus By Don Lechman.

We'll offer a new movie about Jesus you may not have seen yet in our blog (below), but here's a partial list of the 10 favorites that are listed in this article. Did yours make the cut?

1. "JESUS OF NAZARETH" (1977)

2. "BEN HUR" (1959)

3. "KING OF KINGS" (1961)

4. "THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD" (1965)

5. "SPARTACUS" (1960)

Click to read the author's comments about his picks, and to see the entire list

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People have been making movies about Jesus since movies were invented, back in the early 20th century - that's probably 100 years of movies about the Master! Some are very good - I remember seeing some of these films in the article - Ben-Hur was one of my favorites as a teen, and The Robe (another favorite in the article) was an Easter staple for many years - it probably still is in many places. There was one in the group that I had not heard of...called The Fourth Wise Man...it looks good, and is a new spin on the Magi.

Since discovering The Urantia Book it's been harder for this reader of the revelation to find and enjoy movies about Jesus just because there's a such a limited amount of material available, i.e., moviemakers have had to rely on information in the New Testament as their source, and there are only so many ways to treat this familiar material. On the other hand, The Urantia Book is crammed with new material about Jesus - his life, his teachings, the "missing years," his family, the apostles...there's a long list of possible screenplays contained in The Urantia Book!

So, it's been a great joy to discover that a devoted reader decided to take on the challenge of creating a movie about Jesus using the new and revealed material in PART IV.

Re-Imagining Jesus is a feature length film based on the matchless story of Jesus' ministry in The Urantia Book. The film is accompanied by a lovely and original musical score composed by critically acclaimed composer and Urantia Book reader, Gary Deinstadt. The film is narrated by David Kantor, Jennifer Siegel, and Stephen Zendt.

Now, in this Lenten season of 2017, we are happy to announce that Re-Imagining Jesus has been remastered (complete with closed-captions) and is better than ever!

* Click here to see the remastered movie now *

And you may wish to access the official poster as well. You can find it in the TruthBook gallery, where you’ll be able to print it out, if you so wish. Click here to download the printable poster.

David spent five years in the production of this superb film. Much of it is filmed in the very places where Jesus lived and launched his momentous preaching missions; the footage of many of the important places in the master's ministry, such as the Jordan River and Mt Hermon, are beautiful, even today. Archaeology plays a part in the discovery of Jesus' missions, giving the viewer a fuller understanding of life in Jesus' times.

Modern seekers of Jesus are thirsty for more of Jesus than has been available for 20 centuries. Re-Imagining Jesus is meant to engage any and all followers of the Master, and it is hoped that this new view of Jesus will open meaningful discussion among all those who seek a deeper understanding, and a closer walk, with Jesus.

Highlights of the film include:

  • The classic New Testament story illuminated with detail from The Urantia Book's biography of Jesus
  • Beautiful footage of seldom seen places associated with some of the most important events in the Master's life
  • Detailed maps providing important geographic orientation
  • Timeline of events between the baptism in the Jordan and the resurrection
  • A compelling story about his primary mission -- the revelation of a spiritual kingdom accessible here and now
  • Closed-captioning

We encourage you to set aside some time during this Lenten season; maybe plan a family movie night, or even a neighborhood movie night, and make it an occasion to share with your family, friends, church associates or neighbors.

From The Urantia Book:

196:1.2 The time is ripe to witness the figurative resurrection of the human Jesus from his burial tomb amidst the theological traditions and the religious dogmas of nineteen centuries. Jesus of Nazareth must not be longer sacrificed to even the splendid concept of the glorified Christ. What a transcendent service if, through this revelation, the Son of Man should be recovered from the tomb of traditional theology and be presented as the living Jesus to the church that bears his name, and to all other religions!

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Thu, March 02, 2017

Cameron Graves: Jazz inspired by The Urantia Book

By TruthBook Staff Cameron Graves, urantia book, music in the urantia book, jesus and music, jazz

Attention music lovers! Especially lovers of JAZZ! You don't have to be a Urantia Book reader to appreciate this article and its accompanying music video, but if you are a student/beliver of the revelation, this article will hold special inerest for you. It is called If You Thought Kamasi Washington Got Cosmic, Wait 'Til You Hear Cameron Graves by Jeff Weiss. We're gonna blog a little bit below about music and The Urantia Book, but first, here's a snip from this upbeat article about a talented young jazz pianist named Cameron Graves, as well as his creative connection to the book:

"Whether you accept it as divine revelation or not, you can't deny the fertility of the tome's imagination. Revered by Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Garcia and Jaco Pastorius alike, it makes Game of Thrones look like Chutes & Ladders.

"This much also is certain: A century later, jazz pianist Cameron Graves, founding member of The West Coast Get Down, has an album called Planetary Prince, whose titular and extraterrestrial inspiration comes from that abstruse text.

" 'It'll have you skeptical until you read it, and then start to wonder whether the universe is really that way or whether it's just a made-up story?' " Graves says.

" 'It's inspired me in so many ways. I often write in seven time because it's a really important number in the universe,' " he continues. " 'Take a song like 'Adam and Eve': The A side is really emotional, and the B section offers release. It's a yin-and-yang thing. The yin is Eve, the yang is Adam.' "

Click to read the article and listen to the music!

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Music in The Urantia Book

"Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits. Harmony is the speech of Havona." (44:1.15)

So many diverse subjects are covered in The Urantia Book - one might not expect it, but music is given a good deal of attention in the revelation. Even Jesus is shown as a student of music in his youth; he played the harp, and we are told; "He had an unusual liking for everything musical." Even his voice was described as musical...don't we wish we could have heard that?

Although there are more than 30 references in the book having to do with music, we have gleaned a few of them from our topical study about music, which we share with you here. Click on this link to see more of them! And if you would like to see all of the references to music in The Urantia Book, look at the top right of any TruthBook page for the box that says "Search The Urantia Book" and enter the word music:

Music Can Transform the World

While you have assembled some beautiful melodies on Urantia, you have not progressed musically nearly so far as many of your neighboring planets in Satania. If Adam and Eve had only survived, then would you have had music in reality; but the gift of harmony, so large in their natures, has been so diluted by strains of unmusical tendencies that only once in a thousand mortal lives is there any great appreciation of harmonics. But be not discouraged; some day a real musician may appear on Urantia, and whole peoples will be enthralled by the magnificent strains of his melodies. One such human being could forever change the course of a whole nation, even the entire civilized world. It is literally true, "melody has power a whole world to transform." Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits. Harmony is the speech of Havona. (44:1.15)

The Celestial Musicians

With the limited range of mortal hearing, you can hardly conceive of morontia melodies. There is even a material range of beautiful sound unrecognized by the human sense of hearing, not to mention the inconceivable scope of morontia and spirit harmony. Spirit melodies are not material sound waves but spirit pulsations received by the spirits of celestial personalities. There is a vastness of range and a soul of expression, as well as a grandeur of execution, associated with the melody of the spheres, that are wholly beyond human comprehension. I have seen millions of enraptured beings held in sublime ecstasy while the melody of the realm rolled in upon the spirit energy of the celestial circuits. These marvelous melodies can be broadcast to the uttermost parts of a universe. (44:1.1)

Harmony, the music of the seven levels of melodious association, is the one universal code of spirit communication. Music, such as Urantia mortals understand, attains its highest expression in the schools of Jerusem, the system headquarters, where semimaterial beings are taught the harmonies of sound. Mortals do not react to the other forms of morontia melody and celestial harmony. (44:1.11)

Appreciation of music on Urantia is both physical and spiritual; and your human musicians have done much to elevate musical taste from the barbarous monotony of your early ancestors to the higher levels of sound appreciation. The majority of Urantia mortals react to music so largely with the material muscles and so slightly with the mind and spirit; but there has been a steady improvement in musical appreciation for more than thirty-five thousand years. (44:1.12)

The Oratory of the Spirit World

The oratory of the spirit world is one of the rare treats which await you who have heard only the crude and stumbling orations of Urantia. There is harmony of music and euphony of expression in the orations of Salvington and Edentia which are inspiring beyond description. These burning concepts are like gems of beauty in diadems of glory. But I cannot do it! I cannot convey to the human mind the breadth and depth of these realities of another world! (44:4.8)

Religious Experience

Science lives by the mathematics of the mind; music expresses the tempo of the emotions. Religion is the spiritual rhythm of the soul in time-space harmony with the higher and eternal melody measurements of Infinity. Religious experience is something in human life which is truly supermathematical. (195:7.20)

If you haven't yet heard, The Urantia Book is a treasure - a modern-day revelation from God to mankind which is designed to elevate and upstep our spiritual evolution and lead us into a new era of progressive civilization. Music will surely play a large part in that progress! If you have not yet looked into the book, please see our Urantia Book intro for more information!

