Urantia Book 54. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. Many were the questions asked Jesus during the after meeting. Some were asked by his perplexed disciples, but more were asked by caviling unbelievers who sought only to embarrass and entrap him….One of the visiting Pharisees mounting a lampstand, shouted out this question: “You tell us that you are the bread of life. How can you give us your flesh to eat or your blood to drink? What avail is your teaching if it cannot be carried out?” And Jesus answered this question, saying: “I did not teach you that my flesh is the bread of life nor that my blood is the water thereof. But I did say that my life in the flesh is a bestowal of the bread of heaven. The fact of the Word of God bestowed in the flesh and the phenomenon of the Son of Man subject to the will of God constitute a reality of experience which is equivalent to the divine sustenance. You cannot eat my flesh nor drink my blood, but you can become one in spirit with me even as I am one in Spirit with the Father. You can be nourished by the eternal Word of God, which indeed is the bread of life, and which has been bestowed in the likeness of mortal flesh; and you can be watered in soul by the divine Spirit, which is truly the water of life. The Father has sent me into the world to show how he desires to indwell and direct all people; and I have so lived this life in the flesh as to inspire all people likewise ever to seek to know and do the will of the indwelling heavenly Father.”********************************* Then one of the Jerusalem spies who had been observing Jesus and his apostles, said: “We notice that neither you nor your apostles wash your hands properly before you eat bread. You must know that such a practice of eating with defiled and unwashed hands is a transgression of the law of the elders. Neither do you wash your eating vessels and drinking cups. Why is it that you show such disrespect for the traditions of the fathers and the laws of the elders?” Jesus answered: “Hearken to me, all of you. It is not that which enters into the mouth that spiritually defiles the person, but rather that which proceeds out of the mouth and from the heart.” Peter, of all people, wanted clarification of Jesus’ words. So Jesus went on and said: “Are you also hard of understanding? Know you not that every plant my Father has not planted will be torn out of the ground? Turn now your attention to those who would know the truth. You cannot compel people to love the truth. Many of these teachers are blind guides. And you know that, if the blind lead the blind, both fall into a pit.”******************************* The Pharisaic commissioners of the Jerusalem Sanhedrin were now almost convinced that Jesus must be apprehended on a charge of blasphemy or breaking the sacred laws of Judaism. And the Master elected to discuss and expose the folly of the whole rabbinic system of rules and regulations which was represented by the oral law–the traditions of the elders, all of which were regarded as more sacred and binding on the Jews than even the teachings of the Scriptures. And Jesus spoke out with less reserve because he knew the hour had come when he could do nothing more to prevent an open rupture of relations with these religious leaders. (153.3.1-7).******* Some lingered in the synagogue. A Pharisee brought to Jesus a boy possessed by a demon. Jesus said to the demon:”You know who I am; come out of him; and I charge one of your loyal fellows to see that you do not return.” This was the first case where Jesus actually performed a miracle. The people marveled, but some said Jesus was in partnership with Satan. Then Jesus said: “How can Satan cast out Satan? A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. Can a city withstand a siege if it is not united? Let me utter a solemn warning to you who would presume, with your eyes open and with premeditated malice, knowingly to ascribe the works of God to the doings of devils. I say to you, all your sins shall be forgiven, even all your blasphemies, but whosoever shall blaspheme against God with deliberation and wicked intention will never obtain forgiveness. Since such workers of iniquity will never seek nor receive forgiveness (153.4.1-6).******************* The apostles were profoundly depressed and discouraged. They had seen the large number desert Jesus. Jesus himself had changed into another person, he was aggressive and authoritative. He was never going to be king. And Jesus thought these were positives! And worst of all, they were afraid. They all went back to Bethsaida and Jesus secluded himself in an upper room and refused to eat. Joab appeared and reported that one-third of the evangelists had deserted. But the women stayed loyal. Finally Jesus came down from his room and spoke to about 30 disciples, saying: ” I recognize that this sifting of the kingdom distresses you, but it is unavoidable. Still, after all the training you have had, was there any good reason why you should stumble at my words? Why is it that you are filled with fear and consternation when you see the kingdom being divested of these lukewarm multitudes and halfhearted disciples? Why do you grieve when the new day is dawning for the shining forth in new glory of the spiritual teachings of the kingdom of heaven? If you find it difficult to endure this test, what will you do when the Son of Man returns to the Father? When and how will you prepare yourselves for the time when I ascend to the place from where I came” (153.5.1-4).