Urantia Gospel Parallels

There are more than 10,000 cross references between the Bible and the Urantia Book. Part IV, a New Revelation of Jesus, is a 774 pg. section which has many parallels to the Gospel stories of the Bible. This blog will be a study of such parallels, and hopefully will increase and expand the love of those already familiar with the Gospel stories of Jesus, or, conversely show the Urantia Book's New Revelation equivalents of Gospel stories.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The First Passover With The Apostles at Jerusalem

The Bible does not record the first Passover with Jesus and the Apostles in Jerusalem. But the New Revelation story is so beautiful, and spiritual, that I couldn't resist. Jesus taught Jacob, a visitor, the concept of God as a kind and compassionate Father rather than God as wrathful and vengeful. This was the first core message of Jesus's Gospel, the good news. He also taught the evolution of the concept of God as taught by the Prophets, from Yahweh to  the Father in heaven.

(1596.1) 142:0.1 THE month of April Jesus and the apostles worked in Jerusalem, going out of the city each evening to spend the night at Bethany. Jesus himself spent one or two nights each week in Jerusalem at the home of Flavius, a Greek Jew, where many prominent Jews came in secret to interview him.
(1596.2) 142:0.2 The first day in Jerusalem Jesus called upon his friend of former years, Annas, the onetime high priest and relative of Salome, Zebedee’s wife. Annas had been hearing about Jesus and his teachings, and when Jesus called at the high priest’s home, he was received with much reserve. When Jesus perceived Annas’s coldness, he took immediate leave, saying as he departed: Fear is man’s chief enslaver and pride his great weakness; will you betray yourself into bondage to both of these destroyers of joy and liberty?” But Annas made no reply. The Master did not again see Annas until the time when he sat with his son-in-law in judgment on the Son of Man.

1. Teaching in the Temple


(1596.3) 142:1.1 Throughout this month Jesus or one of the apostles taught daily in the temple. When the Passover crowds were too great to find entrance to the temple teaching, the apostles conducted many teaching groups outside the sacred precincts. The burden of their message was:
(1596.4) 142:1.2 1. The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
(1596.5) 142:1.3 2. By faith in the fatherhood of God you may enter the kingdom of heaven, thus becoming the sons of God.
(1596.6) 142:1.4 3. Love is the rule of living within the kingdom — supreme devotion to God while loving your neighbor as yourself.
(1596.7) 142:1.5 4. Obedience to the will of the Father, yielding the fruits of the spirit in one’s personal life, is the law of the kingdom.
(1596.8) 142:1.6 The multitudes who came to celebrate the Passover heard this teaching of Jesus, and hundreds of them rejoiced in the good news. The chief priests and rulers of the Jews became much concerned about Jesus and his apostles and debated among themselves as to what should be done with them.
(1596.9) 142:1.7 Besides teaching in and about the temple, the apostles and other believers were engaged in doing much personal work among the Passover throngs. These interested men and women carried the news of Jesus’ message from this Passover celebration to the uttermost parts of the Roman Empire and also to the East. This was the beginning of the spread of the gospel of the kingdom to the outside world. No longer was the work of Jesus to be confined to Palestine.