See Blog on One Page  |  Link to External Source Article


Mon, February 27, 2017

What DID Jesus Really Say?

By TruthBook Staff

Most people know Jesus primarily from the New Testament writing - the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And many believe that every word that is ascribed to Jesus in the Bible is exactly what he said...but are those words all exact? I find this a very interesting article, and hope you do, too. It is called: Jesuit Superior General: We Don't Know 'What Jesus Really Said' by Thomas De Williams, PhD

As the priest in the article points out: "at that time no one had a tape recorder to record his words." We have to understand that having 1) been recorded by humans, and then 2) granted official status by humans, mistakes might have been, and likely were, made.

Readers of The Uantia Book know - and rejoice in knowing - that there were real living "tape recorders" of a sort who were present during Jesus entire life on our world - superhuman beings called Midwayers who actually DID record every detail of the Masters life. These records have been carefully preserved over the centuries until the time when they could be presented once more to the world in unadulterated form - in BOOK form. That time is NOW! We blog about this subject below, but first here are a few snips from this article:

"Asked whether Jesus' words have an 'absolute value,' Father Sosa said that scholars have been struggling 'to understand exactly what Jesus meant to say.'

" 'The word is relative, the Gospel is written by human beings, it is accepted by the Church which is made up of human persons,' " he said.

" 'It is true,' he said, 'that no one can change the word of Jesus, but we need to know what it was!'

Curiously, the Second Vatican Council, which Father Sosa appeals to, taught that 'everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit,' and that the books of Scripture 'must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation.' "

It also declared that the Church has always firmly held that the four Gospels faithfully hand on "what Jesus Christ, while living among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day He was taken up into heaven."

Click to read the whole article

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Wouldn't it be nice to know what Jesus really said?

In The Urantia Book, we discover Jesus, his life, and his teachings recorded in a stunning narrative that spans his entire life, from birth to death, with even all the "missing years" intact.

We thrill to read his discourses, his sermons, his day-to-day teachings delivered to his followers and his apostles - and his intimate exchanges with his parents, Mary and Joseph, his childhood associates, his siblngs, and others.

To an open-minded truthseeker who wishes to know more about Jesus, The Urantia Book will prove invaulable! Even more important than the things that Jesus SAID, is the WAY that he lived his life - the things that he DID. This narrative of Jesus' life clarifies, contextualizes, and illuminates the Master; Part IV of The Urantia Book is a treasure-trove that builds upon the New Testament, but that adds incredible detail and vitality to the greatest story ever told. The new telling of this amazing story is a gift beyond measure!

There are large sections of The Urantia Book that are presented in quotes as the words of Jesus; in other sections his teachings are paraphrased for absorption by 21st century seekers. But in all instances, one is struck at the resonant feel of this narrative...the authentic fragrance of the Master is unmistakable!

But what about Scripture? Should we disregard it?

First of all, it's important to know just how the New Testament came to be. The Urantia Book offers a good amount of insight on that subject, which can be read near the beginning of Jesus' story. As you will see, there are the same questions about its veracity now as there had been in Jesus' day about the Old Testament records. And this section also gives us insight as to the mindset of the superhuman authors of The Urantia Book. It does tell us that the existing records "imperfect as they are, have been sufficient to change the course of the history of Urantia for almost two thousand years." And so, they should certainly not be lightly disregarded.

Please see Previous Written Records

For the purposes of this blog, I am reproducing here a speech given by Jesus to Nathaniel, in response to a qustion that Nathaniel posed to him about this very issue...in this case the Old Testament records, but one can just as easily apply the Master's teachings to the New Testament as well, which have also been written by men, as seen in the above section on previous written records. Jesus speaks very forthrightly and plainly about how HE viewed the written records of his times that were thought to be inerrant, just as ours are today:

The Talk with Nathaniel

And then went Jesus over to Abila, where Nathaniel and his associates labored. Nathaniel was much bothered by some of Jesus' pronouncements which seemed to detract from the authority of the recognized Hebrew scriptures. Accordingly, on this night, after the usual period of questions and answers, Nathaniel took Jesus away from the others and asked: "Master, could you trust me to know the truth about the Scriptures? I observe that you teach us only a portion of the sacred writings—the best as I view it—and I infer that you reject the teachings of the rabbis to the effect that the words of the law are the very words of God, having been with God in heaven even before the times of Abraham and Moses. What is the truth about the Scriptures?" When Jesus heard the question of his bewildered apostle, he answered:

"Nathaniel, you have rightly judged; I do not regard the Scriptures as do the rabbis. I will talk with you about this matter on condition that you do not relate these things to your brethren, who are not all prepared to receive this teaching. The words of the law of Moses and the teachings of the Scriptures were not in existence before Abraham. Only in recent times have the Scriptures been gathered together as we now have them. While they contain the best of the higher thoughts and longings of the Jewish people, they also contain much that is far from being representative of the character and teachings of the Father in heaven; wherefore must I choose from among the better teachings those truths which are to be gleaned for the gospel of the kingdom.

"These writings are the work of men, some of them holy men, others not so holy. The teachings of these books represent the views and extent of enlightenment of the time in which they had their origin. As a revelation of truth, the last are more dependable than the first. The Scriptures are faulty and altogether human in origin, but mistake not, they do constitute the best collection of religious wisdom and spiritual truth to be found in all the world at this time.

"Many of these books were not written by the persons whose names they bear, but that in no way detracts from the value of the truths which they contain. If the story of Jonah should not be a fact, even if Jonah had never lived, still would the profound truth of this narrative, the love of God for Nineveh and the so-called heathen, be none the less precious in the eyes of all those who love their fellow men. The Scriptures are sacred because they present the thoughts and acts of men who were searching for God, and who in these writings left on record their highest concepts of righteousness, truth, and holiness. The Scriptures contain much that is true, very much, but in the light of your present teaching, you know that these writings also contain much that is misrepresentative of the Father in heaven, the loving God I have come to reveal to all the worlds.

"Nathaniel, never permit yourself for one moment to believe the Scripture records which tell you that the God of love directed your forefathers to go forth in battle to slay all their enemies—men, women, and children. Such records are the words of men, not very holy men, and they are not the word of God. The Scriptures always have, and always will, reflect the intellectual, moral, and spiritual status of those who create them. Have you not noted that the concepts of Yahweh grow in beauty and glory as the prophets make their records from Samuel to Isaiah? And you should remember that the Scriptures are intended for religious instruction and spiritual guidance. They are not the works of either historians or philosophers.

