The Urantia Book -- Part IV. The Life And
Teachings Of Jesus
PAPER 177: Section 5.
The Last Social Hour
Since it was Wednesday, this evening at the camp was a social hour. The Master
endeavored to cheer his downcast apostles, but that was well-nigh impossible.
They were all beginning to realize that disconcerting and crushing events were
impending. They could not be cheerful, even when the Master recounted their
years of eventful and loving association. Jesus made careful inquiry about the
families of all of the apostles and, looking over toward David Zebedee, asked
if anyone had heard recently from his mother, his youngest sister, or other
members of his family. David looked down at his feet; he was afraid to answer.
This was the occasion of Jesus' warning his followers to beware of the support
of the multitude. He recounted their experiences in Galilee when time and again
great throngs of people enthusiastically followed them around and then just
as ardently turned against them and returned to their former ways of believing
and living. And then he said: "And so you must not allow yourselves to be deceived
by the great crowds who heard us in the temple, and who seemed to believe our
teachings. These multitudes listen to the truth and believe it superficially
with their minds, but few of them permit the word of truth to strike down into
the heart with living roots. Those who know the gospel only in the mind, and
who have not experienced it in the heart, cannot be depended upon for support
when real trouble comes. When the rulers of the Jews reach an agreement to destroy
the Son of Man, and when they strike with one accord, you will see the multitude
either flee in dismay or else stand by in silent amazement while these
and blinded rulers lead the teachers of the gospel truth to their death. And
then, when adversity and persecution descend upon you, still others who you
think love the truth will be scattered, and some will renounce the gospel and
desert you. Some who have been very close to us have already made up their minds
to desert. You have rested today in preparation for those times which are now
upon us. Watch, therefore, and pray that on the morrow you may be strengthened
for the days that are just ahead."
The atmosphere of the camp was charged with an inexplicable tension. Silent
messengers came and went, communicating with only David Zebedee. Before the
evening had passed, certain ones knew that Lazarus had taken hasty flight from
Bethany. John Mark was
ominously silent after returning to camp, notwithstanding
he had spent the whole day in the Master's company. Every effort to persuade
him to talk only indicated clearly that Jesus had told him not to talk.
Even the Master's good cheer and his unusual sociability frightened them. They
all felt the certain drawing upon them of the terrible isolation which they
realized was about to descend with
crashing suddenness and inescapable terror.
They vaguely sensed what was coming, and none felt prepared to face the test.
The Master had been away all day; they had missed him tremendously.
This Wednesday evening was the
low-tide mark of their spiritual status up to
the actual hour of the Master's death. Although the next day was one more day
nearer the tragic Friday, still, he was with them, and they passed through its
anxious hours more gracefully.
It was just before midnight when Jesus, knowing this would be the last night
he would ever sleep through with his chosen family on earth, said, as he dispersed
them for the night: "Go to your sleep, my brethren, and peace be upon you till
we rise on the morrow, one more day to do the Father's will and experience the
joy of knowing that we are his sons."