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PAPER 168 - THE RESURRECTION OF LAZARUS


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#1 Rick Warren

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 06:40 AM

 
Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

Today's Presentation

Paper 168 - The Resurrection of Lazarus
 
 
[INTRODUCTION]

 

   IT WAS shortly after noon when Martha started out to meet Jesus as he came over the brow of the hill near Bethany. Her brother, Lazarus, had been dead four days and had been laid away in their private tomb at the far end of the garden late on Sunday afternoon. The stone at the entrance of the tomb had been rolled in place on the morning of this day, Thursday.
 
(1842.2) 168:0.2 When Martha and Mary sent word to Jesus concerning Lazarus’s illness, they were confident the Master would do something about it. They knew that their brother was desperately sick, and though they hardly dared hope that Jesus would leave his work of teaching and preaching to come to their assistance, they had such confidence in his power to heal disease that they thought he would just speak the curative words, and Lazarus would immediately be made whole. And when Lazarus died a few hours after the messenger left Bethany for Philadelphia, they reasoned that it was because the Master did not learn of their brother’s illness until it was too late, until he had already been dead for several hours.
 
(1842.3) 168:0.3 But they, with all of their believing friends, were greatly puzzled by the message which the runner brought back Tuesday forenoon when he reached Bethany. The messenger insisted that he heard Jesus say, “…this sickness is really not to the death.” Neither could they understand why he sent no word to them nor otherwise proffered assistance.
 
(1842.4) 168:0.4 Many friends from near-by hamlets and others from Jerusalem came over to comfort the sorrow-stricken sisters. Lazarus and his sisters were the children of a well-to-do and honorable Jew, one who had been the leading resident of the little village of Bethany. And notwithstanding that all three had long been ardent followers of Jesus, they were highly respected by all who knew them. They had inherited extensive vineyards and olive orchards in this vicinity, and that they were wealthy was further attested by the fact that they could afford a private burial tomb on their own premises. Both of their parents had already been laid away in this tomb.
 
(1842.5) 168:0.5 Mary had given up the thought of Jesus’ coming and was abandoned to her grief, but Martha clung to the hope that Jesus would come, even up to the time on that very morning when they rolled the stone in front of the tomb and sealed the entrance. Even then she instructed a neighbor lad to keep watch down the Jericho road from the brow of the hill to the east of Bethany; and it was this lad who brought tidings to Martha that Jesus and his friends were approaching.
 
(1842.6) 168:0.6 When Martha met Jesus, she fell at his feet, exclaiming, “Master, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!” Many fears were passing through Martha’s mind, but she gave expression to no doubt, nor did she venture to criticize or question the Master’s conduct as related to Lazarus’s death. When she had spoken, Jesus reached down and, lifting her upon her feet, said, “Only have faith, Martha, and your brother shall rise again.” Then answered Martha: “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection of the last day; and even now I believe that whatever you shall ask of God, our Father will give you.”
 
(1843.1) 168:0.7 Then said Jesus, looking straight into the eyes of Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live. In truth, whosoever lives and believes in me shall never really die. Martha, do you believe this?” And Martha answered the Master: “Yes, I have long believed that you are the Deliverer, the Son of the living God, even he who should come to this world.”
 
(1843.2) 168:0.8 Jesus having inquired for Mary, Martha went at once into the house and, whispering to her sister, said, “The Master is here and has asked for you.” And when Mary heard this, she rose up quickly and hastened out to meet Jesus, who still tarried at the place, some distance from the house, where Martha had first met him. The friends who were with Mary, seeking to comfort her, when they saw that she rose up quickly and went out, followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep.
 
(1843.3) 168:0.9 Many of those present were Jesus’ bitter enemies. That is why Martha had come out to meet him alone, and also why she went in secretly to inform Mary that he had asked for her. Martha, while craving to see Jesus, desired to avoid any possible unpleasantness which might be caused by his coming suddenly into the midst of a large group of his Jerusalem enemies. It had been Martha’s intention to remain in the house with their friends while Mary went to greet Jesus, but in this she failed, for they all followed Mary and so found themselves unexpectedly in the presence of the Master.
 
(1843.4) 168:0.10 Martha led Mary to Jesus, and when she saw him, she fell at his feet, exclaiming, “If you had only been here, my brother would not have died!” And when Jesus saw how they all grieved over the death of Lazarus, his soul was moved with compassion.
 
(1843.5) 168:0.11 When the mourners saw that Mary had gone to greet Jesus, they withdrew for a short distance while both Martha and Mary talked with the Master and received further words of comfort and exhortation to maintain strong faith in the Father and complete resignation to the divine will.
 
(1843.6) 168:0.12 The human mind of Jesus was mightily moved by the contention between his love for Lazarus and the bereaved sisters and his disdain and contempt for the outward show of affection manifested by some of these unbelieving and murderously intentioned Jews. Jesus indignantly resented the show of forced and outward mourning for Lazarus by some of these professed friends inasmuch as such false sorrow was associated in their hearts with so much bitter enmity toward himself. Some of these Jews, however, were sincere in their mourning, for they were real friends of the family.
 
 
 
***

 
 
[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]


#2 Rick Warren

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 06:42 AM

 .

Greetings Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors!

Welcome to the OPAD presentation of Paper 168. It has seven pages and five Sections. This Paper covers a period from Thursday March 2, to March 6, 30 AD. The Master will die very soon, on April 7. But first he will perform a miracle that exceeds all others.

We aren't told the condition of Lazarus' body, except for this from Martha in Section 1:

 
"...Must we roll away the stone? My brother has now been dead four days, so that by this time decay of the body has begun....” (1845.3) 168:1.12

It was winter so the body might not have suffered the extreme breakdown of tissue that summer's heat would surely have inflicted in four days--not that it mattered how deteriorated it was. Obviously all things are possible when God, his Son, and the celestial hosts are aligned in purpose and action. And what an act they performed!!

Jesus had been very close friends with these three siblings, living in Bethany, since he was a boy.


bethphage01.jpg
 
 
Harold_Copping_Jesus_at_the_home_of_Mart
 

 
 
This astonishing event, just weeks ahead of the most remarkable event of all time, Jesus' resurrection, was recorded in the Bible's New Testament Gospel of John, and only John.

From chapter 11:


1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.
8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?
9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:
19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
28 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.
29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.
30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.
31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.
32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.
34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?
38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.
46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.
 

