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PAPER 173 - MONDAY IN JERUSALEM


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#1 Rick Warren

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 04:42 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today's Presentation

 

Paper 173 - MONDAY IN JERUSALEM

 

[INTRODUCTION]

 

 

   EARLY on this Monday morning, by prearrangement, Jesus and the apostles assembled at the home of Simon in Bethany, and after a brief conference they set out for Jerusalem. The twelve were strangely silent as they journeyed on toward the temple; they had not recovered from the experience of the preceding day. They were expectant, fearful, and profoundly affected by a certain feeling of detachment growing out of the Master’s sudden change of tactics, coupled with his instruction that they were to engage in no public teaching throughout this Passover week.

 

(1888.2) 173:0.2 As this group journeyed down Mount Olivet, Jesus led the way, the apostles following closely behind in meditative silence. There was just one thought uppermost in the minds of all save Judas Iscariot, and that was: What will the Master do today? The one absorbing thought of Judas was: What shall I do? Shall I go on with Jesus and my associates, or shall I withdraw? And if I am going to quit, how shall I break off?

 

(1888.3) 173:0.3 It was about nine o’clock on this beautiful morning when these men arrived at the temple. They went at once to the large court where Jesus so often taught, and after greeting the believers who were awaiting him, Jesus mounted one of the teaching platforms and began to address the gathering crowd. The apostles withdrew for a short distance and awaited 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.]



#2 Rick Warren

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 06:33 AM

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Greetings Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors!

 

Welcome to the OPAD presentation of Paper 173. It has nine pages and five Sections, and covers a single event-packed day in the last week of Jesus' life in the flesh on truth-starved Urantia.

 

Overview of Paper 173: Monday in Jerusalem

 

1. Cleansing the Temple

2. Challenging the Master’s Authority

3. Parable of the Two Sons

4. Parable of the Absent Landlord

5. Parable of the Marriage Feast

 

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.

 

From the introduction:

 

...Jesus and the apostles assembled at the home of Simon in Bethany, and after a brief conference they set out for Jerusalem.... (1888.1) 173:0.1

 

Looks like it is less than a mile from Simon's home to the temple:
 

map-33-735px.jpg?1402517872

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

***

 

This Paper presents several well known and dramatic events of Jesus' life, from driving the profiteers out of the temple on Monday morning to the delivery of three parables pointed directly at those who would ignore or reject the divine light he brought to our benighted planet.

 

The only thing that kept Jesus alive after he cleansed the temple was his popularity among the commoners and visitors to Jerusalem during this Passover. But if his arrest and death were in question before the temple cleansing, they were not after. It was only a matter of about 100 hours until his trial, conviction and cruel end. He made very good use of those hours.

 

Naturally, the temple authorities challenged his right to take charge of the temple, to interrupt their flow of their income, and dare to teach the people about God. He answered their questioning of his authority with a question, about John the Baptist. When they refused to answer his question, he replied that he would not answer theirs.

 

Thus began a week of the most amazing and daring of all his life performances. The apostles were completely overshadowed. They lingered in the background wondering what their fearless leader would do next. On this unique day of cleansing and teaching, he gave them, and all the worlds of Nebadon, three new parables.

 

The first parable was aimed at the pretentious priesthood, blindly following the dictates of tradition and assumed ecclesiastical certainty. The second was quite plain in its meaning, about how a house of wicked servants attacked their Master's messengers, even his son. The third parable is a teaching about our Father's open invitation to join the divine family, and the consequences of rejection.

 

After this event filled day, Jesus and his terrified band go back to Bethany for the night, but the Master directs them to set up camp in the park near Jerusalem, the one called Gethsemane.

 

***

 

 

All four of the Gospels very briefly mention their entering Jerusalem on this Monday morn.

 

From John 2:

 

13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

 

The least is in Luke 19:

 

45 And he went into the temple...

 

From Matthew 21:

 

10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?

 

11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

 

 

Somehow the fable of the cursing of the barren fig tree entered into Mark's account. From chapter 11:

 

12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

 

13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

 

14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

 

 

***

 

Tomorrow's reading is part 1 of Section 1. Cleansing the Temple. In it the Midwayers give us background on this profit-making bank, this noisy thriving obscenity, smack in the middle of God's house. Jesus commits his most daring and dramatic act against the entrenched priesthood, one that ensures his death before the week is over.

 

Listen to Paper 173 (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 01 July 2014 - 05:17 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today's Presentation

 

Paper 173 - MONDAY IN JERUSALEM

 

1. Cleansing the Temple

 

[Part 1 of 2]

 

   A huge commercial traffic had grown up in association with the services and ceremonies of the temple worship. There was the business of providing suitable animals for the various sacrifices. Though it was permissible for a worshiper to provide his own sacrifice, the fact remained that this animal must be free from all “blemish” in the meaning of the Levitical law and as interpreted by official inspectors of the temple. Many a worshiper had experienced the humiliation of having his supposedly perfect animal rejected by the temple examiners. It therefore became the more general practice to purchase sacrificial animals at the temple, and although there were several stations on near-by Olivet where they could be bought, it had become the vogue to buy these animals directly from the temple pens. Gradually there had grown up this custom of selling all kinds of sacrificial animals in the temple courts. An extensive business, in which enormous profits were made, had thus been brought into existence. Part of these gains was reserved for the temple treasury, but the larger part went indirectly into the hands of the ruling high-priestly families.

