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.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Jesus' Teaching and Healing in the Capernaum Synagogue

Thank you to all who have viewed this site. I never expected almost 600 page views in the first month. It is indicative of the drawing power of Jesus. Hopefully the visitors here will get a clearer picture of him as a result.



Jesus Casts Out An Impure Spirit

After the death of John the Baptist, Jesus and the Apostles began their teaching and preaching in Galilee in earnest. This tour started with Jesus teaching in the Capernaum synagogue.

Mark 1:21-28 (New International Version, ©2011)

Jesus Drives Out an Impure Spirit

 21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
   25Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
 27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

New Revelation

(1630.2) 145:2.6 Have you not read these promises? Do you not believe the Scriptures? Do you not understand that the prophet’s words are fulfilled in what you behold this very day? And did not Jeremiah exhort you to make religion an affair of the heart, to relate yourselves to God as individuals? Did not the prophet tell you that the God of heaven would search your individual hearts? And were you not warned that the natural human heart is deceitful above all things and oftentimes desperately wicked?
(1630.3) 145:2.7 Have you not read also where Ezekiel taught even your fathers that religion must become a reality in your individual experiences? No more shall you use the proverb which says, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘behold all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son. Only the soul that sins shall die.’ And then Ezekiel foresaw even this day when he spoke in behalf of God, saying: ‘A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.’
(1630.4) 145:2.8 No more should you fear that God will punish a nation for the sin of an individual; neither will the Father in heaven punish one of his believing children for the sins of a nation, albeit the individual member of any family must often suffer the material consequences of family mistakes and group transgressions. Do you not realize that the hope of a better nation — or a better world — is bound up in the progress and enlightenment of the individual?”
(1630.5) 145:2.9 Then the Master portrayed that the Father in heaven, after man discerns this spiritual freedom, wills that his children on earth should begin that eternal ascent of the Paradise career which consists in the creature’s conscious response to the divine urge of the indwelling spirit to find the Creator, to know God and to seek to become like him.
(1630.6) 145:2.10 The apostles were greatly helped by this sermon. All of them realized more fully that the gospel of the kingdom is a message directed to the individual, not to the nation.
(1630.7) 145:2.11 Even though the people of Capernaum were familiar with Jesus’ teaching, they were astonished at his sermon on this Sabbath day. He taught, indeed, as one having authority and not as the scribes.
(1630.8) 145:2.12 Just as Jesus finished speaking, a young man in the congregation who had been much agitated by his words was seized with a violent epileptic attack and loudly cried out. At the end of the seizure, when recovering consciousness, he spoke in a dreamy state, saying: “What have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? You are the holy one of God; have you come to destroy us?” Jesus bade the people be quiet and, taking the young man by the hand, said, Come out of it — and he was immediately awakened.
(1631.1) 145:2.13 This young man was not possessed of an unclean spirit or demon; he was a victim of ordinary epilepsy. But he had been taught that his affliction was due to possession by an evil spirit. He believed this teaching and behaved accordingly in all that he thought or said concerning his ailment. The people all believed that such phenomena were directly caused by the presence of unclean spirits. Accordingly they believed that Jesus had cast a demon out of this man. But Jesus did not at that time cure his epilepsy. Not until later on that day, after sundown, was this man really healed. Long after the day of Pentecost the Apostle John, who was the last to write of Jesus’ doings, avoided all reference to these so-called acts of “casting out devils,” and this he did in view of the fact that such cases of demon possession never occurred after Pentecost.
(1631.2) 145:2.14 As a result of this commonplace incident the report was rapidly spread through Capernaum that Jesus had cast a demon out of a man and miraculously healed him in the synagogue at the conclusion of his afternoon sermon. The Sabbath was just the time for the rapid and effective spreading of such a startling rumor. This report was also carried to all the smaller settlements around Capernaum, and many of the people believed it.
 (1631.5) 145:2.17 And these cases are typical of the manner in which a wonder-seeking generation and a miracle-minded people unfailingly seized upon all such coincidences as the pretext for proclaiming that another miracle had been wrought by Jesus.

Commentary

The comparisons in the teaching shown here merely show that the people of Jesus’ time were miracle seeking, as well as very interested in Jesus’ new teachings about their relationship with God the Father as being personal rather than tribal (collective). The New Revelation adds detail, and also reports what Jesus was teaching about in the Synagogue, which isn’t in the Bible version. However, the Bible teachings are consistent and make the Message of Jesus about God the Father very clear once the Gospels are read all the way through.