 

***

 

Synopsis of Paper 168:

 

When Jesus arrived in Bethany on March 2, 30 AD, Lazarus had been dead for four days. Many people were comforting Mary and Martha, including some who were enemies of Jesus. Martha said to Jesus, "Master, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!" Jesus replied, "Only have faith, Martha, and your brother shall rise again."

 

As the grieving sisters led him to the tomb, Jesus wept. He felt deep affection and sympathy for Martha and Mary. He resented the outward show of mourning by some of the insincere in the crowd, and hesitated to bring Lazarus back to the certain bitter persecution that he would endure.

 

A group of forty-five people gathered before the tomb, along with a vast assembly of celestial beings who awaited the command of their beloved Sovereign. When Jesus asked that the stone be taken away from the front of the tomb, Martha and Mary were filled with conflicted emotions. Martha said, "Must we roll away the stone? My brother has now been dead four days, so that by this time decay of the body has begun."

 

Jesus asked, "Did I not tell you at the first that this sickness was not to the death?" His apostles and some of the neighbors rolled the stone away. They could see the form of Lazarus, wrapped in linen, lying in the cave.

 

Jesus began to pray aloud, and then he cried out, "Lazarus, come forth!" Lazarus, still wrapped in the grave cloths, sat upright. Everyone except his sisters and the apostles fled.

 

Lazarus asked why he was in the garden wrapped in linens. He had no memory of his death. After Martha explained what had happened, Lazarus went to the Master, knelt at his feet and offered praise to God. Jesus lifted his friend and said, "My son, what has happened to you will also be experienced by all who believe this gospel except that they shall be resurrected in a more glorious form. You shall be a living witness of the truth which I spoke-I am the resurrection and the life."

 

By noon the next day the story of Lazarus had spread throughout Jerusalem. People flocked to Bethany to see him. The alarmed Pharisees called a meeting; the miracle had strengthened the faith of believers but only made the Sanhedrin more determined to destroy Jesus.

 

One of the Pharisees made a proposal advocating Jesus' immediate death without trial. The resolution did not come to a vote that day because fourteen members of the Sanhedrin resigned in protest. Two weeks later, five other members were expelled on the suspicion that they believed Jesus' gospel.

 

Although the Sanhedrin admitted that Lazarus had been resurrected from the dead, they attributed this and all of Jesus' miracles to the work of the devil. No matter the source of his power, the Jewish leaders believed that if he were not stopped all the common people would soon believe in him.

 

On the following Sunday morning, Jesus and the apostles traveled back to Pella. On the journey, the apostles asked Jesus questions concerning the answers to prayer. Jesus taught them that prayer is an effort of the finite mind to approach the Infinite. He assured the apostles that all spirit-born prayers are certain of an answer, even when they appear to go unanswered. Some prayers can only be answered in eternity or when a person advances to higher spiritual levels. Sometimes people don't recognize the answers to their prayers.

 

Lazarus remained at his home in Bethany until the week Jesus was killed. When Lazarus was warned that the Sanhedrin were planning to kill him as well, he fled to Perea. Mary and Martha later joined their brother in Philadelphia where he served as treasurer of the church under Abner.

 

SYNOPSIS SOURCE

 

Overview of Paper 168. The Resurrection of Lazarus
 
 
This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.


***

In tomorrow's reading, Section, 1. At the Tomb of Lazarus, we are told the Master did indeed shed a tear, but why when he knew Lazarus would soon be alive again? The Midwayers offer three reasons for his tears. And they reveal the conversations that went on between Jesus and the sisters, and among the on-lookers, friendly and unfriendly. Then he commands: "Take away the stone".

 
Listen to Paper 168 (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

Thanks for reading. Members' thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited.

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.


#3 Rick Warren

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 04:19 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today's Presentation

 

Paper 168 - The Resurrection of Lazarus

 

1. At the Tomb of Lazarus

 

 

[PART 1 0f 2]

 

 

   After Jesus had spent a few moments in comforting Martha and Mary, apart from the mourners, he asked them, “Where have you laid him?” Then Martha said, “Come and see.” And as the Master followed on in silence with the two sorrowing sisters, he wept. When the friendly Jews who followed after them saw his tears, one of them said: “Behold how he loved him. Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind have kept this man from dying?” By this time they were standing before the family tomb, a small natural cave, or declivity, in the ledge of rock which rose up some thirty feet at the far end of the garden plot.

 

(1844.1) 168:1.2 It is difficult to explain to human minds just why Jesus wept. While we have access to the registration of the combined human emotions and divine thoughts, as of record in the mind of the Personalized Adjuster, we are not altogether certain about the real cause of these emotional manifestations. We are inclined to believe that Jesus wept because of a number of thoughts and feelings which were going through his mind at this time, such as:

 

1. He felt a genuine and sorrowful sympathy for Martha and Mary; he had a real and deep human affection for these sisters who had lost their brother.

 

2. He was perturbed in his mind by the presence of the crowd of mourners, some sincere and some merely pretenders. He always resented these outward exhibitions of mourning. He knew the sisters loved their brother and had faith in the survival of believers. These conflicting emotions may possibly explain why he groaned as they came near the tomb.

 

3. He truly hesitated about bringing Lazarus back to the mortal life. His sisters really needed him, but Jesus regretted having to summon his friend back to experience the bitter persecution which he well knew Lazarus would have to endure as a result of being the subject of the greatest of all demonstrations of the divine power of the Son of Man.

 

 

(1844.5) 168:1.6 And now we may relate an interesting and instructive fact: Although this narrative unfolds as an apparently natural and normal event in human affairs, it has some very interesting side lights. While the messenger went to Jesus on Sunday, telling him of Lazarus’s illness, and while Jesus sent word that it was “not to the death,” at the same time he went in person up to Bethany and even asked the sisters, “Where have you laid him?” Even though all of this seems to indicate that the Master was proceeding after the manner of this life and in accordance with the limited knowledge of the human mind, nevertheless, the records of the universe reveal that Jesus’ Personalized Adjuster issued orders for the indefinite detention of Lazarus’s Thought Adjuster on the planet subsequent to Lazarus’s death, and that this order was made of record just fifteen minutes before Lazarus breathed his last.

 

(1844.6) 168:1.7 Did the divine mind of Jesus know, even before Lazarus died, that he would raise him from the dead? We do not know. We know only what we are herewith placing on record.

