Urantia Book 87. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Yeshua, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. The Jewish leaders were so overawed by Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem that they refrained from putting him under arrest. But everyday they were more determined to kill him. However, they were constrained by 2 fears: one, they were afraid of the crowds which might turn against them if they arrested Jesus, and two, they dreaded the possibility of the Roman guards being called upon to quell a popular uprising. Finally, they decided to appoint 5 groups to go out among the crowds and seek to entangle Jesus in his teaching or otherwise to discredit him in the sight of those who listened to him. So, when Jesus had just started his discourse on the “Liberty of Sonship,” a group of these leaders interrupted him and asked: “By what authority do you do these things? Who gave you this authority?” The leaders of the temple were completely justified in asking these questions; the word “authority” was the watchword of all Jewry. The Sanhedrin ordained rabbis and 3 ordained rabbis had to be present. The prophets never bothered with this procedure. Jesus turned the challenge back on the elders, asking: “The baptism of John, whence was it? Did John get his authority from heaven or from men?” This question made the Jews very uncomfortable because neither choice was open to them. So, they turned to Jesus and said: “Concerning the baptism of John, we cannot answer; we do not know.” So Jesus, looking down upon them, said: “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” Jesus had not intended to appeal to John for his authority; John had never been ordained by the Sanhedrin. Jesus’ authority was in himself and in his Father’s eternal supremacy (173.2.1-6).******************** Jesus stood looking down at the caviling Pharisees and said: “Since you are arrayed in enmity against the Son of Man, listen while I tell you a parable. A rich man had two sons. To the one son he said, ‘go out and work in the grapevines,’ and the son said, ‘no,’ but went anyway. To the second hypocritical son, the father said, ‘go out and work in the grapevines,’ and the son said, ‘sure, Dad,’ but didn’t go. Now, which son did his father’s will, the first son or the second son?” And the listeners around Jesus said the first son, and Jesus said, “Right. The publicans and harlots, even though they appear to reject the gospel, actually are saved and are in the kingdom now. They have gone ahead of the Pharisees and other professional religious types who don’t believe my teachings. But the common people hear my teachings gladly” (173.3.1-2).*************************************** Jesus told them another parable about the miserable Jewish leaders and this time no one had trouble understanding it: “A man built a vineyard and went off to another country. When harvest came, he sent a servant to collect the revenue. The tenants beat him up and sent him away with nothing. This happened time after time, except sometimes they killed the servant. Finally, he sent his own son, because surely they will respect his son. But no, they killed him, too. When the lord of that vineyard hears that they have killed his son, what will he do to those wicked and ungrateful tenants?” Some who heard the parable perceived that it referred to the Jewish nation and its treatment of the prophets and to the impending rejection of Jesus and the gospel of the kingdom and said in sorrow, ‘God forbid that we should go on doing these things.'” Jesus looked searchingly at the priests and elders standing near him and said: “Did you never read in the Scripture about the stone the builders rejected, and which, when the people discovered it, was made into the cornerstone? And so once more do I warn you, that if you continue to reject this gospel, presently the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people willing to receive the good news and to bring forth the fruits of the spirit. And there is a mystery about this stone, seeing that whoso falls upon it, while he is broken in pieces, shall be saved; but on whomsoever this stone falls, he will be ground to dust and his ashes scattered to the four winds.” When the Pharisees heard these words, they understood that Jesus referred to themselves and the other Jewish leaders. They wanted to arrest him then and there, but they feared the multitudes. They were so angered by the Master’s words that they withdrew and held further counsel among themselves as to how they might bring about his death. And that night the Sadducees and the Pharisees joined hands in the plan to entrap him the next day (173.4.1-5).

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