"The thing most deplorable is not merely this erroneous idea of the absolute perfection of the Scripture record and the infallibility of its teachings, but rather the confusing misinterpretation of these sacred writings by the tradition-enslaved scribes and Pharisees at Jerusalem. And now will they employ both the doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures and their misinterpretations thereof in their determined effort to withstand these newer teachings of the gospel of the kingdom. Nathaniel, never forget, the Father does not limit the revelation of truth to any one generation or to any one people. Many earnest seekers after the truth have been, and will continue to be, confused and disheartened by these doctrines of the perfection of the Scriptures.

"The authority of truth is the very spirit that indwells its living manifestations, and not the dead words of the less illuminated and supposedly inspired men of another generation. And even if these holy men of old lived inspired and spirit-filled lives, that does not mean that their words were similarly spiritually inspired. Today we make no record of the teachings of this gospel of the kingdom lest, when I have gone, you speedily become divided up into sundry groups of truth contenders as a result of the diversity of your interpretation of my teachings. For this generation it is best that we live these truths while we shun the making of records.

"Mark you well my words, Nathaniel, nothing which human nature has touched can be regarded as infallible. Through the mind of man divine truth may indeed shine forth, but always of relative purity and partial divinity. The creature may crave infallibility, but only the Creators possess it.

"But the greatest error of the teaching about the Scripture is the doctrine of their being sealed books of mystery and wisdom which only the wise minds of the nation dare to interpret. The revelations of divine truth are not sealed except by human ignorance, bigotry, and narrow-minded intolerance. The light of the Scriptures is only dimmed by prejudice and darkened by superstition. A false fear of sacredness has prevented religion from being safeguarded by common sense. The fear of the authority of the sacred writings of the past effectively prevents the honest souls of today from accepting the new light of the gospel, the light which these very God-knowing men of another generation so intensely longed to see.

"But the saddest feature of all is the fact that some of the teachers of the sanctity of this traditionalism know this very truth. They more or less fully understand these limitations of Scripture, but they are moral cowards, intellectually dishonest. They know the truth regarding the sacred writings, but they prefer to withhold such disturbing facts from the people. And thus do they pervert and distort the Scriptures, making them the guide to slavish details of the daily life and an authority in things nonspiritual instead of appealing to the sacred writings as the repository of the moral wisdom, religious inspiration, and the spiritual teaching of the God-knowing men of other generations."

Nathaniel was enlightened, and shocked, by the Master's pronouncement. He long pondered this talk in the depths of his soul, but he told no man concerning this conference until after Jesus' ascension; and even then he feared to impart the full story of the Master's instruction.

In this discussion with Nathaniel, Jesus speaks some hard truths. We are told that Nathaniel was "shocked," and it seems sure that many in today's Christian communities would be likewise shocked. Nonetheless, Jesus' approach is sane, solid, and perfectly reasonable.

In Jesus' life and ministry, he employed Scripture liberally, but he was careful to choose his selections. He never shared passages that did not support his mission of portraying God as a loving Father, for example. And he did not ever hold the Scriptures to be anything but "humanly sacred."

Is The Urantia Book a holy book?

Te Urantia Book is not a holy book, although many who love it consider its teachings to be very holy, indeed. Especially in the case of the Life and Teachings of Jesus, the book provides a window into the daily life of the Incarnated Christ, son of man and Son of God; it clarifies and details the events of Jesus' life in a way that makes him fully accessible and fully understandable; it restates his teachings in a way that is instantly applicable to our 21st century world and our individual lives. And The Urantia Book clarifies the things that Jesus said...remember, this is a record kept by eyewitnesses who were actually there.

There ARE instances in the New Testament that ascribe certain statements to Jesus that are decidedly un-Jesusonian; for example, in the story of the Syrio-Phoenician woman, Jesus is thought to have made the statement about the woman being a "dog," but when we read The Urantia Book account of this story we learn that it was actually Simon who made this unkind statement - not Jesus. For centureis, people have wondered about this seeming discrepancy in the Master's character.

Likewise, in the Last Supper story, certain statements have been ascribed to Jesus that he did not make, according to the authors of The Urantia Book; and these mis-statements have colored centuries of belief in the atonement doctrine - a doctrine that Jesus did not teach.

In these instances, reading the real story of Jesus' life through the Urantia revelation is tremendously enlightening, and erases centuries of confusion.

How can we be sure it is true?

There is only one way to evaluate the validity of The Urantia Book, and that is to read it. Once one opens their mind and looks into it with that opened mind, the Spirit of Truth which Jesus left for us here will be ble to assist the reader in evaluating whether this book is worthy or not. The Urantia Book stands alone; the teachings of Jesus stand alone; the surest way to prove to yourself whether it is true is to read, and apply its lessons to your life. We are admonished:

196:1.3 To "follow Jesus" means to personally share his religious faith and to enter into the spirit of the Master's life of unselfish service for man. One of the most important things in human living is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals, and to strive for the achievement of his exalted life purpose. Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.

This passage does not emphasize the things that Jesus said, but emphasizes the way he lived his life...this is what will prove most valuable to the seeker. With The Urantia Book, we can explore the whole of the Master's life; and we can do that in a way that is so much more complete, so much more inspiring, and so much more meaningful than with any other account of his life - including the Bible account. Knowing how the book came to us, and how its accuracy has been preserved, we can go forth confidently, assessing and applying Jesus' life lessons in our own lives.

Read The Urantia Book if you want to know more - much more - about Jesus!

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Mon, February 27, 2017

Sharing the Gospel - Do's and Don'ts

By TruthBook Staff

Most believers - Christians and Urantia Book reader/students alike - who have a robust relationship with Jesus naturally want to share him with everyone. Urantia Book readers are no different. Not only do we want to share Jesus, but also to share the glories of the gospel that Jesus proclaimed - the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. But before we rush headlong into it, we all might want to chill just a little while and think about the best way to do it.

This article: Five Things to Avoid when Sharing Jesus With Others by FELIX N. CODILLA III caught my eye and prompted me to think about a discourse that Jesus delivered during the Decapolis Tour. Our blog will be below, but first, here is the list of don'ts from the article. Take heed!

1. Don't be overzealous.

2. Don't be too pushy.

3. Do not criticize.

4. Do not debate.

5. Do not scare them.

Click to read more about the author's advice

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While these five suggestions are very good advice, we thought that anyone wanting more detailed advice might like to read what Jesus had to say about how to approach seekers, too; Jesus gives us many positive things to DO, as well as things we should avoid when fellowshipping the seeker.  

Jesus trained many evangelists during his ministry on earth. The apostles were not the only group that proclaimed the gospel. During the Decapolis Tour, there were over one hundred evalgelists and disciples present, including the Women's Corps, "and they were ready immediately to begin the teaching and preaching tour of the cities of the Decapolis."

During this phase of proclaiming the Kingdom, Jesus gave a most educational discourse to those who wished to work effectively in the fields of ministry; the advice that Jesus gave in this speech is as fresh today as it was then, and it is advice that every soul on fire for the Lord should give heed to. We add it here in its entirety:

Instructions for Teachers and Believers

At Edrei, where Thomas and his associates labored, Jesus spent a day and a night and, in the course of the evening's discussion, gave expression to the principles which should guide those who preach truth, and which should activate all who teach the gospel of the kingdom. Summarized and restated in modern phraseology, Jesus taught:

Always respect the personality of man. Never should a righteous cause be promoted by force; spiritual victories can be won only by spiritual power. This injunction against the employment of material influences refers to psychic force as well as to physical force. Overpowering arguments and mental superiority are not to be employed to coerce men and women into the kingdom. Man's mind is not to be crushed by the mere weight of logic or overawed by shrewd eloquence. While emotion as a factor in human decisions cannot be wholly eliminated, it should not be directly appealed to in the teachings of those who would advance the cause of the kingdom. Make your appeals directly to the divine spirit that dwells within the minds of men. Do not appeal to fear, pity, or mere sentiment. In appealing to men, be fair; exercise self-control and exhibit due restraint; show proper respect for the personalities of your pupils. Remember that I have said: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock, and if any man will open, I will come in."

