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Mon, March 07, 2016
The Most Famous Sermon of Jesus
By TruthBook Staff
Link to External Source Article
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Most people are familiar with Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Some refer to it as "The Beatitudes." See our blog below, which will expand on this topic. But first, I recommend this article for consideration; The sermon Jesus preached by Rev. Felix Doni-Kwame. What the Reverend has done is to explain why these values embodied in the Beatitudes, which seemingly fly in the face of worldly reason, are altogether reasonable and workable - in fact, are the only values that can bring peace to this world.
Click to read the entire article
The Ordination Sermon
This sermon of Jesus, called "The Sermon on the Mount" in the Bible, is one that has tremendous significance to Christians and Urantia Book readers alike. In fact. it is so well-known that probably many even non-churched people are familiar with several of these wise sayings of Jesus.
In the Urantia Book account, we learn that this amazing sermon was actually the Ordination Sermon to Jesus' apostles as he ordained them for public ministry. Seen in that light, this sermon takes on far more significance; if we truly desire to follow Jesus, as did the apostles, we would do well to take Jesus' advice to heart.
Here is a lovely section from The Urantia Book that expands upon the well-known sayings contained in this sermon:
140:5.4 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.
The faith and the love of these beatitudes strengthen moral character and create happiness. Fear and anger weaken character and destroy happiness. This momentous sermon started out upon the note of happiness.
1. "Happy are the poor in spirit— the humble." To a child, happiness is the satisfaction of immediate pleasure craving. The adult is willing to sow seeds of self-denial in order to reap subsequent harvests of augmented happiness. In Jesus' times and since, happiness has all too often been associated with the idea of the possession of wealth. In the story of the Pharisee and the publican praying in the temple, the one felt rich in spirit—egotistical; the other felt "poor in spirit"—humble. One was self-sufficient; the other was teachable and truth-seeking. The poor in spirit seek for goals of spiritual wealth—for God. And such seekers after truth do not have to wait for rewards in a distant future; they are rewarded now. They find the kingdom of heaven within their own hearts, and they experience such happiness now.
2. "Happy are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." Only those who feel poor in spirit will ever hunger for righteousness. Only the humble seek for divine strength and crave spiritual power. But it is most dangerous to knowingly engage in spiritual fasting in order to improve one's appetite for spiritual endowments. Physical fasting becomes dangerous after four or five days; one is apt to lose all desire for food. Prolonged fasting, either physical or spiritual, tends to destroy hunger.
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"?
It is not so easy to teach a child mind these first two of the beatitudes, but the mature mind should grasp their significance.
3. "Happy are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Genuine meekness has no relation to fear. It is rather an attitude of man co-operating with God— "Your will be done." It embraces patience and forbearance and is motivated by an unshakable faith in a lawful and friendly universe. It masters all temptations to rebel against the divine leading. Jesus was the ideal meek man of Urantia, and he inherited a vast universe.
4. "Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Spiritual purity is not a negative quality, except that it does lack suspicion and revenge. In discussing purity, Jesus did not intend to deal exclusively with human sex attitudes. He referred more to that faith which man should have in his fellow man; that faith which a parent has in his child, and which enables him to love his fellows even as a father would love them. A father's love need not pamper, and it does not condone evil, but it is always anticynical. Fatherly love has singleness of purpose, and it always looks for the best in man; that is the attitude of a true parent.
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.
It is easy to teach this admonition even to a child. Children are naturally trustful, and parents should see to it that they do not lose that simple faith. In dealing with children, avoid all deception and refrain from suggesting suspicion. Wisely help them to choose their heroes and select their lifework
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:
Reactions of Fatherly Love
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 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."
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.
Children always respond to the challenge of courage. Youth is ever willing to "take a dare." And every child should early learn to sacrifice.
And so it is revealed that the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount are based on faith and love and not on law—ethics and duty.
Fatherly love delights in returning good for evil—doing good in retaliation for injustice.
Read "the rest of the story," and MORE!
It is easy to see that, by adopting these attitudes in our personal lives and teaching them to our children, we can then bring them into the larger community and demonstrate their effectiveness in dealing with even the worst of the wiles of the world. If nothing else, these admonitions provide personal peace, personal joy, and personal happiness.
Click to read the entire section on "The Ordination Sermon."
And, incidentally, Jesus delivered numerous sermons in his lifetime - many more than are covered in the Bible. Some of the topics he spoke on are: "Good and Evil," "Truth and Faith," "Soul,", "Mind," and "Self-Mastery."
Click to see these and many other sermons of the Master
How do we best "follow Jesus"?
In all of these readings and commentaries on Jesus, both in the Christian press and in the Urania Book community, the thing that is most important is that we learn to "follow Jesus." The Urantia Book advises:
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.
And how can we best "know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it?" We can have a look at PART IV of The Urantia Book, which is an amazing restatement of Jesus life and teachings for the 21st century - given to us by spiritual eyewitnesses who were really there! Nothing about the Master's life has ever been lost, but up until The Urantia Book, all the world has had are the Bible accounts, which are pretty scanty. The Urantia Book now gives us Jesus anew, and those who love him and want to know more about him will thrill at this narrative. Check it out!
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