Urantia Book 52. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. Jesus wandered into the hills and sent the very depressed apostles to take the boat across the sea to Bethsaida. The wind came up and threw their boat around. But Peter fell into an exhausted sleep. He dreamed that he was called by Jesus to walk to him across the water, and when he became afraid, Jesus took his hand and chided him for his lack of faith. Peter woke up and actually stepped over the side of the boat and had to be pulled out of the water. To Peter this experience was real, but he couldn’t convince anyone else. Mark left part of the story out of his Gospel, and Luke concluded that it was a vision and refused to put it in his Gospel (152.4.1-4).****************************** The exhausted disciples slept late on Thursday morning, but Andrew was first up and found Jesus by the lake. Jesus asked him to assemble all the apostles, evangelists and women. When they were all assembled, he said: “How long shall I bear with you?! Are you all slow of spiritual comprehension and deficient in living faith? All these months I have taught you the truths of the kingdom, and yet you are dominated by material motives instead of spiritual considerations. Have you not even read in the Scriptures where Moses exhorted the unbelieving children of Israel, saying, “Fear not. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord? ‘Be patient, wait upon the Lord and be of good courage. He shall strengthen your hearts. Cast your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain you. Trust him at all times and pour your heart out to him, for God is your refuge. He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.'” “And now do you see that the working of miracles and the performance of material wonders will not win souls for the spiritual kingdom? We fed the multitude, but it did not lead them to hunger for the bread of life nor thirst for the waters of spiritual righteousness.” Jesus said that the crowds wanted to make him king so that they would always have free bread. He also warned that they could come to the attention of the Romans with this king business. “Don’t we have enough enemies already?” he questioned. Then he announced that he and his apostles were going away for a few days and forbade anyone to follow them. He wanted to prepare for the Passover in Jerusalem. In fact, the king business did get back to the religious leaders and the civil authorities, and they were worried (152.5.1-6).******** Jesus and the 12 rested at the home of a wealthy believer at Gennesaret. Jesus held a conference everyday with the apostles. They were serious, sober, chastened and disillusioned men. Things had happened so fast the last few weeks, but change comes slow. They didn’t have time to make the requisite changes in fundamental concepts of social conduct, philosophic attitudes and religious convictions. The second night Jesus impressed upon them the fickleness of crowds. He reminded them that the multitude of 50,000 had dwindled to 500. Jesus taught them how to appeal to the spirit inside each human: First, appeal to the emotions; this will arrest and focus the intellectual attention. The mind is then aroused and the mind is the gateway to the soul, where the spirit is found. The spirit recognizes the truth of the gospel and transforms the listener into a believer. Jesus also tried to prepare them for the difficult times ahead. The Jewish rulers would conspire with Herod Antipas to destroy them. The apostles were finally seeing clearly that Jesus would not be a king on David’s throne. And they saw finally that the kingdom would not be advanced by material wonders. They vaguely saw the cruel adversity ahead. They were slowly awakening to the realization of the real nature of their task as ambassadors of the kingdom, and they began to gird themselves for the trying and testing ordeals of the last year of the Master’s ministry on earth (152.6.1-5).************* On Sunday, April 3 Jesus, with only the 12, left Bethsaida for Jerusalem. They took a long route to avoid travelers and arrived on Wednesday. Jesus forbade the apostles to preach or teach while they were in Jerusalem. Jesus only went into the city once, to go to the main feast. The apostles could feel hostility in the crowd. They took a similar route home, up the coast and over land (152.7.1-3).**************** On Friday, when they all arrived at Bethsaida, the apostles noticed that Jesus was very preoccupied, like he had some momentous problem. He didn’t eat anything; there was tension in the air, and Jesus wouldn’t talk to anyone. Peter reacted by becoming depressed. Others reacted as well and became downcast. Jesus may have been anticipating the epoch-making sermon he was scheduled to preach at the new Capernaum synagogue at 3PM that afternoon. The only apostles to address Jesus were the clueless Alpheus twins, who cheerily wished him well.************************ There was a distinguished congregation waiting for Jesus as he entered the synagogue at 3. Jarius presided and handed Jesus the Scriptures to read. The day before, 53 Pharisees and Sadducees had arrived from Jerusalem; more than 30 of the rulers and leaders of the neighboring synagogues were also present. The contingent from Jerusalem had come to inaugurate open warfare on Jesus and his followers. Sitting near the Jewish leaders were the official observers of Herod Antipas, who had been directed to investigate the king business. But Jesus saw all this and assumed the offensive. He intended to attack their concept of a Jewish deliverer. This sermon would mark the crisis point in the transition from the period of discussion to that of open warfare and final acceptance or final rejection. The Master knew that many of his followers were slowly preparing their minds to reject him. He also knew that his apostles and evangelists were passing through that training of mind and discipline of soul which would enable them to triumph over doubt and assert their faith in the gospel. Jesus had trained them to do that. The whole of the congregation had one question only: “Why did he himself so deliberately and effectively turn back the tide of popular enthusiasm?” It was after this sermon that the doubts of his adherents turned to hatred.

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