The Divine Affection
The myriads of planetary systems were all made to be eventually inhabited by many different types of intelligent creatures, beings who could know God, receive the divine affection, and love him in return. The universe of universes is the work of God and the dwelling place of his diverse creatures. "God created the heavens and formed the earth; he established the universe and created this world not in vain; he formed it to be inhabited. " ~ The Urantia Book, (1:0.2)
Man's Choicest Gift to God
The Universal Father never imposes any form of arbitrary recognition, formal worship, or slavish service upon the intelligent will creatures of the universes.The evolutionary inhabitants of the worlds of time and space must of themselves—in their own hearts—recognize, love, and voluntarily worship him. The Creator refuses to coerce or compel the submission of the spiritual free wills of his material creatures. The affectionate dedication of the human will to the doing of the Father's will is man's choicest gift to God;in fact, such a consecration of creature will constitutes man's only possible gift of true value to the Paradise Father. In God, man lives,moves, and has his being; there is nothing which man can give to God except this choosing to abide by the Father's will, and such decisions,effected by the intelligent will creatures of the universes, constitute the reality of that true worship which is so satisfying to the love-dominated nature of the Creator Father. ~ The Urantia Book, (1:1.2)
Dynamic Affection Towards Others
You cannot truly love your fellows by a mere act of the will. Love is only born of thoroughgoing understanding of your neighbor's motives and sentiments. It is not so important to love all men today as it is that each day you learn to love one more human being. If each day or each week you achieve an understanding of one more of your fellows, and if this is the limit of your ability, then you are certainly socializing and truly spiritualizing your personality. Love is infectious, and when human devotion is intelligent and wise, love is more catching than hate. But only genuine and unselfish love is truly contagious. If each mortal could only become a focus of dynamic affection, this benign virus of love would soon pervade the sentimental emotion-stream of humanity to such an extent that all civilization would be encompassed by love, and that would be the realization of the brotherhood of man. ~ The Urantia Book, (100:4.6)
Michael, a creator, revealed the divine love of the Creator Father for his terrestrial children. And having discovered and received this divine affection, men can aspire to reveal this love to their brethren in the flesh. Such creature affection is a true reflection of the love of the Supreme. ~ The Urantia Book, (117:1.8)
All true love is from God, and man receives the divine affection ashe himself bestows this love upon his fellows. Love is dynamic. It can never be captured; it is alive, free, thrilling, and always moving. Man can never take the love of the Father and imprison it within his heart.The Father's love can become real to mortal man only by passing through that man's personality as he in turn bestows this love upon his fellows. The great circuit of love is from the Father, through sons to brothers, and hence to the Supreme. The love of the Father appears in the mortal personality by the ministry of the indwelling Adjuster. Such a God-knowing son reveals this love to his universe brethren, and this fraternal affection is the essence of the love of the Supreme. ~ The Urantia Book, (117:6.10)
Experiential righteousness is a pleasure, not a duty. Jesus'righteousness is a dynamic love—fatherly-brotherly affection.It is not the negative or thou-shalt-not type of righteousness. How could one ever hunger for something negative—something "not to do"? ~ The Urantia Book, (140:5.9)
To see God—by faith—means to acquire true spiritual insight. And spiritual insight enhances Adjuster guidance, and these in the end augment God-consciousness. And when you know the Father, you are confirmed in the assurance of divine sonship, and you can increasingly love each of your brothers in the flesh, not only as a brother—with brotherly love—but also as a father—with fatherly affection. ~ The Urantia Book, (140:5.13)
Keep in mind: It is loyalty, not sacrifice, that Jesus demands. The consciousness of sacrifice implies the absence of that wholehearted affection which would have made such a loving service a supreme joy. The idea of duty signifies that you are servant-minded and hence are missing the mighty thrill of doing your service as a friend and for a friend. The impulse of friendship transcends all convictions of duty, and the service of a friend for afriend can never be called a sacrifice. The Master has taught the apostles that they are the sons of God. He has called them brethren, and now,before he leaves, he calls them his friends. ~ The Urantia Book, (180:1.6)
Human society would be greatly improved if the civilized races would more generally return to the family-council practices of the Andites. They did not maintain the patriarchal or autocratic form of family government. They were very brotherly and associative, freely and frankly discussing every proposal and regulation of a family nature.They were ideally fraternal in all their family government. In an ideal family filial and parental affection are both augmented by fraternal devotion. ~ The Urantia Book, (84:7.29)
No affectionate father is ever precipitate in visiting punishment upon an erring member of his family.Patience cannot function independently of time.
