The Urantia Book
APPEARANCES IN GALILEE
192:0.1 BY THE time the apostles left Jerusalem
for Galilee, the Jewish leaders had quieted down considerably.
Since Jesus appeared only to his family of kingdom believers, and
since the apostles were in hiding and did no public preaching, the
rulers of the Jews concluded that the gospel movement was, after
all, effectually crushed. They were, of course, disconcerted by
the increasing spread of rumors that Jesus had risen from the
dead, but they depended upon the bribed guards effectively to
counteract all such reports by their reiteration of the story that
a band of his followers had removed the body.
192:0.2 From this time on, until the apostles
were dispersed by the rising tide of persecution, Peter was the
generally recognized head of the apostolic corps. Jesus never gave
him any such authority, and his fellow apostles never formally
elected him to such a position of responsibility; he naturally
assumed it and held it by common consent and also because he was
their chief preacher. From now on public preaching became the main
business of the apostles. After their return from Galilee,
Matthias, whom they chose to take the place of Judas, became their
192:0.3 During the week they tarried in
Jerusalem, Mary the mother of Jesus spent much of the time with
the women believers who were stopping at the home of Joseph of
192:0.4 Early this Monday morning when the
apostles departed for Galilee, John Mark went along. He followed
them out of the city, and when they had passed well beyond
Bethany, he boldly came up among them, feeling confident they
would not send him back.
192:0.5 The apostles paused several times on the
way to Galilee to tell the story of their risen Master and
therefore did not arrive at Bethsaida until very late on Wednesday
night. It was noontime on Thursday before they were all awake and
ready to partake of breakfast.
1. APPEARANCE BY THE LAKE
192:1.1 About six o'clock Friday morning, April
21, the morontia Master made his thirteenth appearance, the first
in Galilee, to the ten apostles as their boat drew near the shore
close to the usual landing place at Bethsaida.
192:1.2 After the apostles had spent the
afternoon and early evening of Thursday in waiting at the Zebedee
home, Simon Peter suggested that they go fishing. When Peter
proposed the fishing trip, all of the apostles decided to go
along. All night they toiled with the nets but caught no fish.
They did not much mind the failure to make a catch, for they had
many interesting experiences to talk over, things which had so
recently happened to them at Jerusalem. But when daylight came,
they decided to return to Bethsaida. As they neared the shore,
they saw someone on the beach, near the boat landing, standing by
a fire. At first they thought it was John Mark, who had come down
to welcome them back with their catch, but as they drew nearer the
shore, they saw they were mistaken -- the man was too tall for
John. It had occurred to none of them that the person on the shore
was the Master. They did not altogether understand why Jesus
wanted to meet with them amidst the scenes of their earlier
associations and out in the open in contact with nature, far away
from the shut-in environment of Jerusalem with its tragic
associations of fear, betrayal, and death. He had told them that,
if they would go into Galilee, he would meet them there, and he
was about to fulfill that promise.
192:1.3 As they dropped anchor and prepared to
enter the small boat for going ashore, the man on the beach called
to them, "Lads, have you caught anything?" And when they answered,
"No," he spoke again. "Cast the net on the right side of the boat,
and you will find fish." While they did not know it was Jesus who
had directed them, with one accord they cast in the net as they
had been instructed, and immediately it was filled, so much so
that they were hardly able to draw it up. Now, John Zebedee was
quick of perception, and when he saw the heavy-laden net, he
perceived that it was the Master who had spoken to them. When this
thought came into his mind, he leaned over and whispered to Peter,
"It is the Master." Peter was ever a man of thoughtless action and
impetuous devotion; so when John whispered this in his ear, he
quickly arose and cast himself into the water that he might the
sooner reach the Master's side. His brethren came up close behind
him, having come ashore in the small boat, hauling the net of
fishes after them.