 

(1844.7) 168:1.8 Many of Jesus’ enemies were inclined to sneer at his manifestations of affection, and they said among themselves: “If he thought so much of this man, why did he tarry so long before coming to Bethany? If he is what they claim, why did he not save his dear friend? What is the good of healing strangers in Galilee if he cannot save those whom he loves?” And in many other ways they mocked and made light of the teachings and works of Jesus.

 

 

 

***

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#4 Rick Warren

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 05:34 AM

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Good Day Bonita, Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

 

Archeologists believe they located Lazurus' tomb, and the Catholic church sainted him:

 

800px-Lazarus_Bethany.JPG

 

The Tomb of Lazarus is a traditional spot of pilgrimage located in the West Bank town of al-Eizariya, traditionally identified as the biblical village of Bethany, on the southeast slope of the Mount of Olives, some 2.4 km (1.5 miles) east of Jerusalem. The tomb is the purported site of a miracle recorded in the Gospel of John in which Jesus ressurects Lazarus

 

...The site, sacred to both Christians and Muslims, has been identified as the tomb of the gospel account since at least the 4th century AD. As the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913 states, however, while it is "quite certain that the present village formed about the traditional tomb of Lazarus, which is in a cave in the village", the identification of this particular cave as the actual tomb of Lazarus is "merely possible; it has no strong intrinsic or extrinsic authority." Archeologists have established that the area was used as a cemetery in the 1st century AD, with tombs of this period found "a short distance north of the church."

 

Several Christian churches have existed at the site over the centuries. Since the 16th century, the site of the tomb has been occupied by the al-Uzair Mosque. The adjacent Roman Catholic Church of Saint Lazarus, built between 1952 and 1955 under the auspices of the Franciscan Order, stands upon the site of several much older ones. In 1965, a Greek Orthodox church was built just west of the tomb.

 

Image/Text Source

 

Islam retains the story of Jesus raising a dead man after four days, but does not mention Lazarus by name. At least a search of the Quran finds nothing about him.

 

Of course this is a famous event in and out of the Christian tradition. Artists seized upon it, as in this vivid Bloch painting:
 

RaisingofLazarusBloch.jpg

Raising Lazarus, Oil on Copper Plate, 1875, Carl Heinrich Bloch (Hope Gallery, Salt Lake City)

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 


 

***

 

Today's reading states that Jesus wept and groaned as he approached the tomb, but that Lazarus' Adjuster was put on hold minutes before he died. The Midwayers seem perplexed by all this. Understandably so:


 ...Did the divine mind of Jesus know, even before Lazarus died, that he would raise him from the dead? We do not know. We know only what we are herewith placing on record.... (1844.6) 168:1.7

 

Obviously there was a mix of humanity and divinity acting out this scene. Even tho Lazarus was dead for four days, Jesus insisted otherwise. He knew Lazarus would be raised, and yet he wept. This was such a strange and unique event that it may never be fully comprehensible to humans or Midwayers.

 

Whatever happened, his enemies were quick to criticize:


 ...And in many other ways they mocked and made light of the teachings and works of Jesus.... (1844.7) 168:1.8

 

In tomorrow's reading, the last half of Section, 1. At the Tomb of Lazarus, the Midwayers finish setting the stage, describing both the earthly and celestial milieu before the actual resurrection. Jesus must once more assure anxious Martha that he knows what he is doing, and that Lazarus will return to life.

 

Overview of Paper 168. The Resurrection of Lazarus

 

1. At the Tomb of Lazarus

2. The Resurrection of Lazarus

3. Meeting of the Sanhedrin

4. The Answer to Prayer

5. What Became of Lazarus

 

This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

Listen to Paper 168 (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members' thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#5 Rick Warren

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 04:34 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today's Presentation

 

Paper 168 - The Resurrection of Lazarus

 

1. At the Tomb of Lazarus

 

[PART 2 0f 2]

 

 

   And so, on this Thursday afternoon at about half past two o’clock, was the stage all set in this little hamlet of Bethany for the enactment of the greatest of all works connected with the earth ministry of Michael of Nebadon, the greatest manifestation of divine power during his incarnation in the flesh, since his own resurrection occurred after he had been liberated from the bonds of mortal habitation.

 

(1845.1) 168:1.10 The small group assembled before Lazarus’s tomb little realized the presence near at hand of a vast concourse of all orders of celestial beings assembled under the leadership of Gabriel and now in waiting, by direction of the Personalized Adjuster of Jesus, vibrating with expectancy and ready to execute the bidding of their beloved Sovereign.

 

(1845.2) 168:1.11 When Jesus spoke those words of command, “Take away the stone,” the assembled celestial hosts made ready to enact the drama of the resurrection of Lazarus in the likeness of his mortal flesh. Such a form of resurrection involves difficulties of execution which far transcend the usual technique of the resurrection of mortal creatures in morontia form and requires far more celestial personalities and a far greater organization of universe facilities.

 

(1845.3) 168:1.12 When Martha and Mary heard this command of Jesus directing that the stone in front of the tomb be rolled away, they were filled with conflicting emotions. Mary hoped that Lazarus was to be raised from the dead, but Martha, while to some extent sharing her sister’s faith, was more exercised by the fear that Lazarus would not be presentable, in his appearance, to Jesus, the apostles, and their friends. Said Martha: “Must we roll away the stone? My brother has now been dead four days, so that by this time decay of the body has begun.” Martha also said this because she was not certain as to why the Master had requested that the stone be removed; she thought maybe Jesus wanted only to take one last look at Lazarus. She was not settled and constant in her attitude. As they hesitated to roll away the stone, Jesus said: “Did I not tell you at the first that this sickness was not to the death? Have I not come to fulfill my promise? And after I came to you, did I not say that, if you would only believe, you should see the glory of God? Wherefore do you doubt? How long before you will believe and obey?”

 

(1845.4) 168:1.13 When Jesus had finished speaking, his apostles, with the assistance of willing neighbors, laid hold upon the stone and rolled it away from the entrance to the tomb.

 

(1845.5) 168:1.14 It was the common belief of the Jews that the drop of gall on the point of the sword of the angel of death began to work by the end of the third day, so that it was taking full effect on the fourth day. They allowed that the soul of man might linger about the tomb until the end of the third day, seeking to reanimate the dead body; but they firmly believed that such a soul had gone on to the abode of departed spirits ere the fourth day had dawned.

