The Urantia Book -- Part IV. The Life And
Teachings Of Jesus
PAPER 136: Section 6.
The Second Decision
Having settled his policy concerning all personalities of all classes of his
created intelligences, so far as this could be determined in view of the inherent
potential of his new status of divinity, Jesus now turned his thoughts toward
himself. What would he, now the fully self-conscious creator of all things and
beings existent in this universe, do with these creator prerogatives in the
recurring life situations which would immediately confront him when he returned
to Galilee to resume his work among men? In fact, already, and right where he
was in these lonely hills, had this problem forcibly presented itself in the
matter of obtaining food. By the third day of his solitary meditations the human
body grew hungry. Should he go in quest of food as any ordinary man would, or
should he merely exercise his normal creative powers and produce suitable bodily
nourishment ready at hand? And this great decision of the Master has been portrayed
to you as a temptation -- as a challenge by supposed enemies that he "command
that these stones become loaves of bread."
Jesus thus settled upon another and consistent policy for the remainder of his
earth labors. As far as his personal necessities were concerned, and in general
even in his relations with other personalities, he now deliberately chose to
pursue the path of normal earthly existence; he definitely decided against a
policy which would transcend, violate, or outrage his own established natural
laws. But he could not promise himself, as he had already been warned by his
Personalized Adjuster, that these natural laws might not, in certain conceivable
circumstances, be greatly accelerated. In principle, Jesus decided that
his lifework should be organized and prosecuted in accordance with natural law
and in harmony with the existing social organization. The Master thereby chose
a program of living which was the equivalent of deciding against miracles and
wonders. Again he decided in favor of "the Father's will"; again he surrendered
everything into the hands of his Paradise Father.
Jesus' human nature dictated that the first duty was self-preservation; that
is the normal attitude of the natural man on the worlds of time and space, and
it is, therefore, a legitimate reaction of a Urantia mortal. But Jesus was not
concerned merely with this world and its creatures; he was living a life designed
to instruct and inspire the manifold creatures of a far-flung universe.
Before his baptismal illumination he had lived in perfect submission to the
will and guidance of his heavenly Father. He emphatically decided to continue
on in just such implicit mortal dependence on the Father's will. He purposed
to follow the unnatural course -- he decided not to seek self-preservation.
He chose to go on pursuing the policy of refusing to defend himself. He formulated
his conclusions in the words of Scripture familiar to his human mind: "Man shall
not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
In reaching this conclusion in regard to the appetite of the physical nature
as expressed in hunger for food, the Son of Man made his final declaration concerning
all other urges of the flesh and the natural impulses of human nature.
His superhuman power he might possibly use for others, but for himself, never.
And he pursued this policy consistently to the very end, when it was
said of him: "He saved others; himself he cannot save" -- because he would not.
The Jews were expecting a Messiah who would do even greater wonders than Moses,
who was reputed to have brought forth water from the rock in a desert place
and to have fed their forefathers with manna in the wilderness. Jesus knew the
sort of Messiah his compatriots expected, and he had all the powers and prerogatives
to measure up to their most sanguine expectations, but he decided against such
a magnificent program of power and glory. Jesus looked upon such a course of
expected miracle working as a harking back to the olden days of ignorant magic
and the degraded practices of the savage medicine men. Possibly, for the salvation
of his creatures, he might accelerate natural law, but to transcend his own
laws, either for the benefit of himself or the overawing of his fellow men,
that he would not do. And the Master's decision was final.
Jesus sorrowed for his people; he fully understood how they had been led up
to the expectation of the coming Messiah, the time when "the earth will yield
its fruits ten thousandfold, and on one vine there will be a thousand branches,
and each branch will produce a thousand clusters, and each cluster will produce
a thousand grapes, and each grape will produce a gallon of wine." The Jews believed
the Messiah would usher in an era of miraculous plenty. The Hebrews had long
been nurtured on traditions of miracles and legends of wonders.
He was not a Messiah coming to multiply bread and wine. He came not to minister
to temporal needs only; he came to reveal his Father in heaven to his children
on earth, while he sought to lead his earth children to join him in a sincere
effort so to live as to do the will of the Father in heaven.
In this decision Jesus of Nazareth portrayed to an onlooking universe the
folly and sin of
prostituting divine talents and
God-given abilities for personal
aggrandizement or for purely selfish gain and glorification. That was the
sin of Lucifer and Caligastia.
This great decision of Jesus portrays dramatically the truth that selfish
satisfaction and sensuous gratification, alone and of themselves, are not
able to confer happiness upon evolving human beings. There are higher values
in mortal existence -- intellectual mastery and spiritual achievement -- which
far transcend the necessary gratification of man's purely physical appetites
and urges. Man's natural endowment of talent and ability should be chiefly
devoted to the development and ennoblement of his higher powers of mind and
Jesus thus revealed to the creatures of his universe the technique of the
new and better way, the higher moral values of living and the deeper spiritual
satisfactions of evolutionary human existence on the worlds of space.