Urantia Book 39. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. Just as Jesus told Nalda that he was the Messiah, something that he hadn’t admitted to anyone before this: “It was the first direct, positive and undisguised pronouncement of his divine nature and sonship which Jesus had made on earth; and it was made to a woman, a Samaritan woman, and a woman of questionable character in the eyes of men up to this moment, but a women whom the divine eye beheld as having been more sinned against than as sinning of her own desire and now being a human soul who desired salvation, desired it sincerely and wholeheartedly, and that was enough” (143.5.8). Just as Nalda was about to express the real longing of her heart, the apostles came up to them and were very astonished to see Jesus in intimate conversation with a woman. They made their disapproval obvious, but they did not dare to reprove Jesus. They instead went about setting up camp. Jesus said to Nalda: “Woman, go your way; God has forgiven you. Henceforth, you will lead a new life. You have received the living water, and a new joy will spring up within your soul, and you shall become a daughter of the Most High. (Why did Jesus call the Father a Most High? The Most High ruled the Constellation Norlatiadek) The woman fled, sensing the disapproval of the apostles. She ran into the city and told everyone to go out to the well and meet the man “who had told her everything she had ever done.” The apostles couldn’t wrap their heads around the idea that women had souls and were equal to men. They were shocked that Jesus would treat women as equals, even those of questionable morals. The crowd arrived before the apostles had a chance to eat, and they begged Jesus to let them eat before dealing with the crowd. But it was getting late, so Jesus wanted to minister to the crowd before eating. He informed Andrew that “I have meat to eat that you do not know about.” He clarified this statement by saying: “My meat is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work.” They preached 2 days and then set up camp on top of Mount Gerizim. Jesus did not rebuke the apostles for their attitudes toward women. Instead, he gave a memorable talk on ‘The realities which are central in the kingdom of God.’ The theme of his talk on Mount Gerizim was that he wants humans to see God as a father-friend and he, Jesus, as a brother-friend. He returned to the idea again that love is the greatest relationship. The group spent the days in the cities preaching and the nights at the camp. Their preaching brought many souls into the kingdom. It paved the way for Phillip’s work after Jesus went home. Jesus held conferences in the evenings at the camp. He put the emphasis on the following: 1. True religion is an act of an individual soul in its self-conscious relations with its Creator; organized religion is man’s attempt to socialize the worship of individual religionists. 2. Worship-contemplation of the spiritual-must alternate with service. 3. Prayer is designed to make humans less thinking but more realizing; it is not designed to increase knowledge but to expand insight. 4. Worship is intended to anticipate the better life ahead and to then reflect these new spiritual significances back on to the life that is; Worship is divinely creative. 5. Worship is the technique of looking to the One for the inspiration for the service to the many. Worship is the yardstick which measures the extent of the soul’s detachment from the material universe and its secure attachment to the spiritualities of all creation. 6. Prayer is self-reminding–sublime thinking; worship is self-forgetting–superthinking. Worship is effortless attention, true and ideal soul rest, a form of restful spiritual exertion. The apostles did not grasp every idea in this talk, but that was typical**** (144.3.1-5). Jesus and his apostles spent September and October in seclusion at a camp on Mt. Gilboa. Jesus gave them more instruction in the truths of the kingdom. There were reasons for this seclusion. The Jerusalem religious rulers were very hostile towards them; Herod Antipas still held John in prison and was suspicious that John and Jesus were associated; thus it was unwise to do aggressive preaching in Judea or Galilee. Also, the tension between the leaders of John’s disciples and the apostles was getting worse as new believers increased. Jesus therefore decided to do some quiet work in the Decapolis while he prepared his apostles for the end and waited for the final verdict on John. Jesus made plain to his apostles the three reasons they were in retirement: 1. To confirm their understanding of, and faith in, the gospel of the kingdom. 2. To allow opposition to their work in Judea and Galilee to quiet down. 3. To await the fate of John the Baptist. The apostles sensed that a final proclamation on the gospel was coming, but they had no idea what it meant. Thomas asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. The Master did not like set and formal prayers, as John taught his disciples. The apostles longed to know what form of petition Jesus would approve. Jesus knew the common people needed a form of petition, so he consented to discourse on prayer. Jesus said: “Prayer is entirely a personal and spontaneous expression of the attitude of the soul toward the spirit…The ideal prayer is a form of spiritual communion which leads to intelligent worship… Prayer is the breath of the soul and should lead you to be persistent in your attempt to ascertain the Father’s will… Persist in praying… Your persistence, however, is not to win favor with God but to change your earth attitude and to enlarge your soul’s capacity for spirit receptivity (144.2.1-5).******************* But the apostles were not satisfied; they wanted a model prayer they could teach to the new believers. James told Jesus that new believers always ask for the proper prayers. Jesus finally taught them the “Our Father.” Jesus taught that, to be effective, prayer must be: 1. Unselfish-not always for oneself 2. Believing-according to faith 3. Sincere-honest of heart 4. Intelligent-according to light 5. Trustful-in submission to the Father’s will. For many days the apostles continued to ask Jesus about prayer and worship, and since they were resting, he continued to discourse on the subject. He said: The earnest and longing repetition of a petition, when sincere and uttered in faith, never fails to expand the soul’s capacity for spiritual receptivity. In all praying, remember that the status of a son or daughter of God is a gift. Faith is a gift. The child of God comes into the new life of the spirit by the will of the Father in heaven, the First Source and Center… The soul’s spiritual capacity for receptivity determines the quantity of heavenly blessings which can be personally appropriated and consciously realized as an answer to prayer… Prayer is an antidote for harmful introspection. Praying for one’s fellows is beneficial to one’s spirit, Jesus said. Worship is salvation for this generation of pleasure- seeking mortals. Prayer can be likened to recharging the spiritual batteries of the soul. Jesus also said that prayer is a psychological process of exchanging the human will for the divine will…(144.4.1-5). Jesus taught them 6 long prayers, one of which began “Glorious Father and Mother, in one parent combined,” (144.5.6)

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