The Turning Point - A new painting inspired by The Urantia Book
Dear TruthBook Friends and Family,
We sincerely hope that you have been enjoying the new paintings of Jesus that we've been sending periodically. These are all part of an original collection of new oil paintings inspired by the teachings of Jesus in The Urantia Book.
You might ask: why create paintings of the life and teachings of Jesus? We’re doing it for a few reasons. Here’s one: The Urantia Book says: “The pictures of Jesus have been most unfortunate. These paintings of the Christ have exerted a deleterious influence on youth; the temple merchants would hardly have fled before Jesus if he had been such a man as your artists usually have depicted. His was a dignified manhood; he was good, but natural. Jesus did not pose as a mild, sweet, gentle, and kindly mystic. His teaching was thrillingly dynamic. He not only meant well, but he went about actually doing good.” The Jesus in this collection shows the Son of Man and the Son of God as The Urantia Book portrays him, a strong, rugged, compassionate, loving, courageous, and bold man among men. We want to bring him to life with the vigor and humility he lived on earth.
Today, we are pleased to bring you another new painting over 2 years in the making. This large painting, The Turning Point, was the inspiration of artist Stephen Sawyer and painted by Stephen with the collaboration of Slawa Radziszewska.
This episode in Jesus' life is well known to Christians and Bible-readers worldwide, as told in all four gospels (Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 7, and John 12). The scene of Mary anointing Jesus’ feet with spikenard oil has been repeatedly painted over the centuries. This painting is different.
The crux of this painting is Jesus looking into Judas’ eyes as Judas consciously entertains deserting Jesus. In this scene, we see a very angry Judas Iscariot on the right. He’s railing at both Andrew and Jesus for allowing Mary to use her precious jar of costly oil to anoint Jesus' feet. The others at the dining table look on in stunned silence. We see Mary’s love for Jesus as she spreads the oil on the Master's feet with her hair. Jesus protectively places his hand on her head while he faces Judas' wrath.
The painting The Turning Point is poignant because most believers face multiple turning points in their lives. Through self-mastery and faith believers can overcome all doubt and inclinations toward evil. In the painting Judas Iscariot finally decides he's had enough of Jesus, and hardens his heart against the Master in a decisive way. He could have chosen the way of love and let God fix his broken being. In the end, instead of choosing “ever-widening spheres of opportunity for exhilarating service, matchless adventure, sublime uncertainty, and boundless attainment,” Judas betrayed the Master and committed suicide.
As is often the case with the restatement of Jesus life and teachings in The Urantia Book, a somewhat familiar story from the Bible is illuminated, fleshed out, and put into the proper context of both time and place.
These Urantia Book stories give the reader an insight into the state of mind of the participants and a glimpse into the actual conditions that were in effect at the time. These stories are a true and accurate window into Jesus' life as he lived it and recorded by the celestial eyewitnesses who authored the Urantia Papers.
The expanded biography of Jesus’ life is one of the greatest gifts we were given with The Urantia Book. These new insights and stories provide a world of untold artistic opportunity just waiting to be released. This is another reason for this collection of fine-art paintings; it is hoped that, by making a modern-day artistic interpretations, future generations of believers will be able to fully appreciate and share these new inspiring stories. Today the great museums of the world display visions of Jesus from past generations and inspired by the Bible. Tomorrow they’ll need to display an expanded vision of the Master’s life. “Modern culture must become spiritually baptized with a new revelation of Jesus’ life and illuminated with a new understanding of his gospel of eternal salvation.”
We can all do our part in furthering the arrival of that day; we invite you to share The Turning Point by Stephen Sawyer, and all of the other paintings of Jesus in our Religious Art Gallery. Do you have friends who want more of Jesus? Can you discuss Jesus in your family? If so, please take the time to share these images; this is one way that these stories, and the teachings of Jesus, will spread.
We hope that you are as excited about them as we are...