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PAPER 171 - ON THE WAY TO JERUSALEM


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#1 Rick Warren

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 05:10 AM

 
Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

Today's Presentation

Paper 171 - On the Way to Jerusalem
 
[INTRODUCTION]
 
   THE day after the memorable sermon on “The Kingdom of Heaven,” Jesus announced that on the following day he and the apostles would depart for the Passover at Jerusalem, visiting numerous cities in southern Perea on the way.
 
(1867.2) 171:0.2 The address on the kingdom and the announcement that he was going to the Passover set all his followers to thinking that he was going up to Jerusalem to inaugurate the temporal kingdom of Jewish supremacy. No matter what Jesus said about the nonmaterial character of the kingdom, he could not wholly remove from the minds of his Jewish hearers the idea that the Messiah was to establish some kind of nationalistic government with headquarters at Jerusalem.
 
(1867.3) 171:0.3 What Jesus said in his Sabbath sermon only tended to confuse the majority of his followers; very few were enlightened by the Master’s discourse. The leaders understood something of his teachings regarding the inner kingdom, “the kingdom of heaven within you,” but they also knew that he had spoken about another and future kingdom, and it was this kingdom they believed he was now going up to Jerusalem to establish. When they were disappointed in this expectation, when he was rejected by the Jews, and later on, when Jerusalem was literally destroyed, they still clung to this hope, sincerely believing that the Master would soon return to the world in great power and majestic glory to establish the promised kingdom.
 
(1867.4) 171:0.4 It was on this Sunday afternoon that Salome the mother of James and John Zebedee came to Jesus with her two apostle sons and, in the manner of approaching an Oriental potentate, sought to have Jesus promise in advance to grant whatever request she might make. But the Master would not promise; instead, he asked her, “What do you want me to do for you?” Then answered Salome: “Master, now that you are going up to Jerusalem to establish the kingdom, I would ask you in advance to promise me that these my sons shall have honor with you, the one to sit on your right hand and the other to sit on your left hand in your kingdom.”
 
(1867.5) 171:0.5 When Jesus heard Salome’s request, he said: “Woman, you know not what you ask.” And then, looking straight into the eyes of the two honor-seeking apostles, he said: “Because I have long known and loved you; because I have even lived in your mother’s house; because Andrew has assigned you to be with me at all times; therefore do you permit your mother to come to me secretly, making this unseemly request. But let me ask you: Are you able to drink the cup I am about to drink?” And without a moment for thought, James and John answered, “Yes, Master, we are able.” Said Jesus: “I am saddened that you know not why we go up to Jerusalem; I am grieved that you understand not the nature of my kingdom; I am disappointed that you bring your mother to make this request of me; but I know you love me in your hearts; therefore I declare that you shall indeed drink of my cup of bitterness and share in my humiliation, but to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give. Such honors are reserved for those who have been designated by my Father.”
 
(1868.1) 171:0.6 By this time someone had carried word of this conference to Peter and the other apostles, and they were highly indignant that James and John would seek to be preferred before them, and that they would secretly go with their mother to make such a request. When they fell to arguing among themselves, Jesus called them all together and said: “You well understand how the rulers of the gentiles lord it over their subjects, and how those who are great exercise authority. But it shall not be so in the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever would be great among you, let him first become your servant. He who would be first in the kingdom, let him become your minister. I declare to you that the Son of Man came not to be ministered to but to minister; and I now go up to Jerusalem to lay down my life in the doing of the Father’s will and in the service of my brethren.” When the apostles heard these words, they withdrew by themselves to pray. That evening, in response to the labors of Peter, James and John made suitable apologies to the ten and were restored to the good graces of their brethren.
 
(1868.2) 171:0.7 In asking for places on the right hand and on the left hand of Jesus at Jerusalem, the sons of Zebedee little realized that in less than one month their beloved teacher would be hanging on a Roman cross with a dying thief on one side and another transgressor on the other side. And their mother, who was present at the crucifixion, well remembered the foolish request she had made of Jesus at Pella regarding the honors she so unwisely sought for her apostle sons.

 
 

***
 


[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 13 June 2014 - 06:26 AM

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Greetings Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

 

Welcome everyone to the OPAD presentation of Paper 171. It has eight Sections and eleven pages. It covers a period of 19 days, from Sunday March 12, to Thursday March 30, AD 30.

 

Jesus has less than a month to live, teach and complete his bestowal mission, doing the Father's will to absolute and final perfection, thus paving the way for countless believers to follow, and for endless ages.

 

This Paper has a relatively long introduction, owing to the fact that the Midwayers chose to include Salome's unseemly request that her sons be shown special favor. But first they tell us of Jesus' announcement about the last teaching tour:

 

...he and the apostles would depart for the Passover at Jerusalem, visiting numerous cities in southern Perea on the way.... (1867.1)171:0.1

 

First_century_palestine.gif

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This unfortunate episode with Salome, James and John Zebedee, was recalled by two New Testament authors. But Mark failed to mention Salome's involvement.

 

From Mark 10:

 

35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.

 

36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?

 

37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.

 

38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

 

39 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:

 

40 But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

 

41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.

 

42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.

 

43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:

 

44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.

 

45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

 

From Matthew 20:

 

20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.

 

21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

 

22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

 

23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

 

24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.

 

25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

 

26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

 

27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

 

28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

 

***

 

Overview of Paper 171: On the Way to Jerusalem

 

1. The Departure from Pella

2. On Counting the Cost

3. The Perean Tour

4. Teaching at Livias

5. The Blind Man at Jericho

6. The Visit to Zaccheus

7. “As Jesus Passed By”

8. Parable of the Pounds

 

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.

 

 

 

Synopsis of Paper 171:

 

On March 12, 30 AD, Jesus announced that he and the apostles would travel to Jerusalem for the Passover. His followers, in spite of all that Jesus taught about his kingdom not being of this world, assumed that he was going there to establish the temporal kingdom of Jewish supremacy.

 

Salome, mother of the Zebedee brothers, came to Jesus with James and John and asked him to promise that her sons would to sit at his right and left side in the kingdom. Jesus grieved that his beloved apostles still did not understand the nature of his kingdom. He assured them that they would indeed drink of his cup of bitterness and share in his humiliation, but it was not his place to give what Salome asked. Later, when Salome witnessed the Master crucified between two criminals, she remembered her ill-conceived request.

 

The other apostles were upset to learn that James and John had gone secretly to Jesus seeking preference. They began again to argue among themselves. Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Whosoever would be great among you, let him first become your servant. I declare to you that the Son of Man came not to be ministered to but to minister; and I now go up to Jerusalem to lay down my life in the doing of the Father's will and in the service of my brethren."

