The Story of Everything: A Synopsis of The Urantia Book
Paper 174: Tuesday Morning in the Temple
On Tuesday morning, Jesus went to Jerusalem with four of the apostles while the rest set up camp at Gethsemane. On the road to Jerusalem, James and Peter asked Jesus to help them understand divine forgiveness. Jesus explained that mature relationships prevent any estrangement that would require either a child's repentance or a parent's forgiveness. A good parent sees the immaturity of his child in light of his own understanding, and the divine parent possesses infinite sympathy and understanding. Jesus said that when we love others, we have already forgiven them. This quality of forgiveness is Godlike. An immature child may feel a sense of separation due to guilt over wrongdoing, but the true parent is not conscious of separation. Sin is an experience of creature consciousness: it is not a part of God's consciousness. Inability to forgive others is a measure of immaturity.
Soon Jesus and the four apostles arrived at the temple. No sooner had Jesus begun to teach than a group of students who had been coached by the Pharisees asked, "Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar?" The priests reasoned that this question, if answered affirmatively, would alienate the multitude, who resented Roman rule. If Jesus answered negatively, it would give them cause to go to the Roman authorities and have him charged with inciting rebellion.
Jesus told them to show him a coin. As he looked at it he asked them whose image was on the coin. The students answered, "Caesar's". And Jesus said, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and render to God the things that are God's." The students marveled at the wisdom of his answer.
A lawyer representing a group of Pharisees asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was. Jesus answered: "There is but one commandment, and that one is the greatest of all, and that commandment is: 'Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second commandment is like this first; indeed, it springs directly therefrom, and it is: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these; on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." The lawyer who asked the question perceived that the Master had answered wisely. That evening this same man was baptized near Gethsemane.
Other groups had been instructed to ask Jesus questions, but when they saw what was happening, they decided to keep quiet. When Jesus saw that no more questions were forthcoming, he asked the audience a question, "What do you think of the Deliver? That is, whose son is he?" One of the scribes replied, "The Messiah is the son of David." Jesus then referenced a Psalm attributed to David, "The Lord said to my lord, sit on my right hand until I make your enemies that footstool of your feet." Jesus asked, "If David calls him Lord, how then can he be his son?" The priests saw the dilemma and would not answer. No more questions were asked in the temple that morning.
At lunch time, a group of Greek gentile believers were invited by Andrew and Philip to meet with Jesus. As he spoke during the meal, Jesus remarked that this would be the first and last time that he would instruct a group that was composed equally of Jews and gentiles. He looked at the Greeks and said:
"He who believes this gospel, believes not merely in me but in Him who sent me. When you look upon me, you see not only the Son of Man but also Him who sent me. I am the light of the world, and whosoever will believe my teaching shall no longer abide in darkness. If you gentiles will hear me, you shall receive the words of life and shall enter forthwith into the joyous liberty of the truth of sonship with God."
"But to both Jew and gentile I declare the hour has about come when the Son of Man will be glorified. You well know that, except a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies in good soil, it springs up again to life and bears much fruit. He who selfishly loves his life stands in danger of losing it; but he who is willing to lay down his life for my sake and the gospel's shall enjoy a more abundant existence on earth and in heaven, life eternal." Having thus spoken, Jesus led the way back to the temple.