In bringing men into the kingdom, do not lessen or destroy their self-respect. While overmuch self-respect may destroy proper humility and end in pride, conceit, and arrogance, the loss of self-respect often ends in paralysis of the will. It is the purpose of this gospel to restore self-respect to those who have lost it and to restrain it in those who have it. Make not the mistake of only condemning the wrongs in the lives of your pupils; remember also to accord generous recognition for the most praiseworthy things in their lives. Forget not that I will stop at nothing to restore self-respect to those who have lost it, and who really desire to regain it.

Take care that you do not wound the self-respect of timid and fearful souls. Do not indulge in sarcasm at the expense of my simple-minded brethren. Be not cynical with my fear-ridden children. Idleness is destructive of self-respect; therefore, admonish your brethren ever to keep busy at their chosen tasks, and put forth every effort to secure work for those who find themselves without employment.

Never be guilty of such unworthy tactics as endeavoring to frighten men and women into the kingdom. A loving father does not frighten his children into yielding obedience to his just requirements.

Sometime the children of the kingdom will realize that strong feelings of emotion are not equivalent to the leadings of the divine spirit. To be strongly and strangely impressed to do something or to go to a certain place, does not necessarily mean that such impulses are the leadings of the indwelling spirit.

Forewarn all believers regarding the fringe of conflict which must be traversed by all who pass from the life as it is lived in the flesh to the higher life as it is lived in the spirit. To those who live quite wholly within either realm, there is little conflict or confusion, but all are doomed to experience more or less uncertainty during the times of transition between the two levels of living. In entering the kingdom, you cannot escape its responsibilities or avoid its obligations, but remember: The gospel yoke is easy and the burden of truth is light.

The world is filled with hungry souls who famish in the very presence of the bread of life; men die searching for the very God who lives within them. Men seek for the treasures of the kingdom with yearning hearts and weary feet when they are all within the immediate grasp of living faith. Faith is to religion what sails are to a ship; it is an addition of power, not an added burden of life. There is but one struggle for those who enter the kingdom, and that is to fight the good fight of faith. The believer has only one battle, and that is against doubt—unbelief.

In preaching the gospel of the kingdom, you are simply teaching friendship with God. And this fellowship will appeal alike to men and women in that both will find that which most truly satisfies their characteristic longings and ideals. Tell my children that I am not only tender of their feelings and patient with their frailties, but that I am also ruthless with sin and intolerant of iniquity. I am indeed meek and humble in the presence of my Father, but I am equally and relentlessly inexorable where there is deliberate evil-doing and sinful rebellion against the will of my Father in heaven.

You shall not portray your teacher as a man of sorrows. Future generations shall know also the radiance of our joy, the buoyance of our good will, and the inspiration of our good humor. We proclaim a message of good news which is infectious in its transforming power. Our religion is throbbing with new life and new meanings. Those who accept this teaching are filled with joy and in their hearts are constrained to rejoice evermore. Increasing happiness is always the experience of all who are certain about God.

Teach all believers to avoid leaning upon the insecure props of false sympathy. You cannot develop strong characters out of the indulgence of self-pity; honestly endeavor to avoid the deceptive influence of mere fellowship in misery. Extend sympathy to the brave and courageous while you withhold overmuch pity from those cowardly souls who only halfheartedly stand up before the trials of living. Offer not consolation to those who lie down before their troubles without a struggle. Sympathize not with your fellows merely that they may sympathize with you in return.

When my children once become self-conscious of the assurance of the divine presence, such a faith will expand the mind, ennoble the soul, reinforce the personality, augment the happiness, deepen the spirit perception, and enhance the power to love and be loved.

Teach all believers that those who enter the kingdom are not thereby rendered immune to the accidents of time or to the ordinary catastrophes of nature. Believing the gospel will not prevent getting into trouble, but it will insure that you shall be unafraid when trouble does overtake you. If you dare to believe in me and wholeheartedly proceed to follow after me, you shall most certainly by so doing enter upon the sure pathway to trouble. I do not promise to deliver you from the waters of adversity, but I do promise to go with you through all of them.

And much more did Jesus teach this group of believers before they made ready for the night's sleep. And they who heard these sayings treasured them in their hearts and did often recite them for the edification of the apostles and disciples who were not present when they were spoken.

Jesus also gave one of his most memorable talks about scripture during this tour in the Talk with Nathaniel. It contains invaluable insight about common beliefs in the inerrancy of the Bible, and it is also good information to have when approaching those who have this belief. This, and the above "Instruction" can be used together when developing sensitivity for what to say and how to say it in our efforts to teach truth.

For more - much more - about Jesus and his amazing life and teachings, one only has to click at the end of this sentence to access the most complete version in all the world of the greatest story ever told!

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Fri, February 17, 2017

First-Person Peter

By TruthBook Staff

Here is a unique treatment of one the most beloved of Jesus' apostles called: A First Person Sermon (Amanda Hecht) by Scot McKnight. In the article, a sermon given by Amanda Hecht is reproduced by the author of the article. Amanda delivers her sermon, speaking as if she were Peter. In our blog (below) we will expand on the subject of Simon Peter as taught in The Urantia Book, but first, here is a short opening snip from the article:

"You have probably heard of me. My name was Cephas/Simon; but Jesus liked to call me Peter – the rock. Which is laughable, really. Because, if you put together the pieces of my story, I am anything but rock-like. I am more like the weather on the Sea of Galilee that I know so well, having spent so much of my young life as a fisherman there – unpredictable. Sometimes things go perfectly, and I get it oh so right. But, other times, sometimes even the very next moment it seems, things flip, and I get it oh so wrong. You know that by the end of my life I was one of the leaders, the pillars, we were sometimes loftily called, of the followers of Jesus, the Christ-ones, the "Christians", the "little-Christs" that carried on to tell the world about him when he went up into heaven. And, to be sure, I dedicated everything I had in me to the community of Jesus Christ, just as I had dedicated everything I had in me to Jesus when he walked the earth. The thing is, if you continue to read my story, as much as Peter the Rock has in ways achieved a legendary status as a saint and leader of the church, you will also know that this leader definitely has feet of clay. I was far from perfect; I will be the first to admit it. You have all heard the story of how I denied my Lord, my God, my best friend, when he was on trial, just before he was condemned to die upon that cross. He was on trial inside, and I was outside more concerned with trying to save my own neck. It doesn't get much worse (sic) that than!"

Click to read the entire sermon

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In The Urantia Book, not only Peter, but all of the apostles are treated with fairly extensive biographies; in addition, we learn quite a bit about them as the story of Jesus' ministry with the apostles unfolds throughout the Jesus Papers.

Peter is indeed, one of the most famous and enduring personalities to be associated with Jesus; and for good reason. Few people have ever heard the whole story of Peter; his family, his home, his personality strengths and weaknesses, his background, his travels after Jesus' death, and what he loved most about Jesus (hint: it has a lot to do with Peter's denial of the Master). The accounts of this apostle's life in Scripture are scanty to say the least. We reproduce the Urantia Book bio of Peter here:

Simon Peter

When Simon joined the apostles, he was thirty years of age. He was married, had three children, and lived at Bethsaida, near Capernaum. His brother, Andrew, and his wife's mother lived with him. Both Peter and Andrew were fisher partners of the sons of Zebedee.

The Master had known Simon for some time before Andrew presented him as the second of the apostles. When Jesus gave Simon the name Peter, he did it with a smile; it was to be a sort of nickname. Simon was well known to all his friends as an erratic and impulsive fellow. True, later on, Jesus did attach a new and significant import to this lightly bestowed nickname.