While wrongdoing is always deleterious to a family, wisdom and love admonish the upright children to bear with an erring brother during the time granted by the affectionate father in which the sinner may see the error of his way and embrace salvation. ~ The Urantia Book, (54:5.4)
The affectionate father holds intimate and loving intercourse with his children. Always is his ear open to their petitions; he is ever ready to share their hardships and assist them over their difficulties.The father is supremely interested in the progressive welfare of his progeny. ~ The Urantia Book,(142:7.10)
"When children are young and unthinking, they must necessarily be admonished to honor their parents; but when they grow older and become somewhat more appreciative of the benefits of the parental ministry and protection, they are led up, through understanding respect and increasing affection, to that level of experience where they actually love their parents for what they are more than for what they have done. The father naturally loves his child, but the child must develop his love for the father from the fear of what the father can do, through awe, dread, dependence, and reverence, to the appreciative and affectionate regard of love. "~ Jesus, The Urantia Book,(149:6.6)
Fatherly and Brotherly Affection
From the Sermon onthe Mount to the discourse of the Last Supper, Jesus taught his followers to manifest fatherly love rather than brotherly love. Brotherly love would love your neighbor as you love yourself, and that would be adequate fulfillment of the "golden rule. "But fatherly affection would require that you should love your fellow mortals as Jesus loves you.
Jesus loves mankind with a dual affection. He lived on earth as a twofold personality —human and divine. As the Son of God he loves man with a fatherly love—he is man's Creator, his universe Father. As the Son of Man, Jesus loves mortals as a brother—he was truly a man among men.
Jesus did not expect his followers to achieve an impossible manifestation of brotherly love, but he did expect them to so strive to be like God—to be perfect even as the Father in heaven is perfect—that they could begin to look upon man as God looks upon his creatures and therefore could begin to love men as God loves them—to show forth the beginnings of a fatherly affection. In the course of these exhortations to the twelve apostles, Jesus sought to reveal this new concept of fatherly love as it is related to certain emotional attitudes concerned in making numerous environmental social adjustments.
The Master introduced this momentous discourse by calling attention to four faith attitudes as the prelude to the subsequent portrayal of his four transcendent and supreme reactions of fatherly love in contrast to the limitations of mere brotherly love.
He first talked about those who were poor in spirit, hungered after righteousness, endured meekness, and who were pure in heart. Such spirit-discerning mortals could be expected to attain such levels of divine selflessness as to be able to attempt the amazing exercise of fatherly affection; that even as mourners they would be empowered to show mercy,promote peace, and endure persecutions, and throughout all of these trying situations to love even unlovely mankind with a fatherly love. A father's affection can attain levels of devotion that immeasurably transcend a brother's affection. ~ TheUrantia Book, (140:5.1)
And then Jesus went on to instruct his followers in the realization of the chief purpose of all human struggling—perfection— even divine attainment. Always he admonished them: "Be you perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. " He did not exhort the twelve to love their neighbors as they loved themselves. That would have been a worthy achievement; it would have indicated the achievement of brotherly love. He rather admonished his apostles to love men as he had loved them—to love with a fatherly as well as a brotherly affection. And he illustrated this by pointing out four supreme reactions of fatherly love:
- "Happy are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted. "So-called common sense or the best of logic would never suggest that happiness could be derived from mourning. But Jesus did not refer to outward or ostentatious mourning. He alluded to an emotional attitude of tenderheartedness. It is a great error to teach boys and young men that it is unmanly to show tenderness or otherwise to give evidence of emotional feeling or physical suffering. Sympathy is a worthy attribute of the male as well as the female. It is not necessary to be calloused in order to be manly. This is the wrong way to create courageous men.The world's great men have not been afraid to mourn. Moses, the mourner, was a greater man than either Samson or Goliath. Moses was a superb leader, but he was also a man of meekness. Being sensitive and responsive to human need creates genuine and lasting happiness, while such kindly attitudes safeguard the soul from the destructive influences of anger, hate, and suspicion.