 

One thousand people traveled with Jesus as he made his final journey to Jerusalem. At a ford in the Jordan river, the Master discoursed on the cost of being his disciple. Jesus warned his followers that they would face bitter persecutions and crushing disappointment; they must be willing to renounce all that they were and to dedicate all that they had. He frequently repeated that his kingdom was not of this world. His apostles considered what Jesus said but clung to the belief that after a period of adversity, the kingdom would be established just as they desired.

 

As the group traveled the number of followers shrunk to less than two hundred. On March 29, they camped at Livias. Here Simon Zelotes and Simon Peter obtained over one hundred swords that they distributed and wore concealed beneath their cloaks.

Jesus warned his men not to put their trust in the uncertainties of the flesh. He told them plainly that he would be delivered to the priests and put to death in Jerusalem. The Master asked them not to be dismayed and to remember that he would rise again on the third day. The stunned apostles would not accept what he was telling them. They were so attached to their old beliefs that they could not believe that Jesus really meant he would be killed by his enemies in Jerusalem.

 

In Jericho, a tax collector named Zaccheus wanted to see Jesus so much that he had climbed a sycamore tree to get a good view. As Jesus passed by, he looked up at Zaccheus and said, "Make haste, Zaccheus, and come down, for tonight I must abide at your house." The people who witnessed this were surprised that Jesus wished to stay with this publican, and one of the Pharisees commented on Jesus' willingness to lodge with a sinner who robbed his own people.

 

When Zaccheus heard this, he responded, "Men of Jericho, hear me! I may be a publican and a sinner, but the great Teacher has come to abide in my house; and before he goes in, I tell you that I am going to bestow one half of all my goods upon the poor... I am going to seek salvation with all my heart and learn to do righteousness in the sight of God." And when Zaccheus finished, Jesus said, "Today has salvation come to this home, and you have become indeed a son of Abraham. And marvel not at what I say nor take offense at what we do, for I have all along declared that the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost."

 

The next day, when the apostles stopped for lunch, Jesus told a parable. A nobleman entrusted each of his stewards with one pound to invest during the nobleman's absence. When an accounting was later required, the first steward had increased his pound tenfold. He was given authority over ten cities. The second servant had earned five pounds, and was made ruler of five cities. The last steward had wrapped his pound in a napkin to keep it safe. His master took it from him and gave it to the servant who had ten cities, saying, "To every one who has shall be given more, but from him who has not, even that which he has shall be taken from him."

 

Synopsis Source

 

 

***

 

In tomorrow's reading, Section 1. The Departure from Pella, the Midwayers outline the movements and events around the closing of Pella, David Zebedee's involvement with this closing, as well as his concern over the Pharisees' cruel persecution of Lazarus. And what David did the rest of his life, alongside Abner at Philadelphia.

 

Listen to Paper 171 (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 14 June 2014 - 04:24 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

Today's Presentation

Paper 171 - On the Way to Jerusalem

1. The Departure from Pella
 
   On the forenoon of Monday, March 13, Jesus and his twelve apostles took final leave of the Pella encampment, starting south on their tour of the cities of southern Perea, where Abner’s associates were at work. They spent more than two weeks visiting among the seventy and then went directly to Jerusalem for the Passover.
 
(1868.4) 171:1.2 When the Master left Pella, the disciples encamped with the apostles, about one thousand in number, followed after him. About one half of this group left him at the Jordan ford on the road to Jericho when they learned he was going over to Heshbon, and after he had preached the sermon on “Counting the Cost.” They went on up to Jerusalem, while the other half followed him for two weeks, visiting the towns in southern Perea.
 
(1868.5) 171:1.3 In a general way, most of Jesus’ immediate followers understood that the camp at Pella had been abandoned, but they really thought this indicated that their Master at last intended to go to Jerusalem and lay claim to David’s throne. A large majority of his followers never were able to grasp any other concept of the kingdom of heaven; no matter what he taught them, they would not give up this Jewish idea of the kingdom.
 
(1868.6) 171:1.4 Acting on the instructions of the Apostle Andrew, David Zebedee closed the visitors’ camp at Pella on Wednesday, March 15. At this time almost four thousand visitors were in residence, and this does not include the one thousand and more persons who sojourned with the apostles at what was known as the teachers’ camp, and who went south with Jesus and the twelve. Much as David disliked to do it, he sold the entire equipment to numerous buyers and proceeded with the funds to Jerusalem, subsequently turning the money over to Judas Iscariot.
 
(1869.1) 171:1.5 David was present in Jerusalem during the tragic last week, taking his mother back with him to Bethsaida after the crucifixion. While awaiting Jesus and the apostles, David stopped with Lazarus at Bethany and became tremendously agitated by the manner in which the Pharisees had begun to persecute and harass him since his resurrection. Andrew had directed David to discontinue the messenger service; and this was construed by all as an indication of the early establishment of the kingdom at Jerusalem. David found himself without a job, and he had about decided to become the self-appointed defender of Lazarus when presently the object of his indignant solicitude fled in haste to Philadelphia. Accordingly, sometime after the resurrection and also after the death of his mother, David betook himself to Philadelphia, having first assisted Martha and Mary in disposing of their real estate; and there, in association with Abner and Lazarus, he spent the remainder of his life, becoming the financial overseer of all those large interests of the kingdom which had their center at Philadelphia during the lifetime of Abner.
 
(1869.2) 171:1.6 Within a short time after the destruction of Jerusalem, Antioch became the headquarters of Pauline Christianity, while Philadelphia remained the center of the Abnerian kingdom of heaven. From Antioch the Pauline version of the teachings of Jesus and about Jesus spread to all the Western world; from Philadelphia the missionaries of the Abnerian version of the kingdom of heaven spread throughout Mesopotamia and Arabia until the later times when these uncompromising emissaries of the teachings of Jesus were overwhelmed by the sudden rise of Islam.


***

 

[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 14 June 2014 - 05:27 AM

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

 

Some of the most fascinating events in the Master's life unfolded at the Pella camp, but it is so little known or spoken of.

 

From today's reading:

 

...On the forenoon of Monday, March 13, Jesus and his twelve apostles took final leave of the Pella encampment.... (1868.3) 171:1.1

 

pella_ruins_300.jpg

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

...About one half of this group left him at the Jordan ford on the road to Jericho when they learned he was going over to Heshbon.... (1868.4) 171:1.2

 

 

heshbon.gif

 

MAP SOURCE

 

 

The Midwayers seem to be saying David Z wanted Jesus to keep teaching and touring:

 

...Much as David disliked to do it, he sold the entire equipment to numerous buyers and proceeded with the funds to Jerusalem.... (1868.6) 171:1.4

 

Good ole David. In many ways he was the grown up of the group. More mature, responsible, and wise, even than some of the apostles. In spite of his pivotal role, he was lost in history, and never mentioned in the Bible, or elsewhere--until now. I really admire him and his take charge attitude. Hope we will meet someday, on High.

