The Story of Everything: A Synopsis of The Urantia Book
Paper 158: The Mount of Transfiguration
Jesus traveled to Mount Hermon to meet with Gabriel and Father Melchizedek. While nine apostles rested at the foot of the mountain, Peter, James, and John accompanied Jesus up the mountainside. Jesus then took leave of his three men, asking that they wait for him while he met with his Father's messengers.
Jesus' first conference with the universe personalities lasted for three hours. Gabriel brought assurance of the fulfillment of Jesus' bestowal on behalf of the Eternal Mother-Son. Father Melchizedek confirmed the satisfaction of the Infinite Spirit. Jesus was pleased at these testimonies, but he also noted that God the Father did not indicate that his work was finished. When he rejoined the apostles, Jesus told them that he had chosen to complete his full mortal life.
After supper, Peter, James, and John fell asleep by the fire. They awoke to a crackling sound and were amazed to see Jesus with two beings; Jesus, Gabriel, and Father Melchizedek were glowing with a heavenly light and conversing in another language. The three apostles were frightened by what they saw, but as the vision faded, they were so excited from the experience that they wanted to stay and live on the mountain. As they presented this idea to Jesus, a cloud appeared above them and they heard a voice saying, "This is my beloved Son; give heed to him." The cloud vanished. Jesus asked them not to tell anyone what they had seen until after he had risen from the dead. His men were shocked by his words.
Meanwhile down at the base camp, the nine apostles fell into their persistent habit of talking about who would be most esteemed in the coming kingdom. As they argued amongst themselves, a man, James of Safed, brought his son to be healed by Jesus.
Simon and Judas told the man that he did not need to wait for Jesus; that since they now held the keys to the kingdom, they would heal the boy themselves. Simon laid his hands on the boy and tried to heal him, but failed. Onlookers mocked him. Then Andrew tried and failed. Andrew asked James to stay until Jesus returned.
Shortly before breakfast the next morning, Jesus, Peter, James, and John reached the apostles' camp. The anxious father knelt at Jesus' feet, relating the boy's symptoms and the apostles' failure. James begged that his son be healed. Jesus told him not to question God's love, but to have sincere faith that all things were possible to one who believes. James replied, "Lord, I believe. I pray you help my unbelief." Jesus healed the boy.
That evening, the apostles asked Jesus to tell them why they had failed to heal James's son. Jesus told them that instead of praying for deeper understanding of the Father's will, they had fallen into the contemplation of their places of honor in the material kingdom. They continued to cling to the concept of a kingdom that did not exist, and refused to accept that the kingdom of heaven was not of this world. Jesus said, "Spiritual greatness consists in an understanding love that is Godlike and not in an enjoyment of the exercise of material power for the exaltation of self. In what you attempted, in which you so completely failed, your purpose was not pure. Your motive was not divine. Your ideal was not spiritual. Your procedure was not based on love, and your goal of attainment was not the will of the Father in heaven."
Jesus said that he was entering the last phase of his work on earth. The apostles were dismayed as he discussed his own death and resurrection. Jesus told them plainly that he would suffer many things at the hands of the priests of Jerusalem, and that he would be killed and then rise from the dead.
Peter jumped up and declared that these things would never happen. Jesus rebuked him, saying, "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."
The Master continued, "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?"
The apostles reeled from the rebuke. They were horrified by the idea that Jesus would suffer and die even as their hearts were stirred by the Master's appeal. Jesus and the twelve started walking toward Capernaum to their camp at Magadan Park.