2. God’s Wrath


(1597.1) 142:2.1 There was in Jerusalem in attendance upon the Passover festivities one Jacob, a wealthy Jewish trader from Crete, and he came to Andrew making request to see Jesus privately. Andrew arranged this secret meeting with Jesus at Flavius’s home the evening of the next day. This man could not comprehend the Master’s teachings, and he came because he desired to inquire more fully about the kingdom of God. Said Jacob to Jesus: “But, Rabbi, Moses and the olden prophets tell us that Yahweh is a jealous God, a God of great wrath and fierce anger. The prophets say he hates evildoers and takes vengeance on those who obey not his law. You and your disciples teach us that God is a kind and compassionate Father who so loves all men that he would welcome them into this new kingdom of heaven, which you proclaim is so near at hand.”
(1597.2) 142:2.2 When Jacob finished speaking, Jesus replied: Jacob, you have well stated the teachings of the olden prophets who taught the children of their generation in accordance with the light of their day. Our Father in Paradise is changeless. But the concept of his nature has enlarged and grown from the days of Moses down through the times of Amos and even to the generation of the prophet Isaiah. And now have I come in the flesh to reveal the Father in new glory and to show forth his love and mercy to all men on all worlds. As the gospel of this kingdom shall spread over the world with its message of good cheer and good will to all men, there will grow up improved and better relations among the families of all nations. As time passes, fathers and their children will love each other more, and thus will be brought about a better understanding of the love of the Father in heaven for his children on earth. Remember, Jacob, that a good and true father not only loves his family as a whole — as a family — but he also truly loves and affectionately cares for each individual member.
(1597.3) 142:2.3 After considerable discussion of the heavenly Father’s character, Jesus paused to say: You, Jacob, being a father of many, know well the truth of my words. And Jacob said: “But, Master, who told you I was the father of six children? How did you know this about me?” And the Master replied: Suffice it to say that the Father and the Son know all things, for indeed they see all. Loving your children as a father on earth, you must now accept as a reality the love of the heavenly Father for you — not just for all the children of Abraham, but for you, your individual soul.
(1597.4) 142:2.4 Then Jesus went on to say: When your children are very young and immature, and when you must chastise them, they may reflect that their father is angry and filled with resentful wrath. Their immaturity cannot penetrate beyond the punishment to discern the father’s farseeing and corrective affection. But when these same children become grown-up men and women, would it not be folly for them to cling to these earlier and misconceived notions regarding their father? As men and women they should now discern their father’s love in all these early disciplines. And should not mankind, as the centuries pass, come the better to understand the true nature and loving character of the Father in heaven? What profit have you from successive generations of spiritual illumination if you persist in viewing God as Moses and the prophets saw him? I say to you, Jacob, under the bright light of this hour you should see the Father as none of those who have gone before ever beheld him. And thus seeing him, you should rejoice to enter the kingdom wherein such a merciful Father rules, and you should seek to have his will of love dominate your life henceforth.
(1598.1) 142:2.5 And Jacob answered: “Rabbi, I believe; I desire that you lead me into the Father’s kingdom.”