 

Indeed, it seems like almost everything that happened at old Philadelphia was forgotten. A pity since Abner, Lazarus, and David held most closely to the Master's teachings.

 

The last sentence of today's reading:

 

...these uncompromising emissaries of the teachings of Jesus were overwhelmed by the sudden rise of Islam.... (1869.2) 171:1.6

 

Would it have been better/wiser for Abner and company to compromise, is that what the Midwayers are suggesting??

 

Speculation aside, the reality is that Antioch became the launching harbor and Paul's version became the standard bearer of the ship of Christianity. It sailed off to Rome and beyond, becoming a great fleet of sects and religions afloat on a vast sea confusion and error. But a new ship set sail in 1955 from Chicago, so glad to be aboard. You?

 

 

W_H_Bartlett_Antioch_on_the_Approach_fro

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

***

 

 

 

Tomorrow's reading, Section 2. On Counting the Cost, tells of a parting of the ways. About half of his followers stop following and go to Jerusalem after Jesus delivers the cost parable. But all of them still clung to the short-sighted idea that he was going there to crown himself.

 

Overview of Paper 171: On the Way to Jerusalem

 

1. The Departure from Pella

2. On Counting the Cost

3. The Perean Tour

4. Teaching at Livias

5. The Blind Man at Jericho

6. The Visit to Zaccheus

7. “As Jesus Passed By”

8. Parable of the Pounds

 

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 171 (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 15 June 2014 - 04:45 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today's Presentation

 

Paper 171 - On the Way to Jerusalem

 

2. On Counting the Cost

 

   When Jesus and the company of almost one thousand followers arrived at the Bethany ford of the Jordan sometimes called Bethabara, his disciples began to realize that he was not going directly to Jerusalem. While they hesitated and debated among themselves, Jesus climbed upon a huge stone and delivered that discourse which has become known as “Counting the Cost.” The Master said:

 

(1869.4) 171:2.2 “You who would follow after me from this time on, must be willing to pay the price of wholehearted dedication to the doing of my Father’s will. If you would be my disciples, you must be willing to forsake father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters. If any one of you would now be my disciple, you must be willing to give up even your life just as the Son of Man is about to offer up his life for the completion of the mission of doing the Father’s will on earth and in the flesh.

 

(1869.5) 171:2.3 “If you are not willing to pay the full price, you can hardly be my disciple. Before you go further, you should each sit down and count the cost of being my disciple. Which one of you would undertake to build a watchtower on your lands without first sitting down to count up the cost to see whether you had money enough to complete it? If you fail thus to reckon the cost, after you have laid the foundation, you may discover that you are unable to finish that which you have begun, and therefore will all your neighbors mock you, saying, ‘Behold, this man began to build but was unable to finish his work.’ Again, what king, when he prepares to make war upon another king, does not first sit down and take counsel as to whether he will be able, with ten thousand men, to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? If the king cannot afford to meet his enemy because he is unprepared, he sends an embassy to this other king, even when he is yet a great way off, asking for terms of peace.

 

(1870.1) 171:2.4 “Now, then, must each of you sit down and count the cost of being my disciple. From now on you will not be able to follow after us, listening to the teaching and beholding the works; you will be required to face bitter persecutions and to bear witness for this gospel in the face of crushing disappointment. If you are unwilling to renounce all that you are and to dedicate all that you have, then are you unworthy to be my disciple. If you have already conquered yourself within your own heart, you need have no fear of that outward victory which you must presently gain when the Son of Man is rejected by the chief priests and the Sadducees and is given into the hands of mocking unbelievers.

 

(1870.2) 171:2.5 “Now should you examine yourself to find out your motive for being my disciple. If you seek honor and glory, if you are worldly minded, you are like the salt when it has lost its savor. And when that which is valued for its saltiness has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned? Such a condiment is useless; it is fit only to be cast out among the refuse. Now have I warned you to turn back to your homes in peace if you are not willing to drink with me the cup which is being prepared. Again and again have I told you that my kingdom is not of this world, but you will not believe me. He who has ears to hear let him hear what I say.”

 

(1870.3) 171:2.6 Immediately after speaking these words, Jesus, leading the twelve, started off on the way to Heshbon, followed by about five hundred. After a brief delay the other half of the multitude went on up to Jerusalem. His apostles, together with the leading disciples, thought much about these words, but still they clung to the belief that, after this brief period of adversity and trial, the kingdom would certainly be set up somewhat in accordance with their long-cherished hopes.

 

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

 

[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 15 June 2014 - 06:08 AM

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

 

About Bethabara, cited in today's reading:

 

...When Jesus and the company of almost one thousand followers arrived at the Bethany ford of the Jordan sometimes called Bethabara.... (1869.3) 171:2.1

 

From Wikipedia:

 

Bethabara, in modern-day Jordan: According to the King James Version the place where John the Baptist baptized those who came to him (John 1:28).

 

John 1:28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

 

Bethabara-Beyond%20Jordan.jpg?height=400

 

Map Source

 

 

 

***

 

Living in the "kingdom" is not all joy and mirth, they (and we) are being told. And our God is an all or nothing God, sitting on the fence is not an option for long. Commitment must be total. From today's reading:

 

“...You who would follow after me from this time on, must be willing to pay the price of wholehearted dedication to the doing of my Father’s will...." (1869.4) 171:2.2

 

The author of the Gospel of Luke recorded much of the Master's warning about the ultimate cost of following. Somehow, and very unfortunately, the word hate slipped in to replace forsake. Maybe a simple translation error?

 

25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,

30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?

32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?

35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

 

 

The other Gospels (except John) have several verses on his counting the cost discourse, total commitment, and savor-less salt. This is from Matthew 5:

 

13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.

 

From Mark 9:

 

50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost its saltness, wherewith will ye season it?

 

 

***

 

Even if Jesus' apostles and disciples suffer under multiple illusions, he certainly doesn't. He seems to know already how his earthly end will unfold:

 

“...when the Son of Man is rejected by the chief priests and the Sadducees and is given into the hands of mocking unbelievers...." (1870.1) 171:2.4

 

 

Can any human truly realize the full cost of following the divine will? Can any human make such a commitment and fulfill it while still in the flesh? Did Enoch, the first human to fuse? Jesus the human certainly could, and did.