 

(1888.5) 173:1.2 This sale of animals in the temple prospered because, when the worshiper purchased such an animal, although the price might be somewhat high, no more fees had to be paid, and he could be sure the intended sacrifice would not be rejected on the ground of possessing real or technical blemishes. At one time or another systems of exorbitant overcharge were practiced upon the common people, especially during the great national feasts. At one time the greedy priests went so far as to demand the equivalent of the value of a week’s labor for a pair of doves which should have been sold to the poor for a few pennies. The “sons of Annas” had already begun to establish their bazaars in the temple precincts, those very merchandise marts which persisted to the time of their final overthrow by a mob three years before the destruction of the temple itself.

 

(1889.1) 173:1.3 But traffic in sacrificial animals and sundry merchandise was not the only way in which the courts of the temple were profaned. At this time there was fostered an extensive system of banking and commercial exchange which was carried on right within the temple precincts. And this all came about in the following manner: During the Asmonean dynasty the Jews coined their own silver money, and it had become the practice to require the temple dues of one-half shekel and all other temple fees to be paid with this Jewish coin. This regulation necessitated that money-changers be licensed to exchange the many sorts of currency in circulation throughout Palestine and other provinces of the Roman Empire for this orthodox shekel of Jewish coining. The temple head tax, payable by all except women, slaves, and minors, was one-half shekel, a coin about the size of a ten-cent piece but twice as thick. By the times of Jesus the priests had also been exempted from the payment of temple dues. Accordingly, from the 15th to the 25th of the month preceding the Passover, accredited money-changers erected their booths in the principal cities of Palestine for the purpose of providing the Jewish people with proper money to meet the temple dues after they had reached Jerusalem. After this ten-day period these money-changers moved on to Jerusalem and proceeded to set up their exchange tables in the courts of the temple. They were permitted to charge the equivalent of from three to four cents commission for the exchange of a coin valued at about ten cents, and in case a coin of larger value was offered for exchange, they were allowed to collect double. Likewise did these temple bankers profit from the exchange of all money intended for the purchase of sacrificial animals and for the payment of vows and the making of offerings.*

 

(1889.2) 173:1.4 These temple money-changers not only conducted a regular banking business for profit in the exchange of more than twenty sorts of money which the visiting pilgrims would periodically bring to Jerusalem, but they also engaged in all other kinds of transactions pertaining to the banking business. Both the temple treasury and the temple rulers profited tremendously from these commercial activities. It was not uncommon for the temple treasury to hold upwards of ten million dollars while the common people languished in poverty and continued to pay these unjust levies.

 

(1889.3) 173:1.5 In the midst of this noisy aggregation of money-changers, merchandisers, and cattle sellers, Jesus, on this Monday morning, attempted to teach the gospel of the heavenly kingdom. He was not alone in resenting this profanation of the temple; the common people, especially the Jewish visitors from foreign provinces, also heartily resented this profiteering desecration of their national house of worship. At this time the Sanhedrin itself held its regular meetings in a chamber surrounded by all this babble and confusion of trade and barter.

 

(1890.1) 173:1.6 As Jesus was about to begin his address, two things happened to arrest his attention. At the money table of a near-by exchanger a violent and heated argument had arisen over the alleged overcharging of a Jew from Alexandria, while at the same moment the air was rent by the bellowing of a drove of some one hundred bullocks which was being driven from one section of the animal pens to another. As Jesus paused, silently but thoughtfully contemplating this scene of commerce and confusion, close by he beheld a simple-minded Galilean, a man he had once talked with in Iron, being ridiculed and jostled about by supercilious and would-be superior Judeans; and all of this combined to produce one of those strange and periodic uprisings of indignant emotion in the soul 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 01 July 2014 - 06:25 AM

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

 

It must have been an ugly, smelly, noisy place, hardly spiritual. Imagine trying to teach in such an environment:

 

 

Giovanni_Benedetto_Castiglione_Christ_Ch

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

Evidently the profiteering was aggressive and naked. From today's reading:

 

...Part of these gains was reserved for the temple treasury, but the larger part went indirectly into the hands of the ruling high-priestly families.... (1888.4) 173:1.1

 

 

***

 

About the "sons of Annas" cited in paragraph two of today's reading:

 

...The “sons of Annas” had already begun to establish their bazaars in the temple precincts, those very merchandise marts which persisted to the time of their final overthrow by a mob three years before the destruction of the temple itself.... (1888.5) 173:1.2

 

From Wikipedia:

 

Annas was appointed by the Roman legate Quirinius as the first High Priest of the newly formed Roman province of Iudaea in 6 AD...

 

Annas officially served as High Priest for ten years (6–15 AD), when at the age of 36 he was deposed by the procurator Gratus. Yet while having been officially removed from office, he remained as one of the nation's most influential political and social individuals, aided greatly by the use of his five sons and his son-in-law as puppet High Priests.