- "Happy are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. " Mercy here denotes the height and depth and breadth of the truest friendship—loving-kindness. Mercy sometimes may be passive, but here it is active and dynamic—supreme fatherliness. A loving parent experiences little difficulty in forgiving his child, even many times. And in an unspoiled child the urge to relieve suffering is natural. Children are normally kind and sympathetic when old enough to appreciate actual conditions.
- "Happy are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. " Jesus'hearers were longing for military deliverance, not for peacemakers. But Jesus' peace is not of the pacific and negative kind. In the face of trials and persecutions he said, "My peace I leave with you. " "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. " This is the peace that prevents ruinous conflicts. Personal peace integrates personality. Social peace prevents fear,greed, and anger. Political peace prevents race antagonisms, national suspicions, and war. Peacemaking is the cure of distrust and suspicion.
- Children can easily be taught to function as peacemakers. They enjoy team activities; they like to play together. Said the Master at another time: "Whosoever will save his life shall lose it, but whosoever will lose his life shall find it. "
- "Happy are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy are you when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. "
So often persecution does follow peace. But young people and brave adults never shun difficulty or danger. "Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friends. "And a fatherly love can freely do all these things—things which brotherly love can hardly encompass. And progress has always been the final harvest of persecution.
Children always respond to the challenge of courage. Youth is everwilling to "take a dare. " And every child should early learn to sacrifice. ~ The Urantia Book,(140:5.15)
Godis an Affectionate Father
On those worlds where a Paradise Son has lived a bestowal life, God is generally known by some name indicative of personal relationship, tender affection, and fatherly devotion. On your constellation headquarters God is referred to as the Universal Father, and on different planets in your local system of inhabited worlds he is variously known as the Father of Fathers, the Paradise Father, the Havona Father, and the Spirit Father. Those who know God through the revelations of the bestowals of the Paradise Sons, eventually yield to the sentimental appeal of the touching relationship of the creature-Creator association and refer to God as "our Father. " ~ The Urantia Book, (1:1.5)
The Father's love follows us now and throughout the endless circle of the eternal ages. As you ponder the loving nature of God, there is only one reasonable and natural personality reaction thereto: You will increasingly love your Maker; you will yield to God an affection analogous to that given by a child to an earthly parent; for, as a father, a real father, a true father, loves his children, so the Universal Father loves and forever seeks the welfare of his created sons and daughters.
But the love of God is an intelligent and farseeing parental affection. The divine love functions in unified association with divine wisdom and all other infinite characteristics of the perfect nature of the Universal Father. God is love, but love is not God. The greatest manifestation of the divine love for mortal beings is observed in the bestowal of the Thought Adjusters, but your greatest revelation of the Father's love is seen in the bestowal life of his Son Michael as he lived on earth the ideal spiritual life. It is the indwelling Adjuster who individualizes the love of God to each human soul. ~ The Urantia Book,(2:5.9)
At times I am almost pained to be compelled to portray the divine affection of the heavenly Father for his universe children by the employment of the human word symbol love.This term, even though it does connote man's highest concept of the mortal relations of respect and devotion, is so frequently designative of so much of human relationship that is wholly ignoble and utterly unfit to be known by any word which is also used to indicate the matchless affection of the living God for his universe creatures! How unfortunate that I cannot make use of some supernal and exclusive term which would convey to the mind of man the true nature and exquisitely beautiful significance of the divine affection of the Paradise Father.~ The Urantia Book,(2:5.11)
Righteousness implies that God is the source of the moral law of the universe. Truth exhibits God as a revealer, as a teacher. But love gives and craves affection, seeks understanding fellowship such as exists between parent and child.Righteousness may be the divine thought, but love is a father's attitude. The erroneous supposition that the righteousness of God was irreconcilable with the selfless love of the heavenly Father,presupposed absence of unity in the nature of Deity and led directly to the elaboration of the atonement doctrine, which is a philosophic assault upon both the unity and the free-willness of God.