 

 

***

 

...Immediately after speaking these words, Jesus, leading the twelve, started off on the way to Heshbon.... (1870.3) 171:2.6

 

heshbon.gif

 

MAP SOURCE

 

 

 

 

***

 

In tomorrow's reading, Section 3. The Perean Tour, we are told about the last two weeks of March, spent ministering in southern Perea. But with few details, only that Jesus says goodbye to Abner, and instructs him to send the women's corps on to Jerusalem.

 

 

Overview of Paper 171: On the Way to Jerusalem

 

1. The Departure from Pella

2. On Counting the Cost

3. The Perean Tour

4. Teaching at Livias

5. The Blind Man at Jericho

6. The Visit to Zaccheus

7. “As Jesus Passed By”

8. Parable of the Pounds

 

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 171 (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 16 June 2014 - 04:58 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today's Presentation

 

Paper 171 - On the Way to Jerusalem

 

3. The Perean Tour

 

 

   For more than two weeks Jesus and the twelve, followed by a crowd of several hundred disciples, journeyed about in southern Perea, visiting all of the towns wherein the seventy labored. Many gentiles lived in this region, and since few were going up to the Passover feast at Jerusalem, the messengers of the kingdom went right on with their work of teaching and preaching.

 

(1870.5) 171:3.2 Jesus met Abner at Heshbon, and Andrew directed that the labors of the seventy should not be interrupted by the Passover feast; Jesus advised that the messengers should go forward with their work in complete disregard of what was about to happen at Jerusalem. He also counseled Abner to permit the women’s corps, at least such as desired, to go to Jerusalem for the Passover. And this was the last time Abner ever saw Jesus in the flesh. His farewell to Abner was: “My son, I know you will be true to the kingdom, and I pray the Father to grant you wisdom that you may love and understand your brethren.”

 

(1870.6) 171:3.3 As they traveled from city to city, large numbers of their followers deserted to go on to Jerusalem so that, by the time Jesus started for the Passover, the number of those who followed along with him day by day had dwindled to less than two hundred.

 

(1871.1) 171:3.4 The apostles understood that Jesus was going to Jerusalem for the Passover. They knew that the Sanhedrin had broadcast a message to all Israel that he had been condemned to die and directing that anyone knowing his whereabouts should inform the Sanhedrin; and yet, despite all this, they were not so alarmed as they had been when he had announced to them in Philadelphia that he was going to Bethany to see Lazarus. This change of attitude from that of intense fear to a state of hushed expectancy was mostly because of Lazarus’s resurrection. They had reached the conclusion that Jesus might, in an emergency, assert his divine power and put to shame his enemies. This hope, coupled with their more profound and mature faith in the spiritual supremacy of their Master, accounted for the outward courage displayed by his immediate followers, who now made ready to follow him into Jerusalem in the very face of the open declaration of the Sanhedrin that he must die.

 

(1871.2) 171:3.5 The majority of the apostles and many of his inner disciples did not believe it possible for Jesus to die; they, believing that he was “the resurrection and the life,” regarded him as immortal and already triumphant over death.

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

[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 16 June 2014 - 06:11 AM

.

 

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

 

We aren't given many details of this final two week tour in southern Perea, only that:

 

...the messengers of the kingdom went right on with their work of teaching and preaching.... (1870.4) 171:3.1

 

From today's reading:

 

...Jesus met Abner at Heshbon.... (1870.5) 171:3.2

 

Map_Heshbon_400.jpg

 

MAP SOURCE

 

 

The Master must have foreseen the disagreements Abner, Peter and Paul would have after his bodily death.

 

From Jesus' farewell to faithful and diligent Abner:

 

“...My son, I know you will be true to the kingdom, and I pray the Father to grant you wisdom that you may love and understand your brethren....” (1870.5) 171:3.2

 

Little good did it do. The rift between Abner and the others was the first of many. Some estimates say there are over 20,000 Christian sects today, each with its own interpretation of Jesus' simple instruction to love God, discern and do his will, each one believing it follows the correct and true gospel path. History records that many wars have been fought over interpretive disagreements among sects who claim to follow the God of love and fraternity!

 

In the previous Paper the Midwayers allow for differences in interpretation, so long as brotherhood is maintained:

 

...Always we may have diversity of intellectual comprehension and interpretation, even varying degrees of socialization, but lack of spiritual brotherhood is both inexcusable and reprehensible.... (1866.3)170:5.20

 

 

***

 

This idea that he couldn't die (in today's OPAD):

 

...The majority of the apostles and many of his inner disciples did not believe it possible for Jesus to die.... (1871.2) 171:3.5

 

...may have come from a conversation between Lazarus' sister Martha and Jesus, overheard by John Zebedee.

 

From the Gospel of John, chapter 11:

 

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?

 

 

And he repeated it after he died and re-appeared at Sychar:

 

“...Peace be upon you. You rejoice to know that I am the resurrection and the life, but this will avail you nothing unless you are first born of the eternal spirit, thereby coming to possess, by faith, the gift of eternal life....” (2053.4) 193:1.2

 

***

 

 

Tomorrow's reading picks up the storyline at March 29, in Section 4. Teaching at Livias. Jesus knows his apostles are carrying concealed swords, but says nothing. Instead he offers advice on trusting in the divine will, not weapons. And when he is warned to leave Herod's territory or be arrested, he replies 'go tell Herod where I am'.

 

 

Overview of Paper 171: On the Way to Jerusalem

 

1. The Departure from Pella

2. On Counting the Cost

3. The Perean Tour

4. Teaching at Livias

5. The Blind Man at Jericho

6. The Visit to Zaccheus

7. “As Jesus Passed By”

8. Parable of the Pounds

 

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 171 (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 17 June 2014 - 05:28 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today's Presentation

 

Paper 171 - On the Way to Jerusalem

 

4. Teaching at Livias

 

   On Wednesday evening, March 29, Jesus and his followers encamped at Livias on their way to Jerusalem, after having completed their tour of the cities of southern Perea. It was during this night at Livias that Simon Zelotes and Simon Peter, having conspired to have delivered into their hands at this place more than one hundred swords, received and distributed these arms to all who would accept them and wear them concealed beneath their cloaks. Simon Peter was still wearing his sword on the night of the Master’s betrayal in the garden.

 

(1871.4) 171:4.2 Early on Thursday morning before the others were awake, Jesus called Andrew and said: “Awaken your brethren! I have something to say to them.” Jesus knew about the swords and which of his apostles had received and were wearing these weapons, but he never disclosed to them that he knew such things. When Andrew had aroused his associates, and they had assembled off by themselves, Jesus said: “My children, you have been with me a long while, and I have taught you much that is needful for this time, but I would now warn you not to put your trust in the uncertainties of the flesh nor in the frailties of man’s defense against the trials and testing which lie ahead of us. I have called you apart here by yourselves that I may once more plainly tell you that we are going up to Jerusalem, where you know the Son of Man has already been condemned to death. Again am I telling you that the Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of the chief priests and the religious rulers; that they will condemn him and then deliver him into the hands of the gentiles. And so will they mock the Son of Man, even spit upon him and scourge him, and they will deliver him up to death. And when they kill the Son of Man, be not dismayed, for I declare that on the third day he shall rise. Take heed to yourselves and remember that I have forewarned you.”