Simon Peter was a man of impulse, an optimist. He had grown up permitting himself freely to indulge strong feelings; he was constantly getting into difficulties because he persisted in speaking without thinking. This sort of thoughtlessness also made incessant trouble for all of his friends and associates and was the cause of his receiving many mild rebukes from his Master. The only reason Peter did not get into more trouble because of his thoughtless speaking was that he very early learned to talk over many of his plans and schemes with his brother, Andrew, before he ventured to make public proposals.

Peter was a fluent speaker, eloquent and dramatic. He was also a natural and inspirational leader of men, a quick thinker but not a deep reasoner. He asked many questions, more than all the apostles put together, and while the majority of these questions were good and relevant, many of them were thoughtless and foolish. Peter did not have a deep mind, but he knew his mind fairly well. He was therefore a man of quick decision and sudden action. While others talked in their astonishment at seeing Jesus on the beach, Peter jumped in and swam ashore to meet the Master.

The one trait which Peter most admired in Jesus was his supernal tenderness. Peter never grew weary of contemplating Jesus' forbearance. He never forgot the lesson about forgiving the wrongdoer, not only seven times but seventy times and seven. He thought much about these impressions of the Master's forgiving character during those dark and dismal days immediately following his thoughtless and unintended denial of Jesus in the high priest's courtyard.

Simon Peter was distressingly vacillating; he would suddenly swing from one extreme to the other. First he refused to let Jesus wash his feet and then, on hearing the Master's reply, begged to be washed all over. But, after all, Jesus knew that Peter's faults were of the head and not of the heart. He was one of the most inexplicable combinations of courage and cowardice that ever lived on earth. His great strength of character was loyalty, friendship. Peter really and truly loved Jesus. And yet despite this towering strength of devotion he was so unstable and inconstant that he permitted a servant girl to tease him into denying his Lord and Master. Peter could withstand persecution and any other form of direct assault, but he withered and shrank before ridicule. He was a brave soldier when facing a frontal attack, but he was a fear-cringing coward when surprised with an assault from the rear.

Peter was the first of Jesus' apostles to come forward to defend the work of Philip among the Samaritans and Paul among the gentiles; yet later on at Antioch he reversed himself when confronted by ridiculing Judaizers, temporarily withdrawing from the gentiles only to bring down upon his head the fearless denunciation of Paul.

He was the first one of the apostles to make wholehearted confession of Jesus' combined humanity and divinity and the first— save Judas— to deny him. Peter was not so much of a dreamer, but he disliked to descend from the clouds of ecstasy and the enthusiasm of dramatic indulgence to the plain and matter-of-fact world of reality.

In following Jesus, literally and figuratively, he was either leading the procession or else trailing behind— "following afar off." But he was the outstanding preacher of the twelve; he did more than any other one man, aside from Paul, to establish the kingdom and send its messengers to the four corners of the earth in one generation.

After his rash denials of the Master he found himself, and with Andrew's sympathetic and understanding guidance he again led the way back to the fish nets while the apostles tarried to find out what was to happen after the crucifixion. When he was fully assured that Jesus had forgiven him and knew he had been received back into the Master's fold, the fires of the kingdom burned so brightly within his soul that he became a great and saving light to thousands who sat in darkness.

After leaving Jerusalem and before Paul became the leading spirit among the gentile Christian churches, Peter traveled extensively, visiting all the churches from Babylon to Corinth. He even visited and ministered to many of the churches which had been raised up by Paul. Although Peter and Paul differed much in temperament and education, even in theology, they worked together harmoniously for the upbuilding of the churches during their later years.

Something of Peter's style and teaching is shown in the sermons partially recorded by Luke and in the Gospel of Mark. His vigorous style was better shown in his letter known as the First Epistle of Peter; at least this was true before it was subsequently altered by a disciple of Paul.

But Peter persisted in making the mistake of trying to convince the Jews that Jesus was, after all, really and truly the Jewish Messiah. Right up to the day of his death, Simon Peter continued to suffer confusion in his mind between the concepts of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, Christ as the world's redeemer, and the Son of Man as the revelation of God, the loving Father of all mankind.

Peter's wife was a very able woman. For years she labored acceptably as a member of the women's corps, and when Peter was driven out of Jerusalem, she accompanied him upon all his journeys to the churches as well as on all his missionary excursions. And the day her illustrious husband yielded up his life, she was thrown to the wild beasts in the arena at Rome.

And so this man Peter, an intimate of Jesus, one of the inner circle, went forth from Jerusalem proclaiming the glad tidings of the kingdom with power and glory until the fullness of his ministry had been accomplished; and he regarded himself as the recipient of high honors when his captors informed him that he must die as his Master had died— on the cross. And thus was Simon Peter crucified in Rome.

More Apostle Resources

One entire paper of The Urantia Book is devoted to the apostles. Each member of this special apostolic party is given a thorough biography; it is indeed fascinating reading!

In addition, we have created a special page dedicated to the apostles HERE that contains extra stories about Jesus and the apostles that may be of interest to you.

This is yet another reason that seekers after Jesus or seekers after the truth will find that their search has been satisfied when they discover The Urantia Book. Will you be one of them?

For the complete story of Jesus please see PART IV of The Urantia Book: The Life and Teachings of Jesus

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Thu, February 09, 2017

Jesus: brother, father, family man

By TruthBook Staff

Articles that speculate about Jesus and his family are often a perfect opportunity to introduce readers of this blog to the wonderful stories in The Urantia Book on that subject; Bible stories are also good, as in this article from 2016 that prompted the blog: Jesus' family's values by Elijah Zehyoue. They're very scanty, but this is all the world had had about this subject for over 200 centuries.

The article is sweet, as it illustrates the easy way some of us can be with our families - so comfortable that we can really be our true selves. And then the article shares the stories we have from the Bible about Jesus' family; but of course, there is really only Mary and Joseph, Jesus' parents, in the Bible.

In our blog below, we're going to expand on Jesus' family as it is revealed to us in The Urantia Book; but frst a snip from the article:

"If being around our respective families could teach my wife and me so much about each other, I wonder what we could learn of Jesus if we got to know his family better. So often in our practice of the Christian faith we treat Jesus as if he was born and raised unto himself and changed the world simply because of his will or relationship with God. Too often we read the stories about the life of Jesus in our western individualist context in which it is all about him and say nothing about the community which formed him and instilled values into him to help make him the liberating king he needed to be."

Click to read the article

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Let's get to know Jesus and his family!

Even though Jesus never married and he never engendered his own children, he did nonetheless, have a rich family experience - even to the point where he became the head-of-household to seven siblings! The world has never really known about Jesus having brothers and sisters - and in fact very little about any of his early years, aside from his birth and infancy. But the details were carefully recorded and have been carefully preserved for this time, wen The Urantia Book is in printed form for all the world to read.

In PART IV of The Urantia Book the story of Jesus parenting experience is one of the highlights of Jesus youth and young manhood. There are many years of Jesus' life that are not covered at all in Scripture, for example, the years between his birth and infancy and the flight to Egypt, and the time that Jesus was left in the temple at age thirteen. It might interest the reader to know that, during those years, Mary and Joseph had seven more children. And when Jesus was 14, his mother had yet one more child who was conceived before Joseph died, but who was not born until after that sad day.

Jesus was a truly human person - as well as a divine Son of God - and he was born the eldest son of Mary and Joseph. But Mary and Joseph were a happily married couple, living a happily married life which produced children in regular order during the years that they were together. They are, in birth order: James, Miriam, Joseph, Simon, Martha, Jude, Amos, and Ruth.

Here's when the brothers and sisters of Jesus were born

Here's some info from the book about when Jesus' brothers and sisters were born, and how old Jesus was on those dates:

When Jesus was 4:

The next important event in the life of this Nazareth family was the birth of the second child, James, in the early morning hours of April 2, 3 B.C. Jesus was thrilled by the thought of having a baby brother, and he would stand around by the hour just to observe the baby's early activities.