The affectionate heavenly Father, whose spirit indwells his children on earth, is not a divided personality—one of justice and one of mercy—neither does it require a mediator to secure the Father's favor or forgiveness. Divine righteousness is not dominated by strict retributive justice; God as a father transcends God as a judge. ~ The Urantia Book,(2:6.5)
Finite appreciation of infinite qualities far transcends the logically limited capacities of the creature because of the fact that mortal man is made in the image of God—there lives within him a fragment of infinity. Therefore man's nearest and dearest approach to God is by and through love, for God is love. And all of such a unique relationship is an actual experience in cosmic sociology, the Creator-creature relationship—the Father-child affection. ~ The Urantia Book, (3:4.7)
The infinite and eternal Ruler of the universe of universes is power, form, energy, process, pattern, principle, presence, and idealized reality. But he is more; he is personal; he exercises a sovereign will, experiences self-consciousness of divinity, executes the mandates of a creative mind,pursues the satisfaction of the realization of an eternal purpose, and manifests a Father's love and affection for his universe children. And all these more personal traits of the Father can be better understood by observing them as they were revealed in the bestowal life of Michael, your Creator Son, while he was incarnated on Urantia. ~ The Urantia Book, (3:6.7)
The Universal Father never does anything that causes subsequent sorrow or regret, but the will creatures of the planning and making of his Creator personalities in the outlying universes, by their unfortunate choosing, sometimes occasion emotions of divine sorrow in the personalities of their Creator parents. But though the Father neither makes mistakes, harbors regrets, nor experiences sorrows, he is a being with a father's affection, and his heart is undoubtedly grieved when his children fail to attain the spiritual levels they are capable of reaching with the assistance which has been so freely provided by the spiritual-attainment plans and the mortal-ascension policies of the universes. ~ The Urantia Book,(4:3.5)
"God is love"; therefore his only personal attitude towards the affairs of the universe is always a reaction of divine affection. The Father loves us sufficiently to bestow his life upon us. "He makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."
It is wrong to think of God as being coaxed into loving his children because of the sacrifices of his Sons or the intercession of his subordinate creatures, "for the Father himself loves you. " It is in response to this paternal affection that God sends the marvelous Adjusters to indwell the minds of men. God's love is universal; "whosoever will may come. " He would "have all men be saved by coming into the knowledge of the truth. " He is "not willing that any should perish. "
The Creators are the very first to attempt to save man from the disastrous results of his foolish transgression of the divine laws. God's love is by nature a fatherly affection; therefore does he sometimes "chasten us for our own profit,that we may be partakers of his holiness. " Even during your fiery trials remember that "in all our afflictions he is afflicted with us. " ~ The Urantia Book, (2:5.1)
Thus, in the final analysis, it would be hardly proper to use the words "greater" or "lesser" in contrasting the destinies of the ascending orders of sonship. Every such son of God shares the fatherhood of God, and God loves each of his creature sons alike; he is no more a respecter of ascendant destinies than is he of the creatures who may attain such destinies. The Father loves each of his sons, and that affection is not less than true, holy,divine, unlimited, eternal, and unique—a love bestowed upon this son and upon that son, individually, personally, and exclusively.And such a love utterly eclipses all other facts. Sonship is the supreme relationship of the creature to the Creator. ~ The Urantia Book, (40:10.13)
Providence does not mean that God has decided all things for us and in advance. God loves us too much to do that, for that would be nothing short of cosmic tyranny. Man does have relative powers of choice. Neither is the divine love that shortsighted affection which would pamper and spoil the children of men. ~ The Urantia Book,(118:10.1)
The Affection of the Eternal Son
In the study of the religious life of Jesus, view him positively. Think not so much of his sinlessness as of his righteousness, his loving service. Jesus upstepped the passive love disclosed in the Hebrew concept of the heavenly Father to the higher active and creature-loving affection of a God who is the Father of every individual, even of the wrongdoer. ~ The Urantia Book,(5:4.12)
God is love, the Son is mercy. Mercy is applied love, the Father's love in action in the person of his Eternal Son. The love of this universal Son is likewise universal. As love is comprehended on a sex planet, the love of God is more comparable to the love of a father, while the love of the Eternal Son is more like the affection of a mother. Crude, indeed, are such illustrations, but I employ them in the hope of conveying to the human mind the thought that there is a difference, not in divine content but in quality and technique of expression, between the love of the Father and the love of the Son. ~ The Urantia Book, (6:3.5)