I might add that Jesus has provided a way for all who believe in him to expect eternal life after death, sealed forever through his resurrection and then his sending the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, as promised.

Through one prism, it can be seen that the world has as many problems facing mankind today as it did in Jesus’ time; poverty, wars, unemployment, disease, divorce, displaced populations, etc. The difference is that today about a third of the world’s population embrace a religion about Jesus, and many of those believe in the religion of Jesus. He provides a great deal of comfort for believers, despite their circumstances. Faith is the only balm for the suffering of so many, and it’s free for believers, whether rich, middle class or poor, young or old.  The promise of a better life in the future is a heartwarming hope as well.

  

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jesus Teaching On Prayer

This post will clarify prayer for many. Prayer is the open channel between any believer and God the Father, who hears every petition. Prayer helps God to develop faith, a gift from him. Prayer is healing, and character changing. Again, the message of both the Bible and the New Revelation is the same, but the New Revelation is longer, and well explained. To have the benefit of this comprehensive explanation helps to make the historical Jesus come alive.

Bible Gospel

Luke 11:1-13 (New International Version, ©2010)

Luke 11

Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer
 1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
 2 He said to them, “When you pray, say:
   “‘Father,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
4 Forgive us our sins,
   for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.”

 5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
   9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
   11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”


New Revelation

After leaving Jerusalem and spending time in Samaria, where they visited Jacob’s well, Jesus and the Apostles went up Mount Gilboa in the Decapolis and established a camp, where Jesus could further instruct the Apostles. This was still the first preaching tour.

(1618.3) 144:1.9 The central theme of the discussions throughout the entire month of September was prayer and worship. After they had discussed worship for some days, Jesus finally delivered his memorable discourse on prayer in answer to Thomas’s request: “Master, teach us how to pray.”
(1618.4) 144:1.10 John had taught his disciples a prayer, a prayer for salvation in the coming kingdom. Although Jesus never forbade his followers to use John’s form of prayer, the apostles very early perceived that their Master did not fully approve of the practice of uttering set and formal prayers. Nevertheless, believers constantly requested to be taught how to pray. The twelve longed to know what form of petition Jesus would approve. And it was chiefly because of this need for some simple petition for the common people that Jesus at this time consented, in answer to Thomas’s request, to teach them a suggestive form of prayer. Jesus gave this lesson one afternoon in the third week of their sojourn on Mount Gilboa.

The Discourse on Prayer

 

(1618.5) 144:2.1 “John indeed taught you a simple form of prayer: ‘O Father, cleanse us from sin, show us your glory, reveal your love, and let your spirit sanctify our hearts forevermore, Amen!’ He taught this prayer that you might have something to teach the multitude. He did not intend that you should use such a set and formal petition as the expression of your own souls in prayer.
(1618.6) 144:2.2 “Prayer is entirely a personal and spontaneous expression of the attitude of the soul toward the spirit; prayer should be the communion of sonship and the expression of fellowship. Prayer, when indited by the spirit, leads to co-operative spiritual progress. The ideal prayer is a form of spiritual communion which leads to intelligent worship. True praying is the sincere attitude of reaching heavenward for the attainment of your ideals.
(1619.1) 144:2.3 “Prayer is the breath of the soul and should lead you to be persistent in your attempt to ascertain the Father’s will. If any one of you has a neighbor, and you go to him at midnight and say: ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine on a journey has come to see me, and I have nothing to set before him’; and if your neighbor answers, ‘Trouble me not, for the door is now shut and the children and I are in bed; therefore I cannot rise and give you bread,’ you will persist, explaining that your friend hungers, and that you have no food to offer him. I say to you, though your neighbor will not rise and give you bread because he is your friend, yet because of your importunity he will get up and give you as many loaves as you need. If, then, persistence will win favors even from mortal man, how much more will your persistence in the spirit win the bread of life for you from the willing hands of the Father in heaven. Again I say to you: Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you. For every one who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door of salvation will be opened.
(1619.2) 144:2.4 “Which of you who is a father, if his son asks unwisely, would hesitate to give in accordance with parental wisdom rather than in the terms of the son’s faulty petition? If the child needs a loaf, will you give him a stone just because he unwisely asks for it? If your son needs a fish, will you give him a watersnake just because it may chance to come up in the net with the fish and the child foolishly asks for the serpent? If you, then, being mortal and finite, know how to answer prayer and give good and appropriate gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the spirit and many additional blessings to those who ask him? Men ought always to pray and not become discouraged.
(1619.3) 144:2.5 “Let me tell you the story of a certain judge who lived in a wicked city. This judge feared not God nor had respect for man. Now there was a needy widow in that city who came repeatedly to this unjust judge, saying, ‘Protect me from my adversary.’ For some time he would not give ear to her, but presently he said to himself: ‘Though I fear not God nor have regard for man, yet because this widow ceases not to trouble me, I will vindicate her lest she wear me out by her continual coming.’ These stories I tell you to encourage you to persist in praying and not to intimate that your petitions will change the just and righteous Father above. Your persistence, however, is not to win favor with God but to change your earth attitude and to enlarge your soul’s capacity for spirit receptivity.
(1619.4) 144:2.6 “But when you pray, you exercise so little faith. Genuine faith will remove mountains of material difficulty which may chance to lie in the path of soul expansion and spiritual progress.”

