Urantia Book 41. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of the Universe of Nebadon. After sundown on the Sabbath, a multitude of the sick and disabled showed up at Zebedee’s house to be cured of their afflictions. It was not Jesus’ intention to perform miracles and heal them. But there was a vast retinue of seraphim, physical controllers, Life Carriers and midwayers all invisibly attending Jesus and who made themselves ready to heal these people if only Jesus said the word. Jesus felt pressure and sought refuge in his Father’s will. He looked down at the afflicted throng and said: “I have come into the world to reveal the Father and establish his kingdom. If it should be his will, I would desire to see my children made whole and—“Apparently it was the will of his Father because those supernatural operatives descended into the midst of the crowd and healed everyone. They healed 683 people in a moment of time. Jesus was more surprised than anyone else. Jesus’ Adjuster ruled that the healing, an act of creative energy, would not be against the Father’s will. Since Jesus expressed a healing desire, the healing act was created. “What a Creator Son desires and his Father wills IS.” That was the only case of mass healing in Jesus’ career. But I’m sure it brought him notoriety he wasn’t looking for. The healing didn’t win many souls to the kingdom, either. And after that, Jesus became as much a physician as a preacher. He did most of the healing while his followers did most of the preaching. The news of the healing, though, traveled far and wide, so that Herod heard of it and became nervous. The apostles and those healed partied far into the night. But where was Jesus? The people wanted to thank him for healing them. Most of them finally went home disappointed. After that Jesus arrived and refused the adoration of those waiting for him. He said: “Rejoice not that my Father is powerful to heal the body, but rather that he is mighty to save the soul. Let us go to our rest, for tomorrow we must be about the Father’s business” (145.4.2). And the disappointed apostles went to bed. Except for the twins, they didn’t get much sleep that night. They just could not understand Jesus. He would build up their enthusiasm, only to crush it. Jesus didn’t sleep and arose before dawn to walk into the wilderness to pray. Peter couldn’t sleep, so he roused James and John, and they went to find Jesus. After they found him, Jesus spent four hours explaining why the kingdom could not be built on wonder-working and physical healing. Meanwhile, crowds came to the Zebedee house and Andrew, feeling overwhelmed, came looking for Jesus. He asked Jesus to return with him to deal with the crowds. But Jesus refused. He said the crowds were just curiosity-seekers and just looking for signs and wonders. Instead, Jesus told Andrew to get ready to leave. So, on the afternoon of Sunday, January 18, AD 28, Jesus and the apostles started out on the first really public and open preaching tour of the cities of Galilee (145.5.1-9).**** Jesus for the first time allowed the apostles to preach without putting any restraints on them. So they enthusiastically put themselves into it. From January 18 to March 17 they went around to cities like Rimmon, Zebulun and Cana, preaching and baptizing, assisted by the former apostles of John. Rimmon had been dedicated to the god of the air, Ramman, and it was difficult to explain the difference between this religion and the gospel of the kingdom. The people converted to the gospel, but some later lapsed into their old ways. Many of the Persian ideas of light and dark, good and evil, time and eternity were later incorporated into Christianity. This inclusion made Christian teaching more acceptable to the people of the Near East. Also, Plato’s ideas of invisible patterns of all things visible and material, as later adopted by Philo to Hebrew theology, made Paul’s Christian teachings more acceptable to the western Greeks (146.1.1-3).*********************** At Jotapata Nathaniel confessed confusion about prayer, gratitude and worship, so in the evening Jesus discoursed on these topics. He emphasized the following points: 1. God hears the petitions of his children, but when the human heart deliberately and persistently harbors the concepts of iniquity, there gradually ensues the loss of personal communion between his earth child and the heavenly Father. 2. That prayer which is inconsistent with the known and established laws of God is an abomination to the Paradise Deities. 3. The Father in heaven has forgiven you even before you thought to ask him, but such forgiveness is not available in your personal religious experience until such a time as you forgive your fellow person. 4. There is a basic law of justice in the universe which mercy is powerless to circumvent. The glories of Paradise are not available to the thoroughly selfish. Even God’s infinite love cannot save a mortal who does not choose to survive. 5. They who would receive mercy must show mercy. 6. What the true son desires and the infinite Father wills IS. Such a prayer cannot remain unanswered. 7. The cry of the righteous is the faith act of the child of God which opens the door of the Father’s storehouse of goodness, truth and mercy. 8. A thoroughly selfish person cannot pray in the true sense of the word. “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will act.” 9. Avoid praying much for yourself; pray more for the spiritual progress of your brethren. 10. Pray for the welfare of your families, but especially pray for those who curse you, and make loving petitions for those who persecute you. 11. Don’t pray only when you are in trouble. Pray privately. The best prayer is “Nevertheless, your will be done.” 12. Pray for the extension of the kingdom of heaven. Be discrete in what comes out of your mouth. 13. The most important prayer after prayer for knowledge of God’s will is prayer for divine guidance. It really means a prayer for divine wisdom. 14. Jesus warned against ornate repetitions, eloquent phraseology, fasting, penance and sacrificing animals. 15. Jesus reminded them not to worry about where their next meal was coming from, but to proceed with an attitude of gratitude. 16. Jesus told them to remain in meditation after they prayed in order to receive messages that might be directed to them. He told them much more which wasn’t recorded (146.2.1-18).