 

(1845.6) 168:1.15 These beliefs and opinions regarding the dead and the departure of the spirits of the dead served to make sure, in the minds of all who were now present at Lazarus’s tomb and subsequently to all who might hear of what was about to occur, that this was really and truly a case of the raising of the dead by the personal working of one who declared he was “the resurrection and the life.”

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#6 Rick Warren

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 06:36 AM

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Greetings Bonita, Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

 

 

If only there was a painting of the whole scene, celestials, angels, Midwayers and all. Maybe on the Mansion worlds. But there are hundreds of terrestrial depictions of his resurrection, this might be the closest human approximation of the "Raising of Lazarus":

 

Jean-Baptiste_Jouvenet_-_The_Raising_of_

 

Jean-Baptiste Jouvenet - The Raising of Lazarus

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

William_Hole_The_Resurrection_Of_Lazarus

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

One more:

 

1024px-La_resurrecci%C3%B3n_de_L%C3%A1za

La resurrección de Lázaro (José Casado del Alisal)

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

***

 

 

 

From today's reading:

 

...Such a form of resurrection involves difficulties of execution which far transcend the usual technique of the resurrection of mortal creatures in morontia form and requires far more celestial personalities and a far greater organization of universe facilities.... (1845.2) 168:1.11

 

What all/who all is required, they don't say. It would be fascinating to observe, wouldn't it! Probably even celestial beings seldom see such a manifestation of miraculous physical resurrection. Every cell in Lazarus' body must have had to be reconstructed. It confirms one familiar adage, 'with God nothing is impossible'.

 

***

 

Here's the background on the drop of gall mentioned in today's reading:

 

...It was the common belief of the Jews that the drop of gall on the point of the sword of the angel of death began to work by the end of the third day, so that it was taking full effect on the fourth day.... (1845.5) 168:1.14

 

 

From Wikipedia:

 

According to the Midrash, the Angel of Death was created by God on the first day.His dwelling is in heaven, whence he reaches earth in eight flights, whereas Pestilence reaches it in one. He has twelve wings. "Over all people have I surrendered thee the power," said God to the Angel of Death, "only not over this one which has received freedom from death through the Law." It is said of the Angel of Death that he is full of eyes. In the hour of death, he stands at the head of the departing one with a drawn sword, to which clings a drop of gall. As soon as the dying man sees Death, he is seized with a convulsion and opens his mouth, whereupon Death throws the drop into it. This drop causes his death; he turns putrid, and his face becomes yellow. The expression "the taste of death" originated in the idea that death was caused by a drop of gall.

 

Source/more

 

 

***

 

Tomorrow's reading, Section 2. The Resurrection of Lazarus, has the phrase of promise that rings down the halls of eternity and draws in every Nebondonese faith son or daughter with the hope of survival, "Lazarus, come forth". He does, and his Adjuster returns, while the guests run away in fear. Jesus then calmly invites those remaining to sit and have a meal.

 

 

Overview of Paper 168. The Resurrection of Lazarus

 

1. At the Tomb of Lazarus

2. The Resurrection of Lazarus

3. Meeting of the Sanhedrin

4. The Answer to Prayer

5. What Became of Lazarus

 

This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

Listen to Paper 168 (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members' thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#7 Rick Warren

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 05:26 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today's Presentation

 

Paper 168 - The Resurrection of Lazarus

 

2. The Resurrection of Lazarus

 

 

   As this company of some forty-five mortals stood before the tomb, they could dimly see the form of Lazarus, wrapped in linen bandages, resting on the right lower niche of the burial cave. While these earth creatures stood there in almost breathless silence, a vast host of celestial beings had swung into their places preparatory to answering the signal for action when it should be given by Gabriel, their commander.

 

(1846.1) 168:2.2 Jesus lifted up his eyes and said: “Father, I am thankful that you heard and granted my request. I know that you always hear me, but because of those who stand here with me, I thus speak with you, that they may believe that you have sent me into the world, and that they may know that you are working with me in that which we are about to do.” And when he had prayed, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”

 

(1846.2) 168:2.3 Though these human observers remained motionless, the vast celestial host was all astir in unified action in obedience to the Creator’s word. In just twelve seconds of earth time the hitherto lifeless form of Lazarus began to move and presently sat up on the edge of the stone shelf whereon it had rested. His body was bound about with grave cloths, and his face was covered with a napkin. And as he stood up before them — alive — Jesus said, “Loose him and let him go.”

 

(1846.3) 168:2.4 All, save the apostles, with Martha and Mary, fled to the house. They were pale with fright and overcome with astonishment. While some tarried, many hastened to their homes.

 

(1846.4) 168:2.5 Lazarus greeted Jesus and the apostles and asked the meaning of the grave cloths and why he had awakened in the garden. Jesus and the apostles drew to one side while Martha told Lazarus of his death, burial, and resurrection. She had to explain to him that he had died on Sunday and was now brought back to life on Thursday, inasmuch as he had had no consciousness of time since falling asleep in death.

 

(1846.5) 168:2.6 As Lazarus came out of the tomb, the Personalized Adjuster of Jesus, now chief of his kind in this local universe, gave command to the former Adjuster of Lazarus, now in waiting, to resume abode in the mind and soul of the resurrected man.

 

(1846.6) 168:2.7 Then went Lazarus over to Jesus and, with his sisters, knelt at the Master’s feet to give thanks and offer praise to God. Jesus, taking Lazarus by the hand, lifted him up, saying: “My son, what has happened to you will also be experienced by all who believe this gospel except that they shall be resurrected in a more glorious form. You shall be a living witness of the truth which I spoke — I am the resurrection and the life. But let us all now go into the house and partake of nourishment for these physical bodies.”

 

(1846.7) 168:2.8 As they walked toward the house, Gabriel dismissed the extra groups of the assembled heavenly host while he made record of the first instance on Urantia, and the last, where a mortal creature had been resurrected in the likeness of the physical body of death.

 

(1846.8) 168:2.9 Lazarus could hardly comprehend what had occurred. He knew he had been very sick, but he could recall only that he had fallen asleep and been awakened. He was never able to tell anything about these four days in the tomb because he was wholly unconscious. Time is nonexistent to those who sleep the sleep of death.

