The Spiritual Teachings of The Urantia Book: Synopsis, Part 6
On the day of his baptism, Jesus stood in the Jordan a perfected mortal of the evolutionary worlds of time and space. Perfect synchrony and full communication had become established between the mortal mind of Jesus and his indwelling Spirit of the Father.
Following his baptism, the choices confronting Jesus for the kind of ministry to adopt were: his own way-one that might seem profitable from the stand point of immediate needs; or the Father's way-one that provided an example to humanity of a farseeing ideal of creature life.
There was just one motive in Jesus' post baptismal life and that was a better and truer revelation of his Paradise Father; he was the pioneer of the new and better way to God, the way of faith and love-which he insisted on going about in the most quiet and non-dramatic manner, avoiding all display of power.
Jesus told his apostles, "Make no mistake; we go forth to labor for a generation of sign seekers.but they will be slow to recognize in the revelation of my Father's love, the credentials of my mission."
More on His Teaching
Jesus did not make the mistake of over-teaching. He did not precipitate confusion in his audience by the presentation of truth too far beyond their capacity to comprehend.
He taught: My Father's kingdom concerns not things visible and material. For wherever the Spirit of God teaches and leads the soul of man, there, in reality, is the kingdom of heaven. And this kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
In my Father's kingdom there shall be neither Jew nor gentile, only those who seek perfection through service, for I declare that he who would be great in my Father's kingdom must first become of server of all.
Jesus' program: He would not cater to the physical gratification of his people. He would not deal out bread to the multitudes; he would not attract attention to himself through wonder working; nor would he use temporal power or authority to gain acceptance of a spiritual message.
Jesus taught the apostles to preach forgiveness of sin through faith in God but without penance or sacrifice. They also early learned that Jesus had a profound respect and sympathetic regard for every human being he met, and that nothing ever seemed so important to him as the individual human who chanced to be in his immediate presence.
Jesus never ceased repeating that faith only was necessary in the business of finding God, adding that, "it will be by the lives you live that others will know that you have been with me and have learned of the realities of the kingdom."
He told his disciples that the kingdom of God is within you, that you do not have to see alike, feel alike, even think alike in order, spiritually, to be alike. "Harmony," he said, "grows from the fact that each of us is identical in origin, nature, and destiny.
"Spirit unity implies two things-first you are possessed of a common motive for soul service-to do the will of the Father-and second, you have a common goal of existence-to find the Father and to become like him."
Warning Against Creeds
Again and again Jesus warned against the formulation of creeds and the establishment of traditions as a means of guiding believers. "Lead men into the kingdom," he said, "and the great and living truths of the kingdom will presently drive out all serious error. Your business is to reveal God to the individual as their heavenly Father, to lead men and women to become God-conscious-and to present them to God as his faith children."
The only reward to Jesus' followers-in this world, spiritual joy and divine communion; in the next world, eternal life in the progress of divine spirit realities of the Father.
Jesus was a teacher, not a preacher. He came to present spiritual truths to material minds. He came to do the Father's will and only his Father's will. And because of this singleness of purpose he was not anxiously bothered by evil in the world. He paid no attention to public opinion and was not influenced by praise. He was never excited, vexed, or disconcerted, sometimes saddened, but never discouraged. And he was always unselfish.
Love is the Rule of Living
Love is the rule of living in the kingdom-supreme devotion to God while loving your neighbor as yourself. Obedience to the will of the Father, yielding the fruits of the spirit in one's personal life is the law of the kingdom.
If you recognize you are children of the Father, then you have been born of the spirit of God; and whosoever has been born of the spirit has the power within himself to overcome all doubt.
There are high values in mortal existence-intellectual mastery and spiritual achievement-which far transcend the gratification of man's purely physical appetites and urges.
The evidence to all the world that you have been born of the spirit is that you sincerely love one another.
Just as earthly families are built on tolerance, patience, forgiveness, and love, so with the earthly family of God.
