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Thu, July 14, 2016
5 Important people from the life of Jesus
By MaryJo - A Pilgrim Ponders
Link to External Source Article
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There are many similarities between the Bible and The Urantia Book: similarities in stories about Jesus especially. And among these stories we find information about many of the personalities that are beloved by generations of Christians. So, when I saw this article - 5 Bible figures aside from Jesus that serve as good role models for us to follow by JB Cachila - I went in search of these figures in The Urantia Book in order to offer to the reader an updated, more detailed picture of each of these historical and spiritual personalities which you can see below. But first, from the article, written from the Biblical perspective:
"The Bible presents to us many characters to emulate and learn from. And while the best person to desire to be like is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, there are other Bible figures that we can use as our role models. Here are but some of them."
5. John the Baptist
Click to read descriptions in the article from the Biblical perspective
The article is good - as far as it goes - but after reading the Urantia Book descriptions and insights into these personalities, we come away with fresh understanding of each of their roles in the life and teachings of Jesus. Put them side-by-side, and you'll see what I mean!
NOTE: For ease of research, please feel free to use TruthBook's excellent search engine HERE in order to find all of the references to these important people in the Master's life and times.
Let's get started with:
There are nearly 70 references to Paul in The Urantia Book. He was indeed, a mighty preacher and champion of Jesus, even though he never met him in the flesh. Here are but a few:
195:1.1 The Hellenization of Christianity started in earnest on that eventful day when the Apostle Paul stood before the council of the Areopagus in Athens and told the Athenians about "the Unknown God." There, under the shadow of the Acropolis, this Roman citizen proclaimed to these Greeks his version of the new religion which had taken origin in the Jewish land of Galilee. And there was something strangely alike in Greek philosophy and many of the teachings of Jesus. They had a common goal—both aimed at the emergence of the individual. The Greek, at social and political emergence; Jesus, at moral and spiritual emergence. The Greek taught intellectual liberalism leading to political freedom; Jesus taught spiritual liberalism leading to religious liberty. These two ideas put together constituted a new and mighty charter for human freedom; they presaged man's social, political, and spiritual liberty.
195:1.2 Christianity came into existence and triumphed over all contending religions primarily because of two things:
1. The Greek mind was willing to borrow new and good ideas even from the Jews.
2. Paul and his successors were willing but shrewd and sagacious compromisers; they were keen theologic traders.
195:1.5 At the time Paul stood up in Athens preaching "Christ and Him Crucified," the Greeks were spiritually hungry; they were inquiring, interested, and actually looking for spiritual truth. Never forget that at first the Romans fought Christianity, while the Greeks embraced it, and that it was the Greeks who literally forced the Romans subsequently to accept this new religion, as then modified, as a part of Greek culture.
196:2.1 Some day a reformation in the Christian church may strike deep enough to get back to the unadulterated religious teachings of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. You may preach a religion about Jesus, but, perforce, you must live the religion of Jesus. In the enthusiasm of Pentecost, Peter unintentionally inaugurated a new religion, the religion of the risen and glorified Christ. The Apostle Paul later on transformed this new gospel into Christianity, a religion embodying his own theologic views and portraying his own personal experience with the Jesus of the Damascus road. The gospel of the kingdom is founded on the personal religious experience of the Jesus of Galilee; Christianity is founded almost exclusively on the personal religious experience of the Apostle Paul. Almost the whole of the New Testament is devoted, not to the portrayal of the significant and inspiring religious life of Jesus, but to a discussion of Paul's religious experience and to a portrayal of his personal religious convictions. The only notable exceptions to this statement, aside from certain parts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are the Book of Hebrews and the Epistle of James. Even Peter, in his writing, only once reverted to the personal religious life of his Master. The New Testament is a superb Christian document, but it is only meagerly Jesusonian
149:2.2 The Apostle Paul, in his efforts to bring the teachings of Jesus to the favorable notice of certain groups in his day, wrote many letters of instruction and admonition. Other teachers of Jesus' gospel did likewise, but none of them realized that some of these writings would subsequently be brought together by those who would set them forth as the embodiment of the teachings of Jesus. And so, while so-called Christianity does contain more of the Master's gospel than any other religion, it does also contain much that Jesus did not teach.
With over 300 reference to Peter in The Urantia Book, it is difficult to choose, but the following biography of this influential and important Apostle contains valuable insights into Simon Peter's personality. The entire biography can be found HERE, but here are few snippets from that section:
139:2.1 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.
139:2.2 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.
139:2.6 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.<
Jesus was 23 years-old when he first met Stephen. Jesus had taken his younger brother Simon to Passover in Jerusalem, and while there he met a number of people, Stephen among them. And you'll love the connection of Stephen to Paul in the second passage.
From The Urantia Book:
128:3.5 Perhaps the most notable of all these contacts was the one with a young Hellenist named Stephen. This young man was on his first visit to Jerusalem and chanced to meet Jesus on Thursday afternoon of Passover week. While they both strolled about viewing the Asmonean palace, Jesus began the casual conversation that resulted in their becoming interested in each other, and which led to a four-hour discussion of the way of life and the true God and his worship. Stephen was tremendously impressed with what Jesus said; he never forgot his words.
