The Story of Everything: A Synopsis of The Urantia Book
Paper 155: Fleeing Through Northern Galilee
Once safely across the Sea of Galilee, Jesus sent twelve evangelists with Peter to Chorazin while he and the other apostles went to Caesarea-Philippi. Peter's group taught about the spiritual aspects of the gospel, but won few new converts.
The apostles held many private meetings with local believers. Although a little depressed about the quiet phase of preaching they had entered, the apostles learned much from their daily conferences with Jesus. Jesus told them that people can best be taught to love God by first being taught to love other people. Jesus saw true religion as loyalty to one's highest convictions. Religion lessens the strain of existence and gives one courage for dealing with daily life.
After two weeks the groups reunited and traveled to the Phoenician coast to avoid their enemies. Over lunch, Jesus discoursed on religion. He spoke so well that by mid-afternoon the apostles asked him to stop walking and tell them more.
Jesus discussed three kinds of religious devotion: primitive religion-the religion of fear; religion of civilization-established religious authority; and true religion-the religion of the spirit in human experience. He stated that until the world was more fully civilized, superstitious ceremonies would persist; many people would continue to prefer religions of authority to the faith adventure of a spiritual quest. Religions of authority provide a haven for those who are fearful and uncertain, but they do not provide for the thrill of truth, intellectual discovery, and personal religious experience. The religion of the spirit means effort, struggle, conflict, faith, determination, love, loyalty, and progress.
Jesus asked, "Are you fearful, soft, and ease-seeking? Are you afraid to trust your future in the hands of the God of truth, whose sons you are? Are you distrustful of the Father, whose children you are? Will you go back to the easy path of the certainty and intellectual settledness of the religion of traditional authority, or will you gird yourselves to go forward with me into that uncertain and troublous future of proclaiming the new truths of the religion of the spirit, the kingdom of heaven in the hearts of men?"
He said, "I have called upon you to be born again, to be born of the spirit. I have called you out of the darkness of authority and the lethargy of tradition into the transcendent light of the realization of the possibility of making for yourselves the greatest discovery possible for yourself, in yourself, and of yourself, and of doing all this as a fact in your own personal experience."
Jesus explained that God does not reveal Himself to one generation and then withhold himself from the next. All things are sacred in the lives of those who are spirit led, and those who are born of the spirit can hear God's word no matter where it appears. Jesus taught the apostles that there are two demonstrations that reveal a person is God-knowing; first, the fruits of the spirit evident in the believer's daily life, and second, the believer's willingness to risk everything in the pursuit of God and eternal life.