Urantia Book 60. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. On Wednesday afternoon Jesus first told his followers the story of the white lily which rears its pure and snowy head high into the sunshine while its roots are grounded in the slime and muck of the darkened soil beneath. “Likewise,” said he, “mortal man, while he has his roots of origin and being in the animal soil of human nature, can by faith raise his spiritual nature up into the sunlight of heavenly truth and actually bear the noble fruits of the spirit.” And then Jesus used a parable related to carpentry–his first and only time. He admonished them to “Build well the foundations for the growth of a noble character of spiritual endowments. In order to yield the fruits of the spirit, you must be born of the spirit. You must be taught by the spirit and be led by the spirit if you would lead the spirit filled life among your fellows. But do not make the mistake of the foolish carpenter who wastes valuable time squaring, measuring and smoothing his worm-eaten and inwardly rotting timber and then, when he has thus bestowed all of his labor upon the unsound beam, must reject it as unfit to enter into the foundations of the building which he would construct to withstand the assaults of time and storm. Your spirit nature–the jointly created soul– is a living growth, but the mind and the morals of an individual are the soil from which these higher manifestations of human development and divine destiny must spring. The soil of the evolving soul is human and material, but the destiny of this combined creature of mind and spirit is spiritual and divine” (156.5.1-2).******* In the evening Nathaniel asked: “Master, why do we pray that God will not lead us into temptation when we well know from your revelation of the Father that He never does such things?” Jesus answered Nathaniel by saying: “It is not strange that you ask such questions seeing that you are beginning to know the Father as I know him, and not as the early prophets so dimly saw him. You well know how our forefathers were disposed to see God in almost everything that happened. They looked for the hand of God in all natural occurrences and in every unusual episode of human existence. They connected God with both good and evil. They thought he softened the heart of Moses and hardened the heart of Pharaoh. He accounted for his urges by saying, “The Lord spoke to me saying, do this or that, or go here or there.” So, because man so often and so violently ran into temptation, it became the habit of our forefathers to believe that God led them thither for testing, punishing, or strengthening. But you now know that men are too often led into temptation by the urge of their own selfishness and by the impulses of their animal natures. And let me warn you against the folly of undertaking to surmount temptation by the effort of supplanting one desire by another and supposedly superior desire through the mere force of the human will. Your mind must truly desire higher conduct. You will in this way be delivered through spiritual transformation rather than be increasingly overburdened with the deceptive suppression of mortal desires. The old and the inferior will be forgotten in the love of the new and the superior. Beauty is always triumphant over ugliness in all who are illuminated by the love of truth. Spiritual destiny is dependent on faith, love and devotion to truth–hunger and thirst for righteousness–the wholehearted desire to find God and to be like him. Make not the mistake of estimating the soul’s worth by the imperfections of the mind or by the appetites of the body. Judge not the soul or evaluate its destiny by the standard of a single unfortunate human episode. Your spiritual destiny is conditioned only by your spiritual longings and purpose (156.5.3-9).********* “Kingdom believers should possess an implicit faith, a wholehearted belief, in the certain triumph of righteousness. Kingdom builders must be undoubting of the truth of the gospel of eternal salvation. Believers must increasingly learn how to step aside from the rush of life–escape the harassments of material existence–while they refresh the soul, inspire the mind, and renew the spirit by worshipful communion. Spiritual living mightily increases true self-respect. But self-respect is not self-admiration. Self-respect is always co-ordinate with the love and service of one’s fellows. It is not possible to respect yourself more than you love your neighbor; the one is the measure of the capacity for the other. The measure of the spiritual capacity of the evolving soul is your faith in truth and your love for man, but the measure of your human strength of character is your ability to resist the holding of grudges and your capacity to withstand brooding in the face of deep sorrow. Defeat is the true mirror in which you may honestly view your real self. Tact is the fulcrum of social leverage, and tolerance is the earmark of a great soul. If you possess these rare and charming gifts, as the days pass, you will become more alert and expert in your worthy efforts to avoid all unnecessary social misunderstandings. The God-conscious mortal is certain of salvation; he/she is unafraid of life; he/she is honest and consistent. He/she knows how bravely to endure unavoidable suffering; he/she is uncomplaining when faced with unavoidable hardship. The true believer does not grow weary in well-doing just because he/she is thwarted. Difficulty whets the ardor of the truth lover, while obstacles only challenge the exertions of the undaunted kingdom builder.” Jesus taught them many other truths before they left Tyre.The day before they left, Jesus told the evangelists to go back by a route different from the route Jesus and the apostles were taking.After that the evangelists were never as close to Jesus as they had been.************************ Jesus and his apostles left Tyre on Sunday, June 24, Making their way to the Sea of Galilee (Tibirius), south of Capernaum and a meeting with David Zebedee. David told them that many leaders were on the other side of the lake, so they went over to the other side of the lake and had conferences and rested. Jesus learned that the authorities were no longer interested in him–active opposition to his teachings had died. Philip, the brother of Herod, was a believer in Jesus and sent word that the Master was free to live and work in his domains. The mandate to close all synagogues to Jesus worked against the Pharisees; as soon as Jesus was gone, there was a reaction among the entire population of Jewish people. There was resentment; the people were very unhappy. The rulers of the synagogues secretly opened their doors to John’s disciples. Even Herod Antipas experienced a change of heart and sent word to his brother that Jesus would not be harmed if he stayed out of Galilee. So, for once, Jesus was blessed with good news.