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Fri, August 07, 2015
What's The Transfiguration About?
By TruthBook Staff
Link to External Source Article
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Since August is the month that we remember Jesus' Transfiguration, it was with interest that I read the article cited here: 10 things you need to know about Jesus' Transfiguration by JIMMY AKIN The author is a colorful looking guy, a convert to Catholicism, and he has written a good piece here about this most interesting event in Jesus' life. He says, in part:
"This Thursday commemorates the mysterious event known as the Transfiguration.
"This event is hard to understand. Why did it happen? What did it mean?"
Good questions; and he writes a good article, giving us 10 points to consider about the transfiguration. Written from a Christian, Bible-based understanding of this event, it is worth a read. Christians and Urantia Book readers alike will appreciate the thought that went into it.
Click to read the entire article
Because this blog is centered in Jesus as revealed in The Urantia Book, it is a great opportunity to introduce to Christians, and any others who may wonder about the Transfiguration, the real story of what happened that day. There is a lot missing in the Biblical account. And this is understandable, as this mysterious rendezvous of the Master with celestial beings must have seemed very hard to put into any reasonable context of the day. Let's look at what the authors of The Urantia Book have to say about it.
The Transfiguration actually took place August 15, A.D. 29, according to the revelation of the life of Jesus in The Urantia Book. It was about 6 days after Peter's confession of Jesus' divinity, another pivotal event of that time in Jesus' life.
Rather than try to go point-by-point with the article above, we are submitting the actual event, its true location, and its true meaning here in this blog. But there is a whole paper devoted to this one event and subsequent happenings, including the miraculous healing of the epileptic boy, and the occasion of Jesus' rebuke of Peter when Peter denies that Jesus must die.
One can't help but wonder if, in Jesus' conference with the ambassadors of the Father's heavenly kingdom, he was informed about what the natural outcome of his life would likely be. Jesus, after consideration, "decided to pursue the mortal bestowal to its natural end." Right after this event, he began to tell the apostles that he would be taken from them by death, inspiring Peter's denial of that fact.
And incidentally, it is following the Transfiguration, and immediately after Jesus' rebuke of Peter that the revelators teach the truth of Jesus' statement about "many of you now standing before me shall not taste death till you see this kingdom of God come with power," which is mentioned in the article:
158:7_5"...the Master spoke further: 'If any man would come after me, let him disregard himself, take up his responsibilities daily, and follow me. For whosoever would save his life selfishly, shall lose it, but whosoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's, shall save it. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? What would a man give in exchange for eternal life? Be not ashamed of me and my words in this sinful and hypocritical generation, even as I will not be ashamed to acknowledge you when in glory I appear before my Father in the presence of all the celestial hosts. Nevertheless, many of you now standing before me shall not taste death till you see this kingdom of God come with power.' "
We would recommend that any interested person read that whole paper for complete comparison with the Biblical accounts and with the article cited above- Paper 158
Here is the Urantia Book account:
"Early on the morning of Monday, August 15, Jesus and the three apostles began the ascent of Mount Hermon, and this was six days after the memorable noontide confession of Peter by the roadside under the mulberry trees.
"Jesus had been summoned to go up on the mountain, apart by himself, for the transaction of important matters having to do with the progress of his bestowal in the flesh as this experience was related to the universe of his own creation. It is significant that this extraordinary event was timed to occur while Jesus and the apostles were in the lands of the gentiles, and that it actually transpired on a mountain of the gentiles.
"They reached their destination, about halfway up the mountain, shortly before noon, and while eating lunch, Jesus told the three apostles something of his experience in the hills to the east of Jordan shortly after his baptism and also some more of his experience on Mount Hermon in connection with his former visit to this lonely retreat.
"When a boy, Jesus used to ascend the hill near his home and dream of the battles which had been fought by the armies of empires on the plain of Esdraelon; now he ascended Mount Hermon to receive the endowment which was to prepare him to descend upon the plains of the Jordan to enact the closing scenes of the drama of his bestowal on Urantia. The Master could have relinquished the struggle this day on Mount Hermon and returned to his rule of the universe domains, but he not only chose to meet the requirements of his order of divine sonship embraced in the mandate of the Eternal Son on Paradise, but he also elected to meet the last and full measure of the present will of his Paradise Father. On this day in August three of his apostles saw him decline to be invested with full universe authority. They looked on in amazement as the celestial messengers departed, leaving him alone to finish out his earth life as the Son of Man and the Son of God.
"The faith of the apostles was at a high point at the time of the feeding of the five thousand, and then it rapidly fell almost to zero. Now, as a result of the Master's admission of his divinity, the lagging faith of the twelve arose in the next few weeks to its highest pitch, only to undergo a progressive decline. The third revival of their faith did not occur until after the Master's resurrection.