 

(1871.5) 171:4.3 Again were the apostles amazed, stunned; but they could not bring themselves to regard his words as literal; they could not comprehend that the Master meant just what he said. They were so blinded by their persistent belief in the temporal kingdom on earth, with headquarters at Jerusalem, that they simply could not — would not — permit themselves to accept Jesus’ words as literal. They pondered all that day as to what the Master could mean by such strange pronouncements. But none of them dared to ask him a question concerning these statements. Not until after his death did these bewildered apostles wake up to the realization that the Master had spoken to them plainly and directly in anticipation of his crucifixion.

 

(1872.1) 171:4.4 It was here at Livias, just after breakfast, that certain friendly Pharisees came to Jesus and said: “Flee in haste from these parts, for Herod, just as he sought John, now seeks to kill you. He fears an uprising of the people and has decided to kill you. We bring you this warning that you may escape.”

 

(1872.2) 171:4.5 And this was partly true. The resurrection of Lazarus frightened and alarmed Herod, and knowing that the Sanhedrin had dared to condemn Jesus, even in advance of a trial, Herod made up his mind either to kill Jesus or to drive him out of his domains. He really desired to do the latter since he so feared him that he hoped he would not be compelled to execute him.

 

(1872.3) 171:4.6 When Jesus heard what the Pharisees had to say, he replied: “I well know about Herod and his fear of this gospel of the kingdom. But, mistake not, he would much prefer that the Son of Man go up to Jerusalem to suffer and die at the hands of the chief priests; he is not anxious, having stained his hands with the blood of John, to become responsible for the death of the Son of Man. Go you and tell that fox that the Son of Man preaches in Perea today, tomorrow goes into Judea, and after a few days, will be perfected in his mission on earth and prepared to ascend to the Father.”

 

(1872.4) 171:4.7 Then turning to his apostles, Jesus said: “From olden times the prophets have perished in Jerusalem, and it is only befitting that the Son of Man should go up to the city of the Father’s house to be offered up as the price of human bigotry and as the result of religious prejudice and spiritual blindness. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which kills the prophets and stones the teachers of truth! How often would I have gathered your children together even as a hen gathers her own brood under her wings, but you would not let me do it! Behold, your house is about to be left to you desolate! You will many times desire to see me, but you shall not. You will then seek but not find me.” And when he had spoken, he turned to those around him and said: “Nevertheless, let us go up to Jerusalem to attend the Passover and do that which becomes us in fulfilling the will of the Father in heaven.”

 

(1872.5) 171:4.8 It was a confused and bewildered group of believers who this day followed Jesus into Jericho. The apostles could discern only the certain note of final triumph in Jesus’ declarations regarding the kingdom; they just could not bring themselves to that place where they were willing to grasp the warnings of the impending setback. When Jesus spoke of “rising on the third day,” they seized upon this statement as signifying a sure triumph of the kingdom immediately following an unpleasant preliminary skirmish with the Jewish religious leaders. The “third day” was a common Jewish expression signifying “presently” or “soon thereafter.” When Jesus spoke of “rising,” they thought he referred to the “rising of the kingdom.”

 

(1872.6) 171:4.9 Jesus had been accepted by these believers as the Messiah, and the Jews knew little or nothing about a suffering Messiah. They did not understand that Jesus was to accomplish many things by his death which could never have been achieved by his life. While it was the resurrection of Lazarus that nerved the apostles to enter Jerusalem, it was the memory of the transfiguration that sustained the Master at this trying period of his bestowal.

 

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

 

[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 17 June 2014 - 06:31 AM

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

 

...On Wednesday evening, March 29, Jesus and his followers encamped at Livias.... (1871.3) 171:4.1

 

On this map Livias is shown just above the Dead Sea:

 

gifmap1.gif

 

MAP SOURCE

 

***

 

You might think the apostles would realize the Master knew of their hidden swords when he roused them early with this pointed admonition:

 

"...I would now warn you not to put your trust in the uncertainties of the flesh nor in the frailties of man’s defense against the trials and testing which lie ahead of us...." (1871.4) 171:4.2

 

Nope:

 

...They pondered all that day as to what the Master could mean by such strange pronouncements.... (1871.5) 171:4.3

 

***

 

The Gospel of Luke records this much of Jesus' reply to the friendly Pharisee:

 

31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.

 

32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

 

33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

 

34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

 

35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

 

 

 

From today's reading:

 

"...O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which kills the prophets and stones the teachers of truth! How often would I have gathered your children together even as a hen gathers her own brood under her wings, but you would not let me do it! Behold, your house is about to be left to you desolate! You will many times desire to see me, but you shall not. You will then seek but not find me....” (1872.4) 171:4.7

 

From Matthew 23:

 

37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

 

38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

 

39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

 

 

***

 

Mark recalled some of his remarks made on this day:

 

32 And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,

 

33 Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles:

 

34 And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

 

 

***

 

From today's reading:

 

...it was the memory of the transfiguration that sustained the Master at this trying period of his bestowal.... (1872.6) 171:4.9

 

From Paper 158:

 

...The three apostles were so badly frightened that they were slow in collecting their wits, but Peter, who was first to recover himself, said, as the dazzling vision faded from before them and they observed Jesus standing alone: “Jesus, Master, it is good to have been here. We rejoice to see this glory. We are loath to go back down to the inglorious world. If you are willing, let us abide here, and we will erect three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” And Peter said this because of his confusion, and because nothing else came into his mind at just that moment.

 

While Peter was yet speaking, a silvery cloud drew near and overshadowed the four of them. The apostles now became greatly frightened, and as they fell down on their faces to worship, they heard a voice, the same that had spoken on the occasion of Jesus’ baptism, say: “This is my beloved Son; give heed to him.” And when the cloud vanished, again was Jesus alone with the three, and he reached down and touched them, saying: “Arise and be not afraid; you shall see greater things than this.” But the apostles were truly afraid; they were a silent and thoughtful trio as they made ready to descend the mountain shortly before midnight.... (1753.5) 158:1.9

 

Read all the transfiguration story here:

 

158. The Mount of Transfiguration

 

1. The Transfiguration

2. Coming down the Mountain

3. Meaning of the Transfiguration

 

 

***

 

Tomorrow's OPAD is Section 5. The Blind Man at Jericho. It's a short and uncomplicated story, the sightless man determined to be healed when Jesus came thru town, and he was not disappointed.