The Eternal Son, as a loving,merciful, and ministering spiritual personality, is wholly and infinitely equal with the Universal Father, while in all those merciful and affectionate personal contacts with the ascendant beings of the lower realms the Eternal Son is just as kind and considerate, just as patient and long-suffering, as are his Paradise Sons in the local universes who so frequently bestow themselves upon the evolutionary worlds of time. ~ The Urantia Book, (6:4.9)
The Affection of the Infinite Spirit
Paralleling the physical universe wherein Paradise gravity holds all things together is the spiritual universe wherein the word of the Son interprets the thought of God and, when "made flesh,"demonstrates the loving mercy of the combined nature of the associated Creators. But in and through all this material and spiritual creation there is a vast stage whereon the Infinite Spirit and his spirit offspring show forth the combined mercy, patience, and everlasting affection of the divine parents towards the intelligent children of their co-operative devising and making. Everlasting ministry to mind is the essence of the Spirit's divine character. And all the spirit offspring of the Conjoint Actor partake of this desire to minister, this divine urge to service. ~ The Urantia Book, (8:4.1)
In addition to this supercontrol of energy and things physical, the Infinite Spirit is superbly endowed with those attributes of patience, mercy, and love which are so exquisitely revealed in his spiritual ministry. The Spirit is supremely competent to minister love and to overshadow justice with mercy. God the Spirit possesses all the supernal kindness and merciful affection of the Original and Eternal Son. The universe of your origin is being forged out between the anvil of justice and the hammer of suffering; but those who wield the hammer are the children of mercy, the spirit offspring of the Infinite Spirit. ~ The Urantia Book, (9:1.8)
Adam Loved Eve With Supermortal Affection
It was in the despair of the realization of failure that Adam, the day after Eve's misstep, sought out Laotta, the brilliant Nodite woman who was head of the western schools of the Garden, and with premeditation committed the folly of Eve. But do not misunderstand; Adam was not beguiled; he knew exactly what he was about; he deliberately chose to share the fate of Eve. He loved his mate with a supermortal affection, and the thought of th epossibility of a lonely vigil on Urantia without her was more than he could endure. ~ The UrantiaBook, (75:5.2)
Thought Adjusters and Affection
We have often speculated that Thought Adjusters must have volition on all prepersonal levels of choice. They volunteer to indwell human beings, they lay plans for man's eternal career, they adapt, modify, and substitute in accordance with circumstances, and these activities connote genuine volition. They have affection for mortals, they function in universe crises, they are always waiting to act decisively in accordance with human choice, and all these are highly volitional reactions. In all situations not concerned with the domain of the human will, they unquestionably exhibit conduct which betokens the exercise of powers in every sense the equivalent of will, maximated decision. ~ TheUrantia Book, (107:7.3)
As far as I am conversant with the affairs of a universe, I regard the love and devotion of a Thought Adjuster as the most truly divine affection in all creation. The love of the Sons in their ministry to the races is superb, but the devotion of an Adjuster to the individual is touchingly sublime, divinely Fatherlike. The Paradise Father has apparently reserved this form of personal contact with his individual creatures as an exclusive Creator prerogative. And there is nothing in all the universe of universes exactly comparable to the marvelous ministry of these impersonal entities that so fascinatingly indwell the children of the evolutionary planets. ~ The Urantia Book, (110:0.2)
You must not regard co-operation with your Adjuster as a particularly conscious process,for it is not; but your motives and your decisions, your faithful determinations and your supreme desires, do constitute real and effective co-operation. You can consciously augment Adjuster harmony by:
Loving man and sincerely desiring to serve him—wholehearted recognition of the brotherhood of man coupled with an intelligent and wise affection for each of your fellow mortals. ~ The Urantia Book, (110:3.6)
During the making and breaking of a contact between the mortal mind of a destiny reservist and the planetary supervisors, sometimes the indwelling Adjuster is so situated that it becomes possible to transmit a message to the mortal partner.Not long since, on Urantia, such a message was transmitted by a self-acting Adjuster to the human associate, a member of the reserve corps of destiny. This message was introduced by these words: "And now,without injury or jeopardy to the subject of my solicitous devotion and without intent to overchastise or discourage, for me, make record of this my plea to him. " Then followed a beautifully touching and appealing admonition. Among other things, the Adjuster pleaded "that he more faithfully give me his sincere co-operation, more cheerfully endure the tasks of my emplacement, more faithfully carry out the program of my arrangement, more patiently go through the trials of my selection, more persistently and cheerfully tread the path of my choosing, more humbly receive credit that may accrue as a result of my ceaseless endeavors—thus transmit my admonition to the man of my indwelling. Upon him I bestow the supreme devotion and affection of a divine spirit. And say further to my beloved subject that I will function with wisdom and power until the very end, until the last earth struggle is over; I will be true to my personality trust. And I exhort him to survival, not to disappoint me, not to deprive me of the reward of my patient and intense struggle. On the human will our achievement of personality depends. Circle by circle I have patiently ascended this human mind, and I have testimony that I am meeting the approval of the chief of my kind. Circle by circle I am passing on to judgment. I await with pleasure and without apprehension the roll call of destiny; I am prepared to submit all to the tribunals of the Ancients of Days. " ~ The Urantia Book, (110:7.10)