 

 

Annas was at first a family friend and teacher. From Paper 129:

 

...Annas spent much time with him, personally taking him to visit the many academies of the Jerusalem religious teachers.... (1422.4) 129:2.7

 

Annas became an enemy, even a co-judge against Jesus. From Paper 142:

 

...Annas had been hearing about Jesus and his teachings, and when Jesus called at the high priest’s home, he was received with much reserve. When Jesus perceived Annas’s coldness, he took immediate leave, saying as he departed: “Fear is man’s chief enslaver and pride his great weakness; will you betray yourself into bondage to both of these destroyers of joy and liberty?” But Annas made no reply. The Master did not again see Annas until the time when he sat with his son-in-law in judgment on the Son of Man.... (1596.2) 142:0.2

 

Not much has changed over 20 centuries, many (but not all) religious organizations and priests wax rich while their congregants and supporters wane poor. From today's reading:

 

...It was not uncommon for the temple treasury to hold upwards of ten million dollars while the common people languished in poverty and continued to pay these unjust levies.... (1889.2) 173:1.4

 

***

 

About Iron, mentioned in the last paragraph of today's reading:

 

...close by he beheld a simple-minded Galilean, a man he had once talked with in Iron.... (1890.1) 173:1.6

 

Jesus healed a leper at Iron, but they may not be the same man. The story of the visit to Iron is in Paper 146:4.

 

 

The stage is set, the cleansing is about to unfold:

 

...all of this combined to produce one of those strange and periodic uprisings of indignant emotion in the soul of Jesus.... (1890.1) 173:1.6

 

 

***

 

Tomorrow's reading is the second half of Section 1. Cleansing the Temple. After Jesus drives out the animals, the crowd is emboldened to drive out the bankers, and for once there is quiet and peace in the temple of God at Jerusalem. The Midwayers then draw lessons from this event, about the commercialization of, and profiteering from, religion.

 

 

 
 
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 173 (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 02 July 2014 - 04:26 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

Today's Presentation

Paper 173 - MONDAY IN JERUSALEM

1. Cleansing the Temple

[Part 2 of 2]

 
   To the amazement of his apostles, standing near at hand, who refrained from participation in what so soon followed, Jesus stepped down from the teaching platform and, going over to the lad who was driving the cattle through the court, took from him his whip of cords and swiftly drove the animals from the temple. But that was not all; he strode majestically before the wondering gaze of the thousands assembled in the temple court to the farthest cattle pen and proceeded to open the gates of every stall and to drive out the imprisoned animals. By this time the assembled pilgrims were electrified, and with uproarious shouting they moved toward the bazaars and began to overturn the tables of the money-changers. In less than five minutes all commerce had been swept from the temple. By the time the near-by Roman guards had appeared on the scene, all was quiet, and the crowds had become orderly; Jesus, returning to the speaker’s stand, spoke to the multitude: “You have this day witnessed that which is written in the Scriptures: ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a den of robbers.’”
 
(1890.3) 173:1.8 But before he could utter other words, the great assembly broke out in hosannas of praise, and presently a throng of youths stepped out from the crowd to sing grateful hymns of appreciation that the profane and profiteering merchandisers had been ejected from the sacred temple. By this time certain of the priests had arrived on the scene, and one of them said to Jesus, “Do you not hear what the children of the Levites say?” And the Master replied, “Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings has praise been perfected’?” And all the rest of that day while Jesus taught, guards set by the people stood watch at every archway, and they would not permit anyone to carry even an empty vessel across the temple courts.
 
(1890.4) 173:1.9 When the chief priests and the scribes heard about these happenings, they were dumfounded. All the more they feared the Master, and all the more they determined to destroy him. But they were nonplused. They did not know how to accomplish his death, for they greatly feared the multitudes, who were now so outspoken in their approval of his overthrow of the profane profiteers. And all this day, a day of quiet and peace in the temple courts, the people heard Jesus’ teaching and literally hung on his words.
 
(1890.5) 173:1.10 This surprising act of Jesus was beyond the comprehension of his apostles. They were so taken aback by this sudden and unexpected move of their Master that they remained throughout the whole episode huddled together near the speaker’s stand; they never lifted a hand to further this cleansing of the temple. If this spectacular event had occurred the day before, at the time of Jesus’ triumphal arrival at the temple at the termination of his tumultuous procession through the gates of the city, all the while loudly acclaimed by the multitude, they would have been ready for it, but coming as it did, they were wholly unprepared to participate.
 
(1891.1) 173:1.11 This cleansing of the temple discloses the Master’s attitude toward commercializing the practices of religion as well as his detestation of all forms of unfairness and profiteering at the expense of the poor and the unlearned. This episode also demonstrates that Jesus did not look with approval upon the refusal to employ force to protect the majority of any given human group against the unfair and enslaving practices of unjust minorities who may be able to entrench themselves behind political, financial, or ecclesiastical power. Shrewd, wicked, and designing men are not to be permitted to organize themselves for the exploitation and oppression of those who, because of their idealism, are not disposed to resort to force for self-protection or for the furtherance of their laudable life projects.



***




[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 02 July 2014 - 06:09 AM

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

 

the-cleansing-of-the-temple.jpg

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

It's 'electrifying' just reading about it all these years later!

 

...In less than five minutes all commerce had been swept from the temple.... (1890.2) 173:1.7

 

This scripture:

 

"‘...My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a den of robbers....’” (1890.2) 173:1.7

 

...appears to be a cross between two verses, one part in the book of Jeremiah 7:

 

11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes?