 

(1846.9) 168:2.10 Though many believed in Jesus as a result of this mighty work, others only hardened their hearts the more to reject him. By noon the next day this story had spread over all Jerusalem. Scores of men and women went to Bethany to look upon Lazarus and talk with him, and the alarmed and disconcerted Pharisees hastily called a meeting of the Sanhedrin that they might determine what should be done about these new developments.

 

 

 

 

***

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#8 Rick Warren

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 06:07 AM

.

Good Day Bonita, Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

 

"Breathless silence" indeed:

 

...he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” (1846.1) 168:2.2

 

What a thrill, honor, and privilege to have been present there and then. Even reading about that voice crying out 2000 years later is moving, isn't it!?!

 

Henry_Ossawa_Tanner_The_Resurrection_of_

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

...In just twelve seconds of earth time the hitherto lifeless form of Lazarus began to move.... (1846.2) 168:2.3

 

Twelve seconds to reconstruct a man. It's a fascinating and mysterious universe we live in. Even eternal beings must enjoy seeing such unusual collaborations of miracle working by God and one of his Michael Sons, on lowly Urantia.

 

And if Lazarus can rise from death, so can we:


"...My son, what has happened to you will also be experienced by all who believe this gospel except that they shall be resurrected in a more glorious form...." (1846.6) 168:2.7

 

Glory!

 

 

***

 

The Midwayers appear to want us to know there has never been another one raised from the dead like Lazarus:


 ...he made record of the first instance on Urantia, and the last, where a mortal creature had been resurrected in the likeness of the physical body of death.... (1846.7) 168:2.8
 

 

***

 

 

Poor blind, stubborn Pharisees, now they were more afraid of Jesus than ever. What can't this man do?


 ...the alarmed and disconcerted Pharisees hastily called a meeting of the Sanhedrin that they might determine what should be done about these new developments.... (1846.9) 168:2.10

 

 

Tomorrow's reading Section 3. Meeting of the Sanhedrin, tells what happened in the wake of Lazarus' resurrection, how 19 members left the Sandhedrin when Jesus was condemned to death, even without a trial.

 

 

Overview of Paper 168. The Resurrection of Lazarus

 

1. At the Tomb of Lazarus

2. The Resurrection of Lazarus

3. Meeting of the Sanhedrin

4. The Answer to Prayer

5. What Became of Lazarus

 

This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

Listen to Paper 168 (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members' thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#9 Rick Warren

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 06:00 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today's Presentation

 

Paper 168 - The Resurrection of Lazarus

 

3. Meeting of the Sanhedrin

 

 

   Even though the testimony of this man raised from the dead did much to consolidate the faith of the mass of believers in the gospel of the kingdom, it had little or no influence on the attitude of the religious leaders and rulers at Jerusalem except to hasten their decision to destroy Jesus and stop his work.

 

(1847.2) 168:3.2 At one o’clock the next day, Friday, the Sanhedrin met to deliberate further on the question, “What shall we do with Jesus of Nazareth?” After more than two hours of discussion and acrimonious debate, a certain Pharisee presented a resolution calling for Jesus’ immediate death, proclaiming that he was a menace to all Israel and formally committing the Sanhedrin to the decision of death, without trial and in defiance of all precedent.

 

(1847.3) 168:3.3 Time and again had this august body of Jewish leaders decreed that Jesus be apprehended and brought to trial on charges of blasphemy and numerous other accusations of flouting the Jewish sacred law. They had once before even gone so far as to declare he should die, but this was the first time the Sanhedrin had gone on record as desiring to decree his death in advance of a trial. But this resolution did not come to a vote since fourteen members of the Sanhedrin resigned in a body when such an unheard-of action was proposed. While these resignations were not formally acted upon for almost two weeks, this group of fourteen withdrew from the Sanhedrin on that day, never again to sit in the council. When these resignations were subsequently acted upon, five other members were thrown out because their associates believed they entertained friendly feelings toward Jesus. With the ejection of these nineteen men the Sanhedrin was in a position to try and to condemn Jesus with a solidarity bordering on unanimity.

 

(1847.4) 168:3.4 The following week Lazarus and his sisters were summoned to appear before the Sanhedrin. When their testimony had been heard, no doubt could be entertained that Lazarus had been raised from the dead. Though the transactions of the Sanhedrin virtually admitted the resurrection of Lazarus, the record carried a resolution attributing this and all other wonders worked by Jesus to the power of the prince of devils, with whom Jesus was declared to be in league.

 

(1847.5) 168:3.5 No matter what the source of his wonder-working power, these Jewish leaders were persuaded that, if he were not immediately stopped, very soon all the common people would believe in him; and further, that serious complications with the Roman authorities would arise since so many of his believers regarded him as the Messiah, Israel’s deliverer.

 

(1847.6) 168:3.6 It was at this same meeting of the Sanhedrin that Caiaphas the high priest first gave expression to that old Jewish adage, which he so many times repeated: “It is better that one man die, than that the community perish.”

 

(1847.7) 168:3.7 Although Jesus had received warning of the doings of the Sanhedrin on this dark Friday afternoon, he was not in the least perturbed and continued resting over the Sabbath with friends in Bethpage, a hamlet near Bethany. Early Sunday morning Jesus and the apostles assembled, by prearrangement, at the home of Lazarus, and taking leave of the Bethany family, they started on their journey back to the Pella encampment.

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#10 Rick Warren

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 06:54 AM

.

 

 

Greetings Bonita, Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

 

The Sanhedrin must have had scores of members if so many could quit and there still be enough left for a quorum:

 

...With the ejection of these nineteen men the Sanhedrin was in a position to try and to condemn Jesus with a solidarity bordering on unanimity.... (1847.3) 168:3.3

 

 

One can only imagine what might have happened to Urantia if this small body of tradition bound men had instead been open, caring, and wise. What if they had said: 'Only God can do such things as raise the dead and feed 5000, he must be from God, let us step aside and invite Jesus teach at our temple, let us sit at this Master's feet and hear about the kingdom of God he proclaims'? Urantia might be in Light and Life by now if only these few blind guides had listened. But then we wouldn't have the challenges we do now, and Urantia would not be in the hospital, quarantined for fear of evil's spread, and surrounded by ministers from near and far...

 

 

James_Tissot_The_Chief_Priests_take_coun

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

The Gospel of John recorded some of this meeting, in chapter 11:

 

45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.

48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,

50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.

