Urantia Book 73. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Yeshua, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. All had arrived at Magadan Camp: Jesus and the 12, Abner and his apostles, the women’s corps, the evangelists, and about 150 believers from all over Palestine. Jesus and his apostles began a long period of intensive training of this large group of believers and from them chose 70 teachers and sent them out to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. This instruction took from November 4 to November 19, the Sabbath. Jesus gave a talk each morning. This was followed by teachings by the apostles: Peter taught methods of public preaching; Nathaniel instructed them in the art of teaching; Thomas explained how to answer questions; while Matthew directed the organization of their group finances. The other apostles instructed in their area of expertise.******************* Jesus ordained the 70 on Sabbath afternoon, November 19, and Abner was installed as head of the group. Before Jesus put his hands on their heads, he said: “The harvest is indeed plenteous, but the laborers are few; therefore, I exhort all of you to pray that the Lord of the harvest will send other laborers into his harvest. I am sending you to Jew and gentile as lambs among wolves. As you go your way, two and two, I instruct you to carry neither purse nor extra clothing, for your tour will be short. When you stay at a house, first say, ‘Peace be upon this house.’ Don’t move to another house because the food is better. Eat what is in front of you. A laborer is worthy of his sustenance. And everywhere you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ And minister to the sick in mind or body.” Early next morning Abner sent the 70 into all the cities of Galilee, Samaria, and Judea. They went out for 6 weeks, returning to the new camp near Pella, in Perea on Friday, December 30.*** (163.1.1-6)******************************** Many disciples wanted to be ordained, but they had problems with commitment. One such came to Jesus and said: “Master, I would be one of your new apostles, but my father is very old and near death; could I be permitted to return home and bury him?” To this man Jesus said: “You are a faithful disciple, and you can remain such while you return home to take care of your loved ones, but not so with my gospel messengers. They have forsaken all to follow me and proclaim the kingdom. If you would be an ordained teacher, you must let others bury the dead while you go forth to publish the good news.” And this man went away in great disappointment. Another disciple came to the Master and said: “I would like to be an ordained minister, but I want to go home and comfort my family.” To this Jesus replied: ” If you want to be ordained, you must be willing to forsake all. The gospel messengers cannot have divided affections. No man, having put his hand to the plough, if he turns back, is worthy to become a messenger of the kingdom.” Another young man, Matadormus, a member of the Sanhedrin and very rich, came to Jesus seeking ordination. Jesus told him to think about it some more. The next day the young man asked Jesus how he could be assured of eternal life. Jesus said to follow all the commandments of Moses. He did that and also believed all that Jesus and the apostles were saying about the kingdom. So Jesus said: “Then you indeed are my disciple and a child of the kingdom.” And the man protested: “But, Master, I am not content to be your disciple; I would be one of your new messengers.” Jesus looked at him lovingly and said: “I will have you to be one of my messengers if you are willing to pay the price, if you will supply the one thing which you lack.” Matadormus replied: “Master, I will do anything if I may be allowed to follow you.” To which Jesus said: “If you would be my messenger, go and sell all that you have and, when you have bestowed the proceeds on the poor or upon your brethren, come and follow me, and you shall have treasure in the kingdom of heaven.” When the young man heard this he was very disappointed. Jesus knew that he was not free of the love of his possessions. And now the young man knew it, too. Almost every human being has some one thing which is held on to as a pet evil, and which the entrance into the kingdom of heaven requires as a part of the price of admission. If Matadormus had parted with his wealth, it would probably been put back into his hands for administration as treasurer of the 70. For later on, after the establishment of the church at Jerusalem, he did obey the Master’s injunction, but then it was too late to enjoy membership in the 70, and he became treasurer of the church at Jerusalem, of which James, the Lord’s brother in the flesh, was head.*********** Riches have nothing to do directly with entrance into the kingdom of heaven, but the LOVE of wealth does. The spiritual loyalties of the kingdom are incompatible with servility to materialistic mammon. Man may not share his supreme loyalty to a spiritual ideal with a material devotion. Jesus never taught that it was wrong to have wealth. He required only the 12 and the 70 to dedicate all their worldly possessions to the common cause. Even then he provided for the profitable liquidation of their property. The Master regarded the wise investment of excess earnings as a legitimate form of insurance against future adversity.

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