192:1.4 By this time John Mark was up and,
seeing the apostles coming ashore with the heavy-laden net, ran
down the beach to greet them; and when he saw eleven men instead
of ten, he surmised that the unrecognized one was the risen Jesus,
and as the astonished ten stood by in silence, the youth rushed up
to the Master and, kneeling at his feet, said, "My Lord and my
Master." And then Jesus spoke, not as he had in Jerusalem, when he
greeted them with "Peace be upon you," but in commonplace tones he
addressed John Mark: "Well, John, I am glad to see you again and
in carefree Galilee, where we can have a good visit. Stay with us,
John, and have breakfast."
192:1.5 As Jesus talked with the young man, the
ten were so astonished and surprised that they neglected to haul
the net of fish in upon the beach. Now spoke Jesus: "Bring in your
fish and prepare some for breakfast. Already we have the fire and
192:1.6 While John Mark had paid homage to the
Master, Peter had for a moment been shocked at the sight of the
coals of fire glowing there on the beach; the scene reminded him
so vividly of the midnight fire of charcoal in the courtyard of
Annas, where he had disowned the Master, but he shook himself and,
kneeling at the Master's feet, exclaimed, "My Lord and my Master!"
192:1.7 Peter then joined his comrades as they
hauled in the net. When they had landed their catch, they counted
the fish, and there were 153 large ones. And again was the mistake
made of calling this another miraculous catch of fish. There was
no miracle connected with this episode. It was merely an exercise
of the Master's preknowledge. He knew the fish were there and
accordingly directed the apostles where to cast the net.
192:1.8 Jesus spoke to them, saying: "Come now,
all of you, to breakfast. Even the twins should sit down while I
visit with you; John Mark will dress the fish." John Mark brought
seven good-sized fish, which the Master put on the fire, and when
they were cooked, the lad served them to the ten. Then Jesus broke
the bread and handed it to John, who in turn served it to the
hungry apostles. When they had all been served, Jesus bade John
Mark sit down while he himself served the fish and the bread to
the lad. And as they ate, Jesus visited with them and recounted
their many experiences in Galilee and by this very lake.
192:1.9 This was the third time Jesus had
manifested himself to the apostles as a group. When Jesus first
addressed them, asking if they had any fish, they did not suspect
who he was because it was a common experience for these fishermen
on the Sea of Galilee, when they came ashore, to be thus accosted
by the fish merchants of Tarichea, who were usually on hand to buy
the fresh catches for the drying establishments.
192:1.10 Jesus visited with the ten apostles and
John Mark for more than an hour, and then he walked up and down
the beach, talking with them two and two -- but not the same
couples he had at first sent out together to teach. All eleven of
the apostles had come down from Jerusalem together, but Simon
Zelotes grew more and more despondent as they drew near Galilee,
so that, when they reached Bethsaida, he forsook his brethren and
returned to his home.
192:1.11 Before taking leave of them this
morning, Jesus directed that two of the apostles should volunteer
to go to Simon Zelotes and bring him back that very day. And Peter
and Andrew did so.
2. VISITING WITH THE APOSTLES TWO AND TWO
192:2.1 When they had finished breakfast, and
while the others sat by the fire, Jesus beckoned to Peter and to
John that they should come with him for a stroll on the beach. As
they walked along, Jesus said to John, "John, do you love me?" And
when John answered, "Yes, Master, with all my heart," the Master
said: "Then, John, give up your intolerance and learn to love men
as I have loved you. Devote your life to proving that love is the
greatest thing in the world. It is the love of God that impels men
to seek salvation. Love is the ancestor of all spiritual goodness,
the essence of the true and the beautiful."
192:2.2 Jesus then turned toward Peter and
asked, "Peter, do you love me?" Peter answered, "Lord, you know I
love you with all my soul." Then said Jesus: "If you love me,
Peter, feed my lambs. Do not neglect to minister to the weak, the
poor, and the young. Preach the gospel without fear or favor;
remember always that God is no respecter of persons. Serve your
fellow men even as I have served you; forgive your fellow mortals
even as I have forgiven you. Let experience teach you the value of
meditation and the power of intelligent reflection."