When Jesus was 5:

In this year, 2 B.C., a little more than one month before his fifth birthday anniversary, Jesus was made very happy by the coming of his sister Miriam, who was born on the night of July 11. During the evening of the following day Jesus had a long talk with his father concerning the manner in which various groups of living things are born into the world as separate individuals.

Since returning to Nazareth, theirs had been a busy household, and Joseph had been unusually occupied building his new shop and getting his business started again. So fully was he occupied that he had found no time to build a cradle for James, but this was corrected long before Miriam came, so that she had a very comfortable crib in which to nestle while the family admired her. And the child Jesus heartily entered into all these natural and normal home experiences. He greatly enjoyed his little brother and his baby sister and was of great help to Mary in their care.

When Jesus was 7:

The fourth member of the Nazareth family, Joseph, was born Wednesday morning, March 16, A.D. 1.

When Jesus was 8:

His third brother, Simon, was born on Friday evening, April 14, of this year, A.D. 2.

When Jesus was 9:

Jesus' second sister, Martha, was born Thursday night, September 13. [AD. 3]

When Jesus was 11:

On Wednesday evening, June 24, A.D. 5, Jude was born. Complications attended the birth of this, the seventh child.

When Jesus was 13:

On Sunday night, January 9, A.D. 7, his baby brother, Amos, was born.

Following the untimely death of Joseph, Jesus - just 14 years-old - became the head of his father Joseph's family. He became father-brother to all the siblings. And then more stress on top of sadness:

When Jesus was 15:

On Wednesday evening, April 17, A.D. 9, Ruth, the baby of the family, was born, and to the best of his ability Jesus endeavored to take the place of his father in comforting and ministering to his mother during this trying and peculiarly sad ordeal. For almost a score of years (until he began his public ministry) no father could have loved and nurtured his daughter any more affectionately and faithfully than Jesus cared for little Ruth. And he was an equally good father to all the other members of his family.

When Jesus was 18 years-old, there was a terrible day when they lost one of the children to a sudden illness. Here's what happened:

On Saturday afternoon, December 3, [A.D. 12] of this year, death for the second time struck at this Nazareth family. Little Amos, their baby brother [Age 5], died after a week's illness with a high fever. After passing through this time of sorrow with her first-born son as her only support, Mary at last and in the fullest sense recognized Jesus as the real head of the family; and he was truly a worthy head.

Read much more about Jesus and his siblings

Even though it was caused by such sad events, it really does make so much sense, and seems very appropriate that Jesus should have had this experience of parenting. Although Jesus never married, circumstances conspired to provide him with an experience of guiding these younger ones through childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood as any good father would do. He endured difficulty with day-to-day living, just situations as face all parents.

Jesus' hardship were compounded by the poverty that resulted from losing Joseph as breadwinner. At age fourteen, he had to wrestle with many challenges, but by age 19, he had developed quite a successful parenting style.

And through this experience, he then could demonstrate with increasing clarity the Fatherhood of God himself, whose love and tender care he came to personify. And he learned to do this in increasing measure through these trials of living in his tender, adolesecent years of life - even before, and as, he was becoming aware of his true identity and his true mission to the world. .

Let Jesus help you be a better parent - and a better human being!

If you ever want guidance in your own parenting skills, you can't do any better than this:

Jesus' Parenting Style - Jesus' 19th Year

Again, we discover in The Urantia Book the rich life that Jesus lived; in this case, the details of his youth that are virtually unknown in the world. And the rest of his life is detailed in much the same way - in an almost daily chronicle of the trials and triumphs experienced by Jesus - the son of man and the Son of God.

Through this amazing narrative - what the book calls a "restatement" - we come to know Jesus in a way that is astounding, compelling, and completely believable. Like the stories of Jesus and his siblings, each and every stage of the Master's life is replete with lessons for living, lessons for loving, lessons that all mortals would do well to study. The Urantia Book authors state very clearly the importance of doing so:

2:0.2 The nature of God can be studied in a revelation of supreme ideas, the divine character can be envisaged as a portrayal of supernal ideals, but the most enlightening and spiritually edifying of all revelations of the divine nature is to be found in the comprehension of the religious life of Jesus of Nazareth, both before and after his attainment of full consciousness of divinity.

196:1.3 To "follow Jesus" means to personally share his religious faith and to enter into the spirit of the Master's life of unselfish service for man. One of the most important things in human living is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals, and to strive for the achievement of his exalted life purpose. Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.

Here's where to get started!

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Tue, February 07, 2017

Jesus Died...So Will We

By TruthBook Staff

This simple, stark title caught my eye: Jesus Died by Jeff Hood; turns out that the article is itself, pretty stark, too, but full of hope.

Please see our blog below, where we'll expand upon the idea of death and what The Urantia Book teaches us about it, but first, here's a small snip from the article:

"Yesterday, my son and I were coming home from his preschool. In the midst of our ride, I got a message. Someone I'd known for a long time had passed away. After processing the news, I expressed my sadness. In the midst of my grief, my son spoke up and said, 'Dad, don't you remember that Jesus died.' In his mind, the fact that Jesus died makes death ok."

Click to read the whole article

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IS Death Okay?

The simple statement by the author's child that: 'Dad, don't you remember that Jesus died" and that this fact made death seem okay to him was very heartwarming to me. Out of the mouths of children come amazing truths sometimes...

Whether we believe that death is okay or not, the fact is that all of us on on our way to dying; from the day we are born, we are progressing towards death. In our modern Western culture, we tend to deny the reality of death; our medical establishment tries to help us avoid it and when death does overtake a patient, there is a feeling that science has failed, that medicine has failed, that death itself is a failure.

The Urantia Book helps us so much when we consider the subject of death; we learn that it is something that must be in place as a "technique of escape from the material life in the flesh."

The life and teachings of Jesus contain clues that death is not only okay, but that it contains the promise of a new life AFTER death.

Jesus himself died, of course, but after three days, he rose in a new form from the sleep of death. Before that, Jesus demonstrated that death had no hold on mortals when he resurrected Lazarus from death.

As we approach Holy Week in April, it might be helpful to remember that even for Jesus, death was inevitable. As a true human being, he had to have a death experience; it was not necessary that he be killed in the way that he was, but it was necessary that he die, just as all humans do. But as a human, he did show us that death is far from the end of life.

Why do we fear death?

It could be that we learn our fear of death from our culture; it could be that humans just naturally fear the unknown - and death is certainly THE great unknown. No one that we know - except Lazarus and Jesus - has returned from death, and so we have no concrete evidence of life after death from anyone we've ever known.The stories of Jesus' resurrection and of Lazarus restoration are stories that we may believe, but when it comes to our PERSONAL feelings, we may still be wary and anxious when we think about dying.

Again, the teachings of The Urantia Book help us to expand our perspective and to stretch our comprehension of death, so that our faith is ignited and our fears lessened.

What awaits us?

Many of us may have somewhat confused or murky ideas of life after death. We may expect streets of gold, angelic choirs, or a life of carefree existence. The facts as revealed in The Urantia Book are quite different.

Remember Jesus' counsel about the Fathers "many mansions?" These mansions are real - not edifices of brick and mortar, but architectural worlds that have been specially created and manufactured - worlds that lie outside of our view from earth, but within the universe we live in. They are called, appropriately enough, Mansion Worlds, and about them, The Urantia Book teaches:

47:0.1 The Creator Son [aka Jesus], when on Urantia, spoke of the "many mansions in the Father's universe." In a certain sense, all fifty-six of the encircling worlds of Jerusem are devoted to the transitional culture of ascending mortals, but the seven satellites of world number one are more specifically known as the mansion worlds.

