Here is another interesting and inspiring article about Jesus - how he revolutionized peoples' thinking in his day, and how that revolution in thought continues today, The article is called: 4 times Jesus changed the rules and what we can learn from them by Patrick Mabilog. We offer our blog below with a slight twist, but here are a few snippets from the article: It' a good read!
"Love your enemies. In a culture where it's often "me against the world," Jesus commanded in Matthew 5:43-44, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." It's other worldly even today to even consider behaving in such a way that blesses not just those who do good to you, but even those who are out to malign or hurt you.
"Sabbath is for man, not man for sabbath. In a society previously influenced by the domineering and letter-following ways of Pharisees and Sadducees prior to Jesus initiating His ministry, everyone was used to blindly following traditions and laws just because they were told to. Jesus challenged that by getting people to ask "why?" and "how does this benefit me?"
"Conviction not condemnation. When Jesus stood up in front of the woman being accused of adultery and said "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more," (John 8:11) people had seen something that they were not accustomed to- they saw mercy.
"Forgive always. Peter thought he was being a hot-shot by saying that he would forgive seven times instead of the standard three that common judiciary systems would have in that day, but Jesus challenges even that and says in Matthew 18:22 "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy- seven times."
Click to read the entire article
Here are corollary teachings from The Urantia Book, in reference to the stories mentioned above:
Love your enemies:
103:5.2 This idea-ideal of doing good to others—the impulse to deny the ego something for the benefit of one's neighbor—is very circumscribed at first. Primitive man regards as neighbor only those very close to him, those who treat him neighborly; as religious civilization advances, one's neighbor expands in concept to embrace the clan, the tribe, the nation. And then Jesus enlarged the neighbor scope to embrace the whole of humanity, even that we should love our enemies. And there is something inside of every normal human being that tells him this teaching is moral—right. Even those who practice this ideal least, admit that it is right in theory.
140:3.15 "I say to you: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who despitefully use you. And whatsoever you believe that I would do to men, do you also to them." (Jesus)
188:5.7 The cross makes a supreme appeal to the best in man because it discloses one who was willing to lay down his life in the service of his fellow men. Greater love no man can have than this: that he would be willing to lay down his life for his friends—and Jesus had such a love that he was willing to lay down his life for his enemies, a love greater than any which had hitherto been known on earth.
Sabbath is for man, not man for sabbath.
147:6.4 And then said Jesus to the accusers: "You are indeed zealous for the law, and you do well to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy; but did you never read in the Scripture that, one day when David was hungry, he and they who were with him entered the house of God and ate the showbread, which it was not lawful for anyone to eat save the priests? and David also gave this bread to those who were with him. And have you not read in our law that it is lawful to do many needful things on the Sabbath day? And shall I not, before the day is finished, see you eat that which you have brought along for the needs of this day? My good men, you do well to be zealous for the Sabbath, but you would do better to guard the health and well-being of your fellows. I declare that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. And if you are here present with us to watch my words, then will I openly proclaim that the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."
Conviction not condemnation.
162:3.5 Jesus said: "Woman, where are your accusers? did no man remain to stone you?" And the woman, lifting up her eyes, answered, "No man, Lord." And then said Jesus: "I know about you; neither do I condemn you. Go your way in peace." And this woman, Hildana, forsook her wicked husband and joined herself to the disciples of the kingdom.
159:1.3 "The Father in heaven loves his children, and therefore should you learn to love one another; the Father in heaven forgives you your sins; therefore should you learn to forgive one another."
159:1.5 "How can you come to God asking consideration for your shortcomings when you are wont to chastise your brethren for being guilty of these same human frailties? I say to all of you: Freely you have received the good things of the kingdom; therefore freely give to your fellows on earth."
170:2.23 "When you forgive your brother in the flesh, you thereby create the capacity in your own soul for the reception of the reality of God's forgiveness of your own misdeeds."
Jesus' Revolutionary Ideas
Yes, they were revolutionary then, and still are today.
When the world says it's all just about you, Jesus says it's all about loving and living for one another, even loving our enemies...
When the world says vengeance, Jesus says mercy...
When the world accuses, Jesus says look into the heart of the accused to understand the motive...
And when the world says get even, Jesus says forgive...
And I'd like to add: When the multitude of churches of the world say follow our rules and authority, Jesus says follow the absolute authority of God, who quite literally, dwells in your heart and mind
If you are a Urantia Book reader, the sentence above will make perfect sense, but to a person who relies solely on the church that they belong to for spiritual guidance and truth, this can seem almost blasphemous.
Many of us were raised in the shadows (or the embrace) of institutionalized religion - meaning religions that are created by man and that are evolutionary in nature...in other words, the religions change over time, the rules change, the morals change, the leadership changes. Christianity is such a religion; Catholicism, the Jewish religion, Mormonism, Islam...all are evolutionary, earthly religions. And they are all GOOD, just to the extent that they bring a believer closer to God, and God to the believer.
Read more about institutionalized religion
But oftentimes, people can grow weary of church authority, especially when it may go against one's inner sense of reason and logic. Or it goes against one's sense of truth, rightness. There are always the sincere truthseekers, who sense there is "more to the story" than they know...maybe you're one of those?
This is the place
One of the greatest parts of The Urantia Book is the detailed revelation of "God-within," a phrase that we've all heard forever. But what does it really MEAN? And how does it work? The Urantia Book has many papers devoted to this very subject. These are some of the most thrilling papers of the book, believe me. If you are a sincere seeker, you will be kept rapt with attention.
It is that true fragment of God, what Jesus called the "true light that lights up the world," that was referred to above as the "authority of God." Every one of us has this fragment (called the Thought Adjuster in the Urantia Book) and everyone of us can choose to be a cocreator with that God-within by finding and doing the will of God. That fragment is a guide, the "still, small voice," the silent voice inside that helps us to think with God. And it is the part of God that is with us throughout eternity, always part of our lives.
See Urantia Book teachings on Thought Adjusters
Jesus did not establish Christianity. He came not to establish a church, but the invisible brotherhood, the Kingdom of Heaven within the hearts of mankind. He told us the the kingdom was within us, and it is...
See Jesus teachings on the Kingdom
Did Jesus have a religion that he followed?
In Jesus' experience, the best way for him to know who he was and how to accomplish his mission was to talk to the Father. Oftentimes he communed with his Father...many, many times in The Urantia Book, we see examples of Jeus practicing the religion of personal spiritual experience. Jesus sat at no man's feet. He did not learn religion from any priest, rabbi, or chazen. He learned his religion by being with God, and talking to him...having communion, in the highest sense.
Jesus had a Thought Adjuster, just as we have. His was somewhat special, owing to the nature of his divinity, but nonetheless, he had a Thought Adjuster; and that adjuster guided the human Jesus just as ours does with us today. It is personal experience with the Father that becomes our religion...the basis for our moral code of conduct, our dealings with others, our day-to-day growth of the fruits of the Spirit. Once we experience for a certain that God is guiding us, we grow more and more comfortable with it, until it becomes second nature to "have a little talk" with the Father in Heaven on a regular basis, just as we would converse with a good friend - just as Jesus did throughout his life
Read about the Religion of Jesus and Personal Spiritual Experience
For the most complete story of Jesus' life and his teachings, please see PART IV of The Urantia Book.