 

 

Evidently Bethpage, cited in today's reading, is between Jerusalem and Bethany:

 

map-bethphage-eastof-jerus9-8-06.jpg

 

Map Source

 

 

That episode being finished, they headed back to Pella, some 25 miles north of Jerusalem and Bethany:

 

409px-Thedecapolis.png

 

MAP SOURCE

 

 

In tomorrow's reading, Section 4. The Answer to Prayer, Jesus, alone with his apostles, gives a ten point lesson on making requests of God.

 

Overview of Paper 168. The Resurrection of Lazarus

 

1. At the Tomb of Lazarus

2. The Resurrection of Lazarus

3. Meeting of the Sanhedrin

4. The Answer to Prayer

5. What Became of Lazarus

 

This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

Listen to Paper 168 (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members' thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#11 Bonita

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 09:45 AM

 

The Sanhedrin must have had scores of members if so many could quit and there still be enough left for a quorum:

 

...With the ejection of these nineteen men the Sanhedrin was in a position to try and to condemn Jesus with a solidarity bordering on unanimity.... (1847.3) 168:3.3

 

 

One can only imagine what might have happened to Urantia if this small body of tradition bound men had instead been open, caring, and wise. What if they had said: 'Only God can do such things as raise the dead and feed 5000, he must be from God, let us step aside and invite Jesus teach at our temple, let us sit at this Master's feet and hear about the kingdom of God he proclaims'? Urantia might be in Light and Life by now if only these few blind guides had listened. But then we wouldn't have the challenges we do now, and Urantia would not be in the hospital, quarantined for fear of evil's spread, and surrounded by ministers from near and far...

 

 

 

Don't forget that the Sanhedrin was made up of both Sadducees and Pharisees.  Most of the members of the Sanhedrin who accepted Jesus were Pharisees.  

 

184.1.1 Annas wanted to make sure that the Master’s trial was kept in the hands of the Sadducees; he feared the possible sympathy of some of the Pharisees, seeing that practically all of those members of the Sanhedrin who had espoused the cause of Jesus were Pharisees.

 

The Sadducees could not accept him for several reasons.  1.) They believed in the literal Torah.  Unlike the Pharisees, they allowed absolutely no interpretation of the Torah, especially no oral explanations. 2.) The Sadducees did not believe that God had individual relationships with people, therefore Jesus' message about the Fatherhood of God would have been blasphemy to them.  3.)The Sadducees made up the hereditary priesthood which was centered solely in the Temple.  They did not believe that God existed outside of the Temple therefore, they were the sole intermediaries for God.  There's absolutely no way that they would ever accept Jesus' teaching about God being a part of each individual.  That would destroy their entire reason for living.  Plus, they were the wealthy ones and politically powerful.  It was bad enough that people called Jesus a king, but when he said something about the Temple being torn down . . . that did it.  His fate was toast.  He had to go.  



#12 Rick Warren

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 10:25 AM

 

Don't forget that the Sanhedrin was made up of both Sadducees and Pharisees.  Most of the members of the Sanhedrin who accepted Jesus were Pharisees.  

 

184.1.1 Annas wanted to make sure that the Master’s trial was kept in the hands of the Sadducees; he feared the possible sympathy of some of the Pharisees, seeing that practically all of those members of the Sanhedrin who had espoused the cause of Jesus were Pharisees.

 

The Sadducees could not accept him for several reasons.  1.) They believed in the literal Torah.  Unlike the Pharisees, they allowed absolutely no interpretation of the Torah, especially no oral explanations. 2.) The Sadducees did not believe that God had individual relationships with people, therefore Jesus' message about the Fatherhood of God would have been blasphemy to them.  3.)The Sadducees made up the hereditary priesthood which was centered solely in the Temple.  They did not believe that God existed outside of the Temple therefore, they were the sole intermediaries for God.  There's absolutely no way that they would ever accept Jesus' teaching about God being a part of each individual.  That would destroy their entire reason for living.  Plus, they were the wealthy ones and politically powerful.  It was bad enough that people called Jesus a king, but when he said something about the Temple being torn down . . . that did it.  His fate was toast.  He had to go.  

 

 

Thanks for that reminder. I had forgotten or never connected the dots. We still have both sides of that interpretative debate going on. Where there are humans, there is diversity :D

 

Amazing how entrenched people can get. When it threatened the Sadducees income and status, those had to be underlying reasons as well. Comfort and power are two potent paralyzers.



#13 Bonita

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 11:52 AM

 

 

Thanks for that reminder. I had forgotten or never connected the dots. We still have both sides of that interpretative debate going on. Where there are humans, there is diversity :D

 

Amazing how entrenched people can get. When it threatened the Sadducees income and status, those had to be underlying reasons as well. Comfort and power are two potent paralyzers.

 

Yeah, the Pharisees and Sadducees were actually two different parties, and although they were religious parties, they didn't really separate religion and politics back then.  Religion was political.  So yes, its the same today just flipped around.  Our modern day (U.S.) political parties have become religions.  So, if Jesus showed up today each political party, being disguised religions, would claim that their social views are in line with his.  And he would promptly deny them both and get everyone P.O'd.  Good news for Jesus, we don't hang people on trees anymore because we're so humane (ahem); but, he'd get crucified one way or another no doubt.  Nothing's changed.   

 

137:7.7  The Pharisees and Sadducees were really religious parties, rather than sects.

 

140:8.10 But never make the mistake of identifying Jesus' teachings with any political or economic theory, with any social or industrial system.

 

140:8.17 And if Jesus were on earth today, living his life in the flesh, he would be a great disappointment to the majority of good men and women for the simple reason that he would not take sides in present-day political, social, or economic disputes. He would remain grandly aloof while teaching you how to perfect your inner spiritual life so as to render you manyfold more competent to attack the solution of your purely human problems.



#14 Rick Warren

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 04:35 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

 

Today's Presentation

 

Paper 168 - The Resurrection of Lazarus

 

 

4. The Answer to Prayer

 

 

   On the way from Bethany to Pella the apostles asked Jesus many questions, all of which the Master freely answered except those involving the details of the resurrection of the dead. Such problems were beyond the comprehension capacity of his apostles; therefore did the Master decline to discuss these questions with them. Since they had departed from Bethany in secret, they were alone. Jesus therefore embraced the opportunity to say many things to the ten which he thought would prepare them for the trying days just ahead.