Beginning with Mansion World #1, The Mansion Worlds are the stopping places for mortals when they die; on these worlds, we gradually shed the vestiges of material life. We receive new bodies that accurately reflect our spiritual essence; we are able to reconcile the handicaps under which we labored while in our earthly life ... handicaps of heredity, of health, of misadaptation:

47:3.7 On mansion world number one (or another in case of advanced status) you will resume your intellectual training and spiritual development at the exact level whereon they were interrupted by death. Between the time of planetary death or translation and resurrection on the mansion world, mortal man gains absolutely nothing aside from experiencing the fact of survival. You begin over there right where you leave off down here.

47:3.8 Almost the entire experience of mansion world number one pertains to deficiency ministry. Survivors arriving on this first of the detention spheres present so many and such varied defects of creature character and deficiencies of mortal experience that the major activities of the realm are occupied with the correction and cure of these manifold legacies of the life in the flesh on the material evolutionary worlds of time and space.

And on we go, through all seven of these worlds, until finally, we achieve "graduation" as true morontia beings before moving on to the next phase of our eternal lives:

47:10.7 Mortal death is a technique of escape from the material life in the flesh; and the mansonia experience of progressive life through seven worlds of corrective training and cultural education represents the introduction of mortal survivors to the morontia career, the transition life which intervenes between the evolutionary material existence and the higher spirit attainment of the ascenders of time who are destined to achieve the portals of eternity.

What is Morontia?

Morontia is a revealed term, unique to The Urantia Book. Here's how it is explained to us:

48:0.1 The Gods cannot—at least they do not—transform a creature of gross animal nature into a perfected spirit by some mysterious act of creative magic. When the Creators desire to produce perfect beings, they do so by direct and original creation, but they never undertake to convert animal-origin and material creatures into beings of perfection in a single step.

The morontia life, extending as it does over the various stages of the local universe career, is the only possible approach whereby material mortals could attain the threshold of the spirit world. What magic could death, the natural dissolution of the material body, hold that such a simple step should instantly transform the mortal and material mind into an immortal and perfected spirit? Such beliefs are but ignorant superstitions and pleasing fables.

Always this morontia transition intervenes between the mortal estate and the subsequent spirit status of surviving human beings. This intermediate state of universe progress differs markedly in the various local creations, but in intent and purpose they are all quite similar. The arrangement of the mansion and higher morontia worlds in Nebadon is fairly typical of the morontia transition regimes in this part of Orvonton.

Read all about the Morontia Life in The Urantia Book

And after that...?

We have an amazing journey ahead of us. The Father has a plan of ascension that actually begins here on earth and that spans a near-eternity of experiences; beginning with the seven Mansion Worlds, we progress through seven more stages of transformation until we at last stand in the presence of God and the perfect worlds of the central Universe.

And even then, we are not finished, for we have a thrilling destiny after achieveing the Father as Finaliters in endless service to the now-forming universes in the outer space levels.

Click to read about the Father's Acsension Plan

Click to see a chart of the Ascension Career

Click to read about the Corps of the Finality

So, in the end, the little boy who saw death as benign because "Jesus died," was absolutely right. Death need hold no fear for us. Once we understand how loving, how complete the Father's plan for each of his children is, we can certainly understand and gain comfort from the Urantia Book passage that states:

14:5.10 Love of adventure, curiosity, and dread of monotony—these traits inherent in evolving human nature—were not put there just to aggravate and annoy you during your short sojourn on earth, but rather to suggest to you that death is only the beginning of an endless career of adventure, an everlasting life of anticipation, an eternal voyage of discovery.

Curiosity—the spirit of investigation, the urge of discovery, the drive of exploration—is a part of the inborn and divine endowment of evolutionary space creatures. These natural impulses were not given you merely to be frustrated and repressed. True, these ambitious urges must frequently be restrained during your short life on earth, disappointment must be often experienced, but they are to be fully realized and gloriously gratified during the long ages to come.

Click to read a compilation of inspiring Urantia Book teachings about Death

 

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Tue, January 24, 2017

A Tragic Missed Meeting of Jesus and His Family

By TruthBook Staff

When I saw this article I just knew I wanted to share it with you...it is truly one of the most dramatic scenes from Jesus' life and in the life of his earth family. It's contained in this article: Jesus and his Family in the Manilla Bulletin. See our blog below, where we explore this poignant and important story, but here in this article, the entire story of this event from the Bible is presented; As you can see, it's a very short story that has come down to us in the Bible:

"Mark 3:31-35: The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, "Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you." But he said to them in reply, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother."

Click to read the entire article

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We never want to underestimate or denigrate the Bible, or the good that it has done for centuries; nonetheless, Part IV of The Urantia Book - the Life and Teachings of Jesus provides the world with a complete restatement of events in Jesus' life that so far expands and improves the Bible stories that the comparison is striking, to say the least. And who wrote this account of Jesus life? It is from an eyewitness record that has been in safekeeping for centuries, awaiting the time when it could be delivered to a waiting world in ts entirety. That time is now, and all of mankind are the beneficiaries.

Urantia Book readers get "the rest of the story."

Here's a little background from The Urantia Book:

154:5.1 May 22 [29, AD] was an eventful day in the life of Jesus. On this Sunday morning, before daybreak, one of David's messengers arrived in great haste from Tiberias, bringing the word that Herod had authorized, or was about to authorize, the arrest of Jesus by the officers of the Sanhedrin. The receipt of the news of this impending danger caused David Zebedee to arouse his messengers and send them out to all the local groups of disciples, summoning them for an emergency council at seven o'clock that morning. When the sister-in-law of Jude (Jesus' brother) heard this alarming report, she hastened word to all of Jesus' family who dwelt near by, summoning them forthwith to assemble at Zebedee's house. And in response to this hasty call, presently there were assembled Mary [the mother of Jesus], James, Joseph, Jude, and Ruth [Jesus' siblings].

About 7:30 this morning Jesus began his parting address to almost one hundred believers who had crowded indoors to hear him. This was a solemn occasion for all present, but Jesus seemed unusually cheerful; he was once more like his normal self. The seriousness of weeks had gone, and he inspired all of them with his words of faith, hope, and courage.

Not long before this day, Jesus had delivered an "epochal sermon" that had inflamed the Pharisees and others, even leading them to accuse Jesus of being in league with devils. And in the week or so that followed, plans for the Master's impending arrest were made know to the apostolic party, necessitating a hasty retreat from the area.

The Tragic Missed Meeting

If you are a Urantia Book reader, you will recall that Mary and Jesus had developed a somewhat estranged relationship over the years; Mary had a hard time understanding her first-born son, and despite the visitation by Gabriel while she was carrying him, the years and their troubles had made it fade. So that now, as danger gathered around Jesus, she and the few siblings of Jesus who accompanied her, hoped to talk to Jesus and convince him to come home with them and stop his provocative behavior. And they were prssured by the authorities to do just that.

And so, the stage is set for one of the most dramatic and heartrending scenes involving Jesus and his earth family. Thiere was a rushed attempt to allow Jesus family to see him and talk to him before he had to leave in order to escape the impending arrest.

But, here's how it played out...note in the opening paragraph the addition of explantion regarding Mary's feeling towards Jesus in light of the Pharisees' attempts to persuade her to stop her "demented" son.:

JESUS' FAMILY ARRIVES

It was about eight o'clock on this Sunday morning when five members of Jesus' earth family arrived on the scene in response to the urgent summons of Jude's sister-in-law. Of all his family in the flesh, only one, Ruth, believed wholeheartedly and continuously in the divinity of his mission on earth. Jude and James, and even Joseph, still retained much of their faith in Jesus, but they had permitted pride to interfere with their better judgment and real spiritual inclinations. Mary was likewise torn between love and fear, between mother love and family pride. Though she was harassed by doubts, she could never quite forget the visit of Gabriel ere Jesus was born. The Pharisees had been laboring to persuade Mary that Jesus was beside himself, demented. They urged her to go with her sons and seek to dissuade him from further efforts at public teaching. They assured Mary that soon Jesus' health would break, and that only dishonor and disgrace could come upon the entire family as a result of allowing him to go on. And so, when the word came from Jude's sister-in-law, all five of them started at once for Zebedee's house, having been together at Mary's home, where they had met with the Pharisees the evening before. They had talked with the Jerusalem leaders long into the night, and all were more or less convinced that Jesus was acting strangely, that he had acted strangely for some time. While Ruth could not explain all of his conduct, she insisted that he had always treated his family fairly and refused to agree to the program of trying to dissuade him from further work.