 

 

Overview of Paper 171: On the Way to Jerusalem

 

1. The Departure from Pella

2. On Counting the Cost

3. The Perean Tour

4. Teaching at Livias

5. The Blind Man at Jericho

6. The Visit to Zaccheus

7. “As Jesus Passed By”

8. Parable of the Pounds

 

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 171 (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 Rick Warren

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 05:00 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today's Presentation

 

Paper 171 - On the Way to Jerusalem

 

5. The Blind Man at Jericho

 

 

   Late on the afternoon of Thursday, March 30, Jesus and his apostles, at the head of a band of about two hundred followers, approached the walls of Jericho. As they came near the gate of the city, they encountered a throng of beggars, among them one Bartimeus, an elderly man who had been blind from his youth. This blind beggar had heard much about Jesus and knew all about his healing of the blind Josiah at Jerusalem. He had not known of Jesus’ last visit to Jericho until he had gone on to Bethany. Bartimeus had resolved that he would never again allow Jesus to visit Jericho without appealing to him for the restoration of his sight.

 

(1873.2) 171:5.2 News of Jesus’ approach had been heralded throughout Jericho, and hundreds of the inhabitants flocked forth to meet him. When this great crowd came back escorting the Master into the city, Bartimeus, hearing the heavy tramping of the multitude, knew that something unusual was happening, and so he asked those standing near him what was going on. And one of the beggars replied, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” When Bartimeus heard that Jesus was near, he lifted up his voice and began to cry aloud, “Jesus, Jesus, have mercy upon me!” And as he continued to cry louder and louder, some of those near to Jesus went over and rebuked him, requesting him to hold his peace; but it was of no avail; he cried only the more and the louder.

 

(1873.3) 171:5.3 When Jesus heard the blind man crying out, he stood still. And when he saw him, he said to his friends, “Bring the man to me.” And then they went over to Bartimeus, saying: “Be of good cheer; come with us, for the Master calls for you.” When Bartimeus heard these words, he threw aside his cloak, springing forward toward the center of the road, while those near by guided him to Jesus. Addressing Bartimeus, Jesus said: “What do you want me to do for you?” Then answered the blind man, “I would have my sight restored.” And when Jesus heard this request and saw his faith, he said: “You shall receive your sight; go your way; your faith has made you whole.” Immediately he received his sight, and he remained near Jesus, glorifying God, until the Master started on the next day for Jerusalem, and then he went before the multitude declaring to all how his sight had been restored in Jericho.

 

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

[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.]



#12 Rick Warren

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 05:53 AM

.

 

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

 

Looks like old Jericho is in the foothills northeast of Jerusalem:

 

judges3.jpg

 

MAP SOURCE

 

 

 

This was an odd, stand alone, matter-of-fact episode. The Midwayers may have included it only because it appears in the Bible, and later in many works of art.

 

Nowhere else is Bartimeus mentioned in the UB, nor his cure. And Jesus didn't add his usual 'see that you tell no one', he simply healed him and moved on.

 

Three of the four Gospel writers recorded the story of Bartimeus, but there are two blind ones in Matthew 20:

 

29 And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him.

30 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David.

31 And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David.

32 And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you?

33 They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened.

34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

 

Mark, chapter 10, recalled his name and painted a truer word picture of the miracle:

 

46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.

48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.

49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.

50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

 

From Luke 18:

 

35 And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging:

36 And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant.

37 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.

39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.

40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him,

41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.

42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.

 

Artist's renderings:

 

Carl_Bloch_The_Healing_of_the_Blind_Bart

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

www-St-Takla-org--Bartimeus.jpg?m=129942

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

bartimeus.jpg

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

***

 

 

In tomorrow's reading, Section 6. The Visit to Zaccheus, a short tax collector climbs a tree and almost falls out when Jesus calls him by name and declares he "must abide at his house". Of course there is harsh criticism for lodging with a "publican and sinner".

 

Overview of Paper 171: On the Way to Jerusalem

 

1. The Departure from Pella

2. On Counting the Cost

3. The Perean Tour

4. Teaching at Livias

5. The Blind Man at Jericho

6. The Visit to Zaccheus

7. “As Jesus Passed By”

8. Parable of the Pounds

 

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 171 (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.



#13 Rick Warren

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 04:33 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today's Presentation

 

Paper 171 - On the Way to Jerusalem

 

6. The Visit to Zaccheus

 

   When the Master’s procession entered Jericho, it was nearing sundown, and he was minded to abide there for the night. As Jesus passed by the customs house, Zaccheus the chief publican, or tax collector, happened to be present, and he much desired to see Jesus. This chief publican was very rich and had heard much about this prophet of Galilee. He had resolved that he would see what sort of a man Jesus was the next time he chanced to visit Jericho; accordingly, Zaccheus sought to press through the crowd, but it was too great, and being short of stature, he could not see over their heads. And so the chief publican followed on with the crowd until they came near the center of the city and not far from where he lived. When he saw that he would be unable to penetrate the crowd, and thinking that Jesus might be going right on through the city without stopping, he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree whose spreading branches overhung the roadway. He knew that in this way he could obtain a good view of the Master as he passed by. And he was not disappointed, for, as Jesus passed by, he stopped and, looking up at Zaccheus, said: “Make haste, Zaccheus, and come down, for tonight I must abide at your house.” And when Zaccheus heard these astonishing words, he almost fell out of the tree in his haste to get down, and going up to Jesus, he expressed great joy that the Master should be willing to stop at his house.

 

(1874.1) 171:6.2 They went at once to the home of Zaccheus, and those who lived in Jericho were much surprised that Jesus would consent to abide with the chief publican. Even while the Master and his apostles lingered with Zaccheus before the door of his house, one of the Jericho Pharisees, standing near by, said: “You see how this man has gone to lodge with a sinner, an apostate son of Abraham who is an extortioner and a robber of his own people.” And when Jesus heard this, he looked down at Zaccheus and smiled. Then Zaccheus stood upon a stool and said: “Men of Jericho, hear me! I may be a publican and a sinner, but the great Teacher has come to abide in my house; and before he goes in, I tell you that I am going to bestow one half of all my goods upon the poor, and beginning tomorrow, if I have wrongfully exacted aught from any man, I will restore fourfold. I am going to seek salvation with all my heart and learn to do righteousness in the sight of God.”

 

(1874.2) 171:6.3 When Zaccheus had ceased speaking, Jesus said: “Today has salvation come to this home, and you have become indeed a son of Abraham.” And turning to the crowd assembled about them, Jesus said: “And marvel not at what I say nor take offense at what we do, for I have all along declared that the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost.”