Angels and Affection
The angels develop an abiding affection for their human associates; and you would,if you could only visualize the seraphim, develop a warm affection for them. Divested of material bodies, given spirit forms, you would be very near the angels in many attributes of personality.They share most of your emotions and experience some additional ones.The only emotion actuating you which is somewhat difficult for them to comprehend is the legacy of animal fear that bulks so large in the mental life of the average inhabitant of Urantia. The angels really find it hard to understand why you will so persistently allow your higher intellectual powers, even your religious faith, to be so dominated by fear, so thoroughly demoralized by the thoughtless panic of dread and anxiety. ~ The Urantia Book, (113:2.5)
Though seraphim are very affectionate and sympathetic beings, they are not sex-emotion creatures. They are much as you will be on the mansion worlds, where you will "neither marry nor be given in marriage but will be as the angels of heaven. " ~ The Urantia Book,(38:2.2)
Though not male and female as are the Material Sons and the mortal races, seraphim are negative and positive. In the majority of assignments it requires two angels to accomplish the task. When they are not encircuited, they can work alone; neither do they require complements of being when stationary.Ordinarily they retain their original complements of being, but not necessarily. Such associations are primarily necessitated by function;they are not characterized by sex emotion, though they are exceedingly personal and truly affectionate. ~ The Urantia Book, (38:4.3)
n all essential endowments cherubim and sanobim are similar to seraphim. They have the same origin but not always the same destiny. They are wonderfully intelligent,marvelously efficient, touchingly affectionate, and almost human. They are the lowest order of angels, hence all the nearer of kin to the more progressive types of human beings on the evolutionary worlds. ~ The Urantia Book,(38:7.1)
Man and angel may or may not be reunited in eternal service, but wherever seraphic assignment may take them, the seraphim are always in communication with their former wards of the evolutionary worlds, the ascendant mortals of time. The intimate associations and the affectionate attachments of the realms of human origin are never forgotten nor ever completely severed. In the eternal ages men and angels will co-operate in the divine service as they did in the career of time. ~ The Urantia Book,(113:7.6)
The Affection and Devotion of Jesus
The Son of Man had now made every preparation for detaching himself permanently from the Nazareth home; and this was not easy for him to do. Jesus naturally loved his people; he loved his family, and this natural affection had been tremendously augmented by his extraordinary devotion to them. The more fully we bestow ourselves upon our fellows, the more we come to love them; and since Jesus had given himself so fully to his family, he loved them with a great and fervent affection. ~ The Urantia Book, (129:0.2)
That characteristic of Jesus which James most admired was the Master's sympathetic affection. Jesus' understanding interest in the small and the great, the rich and the poor, made a great appeal to him. ~ The Urantia Book, (139:3.6)
In all his teaching Jesus unfailingly avoided distracting details. He shunned flowery language and avoided the mere poetic imagery of a play upon words. He habitually put large meanings into small expressions. For purposes of illustration Jesus reversed t he current meanings of many terms, such as salt,leaven, fishing, and little children. He most effectively employed the antithesis, comparing the minute to the infinite and so on. His pictures were striking, such as, "The blind leading the blind. "But the greatest strength to be found in his illustrative teaching was its naturalness. Jesus brought the philosophy of religion from heaven down to earth. He portrayed the elemental needs of the soul with a new insight and a new bestowal of affection. ~ The Urantia Book, (159:5.17)
Jesus Speaks of Affection
"When I asked you to become as little children as the price of entering the kingdom, I referred not to ease of deception, mere willingness to believe, nor to quickness to trust pleasing strangers. What I did desire that you should gather from the illustration was the child-father relationship. You are the child, and it is your Father's kingdom you seek to enter. There is present that natural affection between every normal child and its father which insures an understanding and loving relationship, and which forever precludes all disposition to bargain for the Father's love and mercy.And the gospel you are going forth to preach has to do with a salvation growing out ofthe faith-realization of this very and eternal child-father relationship. " ~ Jesus,The Urantia Book, (140:10.4)
