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The Story of Everything: A Synopsis of The Urantia Book


Paper 157: At Caesarea-Philippi


Before setting out for Caesarea-Phillipi, Jesus and the apostles camped again at Magadan Park. Believers, evangelists, and the women's corps came in from Capernaum for a conference during which it was decided that a united preaching effort would be made throughout the Decapolis after Jesus returned from Caesarea-Philippi.

The next day as Jesus and the apostles stopped for lunch, Jesus asked, "Who do men say that I am?" The apostles answered him, saying that people thought he was a prophet, an extraordinary man, a person feared by his enemies, a man in league with the devil, or maybe even John the Baptist risen from the dead.

Then Jesus asked, "But who say you that I am?" Simon Peter leapt to his feet and said, "You are the Deliverer, the Son of the living God." When the rest indicated that they agreed, Jesus replied, "This has been revealed to you by my Father. The hour has come when you should know the truth about me." The apostles sensed that a great event had taken place.

The next day, Jesus asked them again if they believed that he was the Son of God, and again they asserted their belief in him. Jesus began to have confidence in the faith of his apostles. He said, "This is a revelation of the spirit of my Father to your inmost souls. I am led to declare that upon this foundation will I build the brotherhood of the kingdom of heaven. Upon this rock of spiritual reality will I build the living temple of spiritual fellowship in the eternal realities of my Father's kingdom. All the forces of evil and hosts of sin shall not prevail against this human fraternity of the divine spirit." Jesus told the apostles that he was vesting them with authority over the social and economic features of the kingdom, "the keys" of the outward kingdom.

The important new concept of the apostles grasped during this episode was that Jesus was truly divine. For years Jesus had announced himself as the Son of Man, and now he could disclose that he was also the Son of God, two natures combined in one person. With this announcement, Jesus entered the final stage of his earthly career. Throughout the rest of his human life, he lived openly as the personification of God on earth.

The apostles were stunned by many new teachings from Jesus that day. In the evening, Andrew spoke individually with each of the other apostles. His discussion with Judas troubled him so much that he sought advice from Jesus. Jesus told Andrew that there was nothing more they could do for Judas, and that he should say nothing to the others about it.

Judas had been shocked by John the Baptist's death, hurt by Jesus' rebukes, disappointed when Jesus refused to become king, and dejected over the depletion of their treasury when public opinion turned against them. But his biggest error was that during the times that Jesus sent the apostles out to pray for guidance in solitude, Judas indulged in fear, doubt, and thoughts of revenge instead of praying.

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