Urantia Book 97. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua bin Joseph, Yeshua, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. After the Last Supper, Jesus told them to sit down while he said a few words. He said that they were soon to face difficult times. No longer can you depend on the goodwill of the multitudes when you go preaching to the villages. From now on, he who has a purse, let him take it with him. When you go out into the world to proclaim the gospel, provide for your own support. The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified, and the Father shall be glorified in me. I am to be with you only a little longer. When you have finished your work on earth, as I have now finished mine, you shall then come to me, even as I now prepare to go to my Father. I am going to leave you, and you will see me no more on earth, but you shall see me in the age to come when you ascend to the kingdom which my Father has given to me. Jesus then gave them a new commandment. He said: “You are to love one another even as I have loved you.” And by this all men will know that you are my disciples if you thus love one another. When I give this commandment, I do not give any new burden upon your souls; rather do I bring you new joy and make it possible for you to experience new pleasure in knowing the delights of the bestowal of your heart’s affection upon your fellow men. I am about to experience the supreme joy, even though enduring outward sorrow, in the bestowal of my affection upon you and your fellow mortals. For no greater love can a man have than laying his life down for his friends. If you will only love one another as I am loving you, you shall be my friends, and I will always speak to you whatever the Father reveals to me. The Father and I will both work with you, and you will experience the divine fullness of joy if you will only obey my command to love one another, even as I have loved you. Such an experience of love does not deliver you from the difficulties of this world; it does not create a new world, but it most certainly does make the old world new. Keep in mind: It is loyalty, not sacrifice that Jesus demands (UB). The Master has taught the apostles that they are the sons of God. He has called them brethren, and now, before he leaves, he calls them friends (180.1.1-6).*********** Jesus then told them about the vine and the branches. He was the vine and they were the branches. Any branch that didn’t bear fruit was cut off so the rest of the vine could be much fuller and give more fruit. And then Jesus carried the metaphor to spiritual terms. He said: “He who lives in me, and I in him will bear much fruit of the spirit and experience the supreme joy of yielding this spiritual harvest. If you will maintain this living spiritual connection with me you will bear abundant fruit….But great sorrow later attended the misinterpretation of the Master’s inferences regarding prayer. There would have been little difficulty about these teachings if his exact words had been remembered and subsequently truthfully recorded. But as the record was made, believers eventually regarded prayer in Jesus’ name as a sort of supreme magic, thinking that they would receive from the Father anything they asked for. For centuries honest souls have continued to wreck their faith against this stumbling block. How long will it take the world of believers to understand that prayer is not a process of getting your way, but rather a program of taking God’s way, an experience of learning how to recognize and execute the Father’s will? It is entirely true that, when your will is truly aligned with his, you can ask for anything conceived by that will-union, and it will be granted. And such a will-union is effected by and through Jesus even as the life of the vine flows into and through the branches. When this living connection between divinity and humanity exists, what happens when someone happens to pray for a selfish or vain object or accomplishment? “There can only be one divine answer: more and increased bearing of the fruits of the spirit on the stems of the living branches. When the branch of the vine is alive, there can be only one answer to all its petitions: increased grape bearing. In fact, the branch exist only for, and can do nothing except, fruit bearing, yielding grapes. So does the true believer exist only for the purpose of bearing the fruits of the spirit: to love man as he himself has been loved by God–that we should love one another, as Jesus has loved us? Yes, of course. And when the Father’s hand of discipline is laid upon the vine, it is done in love, so that the vine can bear more fruit. And the Father cuts away only the dead and fruitless branches. Jesus had great difficulty teaching his apostles that prayer is a function of spirit-born believers in the spirit-dominated kingdom (180.2.1-6)****

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