Urantia Book 59. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. On Friday afternoon, June 10, Jesus and his associates arrived in the area of Sidon, where they stopped at the home of a well-to-do woman named Karuska. They spent almost 3 weeks in Sidon before they prepared to visit the coast cities to the north. This June Sabbath was one of great quiet. The followers of Jesus were absorbed in the discourses which they had listened to on the subject of religion. They were all able to appreciate something of what he had given them, but none of them fully grasped the import of his teaching. There lived a woman near the home of Karuska, where they were camped, who came over, bringing her daughter, who was afflicted with epilepsy, convulsions and other distressing manifestations. The woman was determined that Jesus would heal her daughter and nobody could convince her to leave. Peter, Thomas and Simon Zelotes had no success with her. She said that Jesus could cast the demon out of her child and she wasn’t leaving until Jesus did that. Simon implied she was a dog, and she said in reply: “as concerning your Master, I am a believing dog.” Just then the girl had another convulsion and the woman said: “You are not worthy to be his disciples. I will not go until my child is cured.” Jesus heard all this through a window and came out and praised the woman’s faith. Jesus cured the girl and told the woman to say nothing. Of course they told the news all over the town, and Jesus had to change his living arrangements. The next day, as Jesus taught his apostles, commenting on the cure of the daughter of the Syrian woman, he said: “And so it has been all the way along; you see for yourselves how the gentiles are able to exercise saving faith in the teachings of the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. Verily, verily, I tell you that the Father’s kingdom shall be taken by the gentiles if the children of Abraham are not minded to show faith enough to enter therein.” *************** In entering Sidon, Jesus and his associates passed over a bridge, the first one many of them had seen. As they walked over this bridge, Jesus said: “This world is only a bridge; you may pass over it, but don’t think to build a dwelling place on it.” The 24 began preaching in Sidon while Jesus went to the house of Justa and her mother, Bernice. Jesus taught the 24 each morning, and each afternoon and evening they went out preaching and teaching. They were very heartened by the response they received from the gentiles of Sidon. Many souls were added to the kingdom. This period of about six weeks in Phoenicia was a very fruitful time in the work of winning souls. In many ways these gentile believers appreciated Jesus’ teachings more fully than the Jews. Many of these Greek-speaking Syro-phoenicians came to know not only that Jesus was like God, but also that God was like Jesus. These so-called heathen achieved a good understanding of the Master’s teaching about the uniformity of the laws of this world and the entire universe. They grasped the teaching that God is no respecter of persons, races or nations; that there is no favoritism with the Universal Father; that the universe is wholly and ever law-abiding and unfailingly dependable.****************** Jesus made it clear to the 24 that he had not fled from Galilee because he lacked courage to confront his enemies. They understood that he was not ready for an open clash with established religion, and that he did not seek to become a martyr. It was during one of these conferences at the home of Justa that the Master first told his disciples that “even though heaven and earth shall pass away, my words of truth shall not.”**************** The theme of Jesus’ instructions during the stay at Sidon was spiritual progression. He told them that they could not stand still; they must go forth in righteousness or retrogress into evil and sin. He admonished them to “forget those things which are in the past while you push forward to embrace the greater realities of the kingdom.” Said Jesus: “My disciples must not only cease to do evil but learn to do well; you must not only be cleansed from all conscious sin, but you must refuse to harbor even the feelings of guilt. If you confess your sins, they are forgiven; therefore must you maintain a conscience void of offense.*************** Jesus greatly enjoyed the keen sense of humor which these gentiles exhibited. And he greatly regretted that his people, the Jews, were so lacking in humor. He once said to Thomas: “My people take themselves to seriously; they are just about devoid of an appreciation of humor. The burdensome religion of the Pharisees could never have had an origin among a people with a sense of humor. They also lack consistency; they strain at gnats and swallow camels.”************** On Tuesday, June 28, the Master and his associates left Sidon, going up the coast. They were well received by the gentiles, and many were added to the kingdom during this week of preaching and teaching. On Wednesday, July 6, they returned to Sidon and the home of Justa. Sunday morning they departed for Tyre, arriving on Monday, July 11. They taught in Tyre from July 11 to 24, but this time they went in 2s, 1 apostle with 1 evangelist. This was a seaport city and it was composed of all sorts of people, but they were eager to hear the gospel, and many souls were won for the kingdom. There was such an interest in the gospel of the kingdom among these gentiles, that on this occasion, the doors of the Melkarth temple were opened to Jesus and in later years, a Christian shrine was built on this site. Tyre was known for its purple dye, obtained from sea animals. When the supply ran out, the people went to sea, carrying the message of the kingdom far and wide.

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