3. The Concept of God


(1598.2) 142:3.1 The twelve apostles, most of whom had listened to this discussion of the character of God, that night asked Jesus many questions about the Father in heaven. The Master’s answers to these questions can best be presented by the following summary in modern phraseology:
(1598.3) 142:3.2 Jesus mildly upbraided the twelve, in substance saying: Do you not know the traditions of Israel relating to the growth of the idea of Yahweh, and are you ignorant of the teaching of the Scriptures concerning the doctrine of God? And then did the Master proceed to instruct the apostles about the evolution of the concept of Deity throughout the course of the development of the Jewish people. He called attention to the following phases of the growth of the God idea:
(1598.4) 142:3.3 1. Yahweh — the god of the Sinai clans. This was the primitive concept of Deity which Moses exalted to the higher level of the Lord God of Israel. The Father in heaven never fails to accept the sincere worship of his children on earth, no matter how crude their concept of Deity or by what name they symbolize his divine nature.
(1598.5) 142:3.4 2. The Most High. This concept of the Father in heaven was proclaimed by Melchizedek to Abraham and was carried far from Salem by those who subsequently believed in this enlarged and expanded idea of Deity. Abraham and his brother left Ur because of the establishment of sun worship, and they became believers in Melchizedek’s teaching of El Elyon — the Most High God. Theirs was a composite concept of God, consisting in a blending of their older Mesopotamian ideas and the Most High doctrine.
(1598.6) 142:3.5 3. El Shaddai. During these early days many of the Hebrews worshiped El Shaddai, the Egyptian concept of the God of heaven, which they learned about during their captivity in the land of the Nile. Long after the times of Melchizedek all three of these concepts of God became joined together to form the doctrine of the creator Deity, the Lord God of Israel.
(1598.7) 142:3.6 4. Elohim. From the times of Adam the teaching of the Paradise Trinity has persisted. Do you not recall how the Scriptures begin by asserting that “In the beginning the Gods created the heavens and the earth”? This indicates that when that record was made the Trinity concept of three Gods in one had found lodgment in the religion of our forebears.
(1598.8) 142:3.7 5. The Supreme Yahweh. By the times of Isaiah these beliefs about God had expanded into the concept of a Universal Creator who was simultaneously all-powerful and all-merciful. And this evolving and enlarging concept of God virtually supplanted all previous ideas of Deity in our fathers’ religion.
(1598.9) 142:3.8 6. The Father in heaven. And now do we know God as our Father in heaven. Our teaching provides a religion wherein the believer is a son of God. That is the good news of the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. Coexistent with the Father are the Son and the Spirit, and the revelation of the nature and ministry of these Paradise Deities will continue to enlarge and brighten throughout the endless ages of the eternal spiritual progression of the ascending sons of God. At all times and during all ages the true worship of any human being — as concerns individual spiritual progress — is recognized by the indwelling spirit as homage rendered to the Father in heaven.
(1599.1) 142:3.9 Never before had the apostles been so shocked as they were upon hearing this recounting of the growth of the concept of God in the Jewish minds of previous generations; they were too bewildered to ask questions. As they sat before Jesus in silence, the Master continued: And you would have known these truths had you read the Scriptures. Have you not read in Samuel where it says: ‘And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, so much so that he moved David against them, saying, go number Israel and Judah’? And this was not strange because in the days of Samuel the children of Abraham really believed that Yahweh created both good and evil. But when a later writer narrated these events, subsequent to the enlargement of the Jewish concept of the nature of God, he did not dare attribute evil to Yahweh; therefore he said: ‘And Satan stood up against Israel and provoked David to number Israel.’ Cannot you discern that such records in the Scriptures clearly show how the concept of the nature of God continued to grow from one generation to another?
(1599.2) 142:3.10 Again should you have discerned the growth of the understanding of divine law in perfect keeping with these enlarging concepts of divinity. When the children of Israel came out of Egypt in the days before the enlarged revelation of Yahweh, they had ten commandments which served as their law right up to the times when they were encamped before Sinai. And these ten commandments were:
(1599.3) 142:3.11 “1. You shall worship no other god, for the Lord is a jealous God.
(1599.4) 142:3.12 “2. You shall not make molten gods.
(1599.5) 142:3.13 “3. You shall not neglect to keep the feast of unleavened bread.
(1599.6) 142:3.14 “4. Of all the males of men or cattle, the first-born are mine, says the Lord.
(1599.7) 142:3.15 “5. Six days you may work, but on the seventh day you shall rest.
(1599.8) 142:3.16 “6. You shall not fail to observe the feast of the first fruits and the feast of the ingathering at the end of the year.
(1599.9) 142:3.17 “7. You shall not offer the blood of any sacrifice with leavened bread.
(1599.10) 142:3.18 “8. The sacrifice of the feast of the Passover shall not be left until morning.
(1599.11) 142:3.19 “9. The first of the first fruits of the ground you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God.
(1599.12) 142:3.20 “10. You shall not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk.
(1599.13) 142:3.21 And then, amidst the thunders and lightnings of Sinai, Moses gave them the new ten commandments, which you will all allow are more worthy utterances to accompany the enlarging Yahweh concepts of Deity. And did you never take notice of these commandments as twice recorded in the Scriptures, that in the first case deliverance from Egypt is assigned as the reason for Sabbath keeping, while in a later record the advancing religious beliefs of our forefathers demanded that this be changed to the recognition of the fact of creation as the reason for Sabbath observance?
(1599.14) 142:3.22 And then will you remember that once again — in the greater spiritual enlightenment of Isaiah’s day — these ten negative commandments were changed into the great and positive law of love, the injunction to love God supremely and your neighbor as yourself. And it is this supreme law of love for God and for man that I also declare to you as constituting the whole duty of man.
(1600.1) 142:3.23 And when he had finished speaking, no man asked him a question. They went, each one to his sleep.

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