Dear Urantia Book students and friends,
Sometimes, when the rapidly spinning world becomes a disappointment and a trial, the best remedy is to delve into the "stories of Jesus, I love to hear", that tell us of his life and his teaching interactions with the apostles and other believers. We find stimulating uplift in the many occasions when Jesus had something specific to tell an individual, or when he performed an act of loving kindness or mercy.
I find myself willing to believe that the Midwayers gave us these stirring episodes "as if we might have been there." There is an immediacy and intimacy in the unfolding of special moments in the Master's life on Urantia.
It is not only the wedding at Cana, or the healing at sundown, or the Mount of Transfiguration, or the baptism by John at the Jordan River. The very idea of ministry "as he passed by" became a lovely, almost daily counterpoint to the major events, as the Revelators tell the tale.
Here is one such incident, coming at the end of the Decapolis Tour. The Midwayers utilize Jesus' teaching to say some profound things about the manner in which the Master went about his teaching. He spread love and new meanings affectionately. This is from PAPER 159; Part 5.
May it do each of us good to read this brief passage.
Stephen Zendt, Walnut Creek, CA
159:5.15 One of the apostles once asked: “Master, what should I do if a stranger forced me to carry his pack for a mile?” Jesus answered: “Do not sit down and sigh for relief while you berate the stranger under your breath. Righteousness comes not from such passive attitudes. If you can think of nothing more effectively positive to do, you can at least carry the pack a second mile. That will of a certainty challenge the unrighteous and ungodly stranger.”
159:5.16 The Jews had heard of a God who would forgive repentant sinners and try to forget their misdeeds, but not until Jesus came, did men hear about a God who went in search of lost sheep, who took the initiative in looking for sinners, and who rejoiced when he found them willing to return to the Father’s house. This positive note in religion Jesus extended even to his prayers. And he converted the negative golden rule into a positive admonition of human fairness.
159:5.17 In all his teaching Jesus unfailingly avoided distracting details. He shunned flowery language and avoided the mere poetic imagery of a play upon words. He habitually put large meanings into small expressions. For purposes of illustration Jesus reversed the current meanings of many terms, such as salt, leaven, fishing, and little children. He most effectively employed the antithesis, comparing the minute to the infinite and so on. His pictures were striking, such as, “The blind leading the blind.” But the greatest strength to be found in his illustrative teaching was its naturalness. Jesus brought the philosophy of religion from heaven down to earth. He portrayed the elemental needs of the soul with a new insight and a new bestowal of affection.
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