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Thu, December 06, 2018

The four supreme reactions of fatherly love

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins Christus Consolator by Ary Scheffer

1. “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.

2. “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.

3. “Happy are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Many Jews are longing for military deliverance, not for peacemakers. But Jesus’ peace is not of the pacifying and negative kind. He has 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.”

4. “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.

And so it is revealed that the beatitudes of this epic sermon are based on faith and love, rather than strict laws. He is instructing his apostles in the rigors of fatherly love. This love delights in returning good for evil—doing good in retaliation for injustice.

Other comments made by Jesus during this ordination:

ON SELF-DEVELOPMENT: The greatest motivation is not fear of doing wrong, but love of doing good. Introspection is not part of Jesus’ method, but is not forbidden as a means of preventing conceited egoism.

ON POLITICS: Jesus has forbidden his apostles to allow their spiritual mission to become in any way involved in political issues.

ON SOCIAL ISSUES: Jesus made it clear that indiscriminate charity could possibly result in undesirable consequences. He instructed that apostolic funds were not to be given in alms unless he so directed, or at least two apostles petitioned for such alms.

ECONOMICS: Jesus is not an economic reformer. He seeks to make all men aspire to be Godlike, and thus solve their own political, social and economic problems. He did not denounce wealth itself, but its effect upon its devotees.

PERSONAL RELIGION: Jesus seems to advocate a superb self-respect. Courage is at the core of all his teachings. Jesus stated that he valued the whole life, not just a few special virtues. The heart of Jesus’ religion consists in the acquirement of a compassionate character coupled with the desire to do the will of God.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Wed, November 21, 2018

Jesus Ordains His Apostles

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins These Twelve Jesus Sent Forth by Walter Rane

PLANETARY HEADQUARTERS, JANUARY 12, AD 27

Today a great host of celestial beings observed the ordination of the twelve apostles of Jesus on the planet Earth. Jesus instructed the twelve mortals who had just listened to his declaration concerning the kingdom to kneel in a circle about him. Then the Master placed his hands upon the head of each apostle, beginning with Judas Iscariot and ending with Andrew. When he had blessed them, he extended his hands and prayed:

“My Father, I now bring to you these men, my messengers. From among our children on earth I have chosen these twelve to go forth to represent me as I came forth to represent you. Love them and be with them as you have loved and been with me. And now, my Father, give these men wisdom as I place all the affairs of the coming kingdom in their hands. And I would, if it is your will, tarry on earth a time to help them in their labors for the kingdom. And again, my Father, I thank you for these men, and I commit them to your keeping while I go on to finish the work you have given me to do.”

A great silence pervaded the place while a host of celestial beings looked down upon this solemn and sacred scene—the Creator of a universe placing the affairs of the divine brotherhood of man under the direction of human minds.

Who are the twelve men chosen by Jesus of Nazareth, who is now incarnated as a mortal on Earth? Apparently Jesus has elected to place his divine brotherhood in the hands of ordinary men and under the direction of ordinary minds. Generally, these men are educated, but not formally trained as teachers.

ANDREW: Chief administrator and leader. The ablest and oldest of the apostles, age 33. One of John the Baptist’s disciples. An unmarried fisherman who lives with his married brother, Simon Peter. He is a partner in a fishing business with John and James Zebedee. Strengths: Efficient personal worker, clear insights, an excellent judge of men. Logical thinker, makes good decisions. Weaknesses: Poor orator. Most admires in Jesus: The Master’s sincerity, his unaffected dignity.

SIMON PETER: The outstanding preacher of the apostles, age 30. Also a disciple of John the Baptist, lived in Bethsaida near Capernaum. Married, with three children. Strengths: Optimistic, loyal, the best orator of the apostles. Weaknesses: Impulsive, vacillating, not a deep reasoner. Can be steadfast, but withers under ridicule. Most admires in Jesus: His supernal tenderness. He never forgets the lesson of forgiveness, not seven times but seventy times seven.

JAMES ZEBEDEE:  He best grasps the import and real significance of Jesus’ teachings, age 30. Married, four children, lives near parents in Bethsaida. Strengths: Well-balanced thinker and planner. Vigorous personality, an unpretentious server, brave and determined. Next to Peter, the best public speaker of the twelve. Weaknesses: Fiery temper and spells of unaccountable silence. Most admires in Jesus: The sympathetic affection of the Master, his untiring interest and understanding of the small and the great, the rich and the poor.

JOHN ZEBEDEE: Personal agent of Jesus in dealing with his family, age 24. Youngest of the apostles, unmarried, lives with parents at Bethsaida. Strengths: Cool and daring courage, remarkable creative imagination, solidly dependable. Weaknesses: Conceit, inappropriate self-esteem. Most admires in Jesus: The Master’s love and unselfishness. He is to become the apostle of love.

PHILIP: “The curious.” He is the steward of the group, supplies provisions, age 27. A fisherman, married, no children as yet, will eventually have three boys and four girls. Strengths: Methodical thoroughness, can do ordinary things in a big way. A persuasive and successful personal worker. Weaknesses: Lacks imagination, a slow thinker, tends to ask foolish questions. Most admires in Jesus: The Master’s unfailing generosity.