 

...and one in Isaiah 56:

 

7 ...for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

 

***

 

This verse quoted by Jesus:

 

"...Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings has praise been perfected’?” (1890.3) 173:1.8

 

Comes from Psalms 8, at least part of it does:

 

2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

 

Matthew 21 records Jesus' version:

 

16 And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

 

***

 

So beautiful this:

 

...a day of quiet and peace in the temple courts, the people heard Jesus’ teaching and literally hung on his words.... (1890.4) 173:1.9

 

So pitiful his band of cowering apostles:

 

...they remained throughout the whole episode huddled together near the speaker’s stand.... (1890.5) 173:1.10

 

 

The Midwayers injected two crucial lessons in the last paragraph of today's reading:

 

1. Religious leaders taking advantage of the poor and ignorant.

 

2. Confronting tyranny and oppression in religious, financial and political institutions.

 

Recall this from Paper 71?

 

...But such an ideal society cannot be realized when either the weak or the wicked lie in wait to take unfair and unholy advantage of those who are chiefly actuated by devotion to the service of truth, beauty, and goodness.... (804:16) 71:4.16

 

Later on (in Paper 178) Jesus says this, in his discourse on sonship:

 

...Let controversy come only when they who despise the truth force it upon you. But when the willful unbeliever attacks you, do not hesitate to stand in vigorous defense of the truth which has saved and sanctified you.... (1932:1) 178:1.16

 

It should be noted that Jesus drove out only the animals, the electrified crowd drove out the bankers. The four Gospel records don't make such distinctions:

 

From Matthew 21:

 

12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

 

From Mark 11:

 

15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;

16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.

17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.

 

 

From Luke :

 

45 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;

46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.

47 And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him,

48 And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.

 

 

From John 2:

 

13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;

16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

 

 

 

The famous Spanish/Grecian artist El Greco painted the cleansing in several versions, based of course on the Biblical record. Here are two:

 

1024px-El_Greco_016.jpg

Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple, London version.

 

 

 

1024px-El_Greco_059.jpg

 

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

 

IMAGES SOURCE

 

 

***

 

In tomorrow's reading, Section 2. Challenging the Master’s Authority, the now 'dumbfounded', fearful, and exasperated Pharisees begin plotting his arrest and demise in earnest, but don't know how. Now, after the temple cleansing, the Pharisees and the Sadducees are united against him.

 

Overview of Paper 173: Monday in Jerusalem

 

1. Cleansing the Temple

2. Challenging the Master’s Authority

3. Parable of the Two Sons

4. Parable of the Absent Landlord

5. Parable of the Marriage Feast

 

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 173 (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 03 July 2014 - 04:32 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today's Presentation

 

Paper 173 - MONDAY IN JERUSALEM

 

 

2. Challenging the Master’s Authority

 

 

   On Sunday the triumphal entry into Jerusalem so overawed the Jewish leaders that they refrained from placing Jesus under arrest. Today, this spectacular cleansing of the temple likewise effectively postponed the Master’s apprehension. Day by day the rulers of the Jews were becoming more and more determined to destroy him, but they were distraught by two fears, which conspired to delay the hour of striking. The chief priests and the scribes were unwilling to arrest Jesus in public for fear the multitude might turn upon them in a fury of resentment; they also dreaded the possibility of the Roman guards being called upon to quell a popular uprising.

 

(1891.3) 173:2.2 At the noon session of the Sanhedrin it was unanimously agreed that Jesus must be speedily destroyed, inasmuch as no friend of the Master attended this meeting. But they could not agree as to when and how he should be taken into custody. Finally they agreed upon appointing five groups to go out among the people and seek to entangle him in his teaching or otherwise to discredit him in the sight of those who listened to his instruction. Accordingly, about two o’clock, when Jesus had just begun his discourse on “The Liberty of Sonship,” a group of these elders of Israel made their way up near Jesus and, interrupting him in the customary manner, asked this question: “By what authority do you do these things? Who gave you this authority?”

 

(1891.4) 173:2.3 It was altogether proper that the temple rulers and the officers of the Jewish Sanhedrin should ask this question of anyone who presumed to teach and perform in the extraordinary manner which had been characteristic of Jesus, especially as concerned his recent conduct in clearing the temple of all commerce. These traders and money-changers all operated by direct license from the highest rulers, and a percentage of their gains was supposed to go directly into the temple treasury. Do not forget that authority was the watchword of all Jewry. The prophets were always stirring up trouble because they so boldly presumed to teach without authority, without having been duly instructed in the rabbinic academies and subsequently regularly ordained by the Sanhedrin. Lack of this authority in pretentious public teaching was looked upon as indicating either ignorant presumption or open rebellion. At this time only the Sanhedrin could ordain an elder or teacher, and such a ceremony had to take place in the presence of at least three persons who had previously been so ordained. Such an ordination conferred the title of “rabbi” upon the teacher and also qualified him to act as a judge, “binding and loosing such matters as might be brought to him for adjudication.”

 

(1892.1) 173:2.4 The rulers of the temple came before Jesus at this afternoon hour challenging not only his teaching but his acts. Jesus well knew that these very men had long publicly taught that his authority for teaching was Satanic, and that all his mighty works had been wrought by the power of the prince of devils. Therefore did the Master begin his answer to their question by asking them a counter-question. Said Jesus: “I would also like to ask you one question which, if you will answer me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these works. The baptism of John, whence was it? Did John get his authority from heaven or from men?”