"It was about three o'clock on this beautiful afternoon that Jesus took leave of the three apostles, saying: 'I go apart by myself for a season to commune with the Father and his messengers; I bid you tarry here and, while awaiting my return, pray that the Father's will may be done in all your experience in connection with the further bestowal mission of the Son of Man.' And after saying this to them, Jesus withdrew for a long conference with Gabriel and the Father Melchizedek, not returning until about six o'clock. When Jesus saw their anxiety over his prolonged absence, he said: 'Why were you afraid? You well know I must be about my Father's business; wherefore do you doubt when I am not with you? I now declare that the Son of Man has chosen to go through his full life in your midst and as one of you. Be of good cheer; I will not leave you until my work is finished.'
"As they partook of their meager evening meal, Peter asked the Master, 'How long do we remain on this mountain away from our brethren?' And Jesus answered: 'Until you shall see the glory of the Son of Man and know that whatsoever I have declared to you is true.' And they talked over the affairs of the Lucifer rebellion while seated about the glowing embers of their fire until darkness drew on and the apostles' eyes grew heavy, for they had begun their journey very early that morning.
"When the three had been fast asleep for about half an hour, they were suddenly awakened by a near-by crackling sound, and much to their amazement and consternation, on looking about them, they beheld Jesus in intimate converse with two brilliant beings clothed in the habiliments of the light of the celestial world. And Jesus' face and form shone with the luminosity of a heavenly light. These three conversed in a strange language, but from certain things said, Peter erroneously conjectured that the beings with Jesus were Moses and Elijah; in reality, they were Gabriel and the Father Melchizedek. The physical controllers had arranged for the apostles to witness this scene because of Jesus' request.
"The three apostles were so badly frightened that they were slow in collecting their wits, but Peter, who was first to recover himself, said, as the dazzling vision faded from before them and they observed Jesus standing alone: 'Jesus, Master, it is good to have been here. We rejoice to see this glory. We are loath to go back down to the inglorious world. If you are willing, let us abide here, and we will erect three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.' And Peter said this because of his confusion, and because nothing else came into his mind at just that moment.
"While Peter was yet speaking, a silvery cloud drew near and overshadowed the four of them. The apostles now became greatly frightened, and as they fell down on their faces to worship, they heard a voice, the same that had spoken on the occasion of Jesus' baptism, say: 'This is my beloved Son; give heed to him.' And when the cloud vanished, again was Jesus alone with the three, and he reached down and touched them, saying: 'Arise and be not afraid; you shall see greater things than this.' But the apostles were truly afraid; they were a silent and thoughtful trio as they made ready to descend the mountain shortly before midnight."
The Meaning of the Transfiguration
"That which Peter, James, and John witnessed on the mount of transfiguration was a fleeting glimpse of a celestial pageant which transpired that eventful day on Mount Hermon. The transfiguration was the occasion of:
1. The acceptance of the fullness of the bestowal of the incarnated life of Michael on Urantia by the Eternal Mother-Son of Paradise. As far as concerned the requirements of the Eternal Son, Jesus had now received assurance of their fulfillment. And Gabriel brought Jesus that assurance.
2. The testimony of the satisfaction of the Infinite Spirit as to the fullness of the Urantia bestowal in the likeness of mortal flesh. The universe representative of the Infinite Spirit, the immediate associate of Michael on Salvington and his ever-present coworker, on this occasion spoke through the Father Melchizedek.
"Jesus welcomed this testimony regarding the success of his earth mission presented by the messengers of the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit, but he noted that his Father did not indicate that the Urantia bestowal was finished; only did the unseen presence of the Father bear witness through Jesus' Personalized Adjuster, saying, 'This is my beloved Son; give heed to him.' And this was spoken in words to be heard also by the three apostles.
"After this celestial visitation Jesus sought to know his Father's will and decided to pursue the mortal bestowal to its natural end. This was the significance of the transfiguration to Jesus. To the three apostles it was an event marking the entrance of the Master upon the final phase of his earth career as the Son of God and the Son of Man.
"After the formal visitation of Gabriel and the Father Melchizedek, Jesus held informal converse with these, his Sons of ministry, and communed with them concerning the affairs of the universe."
Again, it is recommended to read in its entirety Paper 158 to get even more details about this amazing event.
The Urantia Book is truly a gift to our world; as in this instance, it provides the truthseeker, the follower of Jesus, and even just the curious a completely satisfactory explanation of what happened during so many of the events of Jesus' life. The Transfiguration is no exception to that gift.
For the complete story of the Life and Teachings of Jesus in The Urantia Book click here.
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