192:2.3 After they had walked along a little
farther, the Master turned to Peter and asked, "Peter, do you
really love me?" And then said Simon, "Yes, Lord, you know that I
love you." And again said Jesus: "Then take good care of my sheep.
Be a good and a true shepherd to the flock. Betray not their
confidence in you. Be not taken by surprise at the enemy's hand.
Be on guard at all times -- watch and pray."
192:2.4 When they had gone a few steps farther,
Jesus turned to Peter and, for the third time, asked, "Peter, do
you truly love me?" And then Peter, being slightly grieved at the
Master's seeming distrust of him, said with considerable feeling,
"Lord, you know all things, and therefore do you know that I
really and truly love you." Then said Jesus: "Feed my sheep. Do
not forsake the flock. Be an example and an inspiration to all
your fellow shepherds. Love the flock as I have loved you and
devote yourself to their welfare even as I have devoted my life to
your welfare. And follow after me even to the end."
192:2.5 Peter took this last statement literally
-- that he should continue to follow after him -- and turning to
Jesus, he pointed to John, asking, "If I follow on after you, what
shall this man do?" And then, perceiving that Peter had
misunderstood his words, Jesus said: "Peter, be not concerned
about what your brethren shall do. If I will that John should
tarry after you are gone, even until I come back, what is that to
you? Only make sure that you follow me."
192:2.6 This remark spread among the brethren
and was received as a statement by Jesus to the effect that John
would not die before the Master returned, as many thought and
hoped, to establish the kingdom in power and glory. It was this
interpretation of what Jesus said that had much to do with getting
Simon Zelotes back into service, and keeping him at work.
192:2.7 When they returned to the others, Jesus
went for a walk and talk with Andrew and James. When they had gone
a short distance, Jesus said to Andrew, "Andrew, do you trust me?"
And when the former chief of the apostles heard Jesus ask such a
question, he stood still and answered, "Yes, Master, of a
certainty I trust you, and you know that I do." Then said Jesus:
"Andrew, if you trust me, trust your brethren more -- even Peter.
I once trusted you with the leadership of your brethren. Now must
you trust others as I leave you to go to the Father. When your
brethren begin to scatter abroad because of bitter persecutions,
be a considerate and wise counselor to James my brother in the
flesh when they put heavy burdens upon him which he is not
qualified by experience to bear. And then go on trusting, for I
will not fail you. When you are through on earth, you shall come
192:2.8 Then Jesus turned to James, asking,
"James, do you trust me?" And of course James replied, "Yes,
Master, I trust you with all my heart." Then said Jesus: "James,
if you trust me more, you will be less impatient with your
brethren. If you will trust me, it will help you to be kind to the
brotherhood of believers. Learn to weigh the consequences of your
sayings and your doings. Remember that the reaping is in
accordance with the sowing. Pray for tranquillity of spirit and
cultivate patience. These graces, with living faith, shall sustain
you when the hour comes to drink the cup of sacrifice. But never
be dismayed; when you are through on earth, you shall also come to
be with me."
192:2.9 Jesus next talked with Thomas and
Nathaniel. Said he to Thomas, "Thomas, do you serve me?" Thomas
replied, "Yes, Lord, I serve you now and always." Then said Jesus:
"If you would serve me, serve my brethren in the flesh even as I
have served you. And be not weary in this well-doing but persevere
as one who has been ordained by God for this service of love. When
you have finished your service with me on earth, you shall serve
with me in glory. Thomas, you must cease doubting; you must grow
in faith and the knowledge of truth. Believe in God like a child
but cease to act so childishly. Have courage; be strong in faith
and mighty in the kingdom of God."