 

(1892.2) 173:2.5 And when his questioners heard this, they withdrew to one side to take counsel among themselves as to what answer they might give. They had thought to embarrass Jesus before the multitude, but now they found themselves much confused before all who were assembled at that time in the temple court. And their discomfiture was all the more apparent when they returned to Jesus, saying: “Concerning the baptism of John, we cannot answer; we do not know.” And they so answered the Master because they had reasoned among themselves: If we shall say from heaven, then will he say, Why did you not believe him, and perchance will add that he received his authority from John; and if we shall say from men, then might the multitude turn upon us, for most of them hold that John was a prophet; and so they were compelled to come before Jesus and the people confessing that they, the religious teachers and leaders of Israel, could not (or would not) express an opinion about John’s mission. And when they had spoken, Jesus, looking down upon them, said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

 

(1892.3) 173:2.6 Jesus never intended to appeal to John for his authority; John had never been ordained by the Sanhedrin. Jesus’ authority was in himself and in his Father’s eternal supremacy.

 

(1892.4) 173:2.7 In employing this method of dealing with his adversaries, Jesus did not mean to dodge the question. At first it may seem that he was guilty of a masterly evasion, but it was not so. Jesus was never disposed to take unfair advantage of even his enemies. In this apparent evasion he really supplied all his hearers with the answer to the Pharisees’ question as to the authority behind his mission. They had asserted that he performed by authority of the prince of devils. Jesus had repeatedly asserted that all his teaching and works were by the power and authority of his Father in heaven. This the Jewish leaders refused to accept and were seeking to corner him into admitting that he was an irregular teacher since he had never been sanctioned by the Sanhedrin. In answering them as he did, while not claiming authority from John, he so satisfied the people with the inference that the effort of his enemies to ensnare him was effectively turned upon themselves and was much to their discredit in the eyes of all present.

 

(1892.5) 173:2.8 And it was this genius of the Master for dealing with his adversaries that made them so afraid of him. They attempted no more questions that day; they retired to take further counsel among themselves. But the people were not slow to discern the dishonesty and insincerity in these questions asked by the Jewish rulers. Even the common folk could not fail to distinguish between the moral majesty of the Master and the designing hypocrisy of his enemies. But the cleansing of the temple had brought the Sadducees over to the side of the Pharisees in perfecting the plan to destroy Jesus. And the Sadducees now represented a majority of the Sanhedrin.

 

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

[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 03 July 2014 - 05:45 AM

.

 

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

 

You might think the Pharisees and Sadducees had learned by now that trying to entrap Jesus with questions is always an exercise in complete and utter failure. But no, they sent out not one but five ill-equipped groups to attempt just that.

 

Here in North America, and much of the West, anyone can claim religious authority without arrest or punishment, so long as they obey the secular laws. We have gained that much freedom at least. The same is true in most of India. But not so in certain nations under Islamic control, and in China. Ecclesiastical authority was an absolute right of the state and/or the priesthood until recently. From today's reading:

 

...Do not forget that authority was the watchword of all Jewry.... (1891.4) 173:2.3

 

William_Hole_Jesus_asked_by_the_priests_

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

Evidently John the Baptist's stature had risen since his decapitation by Herod, so much so that his authority was established as a genuine prophet, even without the benefit of the rabbinical schools. At least the masses thought so. From today's reading:

 

...John had never been ordained by the Sanhedrin.... (1892.3) 173:2.6

 

Finally, his questioners got wise:

 

...They attempted no more questions that day; they retired to take further counsel among themselves.... (1892.5) 173:2.8

 

 

***

 

Three of the four Gospel writers recorded this challenge to the Master's authority.

 

From Luke 20:

 

1 And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders,

 

2 And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?

 

3 And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me:

 

4 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?

 

5 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not?

 

6 But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.

 

7 And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.

 

8 And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

 

 

From Mark 11:

 

27 And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders,

 

28 And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?

 

29 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.

 

30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.

 

31 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?

 

32 But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.

 

33 And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

 

From Matthew 21:

 

23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?

 

24 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things.

 

25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?

 

26 But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.

 

27 And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

 

stdas0149.jpg

By What Authority I Do These Things

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

***

 

 

In tomorrow's reading, Section 3. Parable of the Two Sons, the Master makes plain who will first enter the kingdom of heaven--believing publicans and harlots! Meanwhile, the apostles stand by in amazement, confusion, and fear, not saying a word.

 

Overview of Paper 173: Monday in Jerusalem

 

1. Cleansing the Temple

2. Challenging the Master’s Authority

3. Parable of the Two Sons

4. Parable of the Absent Landlord

5. Parable of the Marriage Feast

 

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 173 (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 04 July 2014 - 05:29 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

Today's Presentation

Paper 173 - MONDAY IN JERUSALEM

3. Parable of the Two Sons

 
   As the caviling Pharisees stood there in silence before Jesus, he looked down on them and said: “Since you are in doubt about John’s mission and arrayed in enmity against the teaching and the works of the Son of Man, give ear while I tell you a parable: A certain great and respected landholder had two sons, and desiring the help of his sons in the management of his large estates, he came to one of them, saying, ‘Son, go work today in my vineyard.’ And this unthinking son answered his father, saying, ‘I will not go’; but afterward he repented and went. When he had found his older son, likewise he said to him, ‘Son, go work in my vineyard.’ And this hypocritical and unfaithful son answered, ‘Yes, my father, I will go.’ But when his father had departed, he went not. Let me ask you, which of these sons really did his father’s will?”
 