Then Jesus went on to say: "When your children are very young and immature, and when you must chastise them, they may reflect that their father is angry and filled with resentful wrath. Their immaturity cannot penetrate beyond the punishment to discern the father's farseeing and corrective affection.But when these same children become grown-up men and women, would it not be folly for them to cling to these earlier and misconceived notions regarding their father? As men and women they should now discern their father's love in all these early disciplines. And should not mankind, as the centuries pass, come the better to understand the true nature and loving character of the Father in heaven? What profit have you from successive generations of spiritual illumination if you persist in viewing God as Moses and the prophets saw him? I say to you,Jacob, under the bright light of this hour you should see the Father as none of those who have gone before ever beheld him. And thus seeing him, you should rejoice to enter the kingdom wherein such a merciful Father rules, and you should seek to have his will of love dominate your life henceforth. " ~ Jesus,The Urantia Book, (142:2.4)
"As to my message and the teaching of my disciples, you should judge them by their fruits. If we proclaim to you the truths of the spirit,the spirit will witness in your hearts that our message is genuine.Concerning the kingdom and your assurance of acceptance by the heavenly Father, let me ask what father among you who is a worthy and kindhearted father would keep his son in anxiety or suspense regarding his status in the family or his place of security in the affections of his father's heart? Do you earth fathers take pleasure in torturing your children with uncertainty about their place of abiding love in your human hearts? Neither does your Father in heaven leave his faith children of the spirit in doubtful uncertainty as to their position in the kingdom. If you receive God as your Father, then indeed and in truth are you the sons of God. And if you are sons, then are you secure in the position and standing of all that concerns eternal and divine sonship. ~ Jesus,The Urantia Book, (142:5.2)
"When children are young and unthinking, they must necessarily be admonished to honor their parents;but when they grow older and become somewhat more appreciative of the benefits of the parental ministry and protection, they are led up,through understanding respect and increasing affection, to that level of experience where they actually love their parents for what they are more than for what they have done. The father naturally loves his child, but the child must develop his love for the father from the fear of what the father can do, through awe, dread, dependence, and reverence, to the appreciative and affectionate regard of love. ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book,(149:6.6)
"Beauty is always triumphant over ugliness in the hearts of all who are illuminated by the love of truth.There is mighty power in the expulsive energy of a new and sincere spiritual affection. And again I say to you, be not overcome by evil but rather overcome evil with good. " ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book,(156:5.5)
"And when the feelings of service for your fellow men arise within your soul,do not stifle them; when the emotions of love for your neighbor well up within your heart, give expression to such urges of affection inintelligent ministry to the real needs of your fellows. " ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book,(157:2.2)
"When I give you this new commandment, I do not place any new burden upon your souls;rather do I bring you new joy and make it possible for you to experience new pleasure in knowing the delights of the bestowal of your heart's affection upon your fellow men. I am about to experience the supreme joy, even though enduring outward sorrow, in the bestowal of my affection upon you and your fellow mortals.
"When I invite you to love one another, even as I have loved you, I hold up before you the supreme measure of true affection, for greater love can no man have than this:that he will lay down his life for his friends. And you are my friends;you will continue to be my friends if you are but willing to do what I have taught you. You have called me Master, but I do not call you servants. If you will only love one another as I am loving you, you shall be my friends, and I will ever speak to you of that which the Father reveals to me. ~ Jesus,The Urantia Book, (180:1.2)
"You shall love one another with anew and startling affection, even as I have loved you. You will servemankind 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 Spiritof Truth which they see in your lives, to the finding of eternal salvation. ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book,(191:6.2)
Jesus' Effect on Others
On both friends and foes he exercised a strong and peculiarly fascinating influence. Multitudes would follow him for weeks, just to hear his gracious words and behold his simple life. Devoted men and women loved Jesus with a well-nigh superhuman affection. And the better they knew him the more they loved him. And all this is still true; even today and in all future ages, the more man comes to know this God-man, the more he will love and follow after him. ~ The Urantia Book, (149:2.14)
Rodan and the Importance of Affection
Symbolic communication between human beings predetermines the bringing into existence of social groups. The most effective of all social groups is the family, more particularly the two parents. Personal affection is the spiritual bond which holds together these material associations. Such an effective relationship is also possible between two persons of the same sex, as is so abundantly illustrated in the devotions of genuine friendships.
