Urantia Book 76. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Yeshua, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. Jesus went to Jerusalem secretly for the feast of dedication, taking only Nathaniel and Thomas with him. The two apostles voiced their doubts about the wisdom of such a dangerous undertaking. They reached Jericho about 4PM and lodged there for the night. That evening a lawyer, seeking to compromise Jesus, said: “Teacher, I would like to ask you just what I should to do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered: “What is written in the law and the prophets; how do you read the scriptures?” The lawyer, knowing both the law and Jesus’ teachings, said: “To love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.” Then said Jesus: “You have answered right; this, if you really do, will lead to life everlasting.” But the lawyer was out to trick Jesus, who was not trickable. He wanted Jesus to say something that could be construed as an attack on the sacred law. But instead of falling into the trap, Jesus told his listeners a story. It was the story of the Good Samaritan. A man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho and was beat up by a gang and robbed. First a priest came along but, seeing his sorry plight, he passed the man on the other side of the road. Next, a Levite came along and he,too, passed on the other side of the road. But finally, a Samaritan came along and saw the man’s wounds and was moved to help him. He took him to an inn and bound up his wounds and paid the innkeeper to keep the man until he came back. “Now let me ask you, Which of these turned out to be the neighbor of the one who fell among the robbers?” The lawyer realized he had fallen into his own trap and said: “He who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said: “Go and do likewise.” This was a stunning rebuke to all Jews regarding their attitude toward the Samaritans. And this story has continued to promote brotherly love among all who have subsequently believed the gospel of Jesus (164.1.1-4).*** Jesus went to Jerusalem for just one purpose: to give the Sanhedrin and the Jewish leaders another chance to see the light. The main event of this feast was held at the home of Nicodemus on Friday night. Gathered together were about 25 Jewish leaders who believed Jesus’ teachings. This meeting was attended by Eber, Matadormus and Joseph of Arimathea. These men were amazed at the depth of learning of Jesus, of his grasp of both secular and religious affairs. They were mystified by his personality, charmed by his gracious manner and in love with him. Nathaniel and Thomas didn’t get much sleep that night; they were thinking of the wonderful things being said at the meeting. Jesus had to restrain them from going before the men of the Sanhedrin who hated Jesus (164.2.1-4).*************************************** It was a Sabbath morning as the 3 walked toward the Temple. There was a man blind from birth sitting in his usual place, but not begging as it was the Sabbath. Jesus thought that healing him would bring his mission to the attention to the Sanhedrin and other Jewish leaders. As he was lost in thought, Nathaniel, wondering at the cause of the man’s blindness, asked: “Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?” There was, throughout all these regions, a lingering belief in reincarnation. The older Jewish teachers, together with Plato, Philo and many of the Essenes, tolerated the theory that men may reap in one incarnation what they have sown in a previous existence; thus in one life they were believed to be expiating the sins committed in preceding lives. The Master found it difficult to make men believe that their souls had not had previous existences. Before doing anything for the blind man, Josiah, he answered Nathaniel’s question: “Neither did this man or his parents sin that the works of God may be manifest in him. The blindness is caused by natural events. But we must now do the works of Him who sent me, while it is still day, for the night will certainly come when it will be impossible to do the works we are about to perform. When I am in the world, I am the light of the world, but in a little while, I will not be with you.” Continuing, Jesus said: “Let us create the sight of this man on this Sabbath that the scribes and Pharisees may have the full occasion which they seek for accusing the Son of Man.” Then he spat on the ground, mixed clay with the spittle, put the clay on the sightless eyes, telling the blind man what he was doing. Then he told the man to wash his eyes in the Pool of Siloam. And then when he had thus washed his eyes, he could see. But he did not know the meaning of things he saw. Jesus directed the man to wash his eyes in the Pool of Siloam for 3 reasons: 1. This was a wonder which Jesus chose to perform for a purpose of his own, but which he so arranged that this man might derive lasting benefit. 2. As the blind man had not asked for healing, and since the faith he had was slight, these material acts were for the purpose of encouraging him. He did believe in the efficacy of spittle and he knew that the Pool of Siloam was a semisacred place. But he wouldn’t have gone there except to clean his eyes of the mud. 3. This miracle was purely one of his own choosing. He desired to teach his followers of that day and all subsequent ages not to despise or neglect material means in the healing of the sick, and they must cease to regard miracles as the only method of healing human diseases. This act was an open challenge to the Sanhedrin and all the Jewish leaders; it was his way of proclaiming an open break with the Pharisees.