(1893.2) 173:3.2 And the people spoke with one accord, saying, “The first son.” And then said Jesus: “Even so; and now do I declare that the publicans and harlots, even though they appear to refuse the call to repentance, shall see the error of their way and go on into the kingdom of God before you, who make great pretensions of serving the Father in heaven while you refuse to do the works of the Father. It was not you, the Pharisees and scribes, who believed John, but rather the publicans and sinners; neither do you believe my teaching, but the common people hear my words gladly.”
 
(1893.3) 173:3.3 Jesus did not despise the Pharisees and Sadducees personally. It was their systems of teaching and practice which he sought to discredit. He was hostile to no man, but here was occurring the inevitable clash between a new and living religion of the spirit and the older religion of ceremony, tradition, and authority.
 
(1893.4) 173:3.4 All this time the twelve apostles stood near the Master, but they did not in any manner participate in these transactions. Each one of the twelve was reacting in his own peculiar way to the events of these closing days of Jesus’ ministry in the flesh, and each one likewise remained obedient to the Master’s injunction to refrain from all public teaching and preaching during this Passover week.




***



[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 04 July 2014 - 06:34 AM

.

 

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

 

You have to wonder how many others, over the millennia, have erroneously claimed to be doing God's will while the repentant sinners precede them in entering the "kingdom". But one thing sticks out in today's reading, it is implied that the Pharisees and Sadducees won't be denied entrance:

 

"...the publicans and harlots, even though they appear to refuse the call to repentance, shall see the error of their way and go on into the kingdom of God before you....” (1893.2) 173:3.2

 

Surely they will be humbled creatures once they discover their error.

 

***

 

 

 

Doesn't this clash happen, sooner or later, to just about all who grow in spirit knowledge and practice, even today?

 

...here was occurring the inevitable clash between a new and living religion of the

spirit and the older religion of ceremony, tradition, and authority.... (1893.3) 173:3.3

 

 

 

***

 

Jesus has nothing left to lose, they're going to kill him no matter what he says or does. He only has to be careful about seeing that his message and messengers live on. We might imagine what all is going through the minds of his now silent apostles, especially Judas Iscariot:

 

...Each one of the twelve was reacting in his own peculiar way to the events of these closing days.... (1893.4) 173:3.4

 

***

 

The Gospel of Matthew, and only Matthew, recorded the two sons parable, in chapter 21:

 

28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

 

 

work-in-my-vineyard-son-57-376.jpg

(Two Sons - Davis Collection)

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

***

 

Tomorrow's reading, Section 4. Parable of the Absent Landlord, tells how the chief Pharisees leave after the parable of the two sons, then return just in time to hear the end of yet another parable that exposes their willful resistance to the Gospel. That night the Pharisees and Sadducees unite in their anger and desire to dispose of the source of their irritation, hopefully, on the morrow.

 

Overview of Paper 173: Monday in Jerusalem

 

1. Cleansing the Temple

2. Challenging the Master’s Authority

3. Parable of the Two Sons

4. Parable of the Absent Landlord

5. Parable of the Marriage Feast

 

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 173 (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 05 July 2014 - 04:20 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today's Presentation

 

Paper 173 - MONDAY IN JERUSALEM

 

4. Parable of the Absent Landlord

 

 

   When the chief Pharisees and the scribes who had sought to entangle Jesus with their questions had finished listening to the story of the two sons, they withdrew to take further counsel, and the Master, turning his attention to the listening multitude, told another parable:

 

(1893.6)173:4.2“There was a good man who was a householder, and he planted a vineyard. He set a hedge about it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower for the guards. Then he let this vineyard out to tenants while he went on a long journey into another country. And when the season of the fruits drew near, he sent servants to the tenants to receive his rental. But they took counsel among themselves and refused to give these servants the fruits due their master; instead, they fell upon his servants, beating one, stoning another, and sending the others away empty-handed. And when the householder heard about all this, he sent other and more trusted servants to deal with these wicked tenants, and these they wounded and also treated shamefully. And then the householder sent his favorite servant, his steward, and him they killed. And still, in patience and with forbearance, he dispatched many other servants, but none would they receive. Some they beat, others they killed, and when the householder had been so dealt with, he decided to send his son to deal with these ungrateful tenants, saying to himself, ‘They may mistreat my servants, but they will surely show respect for my beloved son.’ But when these unrepentant and wicked tenants saw the son, they reasoned among themselves: ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and then the inheritance will be ours.’ So they laid hold on him, and after casting him out of the vineyard, they killed him. When the lord of that vineyard shall hear how they have rejected and killed his son, what will he do to those ungrateful and wicked tenants?”

 

(1894.1)173:4.3 And when the people heard this parable and the question Jesus asked, they answered, “He will destroy those miserable men and let out his vineyard to other and honest farmers who will render to him the fruits in their season.” And when some of them who heard perceived that this parable referred to the Jewish nation and its treatment of the prophets and to the impending rejection of Jesus and the gospel of the kingdom, they said in sorrow, “God forbid that we should go on doing these things.”

 

(1894.2)173:4.4 Jesus saw a group of the Sadducees and Pharisees making their way through the crowd, and he paused for a moment until they drew near him, when he said: “You know how your fathers rejected the prophets, and you well know that you are set in your hearts to reject the Son of Man.” And then, looking with searching gaze upon those priests and elders who were standing near him, Jesus said: “Did you never read in the Scripture about the stone which the builders rejected, and which, when the people had discovered it, was made into the cornerstone? And so once more do I warn you that, if you continue to reject this gospel, presently will the kingdom of God be taken away from you and be given to a people willing to receive the good news and to bring forth the fruits of the spirit. And there is a mystery about this stone, seeing that whoso falls upon it, while he is thereby broken in pieces, shall be saved; but on whomsoever this stone falls, he will be ground to dust and his ashes scattered to the four winds.”