192:2.10 Then said the Master to Nathaniel,
"Nathaniel, do you serve me?" And the apostle answered, "Yes,
Master, and with an undivided affection." Then said Jesus: "If,
therefore, you serve me with a whole heart, make sure that you are
devoted to the welfare of my brethren on earth with tireless
affection. Admix friendship with your counsel and add love to your
philosophy. Serve your fellow men even as I have served you. Be
faithful to men as I have watched over you. Be less critical;
expect less of some men and thereby lessen the extent of your
disappointment. And when the work down here is over, you shall
serve with me on high."
192:2.11 After this the Master talked with
Matthew and Philip. To Philip he said, "Philip, do you obey me?"
Philip answered, "Yes, Lord, I will obey you even with my life."
Then said Jesus: "If you would obey me, go then into the lands of
the gentiles and proclaim this gospel. The prophets have told you
that to obey is better than to sacrifice. By faith have you become
a God-knowing kingdom son. There is but one law to obey -- that is
the command to go forth proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom.
Cease to fear men; be unafraid to preach the good news of eternal
life to your fellows who languish in darkness and hunger for the
light of truth. No more, Philip, shall you busy yourself with
money and goods. You now are free to preach the glad tidings just
as are your brethren. And I will go before you and be with you
even to the end."
192:2.12 And then, speaking to Matthew, the
Master asked, "Matthew, do you have it in your heart to obey me?"
Matthew answered, "Yes, Lord, I am fully dedicated to doing your
will." Then said the Master: "Matthew, if you would obey me, go
forth to teach all peoples this gospel of the kingdom. No longer
will you serve your brethren the material things of life;
henceforth you are also to proclaim the good news of spiritual
salvation. From now on have an eye single only to obeying your
commission to preach this gospel of the Father's kingdom. As I
have done the Father's will on earth, so shall you fulfill the
divine commission. Remember, both Jew and gentile are your
brethren. Fear no man when you proclaim the saving truths of the
gospel of the kingdom of heaven. And where I go, you shall
192:2.13 Then he walked and talked with the
Alpheus twins, James and Judas, and speaking to both of them, he
asked, "James and Judas, do you believe in me?" And when they both
answered, "Yes, Master, we do believe," he said: "I will soon
leave you. You see that I have already left you in the flesh. I
tarry only a short time in this form before I go to my Father. You
believe in me -- you are my apostles, and you always will be. Go
on believing and remembering your association with me, when I am
gone, and after you have, perchance, returned to the work you used
to do before you came to live with me. Never allow a change in
your outward work to influence your allegiance. Have faith in God
to the end of your days on earth. Never forget that, when you are
a faith son of God, all upright work of the realm is sacred.
Nothing which a son of God does can be common. Do your work,
therefore, from this time on, as for God. And when you are through
on this world, I have other and better worlds where you shall
likewise work for me. And in all of this work, on this world and
on other worlds, I will work with you, and my spirit shall dwell
192:2.14 It was almost ten o'clock when Jesus
returned from his visit with the Alpheus twins, and as he left the
apostles, he said: "Farewell, until I meet you all on the mount of
your ordination tomorrow at noontime." When he had thus spoken, he
vanished from their sight.
3. ON THE MOUNT OF ORDINATION
192:3.1 At noon on Saturday, April 22, the
eleven apostles assembled by appointment on the hill near
Capernaum, and Jesus appeared among them. This meeting occurred on
the very mount where the Master had set them apart as his apostles
and as ambassadors of the Father's kingdom on earth. And this was
the Master's fourteenth morontia manifestation.
192:3.2 At this time the eleven apostles knelt
in a circle about the Master and heard him repeat the charges and
saw him re-enact the ordination scene even as when they were first
set apart for the special work of the kingdom. And all of this was
to them as a memory of their former consecration to the Father's
service, except the Master's prayer. When the Master -- the
morontia Jesus -- now prayed, it was in tones of majesty and with
words of power such as the apostles had never before heard. Their
Master now spoke with the rulers of the universes as one who, in
his own universe, had had all power and authority committed to his
hand. And these eleven men never forgot this experience of the
morontia rededication to the former pledges of ambassadorship. The
Master spent just one hour on this mount with his ambassadors, and
when he had taken an affectionate farewell of them, he vanished
from their sight.