 

(1874.3) 171:6.4 They lodged with Zaccheus for the night. On the morrow they arose and made their way up the “road of robbers” to Bethany on their way to the Passover at Jerusalem.

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

 

[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.]



#14 Rick Warren

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 05:17 AM

.

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

 

This was one of the more light-hearted incidents in the Master's life, wasn't it!

 

William_Hole_Zacchaeus_In_The_Sycamore_T

 

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But it seems odd that a tax collector would be so open about being rich. Shouldn't the tax man be bound by law to give the great majority of the collections to his Roman overseers? Not only did Zaccheus proclaim vast wealth, he had the authority to give it away. From today's reading:

 

"...I tell you that I am going to bestow one half of all my goods upon the poor....” (1874.1) 171:6.2

 

It would interesting to know what became of Zaccheus.

 

From Wikipedia:
 

Zacchaeus was a chief tax-collector at Jericho, mentioned only in the Gospel of Luke. A descendent of Abraham, he was a poster child for Jesus' personal, earthly mission to bring salvation to the lost. Tax collectors were despised as traitors (working for the Roman Empire, not for their Jewish community), and as being corrupt.

 

Because the lucrative production and export of balsam was centered in Jericho, his position would have carried both importance and wealth. In the account, he arrived before the crowd who were later to meet with Jesus, who was passing through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. Described as a short man, Zacchaeus climbed up a sycamore fig tree so that he might be able to see Jesus. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up into the branches, addressed Zacchaeus by name, and told him to come down, for he intended to visit his house. The crowd was shocked that Jesus, a Jew, would sully himself by being a guest of a tax collector.

 

Moved by the audacity of Jesus' undeserved love and acceptance, Zacchaeus publicly repented acts of corruption and vowed to make restitution for them, and held a feast at his house.

 

 

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Zacchaeus by Niels Larsen Stevns. Jesus calls Zacchaeus down from his height in the tree.

 

 

Could this be the very tree?

 

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Zacchaeus' sycamore fig in Jericho

 

 

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"Zacchaeus receives Jesus", Church of the Good Shepherd, Jericho

 

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This story appears in the New Testament Gospel of Luke, and only Luke, chapter 19:

 

1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

 

And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.

 

And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.

 

And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.

 

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.

 

And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.

 

And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.

 

And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

 

And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

 

10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

 

 

***

 

 

Tomorrow's reading, Section 7. “As Jesus Passed By”, begins with the intersection of goodness and gracefulness, and goes on about Jesus' love and understanding of each person, great or small. His love is natural, overflowing, confidence-assuring, and faith-giving.

 

Overview of Paper 171: On the Way to Jerusalem

 

1. The Departure from Pella

2. On Counting the Cost

3. The Perean Tour

4. Teaching at Livias

5. The Blind Man at Jericho

6. The Visit to Zaccheus

7. “As Jesus Passed By”

8. Parable of the Pounds

 

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 171 (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.



#15 Rick Warren

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 04:20 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today's Presentation

 

Paper 171 - On the Way to Jerusalem

 

 

7. “As Jesus Passed By”

 

 

   Jesus spread good cheer everywhere he went. He was full of grace and truth. His associates never ceased to wonder at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth. You can cultivate gracefulness, but graciousness is the aroma of friendliness which emanates from a love-saturated soul.

 

(1874.5) 171:7.2 Goodness always compels respect, but when it is devoid of grace, it often repels affection. Goodness is universally attractive only when it is gracious. Goodness is effective only when it is attractive.

 

(1874.6) 171:7.3 Jesus really understood men; therefore could he manifest genuine sympathy and show sincere compassion. But he seldom indulged in pity. While his compassion was boundless, his sympathy was practical, personal, and constructive. Never did his familiarity with suffering breed indifference, and he was able to minister to distressed souls without increasing their self-pity.

 

(1874.7) 171:7.4 Jesus could help men so much because he loved them so sincerely. He truly loved each man, each woman, and each child. He could be such a true friend because of his remarkable insight — he knew so fully what was in the heart and in the mind of man. He was an interested and keen observer. He was an expert in the comprehension of human need, clever in detecting human longings.

 

(1874.8) 171:7.5 Jesus was never in a hurry. He had time to comfort his fellow men “as he passed by.” And he always made his friends feel at ease. He was a charming listener. He never engaged in the meddlesome probing of the souls of his associates. As he comforted hungry minds and ministered to thirsty souls, the recipients of his mercy did not so much feel that they were confessing to him as that they were conferring with him. They had unbounded confidence in him because they saw he had so much faith in them.

 

(1875.1) 171:7.6 He never seemed to be curious about people, and he never manifested a desire to direct, manage, or follow them up. He inspired profound self-confidence and robust courage in all who enjoyed his association. When he smiled on a man, that mortal experienced increased capacity for solving his manifold problems.

 

(1875.2) 171:7.7 Jesus loved men so much and so wisely that he never hesitated to be severe with them when the occasion demanded such discipline. He frequently set out to help a person by asking for help. In this way he elicited interest, appealed to the better things in human nature.

 

(1875.3) 171:7.8 The Master could discern saving faith in the gross superstition of the woman who sought healing by touching the hem of his garment. He was always ready and willing to stop a sermon or detain a multitude while he ministered to the needs of a single person, even to a little child. Great things happened not only because people had faith in Jesus, but also because Jesus had so much faith in them.

 

(1875.4) 171:7.9 Most of the really important things which Jesus said or did seemed to happen casually, “as he passed by.” There was so little of the professional, the well-planned, or the premeditated in the Master’s earthly ministry. He dispensed health and scattered happiness naturally and gracefully as he journeyed through life. It was literally true, “He went about doing good.”

 

(1875.5) 171:7.10 And it behooves the Master’s followers in all ages to learn to minister as “they pass by” — to do unselfish good as they go about their daily duties.

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

 

[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.]



#16 Rick Warren

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 05:46 AM

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

 

Almost all of this Section is laudatory of Jesus and his consummate ability to understand and thereby love everyone. He doesn't get trapped in arguments or try to force his beliefs on anyone. He somehow rises above all controversy and goes straight into the heart of the person or situation before him. He IS graciousness alive. No doubt, when we become God-like, graciousness becomes a part of us too.