These associations of friendship and mutual affection are socializing and ennobling because they encourage and facilitate the following essential factors of the higher levels of the art of living:
- Mutual self-expression and self-understanding. Many noble human impulses die because there is no one to hear their expression. Truly, it is not good for man to be alone. Some degree of recognition and a certain amount of appreciation are essential to the development of human character. Without the genuine love of a home, no child can achieve the full development of normal character. Character is something more than mere mind and morals. Of all social relations calculated to develop character, the most effective and ideal is the affectionate and understanding friendship of man and woman in the mutual embrace of intelligent wedlock.Marriage, with its manifold relations, is best designed to draw forththose precious impulses and those higher motives which areindispensable to the development of a strong character. I do not hesitate thus to glorify family life, for your Master has wisely chosen the father-child relationship as the very cornerstone of this new gospel of the kingdom. And such a matchless community of relationship, man and woman in the fond embrace of the highest ideals of time, is so valuable and satisfying an experience that it is worth any price, any sacrifice, requisite for its possession.
- Union of souls—the mobilization of wisdom. Every human being sooner or later acquires a certain concept of this world and a certain vision of the next. Now it is possible, through personality association, to unite these views of temporal existence and eternal prospects. Thus does the mind of one augment its spiritual values by gaining much of the insight of the other. In this way men enrich the soul by pooling their respective spiritual possessions. Likewise, in this same way, man is enabled to avoid that ever-present tendency to fall victim to distortion of vision, prejudice of viewpoint, and narrowness of judgment. Fear, envy, and conceit can be prevented only by intimate contact with other minds. I call your attention to the fact that the Master never sends you out alone to labor for the extension of the kingdom; he always sends you out two and two. And since wisdom is superknowledge, it follows that, in the union of wisdom, the social group, small or large, mutually shares all knowledge.
- The enhanced defense against all evil. Personality association and mutual affection is an efficient insurance against evil. Difficulties, sorrow, disappointment, and defeat are more painful and disheartening when borne alone.Association does not transmute evil into righteousness, but it does aidin greatly lessening the sting. Said your Master, "Happy are they who mourn" —if a friend is at hand to comfort. There is positive strength in the knowledge that you live for the welfare of others, and that these others likewise live for your welfare and advancement. Manlanguishes in isolation. Human beings unfailingly become discouraged when they view only the transitory transactions of time. The present,when divorced from the past and the future, becomes exasperatingly trivial. Only a glimpse of the circle of eternity can inspire man to do his best and can challenge the best in him to do its utmost. And when man is thus at his best, he lives most unselfishly for the good of others, his fellow sojourners in time and eternity. ~ The Urantia Book, (160:2.4)
The Cross, and the Affection of Jesus
Make sure, then, that when you view the cross as a revelation of God, you do not look with the eyes of the primitive man nor with the viewpoint of the later barbarian, both of whom regarded God as a relentless Sovereign of stern justice and rigid law-enforcement.Rather, make sure that you see in the cross the final manifestation of the love and devotion of Jesus to his life mission of bestowal upon the mortal races of his vast universe. See in the death of the Son of Man the climax of the unfolding of the Father's divine love for his sons of the mortal spheres. The cross thus portrays the devotion of willing affection and the bestowal of voluntary salvation upon those who are willing to receive such gifts and devotion. There was nothing in the cross which the Father required—only that which Jesus so willingly gave, and which he refused to avoid. ~ The Urantia Book, (188:5.11)
Before Jesus was put on his cross, the two brigands had already been placed on their crosses, all the while cursing and spitting upon their executioners.Jesus' only words, as they nailed him to the crossbeam, were, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. " He could not have so mercifully and lovingly interceded for his executioners if such thoughts of affectionate devotion had not been the mainspring of all his life of unselfish service. The ideas, motives, and longings of a lifetime are openly revealed in a crisis. ~ The Urantia Book, (187:2.4)