This article about the Transfiguration of Jesus is a timely one, as it is now being discussed in the churches, as a sort of prelude to Holy Week. In The Urantia Book, this event takes place in August, months before the passion of Jesus. It determines to a large extent the way that Jesus conducts the rest of his public ministry as the Son of God. The article is called: Pope Angelus: Transfiguration a prelude to Jesus' passion, published in the Vatican News website. We'll blog about the Transfiguration and Urantia Book teachings regarding it, but first, here are a couple snips from the article:
"The Pope went on to say that by taking the disciples Peter, James and John and "leading them to a high mountain" and showing them his glory, the glory of the Son of God, the Lord was enabling "the disciples to face the passion of Jesus in a positive way, without being overwhelmed."
"Pope Francis continued that "the transfiguration helps the disciples, and us too, to understand that the passion of Christ is a mystery of suffering, but it is above all a gift of infinite love on the part of Jesus. The event of Jesus transfiguring on the mountain makes us understand better also his resurrection."
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The Urantia Book helps us understand the Transfiguration
The Urantia Book illuminates so many of the amazing events of the Master's life, giving them meaning that no one has ever been able to understand before its appearance on our world. It also gives us accurate timelines for events in Jesus life as well as context to fully understand what was going on, when, and why.
Jesus was - and is - the Creator Son; he created this universe in which we all live, and he chose this particular planet on which to incarnate as the babe of Bethlehem and the carpenter of Nazareth. His mission was to live a full life of a human being, and to die a natural death. And yet, there were times during his incarnation that he could have made the choice to end his mission. One was after his baptism. Another is this occasion of the Transfiguration.
While on the mountain, Jesus met with two pivotal figures - "his Sons of ministry" - from his celestial government: Gabriel, his chief executive, and Father Melchizedek. In essence, these two visitors were messengers who gave Michael (Jesus) assurances that his mission had been accepted as complete from both the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit, the second and third persons of the Trinity. At this point, the text tells us:
"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."
Read about what happened on the Mount HERE
Further details of the amazing scene and its meaning for Jesus
The Meaning of the Transfiguration (all the following passages are contained in this link)
The Urantia Book goes on to tell us the true meaning of what happened, and how Jesus then chose to go through with the inevitable:
158:3.1 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.
158:3.4 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.
158:3.5 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.
In other words, Jesus' mission was complete as far as the Son and the Spirit, but Jesus discerned that the Heavenly Father's will was that he carry out to the last his mandate to live - and die - as a mortal of the realm. This meant that Jesus was now duty-bound to submit to the death on the cross, which loomed ahead in less than a year's time. And Jesus always chose to know and follow his Father's will above all.
And then the three associates had what might be called a business meeting about the "affairs of the universe." The visitors were messengers of a sort for this occasion, but they were also Michael's associates in the running of the universe.
158:3.6 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.
Jesus tries to prepare his apostles
As they come down from the mountain, Jesus begins alluding to his death - and resurrection ... trying to prepare the apostles for what is to come.
158:2.1 For about half the distance down the mountain not a word was spoken. Jesus then began the conversation by remarking: "Make certain that you tell no man, not even your brethren, what you have seen and heard on this mountain until the Son of Man has risen from the dead." The three apostles were shocked and bewildered by the Master's words, "until the Son of Man has risen from the dead." They had so recently reaffirmed their faith in him as the Deliverer, the Son of God, and they had just beheld him transfigured in glory before their very eyes, and now he began to talk about "rising from the dead"!
158:2.3 Jesus enjoined silence about their observation of the foretaste of his postresurrection glory because he did not want to foster the notion that, being now received as the Messiah, he would in any degree fulfill their erroneous concepts of a wonder-working deliverer. Although Peter, James, and John pondered all this in their minds, they spoke not of it to any man until after the Master's resurrection.
But the next day, he lays it all out for all of them, and they can scarcely take it all in.
158:7.2 They traveled on through Galilee until well past the time for their lunch, when they stopped in the shade to refresh themselves. And after they had partaken of food, Andrew, speaking to Jesus, said: "Master, my brethren do not comprehend your deep sayings. We have come fully to believe that you are the Son of God, and now we hear these strange words about leaving us, about dying. We do not understand your teaching. Are you speaking to us in parables? We pray you to speak to us directly and in undisguised form."
158:7.3 In answer to Andrew, Jesus said: "My brethren, it is because you have confessed that I am the Son of God that I am constrained to begin to unfold to you the truth about the end of the bestowal of the Son of Man on earth. You insist on clinging to the belief that I am the Messiah, and you will not abandon the idea that the Messiah must sit upon a throne in Jerusalem; wherefore do I persist in telling you that the Son of Man must presently go to Jerusalem, suffer many things, be rejected by the scribes, the elders, and the chief priests, and after all this be killed and raised from the dead. And I speak not a parable to you; I speak the truth to you that you may be prepared for these events when they suddenly come upon us." And while he was yet speaking, Simon Peter, rushing impetuously toward him, laid his hand upon the Master's shoulder and said: "Master, be it far from us to contend with you, but I declare that these things shall never happen to you."
158:7.4 Peter spoke thus because he loved Jesus; but the Master's human nature recognized in these words of well-meant affection the subtle suggestion of temptation that he change his policy of pursuing to the end his earth bestowal in accordance with the will of his Paradise Father. And it was because he detected the danger of permitting the suggestions of even his affectionate and loyal friends to dissuade him, that he turned upon Peter and the other apostles, saying: "Get you behind me. You savor of the spirit of the adversary, the tempter. When you talk in this manner, you are not on my side but rather on the side of our enemy. In this way do you make your love for me a stumbling block to my doing the Father's will. Mind not the ways of men but rather the will of God."
158:7.5 After they had recovered from the first shock of Jesus' stinging rebuke, and before they resumed their journey, 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."
Discovering Jesus in The Urantia Book
The Bible story of this event is extremely short and has none of the meaning that belongs to it. Over all these centuries, believers have had to try and understand the meaning of it with only the scanty accounts in Matthew and Luke; now we have been given this accounting by eyewitnesses who were there, revelators who are telling us not only what happened, but why - and what it meant for Jesus.
After the Transfiguration events, Jesus knew of a certainty what was to come; he knew and he accepted this outcome as being the will of his heavenly Father. Throughout the next months, Jesus did all he could to complete his revelation of the Father to the world, to try in every way to make a final appeal to the Jews, and to finally submit fully to the inevitable.
Discovering the Life and Teachings of Jesus in The Urantia Book is such an enriching experience. Use it as a reference when reading your Bible, and discover the "rest of the story!"