 

The word graciousness appears only twice in the UB, once in today's reading:

 

...You can cultivate gracefulness, but graciousness is the aroma of friendliness which emanates from a love-saturated soul.... (1874.4) 171:7.1

 

...and once in Paper 150:

 

...Many of the people were pleased with the discourse, and they marveled at his graciousness and wisdom....(1686.2) 150:8.10

 

 

This idea of graciousness is worthy of study since it is a divine attribute. The word gracious appears in 35 places, almost all uses are associated with God, divinity, and Jesus. Here are five uses by the Divine Counselor who wrote the first five Papers about God, two of which were taken from the Bible's Old Testament:

 

...I know that, while the great God is absolute, eternal, and infinite, he is also good, divine, and gracious.... (26.2) 1:3.8

 

...the Universal Father reveals all of his gracious and divine self that can be discerned or comprehended by such spirit beings and by such mortal creatures. God is no respecter of persons, either spiritual or material.... (27.1) 1:4.6

 

"...Our God is full of compassion, gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy....” (38.1) 2:4.1 (Psalm 86:15)

 

"...The Lord God is merciful and gracious. He is long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth....” (41.1) 2:6.3 (Exodus 34:6)

 

...These sentiments are mean and despicable; they are hardly worthy of being called human, much less divine; and such attitudes are utterly foreign to the perfect nature and gracious character of the Universal Father.... (57.7) 4:3.2

 

 

It is also worth noting that goodness has positive and negative qualities, that it is not always accepted or recognized unless it has this crucial element of graciousness:

 

...Goodness is universally attractive only when it is gracious. Goodness is effective only when it is attractive.... (1874.5) 171:7.2

 

***

 

 

 

Apparently goodness and graciousness cannot be staged events. The circumstances in the moment allow their expression when in the presence of a God-conscious being. The Midwayers refer to the woman of faith in today's reading:

 

...The Master could discern saving faith in the gross superstition of the woman who sought healing by touching the hem of his garment.... (1875.3) 171:7.8

 

That story appears in Paper 152:

 

"...For years I have been afflicted with a scourging hemorrhage. I have suffered many things from many physicians; I have spent all my substance, but none could cure me. Then I heard of you, and I thought if I may but touch the hem of his garment, I shall certainly be made whole. And so I pressed forward with the crowd as it moved along until, standing near you, Master, I touched the border of your garment, and I was made whole; I know that I have been healed of my affliction....” (1698.2) 152:0.2

 

 

Spontaneity seems to be the essence of the "as you passed by" admonition. From today's reading:

 

...it behooves the Master’s followers in all ages to learn to minister as “they pass by” — to do unselfish good as they go about their daily duties.... (1875.5) 171:7.10

 

 

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...As the days pass, every true believer becomes more skillful in alluring his fellows into the love of eternal truth. Are you more resourceful in revealing goodness to humanity today than you were yesterday? (1740:2) 156:5.15

 

***

 

Tomorrow's reading, Section 8. Parable of the Pounds, brings in a little known historical character named Archelaus. This parable is not the same as the parable of the talents, but it is reminiscent of it. We learn it was Nathaniel who grasped and taught both after Jesus' death and resurrection.

 

Overview of Paper 171: On the Way to Jerusalem

 

1. The Departure from Pella

2. On Counting the Cost

3. The Perean Tour

4. Teaching at Livias

5. The Blind Man at Jericho

6. The Visit to Zaccheus

7. “As Jesus Passed By”

8. Parable of the Pounds

 

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 171 (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.



#17 Bonita

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 09:06 AM

 

 

It is also worth noting that goodness has positive and negative qualities, that it is not always accepted or recognized unless it has this crucial element of graciousness:

 

...Goodness is universally attractive only when it is gracious. Goodness is effective only when it is attractive.... (1874.5) 171:7.2

 

***

 

 

Do you really think true goodness has negative qualities?  

 

I would think that goodness is always gracious, otherwise it would not be true goodness.  It would be something else, an affectation, an act of propriety, a societal duty, a self-righteous and well-meaning person trying to reform others, any number of things people commonly define as good but do not necessarily flow from God in the heart of the soul.  True goodness is unconscious (140:8.26) and therefore unaffected by any attitude which might interfere with its inherent graciousness.  I don't think the two can be separated.  

 

I think the quote is more about attractiveness and effectiveness.  Anything other than true goodness is not attractive or effective, and perhaps that can be construed as negative. Here is a companion quote:

 

p40:4 2:5.12 When man loses sight of the love of a personal God, the kingdom of God becomes merely the kingdom of good.



#18 Rick Warren

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 09:43 AM

Do you really think true goodness has negative qualities?  

 

I would think that goodness is always gracious, otherwise it would not be true goodness.  It would be something else, an affectation, an act of propriety, a societal duty, a self-righteous and well-meaning person trying to reform others, any number of things people commonly define as good but do not necessarily flow from God in the heart of the soul.  True goodness is unconscious (140:8.26) and therefore unaffected by any attitude which might interfere with its inherent graciousness.  I don't think the two can be separated.  

 

I think the quote is more about attractiveness and effectiveness.  Anything other than true goodness is not attractive or effective, and perhaps that can be construed as negative. Here is a companion quote:

 

p40:4 2:5.12 When man loses sight of the love of a personal God, the kingdom of God becomes merely the kingdom of good.

 

 

Yes, of course you're right about TRUE goodness. I had in mind only relative goodness.


...Goodness, like truth, is always relative and unfailingly evil-contrasted. It is the perception of these qualities of goodness and truth that enables the evolving souls of men to make those personal decisions of choice which are essential to eternal survival.... (1457:6) 132:2.3



#19 Rick Warren

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 09:59 AM

This is beautiful, in today's text:

 

...When he smiled on a man, that mortal experienced increased capacity for solving his manifold problems.... (1875.1) 171:7.6

 


No reason to think it can't happen today, you think?



#20 Bonita

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 10:20 AM

 

This is beautiful, in today's text:

 

...When he smiled on a man, that mortal experienced increased capacity for solving his manifold problems.... (1875.1) 171:7.6

 


No reason to think it can't happen today, you think?

 

 

Do you mean Jesus smiling on a man today?  Absolutely!  Isn't that the meaning of this quote:

 

100:7.18 Jesus was the perfectly unified human personality. And today, as in Galilee, he continues to unify mortal experience and to co-ordinate human endeavors. He unifies life, ennobles character, and simplifies experience. He enters the human mind to elevate, transform, and transfigure it. It is literally true: "If any man has Christ Jesus within him, he is a new creature; old things are passing away; behold, all things are becoming new."

 

As for a fellow creature smiling on another creature and increasing their capacity to solve problems, I also think is absolutely possible if they have Jesus in them.  Isn't that the meaning of this quote:

 

194:3.1 When man yields the "fruits of the spirit" in his life, he is simply showing forth the traits which the Master manifested in his own earthly life. When Jesus was on earth, he lived his life as one personality--Jesus of Nazareth. As the indwelling spirit of the "new teacher," the Master has, since Pentecost, been able to live his life anew in the experience of every truth-taught believer.





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