Urantia Book 38. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. At the end of June, AD 27, Jesus and his apostles left Jerusalem for Samaria and the Decapolis (10 cities). The religious rulers were after them with very bad intentions. Two cities, Phasaelis and Archelais, became their headquarters. This was their first experience preaching exclusively to gentiles–Greeks, Romans and Syrians. They met with new difficulties in trying to win souls to the Father. The apostles complained to Jesus that these gentiles did not take the gospel seriously and said the gospel was only for weaklings and slaves. And these gentiles assert that heathen religions are superior to the gospel because they inspire a strong, robust and aggressive character. Moreover, the gentiles say the gospel turns men into enfeebled specimens of passive non-resisters (143.1.1-2). When Jesus heard their complaints, he went on a long lecture. He pointed out that none of them were weaklings and that he, Jesus, was not dominated by fear. He also informed them that the Paradise ascent is the rugged achievement of eternity. And he asserted that armies will never display more courage than those who are martyred for the sake of the gospel. In fact, this was one of the most impassioned addresses Jesus ever delivered to the twelve. He must have really made an impression because the effect was immediate: ” their message took on a new note of courageous dominance…they continued to acquire the spirit of positive aggression in the preaching of the new gospel of the kingdom…and they did not occupy themselves so much with the preaching of negative virtues or passive injunctions in their Master’s teachings (143.1.5-9).**** At one of the evening conferences, Andrew asked the following question: “Wherein does your teaching differ from that of John’s?” Jesus answered: “John taught the religion of self-examination and self-denial. But I come with a new message of self-forgetfulness and self-control. I show to you the way of life as revealed to me by my Father in heaven. Verily, I say to you, one who rules one’s self is greater than one who captures a city. Self-mastery is the measure of a person’s moral nature and the indicator of the person’s spiritual development. By your faith and the spirit’s transformation you become in reality the temples of God, and his Spirit actually dwells within you (143.2.2-4).******************************* I’ve noticed that most people believe in the devil–Satan or Lucifer. People don’t know that they don’t exist since they were put on trial on Uversa, found guilty and took the option of annihilating themselves. So many people blame the devil for the evil things they do, but it’s really their own human wickedness. It is rarely possession by a demon. If I can blame a demon for my sins, then I don’t have to take responsibility for them. And I’m glad to know Jesus agrees with me. He said: “Many times, when you have done evil, you have thought to charge up your acts to the influence of the evil one when in reality you have been led astray by your own natural tendencies…how easy for you to become self-deceived and thereby fall into foolish fears, divers lust, enslaving pleasures, malice, envy and even vengeful hatred!” (143.2.5). Also, you must have faith, but even faith must come from God as a gift. “It is the very goodness of God that leads people into true and genuine repentance. Your secret of the mastery of self is bound up with your faith in the indwelling Spirit, which ever works by love. Even this saving faith you have not of yourself; it also is the gift of God” (143.2.7).************************ Tension and irritability between the apostles and John’s disciples were so bad that a complete breakdown threatened. Andrew was beside himself, not knowing what to do about the situation. He finally had to bother the Master about the problem. When Jesus had listened to Andrew, he said: “I cannot do what you ask of me–I will not participate in these personal social difficulties–but I will join in the enjoyment of a 3 day period of rest and relaxation. Go to each individual apostle and privately tell him that we are to go up Mount Sartaba, where I desire to rest for a day or two. No mention will be made of our difficulties during the trip.” This was obviously a secret kept from John’s disciples. Jesus didn’t make the mistake of taking them up the mountain. Jesus had no control over the disciples’ attitudes, feelings, or sorrow. They were probably angry at Jesus for not saving John and Jesus had no control over that, either. But he could do something with his own apostles, and it worked. When they reached the top of the mountain, Jesus told them that after a period of rest and relaxation, they would be able to attack their problems with a clearer head and a steadier hand. The whole day was devoted to reminiscences and matters not related to their religious work. They had been exceedingly perplexed about how to get along with John’s disciples, but all that disappeared when they came back down the mountain. A great change had come over them. They made the discovery that many human perplexities are in reality non-existent. A period ensued of greatly improved relations with John’s followers.******************** They hadn’t made many converts among the gentiles, so Jesus decided to go to Samaria, the location of the city of Sychar, near Jacob’s well. The apostles were not happy about preaching to the Samaritans because the Jews had a history with them. When the Jews returned to Jerusalem from the Babylonian Captivity, the Samaritans tried to hinder the rebuilding of the city. They also built a temple on Mount Gerizim in which they worshiped Yahweh and pagan gods as well. Their animal sacrifices were similar to those in the temple at Jerusalem. This was all anathema to the Jews. So going to Samaria was a great test of loyalty to Jesus for these apostles. They reached Jacob’s well and Jesus sent the 12 into the city for food. A woman came along just as Jesus was feeling thirsty. He asked her for a drink because he didn’t have any cup to reach the water. The woman’s name was Nalda and she was surprised to be addressed by a man and a Jew. Jesus said: “I have indeed asked you for a drink, but if you could only understand, you would ask me for a drink of the living water.” Nalda wanted to know where Jesus was hiding this living water. Jesus told her that “anyone who drinks this water of the living spirit will never thirst.” It shall “become a well of refreshment springing up even to eternal life.” And Nalda immediately asked Jesus to give her this water so she didn’t have to trek to the well all the time. She also started to flirt with Jesus. Jesus responded by becoming stern and telling her to go and bring her husband to him. Then she sobered up and admitted she had no husband. Jesus knew that in her soul she really wanted to know a better way of life. He told her that Jews worship One God, and people one day will worship God in spirit and in truth. Nalda was still trying to avoid the subject of her personal life, but she said: “I know, Sir, that John has preached about the coming of the Converter, he who will be called the Deliverer, and that when he shall come–“and Jesus, interrupting Nalda, said with startling assurance, “I who speak to you am he.”

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