 

(1848.2) 168:4.2 The apostles were much stirred up in their minds and spent considerable time discussing their recent experiences as they were related to prayer and its answering. They all recalled Jesus’ statement to the Bethany messenger at Philadelphia, when he said plainly, “This sickness is not really to the death.” And yet, in spite of this promise, Lazarus actually died. All that day, again and again, they reverted to the discussion of this question of the answer to prayer.

 

(1848.3) 168:4.3 Jesus’ answers to their many questions may be summarized as follows:

 

1. Prayer is an expression of the finite mind in an effort to approach the Infinite. The making of a prayer must, therefore, be limited by the knowledge, wisdom, and attributes of the finite; likewise must the answer be conditioned by the vision, aims, ideals, and prerogatives of the Infinite. There never can be observed an unbroken continuity of material phenomena between the making of a prayer and the reception of the full spiritual answer thereto.

 

2. When a prayer is apparently unanswered, the delay often betokens a better answer, although one which is for some good reason greatly delayed. When Jesus said that Lazarus’s sickness was really not to the death, he had already been dead eleven hours. No sincere prayer is denied an answer except when the superior viewpoint of the spiritual world has devised a better answer, an answer which meets the petition of the spirit of man as contrasted with the prayer of the mere mind of man.

 

3. The prayers of time, when indited by the spirit and expressed in faith, are often so vast and all-encompassing that they can be answered only in eternity; the finite petition is sometimes so fraught with the grasp of the Infinite that the answer must long be postponed to await the creation of adequate capacity for receptivity; the prayer of faith may be so all-embracing that the answer can be received only on Paradise.

 

4. The answers to the prayer of the mortal mind are often of such a nature that they can be received and recognized only after that same praying mind has attained the immortal state. The prayer of the material being can many times be answered only when such an individual has progressed to the spirit level.

 

5. The prayer of a God-knowing person may be so distorted by ignorance and so deformed by superstition that the answer thereto would be highly undesirable. Then must the intervening spirit beings so translate such a prayer that, when the answer arrives, the petitioner wholly fails to recognize it as the answer to his prayer.

 

6. All true prayers are addressed to spiritual beings, and all such petitions must be answered in spiritual terms, and all such answers must consist in spiritual realities. Spirit beings cannot bestow material answers to the spirit petitions of even material beings. Material beings can pray effectively only when they “pray in the spirit.”

 

 7. No prayer can hope for an answer unless it is born of the spirit and nurtured by faith. Your sincere faith implies that you have in advance virtually granted your prayer hearers the full right to answer your petitions in accordance with that supreme wisdom and that divine love which your faith depicts as always actuating those beings to whom you pray.

 

8. The child is always within his rights when he presumes to petition the parent; and the parent is always within his parental obligations to the immature child when his superior wisdom dictates that the answer to the child’s prayer be delayed, modified, segregated, transcended, or postponed to another stage of spiritual ascension.

 

 9. Do not hesitate to pray the prayers of spirit longing; doubt not that you shall receive the answer to your petitions. These answers will be on deposit, awaiting your achievement of those future spiritual levels of actual cosmic attainment, on this world or on others, whereon it will become possible for you to recognize and appropriate the long-waiting answers to your earlier but ill-timed petitions.

 

10. All genuine spirit-born petitions are certain of an answer. Ask and you shall receive. But you should remember that you are progressive creatures of time and space; therefore must you constantly reckon with the time-space factor in the experience of your personal reception of the full answers to your manifold prayers and petitions.

 

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]

 



#15 Rick Warren

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 05:41 AM

.


Good Day Bonita, Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

Hmm...I need help penetrating the meaning of this sentence, from point #1:

...There never can be observed an unbroken continuity of material phenomena between the making of a prayer and the reception of the full spiritual answer thereto....
 
Is it saying: Don't expect a sign?
 
Point #2 is also troublesome , I'm not getting the connection between Lazarus and delayed prayer. Jesus was not praying when he declared, 'Lazarus' sickness is not to the death'. And he knew he had to wait four days for the miracle to be indisputable, no??

 
Points #3 and #4, like #2, are about delayed answers to prayers. Points #9 and #10 are also about deferred responses from the celestial realm. So it must be crucial that we understand this.

There are other blocks of instruction about praying. All of this Paper:

 
 
 
Paper 143:

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It was at Jotapata (Paper 146) that Jesus gave a 16 point lesson on prayer and worship. Point #16:
 
...Jesus taught his followers that, when they had made their prayers to the Father, they should remain for a time in silent receptivity to afford the indwelling spirit the better opportunity to speak to the listening soul. The spirit of the Father speaks best to man when the human mind is in an attitude of true worship.... (1641.1) 146:2.17
 
 
***
 
Tomorrow's reading, Section 5. What Became of Lazarus, is the end of Paper 168. He too was threatened with death, for no reason except he was a pointed reminder of Jesus. He and his sisters went to Philadelphia.
 
James_Tissot_Lazarus_400.jpg


Overview of Paper 168. The Resurrection of Lazarus

 

 

This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.

 

 

Listen to Paper 168 (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

Thanks for reading. Members' thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited.

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.


#16 Bonita

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:55 AM

 

.


Good Day Bonita, Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

Hmm...I need help penetrating the meaning of this sentence, from point #1:

...There never can be observed an unbroken continuity of material phenomena between the making of a prayer and the reception of the full spiritual answer thereto....
 
Is it saying: Don't expect a sign?
 
Point #2 is also troublesome , I'm not getting the connection between Lazarus and delayed prayer. Jesus was not praying when he declared, 'Lazarus' sickness is not to the death'. And he knew he had to wait four days for the miracle to be indisputable, no??

 

I think what they are saying is that the universe never observes a break in the continuity between the prayer and its answer.  The fact that time must elapse before recognition of the answer is immaterial to the fact that it has been answered.  All sincere prayers are answered, but they are answered spiritually, not materially. So if the individual is waiting for a material answer time must pass between the asking of the prayer and the ability to recognize the spiritual answer.  But the continuity between the two is never broken.  It will happen as long as the individual progresses spiritually to the point where they have the capacity to recognize the answer.  The rest of that quote says that prayers are limited by the finite knowledge and wisdom of the one who prays.  Therefore the answer, being spiritual, must wait until the individual gains enough knowledge and wisdom to accept the answer which is conditioned by the ideals of the Infinite.  Therefore, the most effective prayers are prayers in the spirit (as explained in my thread on the Holy Spirit).