NATHANIEL: “Honest Nathaniel,” age 25, the philosopher of the twelve. He attends to the needs of their families. Unmarried, sole support of aged and infirm parents in Cana. Six brothers and sisters, once planned to become a merchant. Strengths: Next to Judas Iscariot, the best educated of the apostles, the best storyteller. Can relieve situations with his droll humor. Honest and sincere, takes Jesus and the kingdom seriously, but not himself. He is proud, but not obstinate. Weaknesses: Tends to be a dreamer. Most admires in Jesus: The Master’s enduring tolerance.

MATTHEW LEVI: Chosen by Andrew, called the “money-getter” by the apostles, he is the fund raiser for the group, age 31. He was a customs collector in Capernaum. Married, four children. Strengths: Wholehearted devotion to the cause of Jesus, good businessman, social mixer, generous. Weaknesses: Shortsighted and materialistic. Most admires in Jesus: His forgiving disposition.

THOMAS DIDYMUS: Arranges and manages itinerary, age 29. Chosen by Philip. A fisherman, married, four children. Strengths: The one truly analytical mind of the twelve, superbly honest and loyal. One of the bravest apostles, a good businessman and executive. Weaknesses: A product of an unhappy family life, disagreeable and quarrelsome, suspicious and doubting, at times despondent and depressed. Most admires in Jesus: His superbly balanced character.

SIMON ZELOTES: In charge of group diversions and relaxation, age 28. Chosen by Peter. At one time an officer in patriotic Zealot’s organization. Merchant, unmarried, lives with family in Capernaum. Strengths: Inspirational loyalty, warm personal devotions. Weaknesses: Material mindedness, likes to argue. Most admires in Jesus: Calmness, assurance, poise, composure.

JUDAS ISCARIOT: Treasurer of the group, age 30. Chosen by Nathaniel. Unmarried, son of wealthy Jewish parents, disowned by his parents because of his attachment to John the Baptist. The best educated of the apostles. Was a spoiled, pampered child. Strengths: Skillful businessman, a good but not always honest thinker. Weaknesses: Egoistic, a poor loser, seeks revenge. Defective sense of loyalties and values. Intellectual understanding of the kingdom, but lack of spiritual progress. Most admires in Jesus: His charming personality.

JAMES AND JUDAS ALPHEUS: (Also called Thaddeus and Lebbeus.) The “twins,” 26 years of age, are the managers of the multitudes. Chosen by James and John. Common fisherfolk, live near Kheresa. Both married, James is father of three children, Judas has two. Strengths: Big hearted, generous, good natured and faithful. Weaknesses: Somewhat lacking in intelligence and spiritual scope, but sincere and loyal. Most admire in Jesus: His simplicity, humility and accessibility.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Thu, October 25, 2018

Jesus’ teachings get mixed reaction

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins Jesus Teaching

CAPERNAUM, JUNE 22, AD 26

Jesus of Nazareth conducted the ceremony in the synagogue today, reading from the Scriptures and talking openly about a “kingdom.” Jesus made several points that were hotly debated after he spoke. Jesus declared the new kingdom to be for all peoples, gentiles, sinners and even women. He spoke of a spirit from God that indwells all men and women, and of a mysterious “Spirit of Truth” that will come when he has “finished” his work, a spirit that “will be poured out upon all flesh.”

Jesus made it clear that his kingdom was not of this world. “I come to proclaim faith, the gift of God, as the price of entrance into the kingdom of heaven. This kingdom is a spiritual experience having to do with the enthronement of God in our hearts.”

The promise of everlasting life

Those who entered his kingdom, he stated, would gain “everlasting life.” Jesus explained that the kingdom of heaven is an evolutionary experience, beginning here on earth and progressing up to Paradise. He concluded: “If you would but believe that my Father loves you with an infinite love, then you are in the kingdom of God.”

There was a large attendance, including many strangers believed to be from Jerusalem. Reviews for the message of Jesus were mixed. About a third thought that he spoke the truth, even though they admittedly could not understand the meaning of all of his sermon. About one third decided to reject such a spiritual concept of the kingdom. About one third were completely confused by his statements; some of this group even thought Jesus was beside himself.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Thu, September 27, 2018

Herod imprisons John the Baptist

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins John the Baptist in prison

PEREA, JUNE 12, AD 26

Early this morning officials of Herod Antipas placed John the Baptist under arrest. The action shocked John’s followers, who have fled. Some went north, reportedly to join Jesus.

No formal charges have been made today, but the general belief is that John’s proclamation of a new kingdom provoked Herod. In addition, John attacked Herod’s domestic activities, especially his marriage to a previously married woman. John has been incarcerated at the fortress of Machaerus.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Thu, September 13, 2018

Jesus assumes low profile

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins The Wedding Feast at Cana by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld

CAPERNAUM, AD 26 The career of the alleged Messiah, Jesus ben Joseph, seems to have quietly fizzled out. Jesus has gone back to work at the Zebedee boat shop. After Jesus conducted a quiet synagogue ceremony before an expectant audience, he withdrew from public sight. Some thought the synagogue talk indicated that the Cana wine “miracle” episode was over-estimated, and may not have been a miracle at all. But Jude, the youngest brother of Jesus, declared: “I believe that Jesus is indeed the Deliverer. I admit that at times I cannot understand his actions. Nonetheless, I heard the voice at the Jordan, and I totally believe in Jesus, my father-brother.”