The Believer’s Prayer

 

(1619.5) 144:3.1 But the apostles were not yet satisfied; they desired Jesus to give them a model prayer which they could teach the new disciples. After listening to this discourse on prayer, James Zebedee said: “Very good, Master, but we do not desire a form of prayer for ourselves so much as for the newer believers who so frequently beseech us, ‘Teach us how acceptably to pray to the Father in heaven.’”
(1619.6) 144:3.2 When James had finished speaking, Jesus said: “If, then, you still desire such a prayer, I would present the one which I taught my brothers and sisters in Nazareth”:
(1620.1) 144:3.3 Our Father who is in heaven,
(1620.2) 144:3.4 Hallowed be your name.
(1620.3) 144:3.5 Your kingdom come; your will be done
(1620.4) 144:3.6 On earth as it is in heaven.
(1620.5) 144:3.7 Give us this day our bread for tomorrow;
(1620.6) 144:3.8 Refresh our souls with the water of life.
(1620.7) 144:3.9 And forgive us every one our debts
(1620.8) 144:3.10 As we also have forgiven our debtors.
(1620.9) 144:3.11 Save us in temptation, deliver us from evil,
(1620.10) 144:3.12 And increasingly make us perfect like yourself.

(1620.11) 144:3.13 It is not strange that the apostles desired Jesus to teach them a model prayer for believers. John the Baptist had taught his followers several prayers; all great teachers had formulated prayers for their pupils. The religious teachers of the Jews had some twenty-five or thirty set prayers which they recited in the synagogues and even on the street corners. Jesus was particularly averse to praying in public. Up to this time the twelve had heard him pray only a few times. They observed him spending entire nights at prayer or worship, and they were very curious to know the manner or form of his petitions. They were really hard pressed to know what to answer the multitudes when they asked to be taught how to pray as John had taught his disciples.
(1620.12) 144:3.14 Jesus taught the twelve always to pray in secret; to go off by themselves amidst the quiet surroundings of nature or to go in their rooms and shut the doors when they engaged in prayer.
(1620.13) 144:3.15 After Jesus’ death and ascension to the Father it became the practice of many believers to finish this so-called Lord’s prayer by the addition of — “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Still later on, two lines were lost in copying, and there was added to this prayer an extra clause, reading: “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forevermore.”
(1620.14) 144:3.16 Jesus gave the apostles the prayer in collective form as they had prayed it in the Nazareth home. He never taught a formal personal prayer, only group, family, or social petitions. And he never volunteered to do that.
(1620.15) 144:3.17 Jesus taught that effective prayer must be:
(1620.16) 144:3.18 1. Unselfish — not alone for oneself.
(1620.17) 144:3.19 2. Believing — according to faith.
(1620.18) 144:3.20 3. Sincere — honest of heart.
(1620.19) 144:3.21 4. Intelligent — according to light.
(1620.20) 144:3.22 5. Trustful — in submission to the Father’s all-wise will.

(1620.21) 144:3.23 When Jesus spent whole nights on the mountain in prayer, it was mainly for his disciples, particularly for the twelve. The Master prayed very little for himself, although he engaged in much worship of the nature of understanding communion with his Paradise Father.

Commentary

Prayer leads to worship. I will post on the differences at a later time.