On the way to Zebedee's house they talked these things over and agreed among themselves to try to persuade Jesus to come home with them, for, said Mary: "I know I could influence my son if he would only come home and listen to me." James and Jude had heard rumors concerning the plans to arrest Jesus and take him to Jerusalem for trial. They also feared for their own safety. As long as Jesus was a popular figure in the public eye, his family allowed matters to drift along, but now that the people of Capernaum and the leaders at Jerusalem had suddenly turned against him, they began keenly to feel the pressure of the supposed disgrace of their embarrassing position.

They had expected to meet Jesus, take him aside, and urge him to go home with them. They had thought to assure him that they would forget his neglect of them—they would forgive and forget—if he would only give up the foolishness of trying to preach a new religion which could bring only trouble to himself and dishonor upon his family. To all of this Ruth would say only: "I will tell my brother that I think he is a man of God, and that I hope he would be willing to die before he would allow these wicked Pharisees to stop his preaching." Joseph promised to keep Ruth quiet while the others labored with Jesus.

When they reached the Zebedee house, Jesus was in the very midst of delivering his parting address to the disciples. They sought to gain entrance to the house, but it was crowded to overflowing. Finally they established themselves on the back porch and had word passed in to Jesus, from person to person, so that it finally was whispered to him by Simon Peter, who interrupted his talking for the purpose, and who said: "Behold, your mother and your brothers are outside, and they are very anxious to speak with you." Now it did not occur to his mother how important was the giving of this parting message to his followers, neither did she know that his address was likely to be terminated any moment by the arrival of his apprehenders. She really thought, after so long an apparent estrangement, in view of the fact that she and his brothers had shown the grace actually to come to him, that Jesus would cease speaking and come to them the moment he received word they were waiting.

It was just another of those instances in which his earth family could not comprehend that he must be about his Father's business. And so Mary and his brothers were deeply hurt when, notwithstanding that he paused in his speaking to receive the message, instead of his rushing out to greet them, they heard his musical voice speak with increased volume: "Say to my mother and my brothers that they should have no fear for me. The Father who sent me into the world will not forsake me; neither shall any harm come upon my family. Bid them be of good courage and put their trust in the Father of the kingdom. But, after all, who is my mother and who are my brothers?" And stretching forth his hands toward all of his disciples assembled in the room, he said: "I have no mother; I have no brothers. Behold my mother and behold my brethren! For whosoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my mother, my brother, and my sister."

And when Mary heard these words, she collapsed in Jude's arms. They carried her out in the garden to revive her while Jesus spoke the concluding words of his parting message. He would then have gone out to confer with his mother and his brothers, but a messenger arrived in haste from Tiberias bringing word that the officers of the Sanhedrin were on their way with authority to arrest Jesus and carry him to Jerusalem. Andrew received this message and, interrupting Jesus, told it to him.

Andrew did not recall that David had posted some twenty-five sentinels about the Zebedee house, and that no one could take them by surprise; so he asked Jesus what should be done. The Master stood there in silence while his mother, having heard the words, "I have no mother," was recovering from the shock in the garden. It was at just this time that a woman in the room stood up and exclaimed, "Blessed is the womb that bore you and blessed are the breasts that nursed you." Jesus turned aside a moment from his conversation with Andrew to answer this woman by saying, "No, rather is the one blessed who hears the word of God and dares to obey it."

Further into the story, the authors of the Jesus Papers comment on the reality of the situation for Jesus:

Mary and Jesus' brothers thought that Jesus did not understand them, that he had lost interest in them, little realizing that it was they who failed to understand Jesus. Jesus fully understood how difficult it is for men to break with their past. He knew how human beings are swayed by the preacher's eloquence, and how the conscience responds to emotional appeal as the mind does to logic and reason, but he also knew how far more difficult it is to persuade men to disown the past.

It is forever true that all who may think they are misunderstood or not appreciated have in Jesus a sympathizing friend and an understanding counselor. He had warned his apostles that a man's foes may be they of his own household, but he had hardly realized how near this prediction would come to apply to his own experience. Jesus did not forsake his earth family to do his Father's work—they forsook him. Later on, after the Master's death and resurrection, when James became connected with the early Christian movement, he suffered immeasurably as a result of his failure to enjoy this earlier association with Jesus and his disciples.

In passing through these events, Jesus chose to be guided by the limited knowledge of his human mind. He desired to undergo the experience with his associates as a mere man. And it was in the human mind of Jesus to see his family before he left. He did not wish to stop in the midst of his discourse and thus render their first meeting after so long a separation such a public affair. He had intended to finish his address and then have a visit with them before leaving, but this plan was thwarted by the conspiracy of events which immediately followed.

The haste of their flight was augmented by the arrival of a party of David's messengers at the rear entrance of the Zebedee home. The commotion produced by these men frightened the apostles into thinking that these new arrivals might be their apprehenders, and in fear of immediate arrest, they hastened through the front entrance to the waiting boat. And all of this explains why Jesus did not see his family waiting on the back porch.

But he did say to David Zebedee as he entered the boat in hasty flight: "Tell my mother and my brothers that I appreciate their coming, and that I intended to see them. Admonish them to find no offense in me but rather to seek for a knowledge of the will of God and for grace and courage to do that will."

The Aftermath

154:7.1 And so it was on this Sunday morning, the twenty-second of May, in the year A.D. 29, that Jesus, with his twelve apostles and the twelve evangelists, engaged in this hasty flight from the Sanhedrin officers who were on their way to Bethsaida with authority from Herod Antipas to arrest him and take him to Jerusalem for trial on charges of blasphemy and other violations of the sacred laws of the Jews. It was almost half past eight this beautiful morning when this company of twenty-five manned the oars and pulled for the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus' family returned to their home in Capernaum and spent almost a week in talking, debating, and praying. They were filled with confusion and consternation. They enjoyed no peace of mind until Thursday afternoon, when Ruth returned from a visit to the Zebedee house, where she learned from David that her father-brother was safe and in good health and making his way toward the Phoenician coast.

More than just story-telling

This is a typical example of how the revelation of Jesus' real life in The Urantia Book splendidly improves and expands the limited knowledge that the Bible provides. In this story, as in so many others, the actual events are chronicled, the background is given, the context is provided...so that the reader understands all that happened, and why.

We are able to peer into the workings of Jesus' mind - to see why he did what he did, and also into the motivations and expectations of those around Jesus, too. We see throughout PART IV of The Urantia Book the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it for the benefit of the whole universe.

We see Jesus striving to fulfill his mission, even though he must split with the wishes of his earth family. It's easy to see how this event was so devastating to his mother, and it's also easy to see why it had to be that way. By this time, Jesus and his apostles had completed two preaching tours and were embarked on the third; he was well-known as a healer - thousands folowed him, and the authorities were determined to stop him.

As always we invite any who read this blog to explore The Uranrtia Book...if you are a lover of Jesus, if you are simply curious about Jesus, if you want to know what really happened all those centiuries ago, The Urantia Book will satisfy your search as nothng else can ... and will increase and cement your devotion to the Master

 

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