Jesus’ brother James also defended the would-be Messiah, declaring: “Jesus is aware that this is a generation that will demand wonders as the proof of his identity. It may take time, but I believe people will eventually recognize that the credentials of Jesus are in his revelation of God’s love.” When reached at the Zebedee boat shop, Jesus characteristically declined comment.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Thu, August 30, 2018

Ezra breaks with John the Baptist

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins John the Baptist by Martin Schongauer

PELLA, FEBRUARY, AD 26

Another blow has struck the ministry of John the Baptist. After losing two of his top disciples to Jesus, he now must face the loss of his able assistant Ezra. Ezra has departed the camp and reportedly taken a sizeable group of John’s followers with him. The controversy that caused the split was again centered around Jesus ben Joseph of Nazareth. John has declared that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah, and Ezra has taken issue with the pronouncement. Ezra states that he remains loyal to John, but that John is “befuddled by the fact that Jesus is a relative.” Ezra declared: “The Messiah shall come in power and glory. Jesus is a carpenter, a boat builder, a mild-mannered individual. We must turn away from this false Messiah.” In the meantime, Jesus is reported to be on the way to Galilee with four followers. Ezra and a small band of doubters are moving south.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Fri, August 17, 2018

Jesus chooses two more apostles

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins Philip Brings Nathaniel To Jesus by J Morgan

NAIN, FEBRUARY, AD 26

The modest band of Jesus of Nazareth has grown to six with the addition of Philip of Bethsaida and an associate known as Nathaniel. Both men were on their way to visit with John the Baptist, when they encountered Jesus near Nain. When asked how Jesus won them to his cause, Philip explained that he asked Jesus whether he should continue on to see John or join with him. Jesus replied, “Follow me.” Philip went on: “That is all he said, ‘Follow me’. When I urged Nathaniel to join us, at first he was reluctant.

“He had a change of heart when he met with Jesus. The Master studied the face of Nathaniel and said: ‘Behold a genuine Israelite, in whom there is no deceit. Follow me.’” Phillip added: “Jesus is the most remarkable of men; I believe him to be the Messiah.”

Observers commented that Jesus will need more educated and accomplished men to achieve his ends. A noted political expert declared: “These are ordinary fishermen and workers. It would not be fair to characterize them as ignorant, since all have graduated from our synagogue schools. Yet, there is not a certified teacher in the entire group, including Jesus. What kind of kingdom is he expecting to build with such material?”

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Thu, August 02, 2018

Two followers leave John for Jesus

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins Calling Of Saint Andrew And Saint John by James Tissot

PELLA, FEBRUARY, AD 26

Two of John the Baptist’s key disciples have chosen to follow Jesus ben Joseph, the new teacher from Nazareth. Identified only as brothers named Andrew and Simon, the two sought and obtained the approval of John before making the change in allegiance. John stated: “My work is almost done, soon we shall all be his disciples.” Andrew reportedly approached Jesus with an offer to be his follower, and was immediately accepted. Simon was enlisted by his brother, and he too was accepted. Jesus made a peculiar statement to Simon, declaring: “Simon, your enthusiasm is commendable, but it is dangerous to the work of the kingdom. I admonish you to become more thoughtful in your speech. I would change your name to Peter.”

The selection of these two came as a bit of a surprise, since two other men, James and John Zebedee, have long been associates of Jesus, and were expected to be the first chosen by Jesus. It is rumored that the Zebedee brothers are off searching in the hills for Jesus, evidently unaware that he has returned from his forty day isolation.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Thu, July 19, 2018

John warns Pharisees: “Repent!”

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins John the Baptist by J H Hartley

A group of Pharisees and Sadducees who traveled from Jerusalem to be baptized by John listen in stunned silence as he admonishes them to repent

BETHANY, AD 26

The itinerant preacher known as John the Baptist greeted a group of Pharisees and Sadducees today with an unusual message, containing withering admonitions before consenting to baptize them. John cautioned that the group must “bring forth fruit worthy of repentance” and that those who do not will be “cut down and cast in the fire.” Some people believe John is a prophet, and foreshadows the imminent coming of the long awaited Messiah.

Until now, the ritual of baptism with water has been reserved for gentile proselytes. However, John declared, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” and he insists that baptism is necessary for “remission of sins.” He requires that all who wish to be “redeemed” submit to it.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Thu, July 05, 2018

Caravan arrives

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins camel caravan

CASPIAN SEA, AD 24

A large caravan from Jerusalem came here today as long lines of camels and attendants arrived after a six months journey. The owners were pleased that everyone arrived safely and all goods were intact. Credit for the successful journey was given to the Jewish leader of the caravan, known as Jesus. All praised his abilities to manage the vast and complex task, as well as his gracious and wise leadership

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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