Utantia Book 55. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. On the eventful Saturday night of April 30, as Jesus was speaking words of comfort and courage to his downcast and bewildered disciples, at Tiberias a council was being had between Herod Antipas and a group of special commissioners sent from the Jerusalem Sanhedrin. These scribes and Pharisees urged Herod to arrest Jesus. They tried to convince him that Jesus was stirring up the populace to dissension and even to rebellion. But Herod refused to take action against him as a political offender. Herod’s advisers had correctly described the the episode across the lake when the people sought to proclaim Jesus king and how he rejected the proposal. Herod had a bad conscience about putting John to death, and he did not want to become entangled in these intrigues against Jesus. He knew of many cases of sickness which had apparently had been healed by Jesus, and he regarded him as either a prophet or a harmless religious fanatic.*************** From May 1 to May 7 Jesus held intimate counsel with his followers at the Zebedee house. Only the tried and trusted disciples were admitted to these conferences. Sessions were held morning, afternoon and evening. On Friday of this week official action was taken by the rulers of the Capernaum synagogue closing the house of God to Jesus and all his followers. This action was taken at the instigation of the Jerusalem Pharisees. Jarius resigned as chief ruler and openly aligned himself with Jesus. This Saturday night marked the time of the lowest ebb in the tide of the popular regard for Jesus and his teachings. From then on there was a steady, slow but more healthy and dependable growth in favorable sentiment; a new following was building which was better grounded in spiritual faith and true religious experience. From now on there was a more open proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom in its larger scope and in its far-flung implications (154.1.1-3).************ Sunday, May 8, AD 29, at Jerusalem, the Sanhedrin passed a decree closing all the synagogues in Palestine to Jesus and his followers. This was a new and unprecedented usurpation of authority by the Jerusalem Sanhedrin. Theretofore each synagogue had existed and functioned as an independent congregation of worshipers and was under the rule and direction of its own board of governors. Only the synagogues of Jerusalem had been subject to the authority of the Sanhedrin. This summary action of the Sanhedrin was followed by the resignation of five of its members. One hundred messengers were immediately dispatched to convey and enforce this decree. This same Sunday Jesus declared a week’s holiday. During the week Nathaniel and James Zebedee became very ill. Also, James’ mother, Salome, passed away. Healing his two ill apostles would have been easy for Jesus, but that was not what he was about. Universe difficulties must be met, and planetary obstacles must be encountered as a part of the experience training provided for the growth and development, the progressive perfection, of the evolving souls of mortal creatures. The spiritualization of the human soul requires intimate experience with the educational solving of a wide range of universe problems. The animal nature and the lower forms of will creatures do not progress favorably in environmental ease. Problematic situations, coupled with exertion stimuli, conspire to produce those activities of mind, soul and spirit which contribute mightily to the achievement of worthy goals of mortal progression and to the attainment of higher levels of spirit destiny (154.2.1-5).* ***About a week later Jesus’ enemies started the rumor that Herod had become hostile to Jesus and was planning to exterminate his followers. Accordingly, on Saturday night, May 21, Herod signed the decree which authorized the Sanhedrin to seize Jesus and hold him for trial. Meanwhile, a group of leading citizens met at the Capernaum synagogue and discussed the question: “What shall we do with Jesus?” The group was divided equally into four opinions: 1. That he was a deluded and harmless religious fanatic. 2. That he was a dangerous and designing agitator who might stir up rebellion. 3. That he was in league with devils. 4. That he was beside himself, that he was mad, mentally unbalanced. They agreed that his doctrines were harmful for the common people; his teachings were impractical; that society would collapse if everyone lived the way he advocated. The UB says that future generations have said the same thing; that people are partially right when they say this. But a much better civilization could have been built on the ideas of Jesus, says the UB. Finally, says the UB, in another putdown of humans and Christianity: “This world has never seriously tried to carry out the teachings of Jesus on a large scale, notwithstanding that halfhearted attempts have often been made to follow the doctrines of so-called Christianity” (154.4.1-2).******************************* May 22 was an eventful day in the life of Jesus. On this Sunday morning before daybreak, one of David’s messengers arrived in great haste from Tiberias, bringing the news that Herod had authorized the arrest of Jesus by the Sanhedrin. David aroused all his messengers and sent them to all the groups of disciples summoning them for an emergency meeting at 7 AM. They also summoned Jesus’ family: Mary, James, Jude and Ruth. When all had assembled, he told the evangelists and disciples to labor as they saw fit. He chose 12 evangelists and his 12 apostles to go with him. He directed the women to stay at the Zebedee house until he sent for them. David Zebedee’s messenger service would continue without interruption. About 7:30 Jesus began his farewell speech and his mood was much better than usual; he was more like his normal self; he was actually cheerful. He inspired each of them with his words of faith, hope and courage.

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