The Urantia Book -- Part IV. The Life And
Teachings Of Jesus
PAPER 147: Section 7.
Back In Capernaum
It was around noon on Monday, May 3, when Jesus and the twelve came to Bethsaida
by boat from Tarichea. They traveled by boat in order to escape those who journeyed
with them. But by the next day the others, including the official spies from
Jerusalem, had again found Jesus.
On Tuesday evening Jesus was conducting one of his customary classes of questions
and answers when the leader of the six spies said to him: "I was today talking
with one of John's disciples who is here attending upon your teaching, and we
were at a loss to understand why you never command your disciples to fast and
pray as we Pharisees fast and as John bade his followers." And Jesus, referring
to a statement by John, answered this questioner: "Do the sons of the bridechamber
fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as the bridegroom remains with
them, they can hardly fast. But the time is coming when the bridegroom shall
be taken away, and during those times the children of the bridechamber undoubtedly
will fast and pray. To pray is natural for the children of light, but fasting
is not a part of the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. Be reminded that a wise
tailor does not sew a piece of new and
unshrunk cloth upon an old garment, lest,
when it is wet, it shrink and produce a worse rent. Neither do men put new wine
into old wine skins, lest the new wine burst the skins so that both the wine
and the skins perish. The wise man puts the new wine into fresh wine skins.
Therefore do my disciples show wisdom in that they do not bring too much of
the old order over into the new teaching of the gospel of the kingdom. You who
have lost your teacher may be justified in fasting for a time. Fasting may be
an appropriate part of the law of Moses, but in the coming kingdom the sons
of God shall experience freedom from fear and joy in the divine spirit." And
when they heard these words, the disciples of John were comforted while the
Pharisees themselves were the more confounded.
Then the Master proceeded to warn his hearers against entertaining the notion
that all olden teaching should be replaced entirely by new doctrines. Said Jesus:
"That which is old and also true must abide. Likewise, that which is
new but false must be rejected. But that which is new and also true, have the
faith and courage to accept. Remember it is written: `Forsake not an old friend,
for the new is not comparable to him. As new wine, so is a new friend; if it
becomes old, you shall drink it with gladness.'"