 

(1894.3)173:4.5 When the Pharisees heard these words, they understood that Jesus referred to themselves and the other Jewish leaders. They greatly desired to lay hold on him then and there, but they feared the multitude. However, they were so angered by the Master’s words that they withdrew and held further counsel among themselves as to how they might bring about his death. And that night both the Sadducees and the Pharisees joined hands in the plan to entrap him the next day.


 

 

 

***

 

 

 

[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 05 July 2014 - 05:26 AM

.

 

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

 

Nothing subtle or mysterious about this parable! How perfect it is, how direct and instructive. Obviously his hearers, even the common person, understood the Master's message in this simple story of the trusting vineyard owner who is cheated by his evil-minded, short-sighted, greedy tenants.

 

These may be the most chilling words in the book:

 

"...God forbid that we should go on doing these things....” (1894.1)173:4.3

 

 

This is the first time I can recall Jesus outright warning the priesthood that they are in danger of forfeiting their status as ambassadors to the spiritual kingdom of Urantia. From today's reading:

 

"...if you continue to reject this gospel, presently will the kingdom of God be taken away from you and be given to a people willing to receive the good news and to bring forth the fruits of the spirit...." (1894.2) 173:4.4

 

***

 

Jesus must have been referring to this verse, about a builders' stone, in Psalms 118:

 

22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

 

...when he said:

 

"...Did you never read in the Scripture about the stone which the builders rejected, and which, when the people had discovered it, was made into the cornerstone? (1894.2)173:4.4

 

He follows that up with a curious and crushing statement. Maybe it was a common theme in the minds of the people of that time and place. It seems to suggest that all will be broken, but survival depends on whether one lands under or on top of the cornerstone:

 

"...there is a mystery about this stone, seeing that whoso falls upon it, while he is thereby broken in pieces, shall be saved; but on whomsoever this stone falls, he will be ground to dust and his ashes scattered to the four winds....” (1894.2)173:4.4

 

 

***

 

Any group may be either good or evil, but nothing unites them for action like a common enemy, and Jesus certainly united them. Rather than take his warning to heart, they took it as a threat to their security, theology and status:

 

...that night both the Sadducees and the Pharisees joined hands in the plan to entrap him the next day.... (1894.3)173:4.5

 

 

***

 

The usual three Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, recorded these parables and warnings. And, as usual, John says nothing:

 

From Matthew 21:

 

33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.

35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.

37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.

38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.

39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.

46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

 

 

From Mark 12:

 

1 And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.

2 And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.

3 And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.

4 And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled.

5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.

6 Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.

7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.'

8 And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.

9 What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.

10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

11 This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

12 And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.

 

From Luke :

 

9 Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time.

10 And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty.

11 And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.

12 And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out.

13 Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.

14 But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.

15 So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them?

16 He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.

17 And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?

18 Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

19 And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them.

 

 

James_Tissot_Son_of_the_Master_of_the_Vi

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

***

 

 

In tomorrow's reading (the last of Paper 173), Section 5. Parable of the Marriage Feast, the Master offers the story of a good king whose people rejected his invitation, and how the king replaced those who spurned his invitation. And Jesus decides to move their camp closer to Jerusalem.

 

 

Overview of Paper 173: Monday in Jerusalem

 

1. Cleansing the Temple

2. Challenging the Master’s Authority

3. Parable of the Two Sons

4. Parable of the Absent Landlord

5. Parable of the Marriage Feast

 

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 173 (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 06 July 2014 - 04:36 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

Today's Presentation

Paper 173 - MONDAY IN JERUSALEM
 
5. Parable of the Marriage Feast

 
   After the scribes and rulers had withdrawn, Jesus addressed himself again to the assembled crowd and spoke the parable of the wedding feast. He said:
 
(1894.5) 173:5.2 “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a certain king who made a marriage feast for his son and dispatched messengers to call those who had previously been invited to the feast to come, saying, ‘Everything is ready for the marriage supper at the king’s palace.’ Now, many of those who had once promised to attend, at this time refused to come. When the king heard of these rejections of his invitation, he sent other servants and messengers, saying: ‘Tell all those who were bidden, to come, for, behold, my dinner is ready. My oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all is in readiness for the celebration of the forthcoming marriage of my son.’ But again did the thoughtless make light of this call of their king, and they went their ways, one to the farm, another to the pottery, and others to their merchandise. Still others were not content thus to slight the king’s call, but in open rebellion they laid hands on the king’s messengers and shamefully mistreated them, even killing some of them. And when the king perceived that his chosen guests, even those who had accepted his preliminary invitation and had promised to attend the wedding feast, had finally rejected his call and in rebellion had assaulted and slain his chosen messengers, he was exceedingly wroth. And then this insulted king ordered out his armies and the armies of his allies and instructed them to destroy these rebellious murderers and to burn down their city.
 