192:3.3 And no one saw Jesus for a full week.
The apostles really had no idea what to do, not knowing whether
the Master had gone to the Father. In this state of uncertainty
they tarried at Bethsaida. They were afraid to go fishing lest he
come to visit them and they miss seeing him. During this entire
week Jesus was occupied with the morontia creatures on earth and
with the affairs of the morontia transition which he was
experiencing on this world.
4. THE LAKESIDE GATHERING
192:4.1 Word of the appearances of Jesus was
spreading throughout Galilee, and every day increasing numbers of
believers arrived at the Zebedee home to inquire about the
Master's resurrection and to find out the truth about these
reputed appearances. Peter, early in the week, sent out word that
a public meeting would be held by the seaside the next Sabbath at
three o'clock in the afternoon.
192:4.2 Accordingly, on Saturday, April 29, at
three o'clock, more than five hundred believers from the environs
of Capernaum assembled at Bethsaida to hear Peter preach his first
public sermon since the resurrection. The apostle was at his best,
and after he had finished his appealing discourse, few of his
hearers doubted that the Master had risen from the dead.
192:4.3 Peter ended his sermon, saying: "We
affirm that Jesus of Nazareth is not dead; we declare that he has
risen from the tomb; we proclaim that we have seen him and talked
with him." Just as he finished making this declaration of faith,
there by his side, in full view of all these people, the Master
appeared in morontia form and, speaking to them in familiar
accents, said, "Peace be upon you, and my peace I leave with you."
When he had thus appeared and had so spoken to them, he vanished
from their sight. This was the fifteenth morontia manifestation of
the risen Jesus.
192:4.4 Because of certain things said to the
eleven while they were in conference with the Master on the mount
of ordination, the apostles received the impression that their
Master would presently make a public appearance before a group of
the Galilean believers, and that, after he had done so, they were
to return to Jerusalem. Accordingly, early the next day, Sunday,
April 30, the eleven left Bethsaida for Jerusalem. They did
considerable teaching and preaching on the way down the Jordan, so
that they did not arrive at the home of the Marks in Jerusalem
until late on Wednesday, May 3.
192:4.5 This was a sad homecoming for John Mark.
Just a few hours before he reached home, his father, Elijah Mark,
suddenly died from a hemorrhage in the brain. Although the thought
of the certainty of the resurrection of the dead did much to
comfort the apostles in their grief, at the same time they truly
mourned the loss of their good friend, who had been their stanch
supporter even in the times of great trouble and disappointment.
John Mark did all he could to comfort his mother and, speaking for
her, invited the apostles to continue to make their home at her
house. And the eleven made this upper chamber their headquarters
until after the day of Pentecost.
192:4.6 The apostles had purposely entered
Jerusalem after nightfall that they might not be seen by the
Jewish authorities. Neither did they publicly appear in connection
with the funeral of Elijah Mark. All the next day they remained in
quiet seclusion in this eventful upper chamber.
192:4.7 On Thursday night the apostles had a
wonderful meeting in this upper chamber and all pledged themselves
to go forth in the public preaching of the new gospel of the risen
Lord except Thomas, Simon Zelotes, and the Alpheus twins. Already
had begun the first steps of changing the gospel of the kingdom --
sonship with God and brotherhood with man -- into the proclamation
of the resurrection of Jesus. Nathaniel opposed this shift in the
burden of their public message, but he could not withstand Peter's
eloquence, neither could he overcome the enthusiasm of the
disciples, especially the women believers.
192:4.8 And so, under the vigorous leadership of
Peter and ere the Master ascended to the Father, his well-meaning
representatives began that subtle process of gradually and
certainly changing the religion of Jesus into a new and modified
form of religion about Jesus.