The Urantia Book -- Part IV. The Life And
Teachings Of Jesus
PAPER 159: Section 2.
The Strange Preacher
Jesus went over to Gamala to visit John and those who worked with him at that
place. That evening, after the session of questions and answers, John said to
Jesus: "Master, yesterday I went over to
Ashtaroth to see a man who was teaching
in your name and even claiming to be able to cast out devils. Now this fellow
had never been with us, neither does he follow after us; therefore I forbade
him to do such things." Then said Jesus: "Forbid him not. Do you not perceive
that this gospel of the kingdom shall presently be proclaimed in all the world?
How can you expect that all who will believe the gospel shall be subject to
your direction? Rejoice that already our teaching has begun to manifest itself
beyond the bounds of our personal influence. Do you not see, John, that those
who profess to do great works in my name must eventually support our cause?
They certainly will not be quick to speak evil of me. My son, in matters of
this sort it would be better for you to reckon that he who is not against us
is for us. In the generations to come many who are not wholly worthy will do
many strange things in my name, but I will not forbid them. I tell you that,
even when a cup of cold water is given to a thirsty soul, the Father's messengers
shall ever make record of such a service of love."
This instruction greatly perplexed John. Had he not heard the Master say, "He
who is not with me is against me"? And he did not perceive that in this case
Jesus was referring to man's personal relation to the spiritual teachings of
the kingdom, while in the other case reference was made to the outward and far-flung
social relations of believers regarding the questions of administrative control
and the jurisdiction of one group of believers over the work of other groups
which would eventually compose the forthcoming world-wide brotherhood.
But John oftentimes recounted this experience in connection with his subsequent
labors in behalf of the kingdom. Nevertheless, many times did the apostles take
offense at those who made bold to teach in the Master's name. To them it always
seemed inappropriate that those who had never sat at Jesus' feet should dare
to teach in his name.
This man whom John forbade to teach and work in Jesus' name did not heed the
apostle's injunction. He went right on with his efforts and raised up a considerable
company of believers at
Kanata before going on into Mesopotamia. This man, Aden,
had been led to believe in Jesus through the testimony of the demented man whom
Jesus healed near Kheresa, and who so confidently believed that the supposed
evil spirits which the Master cast out of him entered the herd of swine and
rushed them headlong over the cliff to their destruction.