Urantia Book 25. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of the Universe of Nebadon. The next morning after the wedding, Jesus and his disciples left without acknowledging anyone, and headed for the home of Zebedee in Capernaum. That evening Jesus held one of the most important conferences of his earthly career. The disciples were initially high and excited to be the chosen ones, but when Jesus told them who he was, his mission, and its likely outcome, they were stunned. Although they were crushed, they really didn’t understand because their concept of the Jewish Messiah was so set in stone. They still believed Jesus would deliver Israel. Jesus sat all night by the lake thinking. He came to the conclusion that he could not launch his message of the kingdom except as one whom the Jews were looking. He also realized that he was the fulfillment of the more spiritual prophecies in the Jewish scriptures. “Never again did he deny that he was the Messiah. He decided to leave the final untangling of this complicated situation to the outworking of the Father’s will” (137.5.3). He told his disciples in the morning that they would do no preaching until the completion of John’s activity, and he sent them back to work.********************************** Jesus’ first public appearance since his baptism was in the Capernaum synagogue on the Sabbath, March 2, AD 26. The synagogue was crowded with people eager to hear what Jesus would say. The story about the baptism in the Jordan was now augmented by the news from Cana about the water and wine. The audience was expecting fireworks, but they were to be sorely disappointed. Jesus read from the prophet Isaiah: “Thus says the Lord: The heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool…Says the Lord, to this man I will look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word…Your brethren hated you and cast you out for my name’s sake. Before her pain came, she was delivered of a man-child. But thus says the Lord, Behold I extend peace like a river, and the glory of even the gentiles will be like a flowing stream. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you, even in Jerusalem. And when you see these things, your heart shall rejoice” (137.6.2). When he was finished with the reading, Jesus said: “Be patient and you shall see the glory of God; even so shall it be with all those who tarry with me and thus learn to do the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Everyone wondered at the meaning of these words. That night again Jesus warned his disciples about their future with him, and then sent them home. **** During March, April, May and June this pause continued; Jesus meanwhile held over 100 training sessions with his disciples and his brother James. They fished during the day and studied in the evening. They, learning that Jesus was God, found him easy to be with. But nothing supernatural happened, so the waiting severely tested them, especially Peter. Peter repeatedly suggested that they start preaching in Galilee, since John was way over in Judea. But Jesus would always reply: “Be patient, Simon. Make progress. We’ll be none too ready when the Father calls.”************************ Herod had heard of Jesus, but he was more concerned about John. Thus, he left Jesus alone and focused on John. The scribes and rabbis, called Pharisees, were a progressive group which believed in the resurrection of the dead. The Sadducees were the priesthood. Both the Pharisees and Sadducees were religious parties. The Essenes were a true religious sect, who lived as a brotherhood in monasteries. The Zealots were a group of intense Jewish patriots. They advocated extreme measures to throw off the rule of Rome. The Herodians were a political party that advocated emancipation from Rome and restoration of the Herodian dynasty. All of these parties, including the Nazirites, believed in the coming of the Messiah. Jesus impressed upon his disciples that they would be joining none of these groups; that they would be working solely for the kingdom of heaven in the hearts of humans. In furtherance of this, Jesus, James and the 6 disciples spent two evenings a week in the synagogue studying the Hebrew scriptures.****************************** One day Peter came to the boatshop and told Jesus that John had been arrested. Jesus took off his apron and said: “The Father’s hour has come. Let us make ready to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom.” Jesus arranged to preach in the synagogue on the upcoming Sabbath, which pleased the ruler very much. The UB calls this first effort at preaching “pretentious,” an unfortunate adjective. Jesus read these passages from scripture: “You shall be to me a kingdom of priests, a holy people. Yahweh is our judge. Yahweh is our lawgiver. Yahweh is our king. He will save us. Yahweh is my king and my God. He is a great king over all the earth. Loving-kindness is upon Israel in this kingdom. Blessed be the glory of the Lord, for He is our king.” And then Jesus introduced his teaching on the kingdom of heaven: “I have come to proclaim the establishment of my Father’s kingdom. This kingdom will include the worshiping souls of Jew and gentile, rich and poor, free and bound, for my Father is no respecter of persons; his love and mercy are over all…My kingdom is not of this world. The children of this world fight for the kingdoms of this world, but my disciples shall enter the kingdom of heaven by their moral decisions and by their spirit victories, and they shall find joy, righteousness and eternal life…And this kingdom is even now among you, for where the spirit of God teaches and leads the soul of man, there in reality is the kingdom of heaven…John baptized you for remission of sins and in token of repentance, but when you enter the heavenly kingdom, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. In my Father’s kingdom there will be neither Jew nor gentile, only those who seek perfection through service. Those who would be great in my Father’s kingdom must first become a server…The kingdom of heaven is not a matter of power and plenty, or of meat and drink, but of progressive righteousness and increasing joy in the service of my Father in heaven…Those who enter the kingdom will have a divine rest, abundant liberty and joyous salvation. If you would but believe that my Father loves you with an infinite love, then you are in the kingdom of God” (137. 8.1-11).