Primary Importance of the Spiritual Kingdom
To his disciples, Jesus said: Temporal matters are the concern of the men of the world. You are spiritual ambassadors of a spiritual kingdom, special representatives of the spirit Father. Love is the greatest of all spirit realities. Truth is a liberating revelation but love is the supreme relationship.
The Master was a perfect specimen of human self-control. When he was reviled, he reviled not; when he suffered, he uttered no threats; when he was denounced, he simply committed himself to the righteous judgment of the Father.
"I come with a new message of self-forgetfulness and self-control. I show you the way of life as revealed to me by my Father in heaven. By your love for one another you are to convince the world you have passed from death into life everlasting."
Function of the Indwelling Spirit
Jesus taught: If the Spirit dwells within you, you are free and liberated children of the Spirit. Your secret of self-mastery is faith in the Indwelling Spirit which ever works by love. If then you are born of the Spirit, you are forever delivered from a life of self-denial and watch-care over the desires of the flesh and are translated into the joyous kingdom of the Spirit whence you spontaneously show forth the fruits of the spirit in your daily lives.
When you have become wholly dedicated to doing the will of the Father, all your petitions will be forthcoming because all these petitions will be in full accordance with the Father's will.
Avoid materialistic praying; pray in the spirit and for the abundant gifts of the Spirit.
Jesus taught that the prayer for divine guidance over the earthly life was next in importance to a petition for knowledge of the Father's will. In reality this means a prayer for divine wisdom.
We worship God by the aid of the Indwelling Spirit. And this spirit of the Father speaks best to man when the human mind is in an attitude of true worship. Worship, taught Jesus, makes one increasingly like the one who is being worshipped.
The degree of your love for others is the direct measure of just how much you have yielded your soul to the teaching and guidance of your indwelling Spirit.
Rule for Living
Whereas the level of brotherly love is upgraded when it embraces unselfish devotion to the welfare of our fellows, the greatest advance is at the level of spirit insight and spiritual interpretation which impels us to recognize in this rule of life the divine command to treat all people as we conceive God would treat them.
The Father never sends affliction as an arbitrary punishment for wrong doing. Mankind should not blame God for those afflictions that are a natural result of the way they choose to live, nor complain of experiences that are the natural result of life as it is lived on this world.
Jesus transcended the teachings of his forbears when he boldly substituted clean hearts for clean hands as the mark of true religion.
Jesus taught: Emotionally people react individually. The only uniform thing about them is the Indwelling Spirit of God. Thus, only through and by appeal to this indwelling Spirit can mankind ever attain unity and brotherhood.
Anger is a material (animalistic) manifestation indicating failure of the spiritual nature to gain control. "Anger rests in the bosom of fools."
Jesus said: Let your hearts be so dominated by love that your indwelling Spirit will have little trouble in delivering you from the tendency to give vent to those outbursts of animal anger which are so inconsistent with the status of a child of the Father.
Jesus always preached temperance and consistency-pointing out that excessive zeal can lead to recklessness and presumption, while too much prudence and discretion can lead to cowardice and failure.
Jesus said: Your forebears feared God because he was mighty and mysterious. You shall adore him because he is magnificent in love, plenteous in mercy, and glorious in truth.
"I have come into the world . . ."
I have come into the world to put love in the place of fear, joy in the place of sorrow, confidence in the place of dread, loving service and appreciative worship in the place of slavish bondage and meaningless ceremonies.
You do well to be meek before God and self-controlled before men; but let your meekness be of spiritual origin and not the self-deceptive display of a self-conscious sense of self-righteous superiority. My Father disdains pride, loathes hypocrisy, and abhors iniquity.
The Father has sent me into the world to show how he desires to indwell and guide all his earthly children; and I have so lived this life in the flesh as to inspire everybody likewise ever to seek to know and do the will of the indwelling Spirit of the heavenly Father.
Jesus' kingdom is founded on love, proclaimed in mercy, and established by unselfish service.