(1895.1) 173:5.3 “And when he had punished those who spurned his invitation, he appointed yet another day for the wedding feast and said to his messengers: ‘They who were first bidden to the wedding were not worthy; so go now into the parting of the ways and into the highways and even beyond the borders of the city, and as many as you shall find, bid even these strangers to come in and attend this wedding feast.’ And then these servants went out into the highways and the out-of-the-way places, and they gathered together as many as they found, good and bad, rich and poor, so that at last the wedding chamber was filled with willing guests. When all was ready, the king came in to view his guests, and much to his surprise he saw there a man without a wedding garment. The king, since he had freely provided wedding garments for all his guests, addressing this man, said: ‘Friend, how is it that you come into my guest chamber on this occasion without a wedding garment?’ And this unprepared man was speechless. Then said the king to his servants: ‘Cast out this thoughtless guest from my house to share the lot of all the others who have spurned my hospitality and rejected my call. I will have none here except those who delight to accept my invitation, and who do me the honor to wear those guest garments so freely provided for all.’”
 
(1895.2) 173:5.4 After speaking this parable, Jesus was about to dismiss the multitude when a sympathetic believer, making his way through the crowds toward him, asked: “But, Master, how shall we know about these things? how shall we be ready for the king’s invitation? what sign will you give us whereby we shall know that you are the Son of God?” And when the Master heard this, he said, “Only one sign shall be given you.” And then, pointing to his own body, he continued, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” But they did not understand him, and as they dispersed, they talked among themselves, saying, “Almost fifty years has this temple been in building, and yet he says he will destroy it and raise it up in three days.” Even his own apostles did not comprehend the significance of this utterance, but subsequently, after his resurrection, they recalled what he had said.
 
(1895.3) 173:5.5 About four o’clock this afternoon Jesus beckoned to his apostles and indicated that he desired to leave the temple and to go to Bethany for their evening meal and a night of rest. On the way up Olivet Jesus instructed Andrew, Philip, and Thomas that, on the morrow, they should establish a camp nearer the city which they could occupy during the remainder of the Passover week. In compliance with this instruction the following morning they pitched their tents in the hillside ravine overlooking the public camping park of Gethsemane, on a plot of ground belonging to Simon of Bethany.
 
(1896.1) 173:5.6 Again it was a silent group of Jews who made their way up the western slope of Olivet on this Monday night. These twelve men, as never before, were beginning to sense that something tragic was about to happen. While the dramatic cleansing of the temple during the early morning had aroused their hopes of seeing the Master assert himself and manifest his mighty powers, the events of the entire afternoon only operated as an anticlimax in that they all pointed to the certain rejection of Jesus’ teaching by the Jewish authorities. The apostles were gripped by suspense and were held in the firm grasp of a terrible uncertainty. They realized that only a few short days could intervene between the events of the day just passed and the crash of an impending doom. They all felt that something tremendous was about to happen, but they knew not what to expect. They went to their various places for rest, but they slept very little. Even the Alpheus twins were at last aroused to the realization that the events of the Master’s life were moving swiftly toward their final culmination.





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[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

Rick Warren

    Rick Warren

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 05:58 AM

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

 

This parable seems to have the most pointed and retributive lesson of all. Were you also surprised to read about the armies, the destruction and punishment meted out for spurning the king's invitation? Seems rather unGodlike, doesn't it, especially in light of statements like this in Paper 2:

 

...God is never wrathful, vengeful, or angry. It is true that wisdom does often restrain his love, while justice conditions his rejected mercy.... (41.5) 2:6.7

 

Evidently Jesus was determined to get into their 1st century mindset, giving them words and images that relate more closely to the venge-seeking God they believed ruled the Earth.

 

***

 

So, the Master's last Monday as a man of Urantia ends with a cleansed temple and three more potent parables delivered. What a day it was. But the apostles are perplexed--at the very least. No doubt none of them forgot this day's astounding events. Two of the Gospel writers recorded it in abbreviated form.

 

From Luke 14:

 

16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:

 

17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.

 

18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.

 

19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.

 

20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

 

21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

 

22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.

 

23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

 

24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

 

 

From Matthew 22:

 

1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,

 

2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

 

3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

 

4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

 

5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

 

6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

 

7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

 

8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

 

9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

 

10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

 

11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

 

12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

 

13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

 

 

 

***

 

The confusion about Jesus' destroying and raising up his temple is also reflected in the Gospel record. This is from Mark 14:

 

58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.

 

From John 2:

 

18 ...What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?

 

19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

 

20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?

 

21 But he spake of the temple of his body.

 

22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

 

 

***

 

There's no shortage of artwork depicting various aspects of Monday afternoon's teaching. Some samples:

 

P00292.jpg

 

Parable of the Great Supper (1900) Eugene Burnand

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

Teachings_of_Jesus_28_of_40._invitation_

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

Teachings_of_Jesus_29_of_40._the_man_wit

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

***

 

 

That is all of 173 and Monday's amazing drama. Tomorrow's OPAD reading, Paper 174's introduction begins the narrative of Tuesday morning's events, beginning with goodbyes to those he will not see again. At the same time he offers advice to each of the apostles. Jesus then leaves for Jerusalem with only Andrew, Peter, James and John, but pauses on Olivet for an hour, to talk things over with the four of them.

 

Overview of Paper 173: Monday in Jerusalem

 

1. Cleansing the Temple

2. Challenging the Master’s Authority

3. Parable of the Two Sons

4. Parable of the Absent Landlord

5. Parable of the Marriage Feast

 

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 173 (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.





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