 

As for #2.  Lazarus was only dead in concerns his physical energy systems.  His soul had not been released for judgment, so Jesus spoke the truth when he said his illness was not to the death.  The prayer from his family to avoid his death was answered, but God decided to wait four days for other reasons, namely the culture.  At the time it was not uncommon for people to be put in the tomb when they were still alive.  People did not understand deep comas in those days and pronounced people dead when they weren't.  It was one of the reasons why they were put into tombs and not in the ground.  It happened too often.  But it was extremely rare to find anyone alive after three days.  Therefore, to enhance the understanding that this was a true miracle, that Jesus had power over death, he had to wait until coming out of the tomb alive was obviously beyond any natural explanation. The prayer was answered according to the superior viewpoint of the spiritual world.  

 

146:2.6  The sincerity of any prayer is the assurance of its being heard; the spiritual wisdom and universe consistency of any petition is the determiner of the time, manner, and degree of the answer. A wise father does not literally answer the foolish prayers of his ignorant and inexperienced children, albeit the children may derive much pleasure and real soul satisfaction from the making of such absurd petitions.

 

In talmudic times, while the burial was not delayed, graves were "watched" for a period of three days to avoid all possibility of pseudo-death (Sem. 8:1). Source: Jewish Virtual Library



#17 Rick Warren

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 01:29 PM

 

 

I think what they are saying is that the universe never observes a break in the continuity between the prayer and its answer.  The fact that time must elapse before recognition of the answer is immaterial to the fact that it has been answered.  All sincere prayers are answered, but they are answered spiritually, not materially. So if the individual is waiting for a material answer time must pass between the asking of the prayer and the ability to recognize the spiritual answer.  But the continuity between the two is never broken.  It will happen as long as the individual progresses spiritually to the point where they have the capacity to recognize the answer.  The rest of that quote says that prayers are limited by the finite knowledge and wisdom of the one who prays.  Therefore the answer, being spiritual, must wait until the individual gains enough knowledge and wisdom to accept the answer which is conditioned by the ideals of the Infinite.  Therefore, the most effective prayers are prayers in the spirit (as explained in my thread on the Holy Spirit).

 

As for #2.  Lazarus was only dead in concerns his physical energy systems.  His soul had not been released for judgment, so Jesus spoke the truth when he said his illness was not to the death.  The prayer from his family to avoid his death was answered, but God decided to wait four days for other reasons, namely the culture.  At the time it was not uncommon for people to be put in the tomb when they were still alive.  People did not understand deep comas in those days and pronounced people dead when they weren't.  It was one of the reasons why they were put into tombs and not in the ground.  It happened too often.  But it was extremely rare to find anyone alive after three days.  Therefore, to enhance the understanding that this was a true miracle, that Jesus had power over death, he had to wait until coming out of the tomb alive was obviously beyond any natural explanation. The prayer was answered according to the superior viewpoint of the spiritual world.  

 

146:2.6  The sincerity of any prayer is the assurance of its being heard; the spiritual wisdom and universe consistency of any petition is the determiner of the time, manner, and degree of the answer. A wise father does not literally answer the foolish prayers of his ignorant and inexperienced children, albeit the children may derive much pleasure and real soul satisfaction from the making of such absurd petitions.

 

In talmudic times, while the burial was not delayed, graves were "watched" for a period of three days to avoid all possibility of pseudo-death (Sem. 8:1). Source: Jewish Virtual Library

 

 

 

That makes good sense on both points, Bonita, at least from the most important view, the divine perspective.

 

Interesting the Midwayers say MUCH pleasure and REAL satisfaction can come from clueless praying. Just don't expect an answer anytime soon :D



#18 Bonita

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 06:06 PM

 

Interesting the Midwayers say MUCH pleasure and REAL satisfaction can come from clueless praying. Just don't expect an answer anytime soon :D

 

I think the soul satisfaction they are speaking of comes from the humbleness and child-like trust of asking for help and believing it will come.  That sort of attitude is very healthy nutrition for the soul.  As I pointed out in the thread on the Holy Spirit, it's about the attitude of striving.  It's really not so much what you pray for but the attitude of the soul praying.  

 

91:8.12 God answers the soul's attitude, not the words.



#19 Rick Warren

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 06:40 PM

 

I think the soul satisfaction they are speaking of comes from the humbleness and child-like trust of asking for help and believing it will come.  That sort of attitude is very healthy nutrition for the soul.  As I pointed out in the thread on the Holy Spirit, it's about the attitude of striving.  It's really not so much what you pray for but the attitude of the soul praying.  

 

91:8.12 God answers the soul's attitude, not the words.

 

 

Yeah, having his children just to talk with him must make God happy. It's a start on what will surely end up without the "absurd petitions". But you have wonder, if God already knows what precisely we need, and all his agencies are working to supply that need, then is there a need to pray? Praying is more for the one praying, isn't it?



#20 Bonita

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:36 PM

 

 

Yeah, having his children just to talk with him must make God happy. It's a start on what will surely end up without the "absurd petitions". But you have wonder, if God already knows what precisely we need, and all his agencies are working to supply that need, then is there a need to pray? Praying is more for the one praying, isn't it?

 

Yeah, more or less.  It's the only way to learn the Father's way, at least the only way that I know of.  But that benefits God too.  The act is ours, the consequences God's.  Isn't that how it goes? The whole business of life is learning God's will.  How else are you going to learn what it is, and how else is God going to have his will done on earth?  Seems like a win-win situation to me.  

 

God does know everything we need before we ask, but we still have to strive for it. Laziness and entitlement mentality don't cut the mustard. Besides, he can't give us what we need until we create the capacity to receive it, and soul capacity is increased by prayer. Ask and you shall receive means you have to ask first because the asking helps create the capacity.  It's all about the striving, a pint can't hold a quart.  You gotta stretch it with striving and asking and asking and asking.  Persistence pays off.  

 

144:2.3 If, then, persistence will win favors even from mortal man, how much more will your persistence in the spirit win the bread of life for you from the willing hands of the Father in heaven.
 
144:2.5 These stories I tell you to encourage you to persist in praying and not to intimate that your petitions will change the just and righteous Father above. Your persistence, however, is not to win favor with God but to change your earth attitude and to enlarge your soul's capacity for spirit receptivity.
 
 




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