128:3.6 And this was the same Stephen who subsequently became a believer in the teachings of Jesus, and whose boldness in preaching this early gospel resulted in his being stoned to death by irate Jews. Some of Stephen's extraordinary boldness in proclaiming his view of the new gospel was the direct result of this earlier interview with Jesus. But Stephen never even faintly surmised that the Galilean he had talked with some fifteen years previously was the very same person whom he later proclaimed the world's Savior, and for whom he was so soon to die, thus becoming the first martyr of the newly evolving Christian faith. When Stephen yielded up his life as the price of his attack upon the Jewish temple and its traditional practices, there stood by one named Saul, a citizen of Tarsus. And when Saul saw how this Greek could die for his faith, there were aroused in his heart those emotions which eventually led him to espouse the cause for which Stephen died; later on he became the aggressive and indomitable Paul, the philosopher, if not the sole founder, of the Christian religion.
Joseph, the earth-father of Jesus is traditionally a misunderstood personage. Little is known about him in Biblical literature, and it has always been assumed that he was an older man, because he disappears from the literature early in Jesus' life. There are 34 references to Joseph in The Urantia Book; here is a study of Urantia Book teachings that we put together at TruthBook about this wonderful man.
122:1.1 Joseph, the human father of Jesus ( Joshua ben Joseph, was a Hebrew of the Hebrews, albeit he carried many non-Jewish racial strains which had been added to his ancestral tree from time to time by the female lines of his progenitors. The ancestry of the father of Jesus went back to the days of Abraham and through this venerable patriarch to the earlier lines of inheritance leading to the Sumerians and Nodites and, through the southern tribes of the ancient blue man, to Andon and Fonta. David and Solomon were not in the direct line of Joseph's ancestry, neither did Joseph's lineage go directly back to Adam. Joseph's immediate ancestors were mechanics—builders, carpenters, masons, and smiths. Joseph himself was a carpenter and later a contractor. His family belonged to a long and illustrious line of the nobility of the common people, accentuated ever and anon by the appearance of unusual individuals who had distinguished themselves in connection with the evolution of religion on Urantia..
And, the reason that Joseph suddenly disappears from the Bible is becaue he suffered an untimely eath when Jesus was 14 years-old. Here's that story:
126:2.1 All did go well until that fateful day of Tuesday, September 25, when a runner from Sepphoris brought to this Nazareth home the tragic news that Joseph had been severely injured by the falling of a derrick while at work on the governor's residence. The messenger from Sepphoris had stopped at the shop on the way to Joseph's home, informing Jesus of his father's accident, and they went together to the house to break the sad news to Mary. Jesus desired to go immediately to his father, but Mary would hear to nothing but that she must hasten to her husband's side. She directed that James, then ten years of age, should accompany her to Sepphoris while Jesus remained home with the younger children until she should return, as she did not know how seriously Joseph had been injured. But Joseph died of his injuries before Mary arrived. They brought him to Nazareth, and on the following day he was laid to rest with his fathers.
5. John the Baptist
There are 34 reference to John the Baptist in The Urantia Book, but many more, if one uses just the word John in a search - but of course, these are mixed in with other "Johns." Here's a reference to Paper 135, a stunning and lengthy narration all about this herald of Jesus' mission to earth. And here are but a few passages from that paper:
135:0.1 JOHN THE BAPTIST was born March 25, 7 B.C., in accordance with the promise that Gabriel made to Elizabeth in June of the previous year. For five months Elizabeth kept secret Gabriel's visitation; and when she told her husband, Zacharias, he was greatly troubled and fully believed her narrative only after he had an unusual dream about six weeks before the birth of John. Excepting the visit of Gabriel to Elizabeth and the dream of Zacharias, there was nothing unusual or supernatural connected with the birth of John the Baptist.
135:1.1 John had no school from which to graduate at the age of fourteen, but his parents had selected this as the appropriate year for him to take the formal Nazarite vow. Accordingly, Zacharias and Elizabeth took their son to Engedi, down by the Dead Sea. This was the southern headquarters of the Nazarite brotherhood, and there the lad was duly and solemnly inducted into this order for life. After these ceremonies and the making of the vows to abstain from all intoxicating drinks, to let the hair grow, and to refrain from touching the dead, the family proceeded to Jerusalem, where, before the temple, John completed the making of the offerings which were required of those taking Nazarite vows.
135:3.3 John was never able completely to rise above the confusion produced by what he had heard from his parents concerning Jesus and by these passages which he read in the Scriptures. In Daniel he read: "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and there was given him dominion and glory and a kingdom." But these words of the prophet did not harmonize with what his parents had taught him. Neither did his talk with Jesus, at the time of his visit when he was eighteen years old, correspond with these statements of the Scriptures. Notwithstanding this confusion, throughout all of his perplexity his mother assured him that his distant cousin, Jesus of Nazareth, was the true Messiah, that he had come to sit on the throne of David, and that he (John) was to become his advance herald and chief support.
Are there others?
The Urantia Book is a modern-day re-statement of the Life and Teachings of Jesus - a narrative that covers ALL of the Master's life; and this narrative is replete with information, not only about Jesus, but about the people with whom Jesus walked - those who influenced his ministry, and those who were part of his earthly family, too.
PART IV of The Urantia Book is a gift to humanity; in safekeeping by the angels and sent in a time when it will receive the greatest worldwide exposure, it is the real story - with more detail that can be found anywhere else - of Jesus' life. Do you have a favorite figure from Jesus' life that you'd like to know more about? Check them out in our search (top right of any TruthBook page) - you may be delighted by what you find!
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