I thoroughly enjoyed "The Unvarnished Gospels". It read like a story and I was not distracted by chapter and verse, and small print like most bibles have. It was an easy read for me and all the participants in each gospel were so alive!
At times I felt like I was walking with Jesus and witnessing the miracles of the loaves and fishes, turning water into wine, walking on water…the remarkable healings and casting out of demons. Which brings me to the point of what Jesus taught and how he wanted to save us by making us aware of a higher calling, higher understanding, and an awareness of the limitations we put on ourselves. Jesus was patient and sometimes impatient in what he was trying to teach then, and what He taught is true for us today.
Jesus wore so many hats. He was a prophet, a counselor, a healer, a master, a psychic, a teacher, a savior and a Son of God. The works He did we can do also. And it is not Jesus but through God the Father that He (Jesus) is able to do these things.
My background is Christianity. At first, traditional teachings of the bible was the only way for me until I had an experience that changed my life. It was a visit from an angel! For now just take my word for it because I would like to get to the meat of the Four Gospels.
It is true, that we hear more scriptures quoted from the Gospel of John regarding the four gospels, because it is direct and to the point. And, although it may seem that Jesus' portrayal in this particular gospel was out of character, I think it showed Jesus with some human characteristics which we had not seen before, at least not as pronounced, in the previous gospels. The fact that Jesus was so bold did not bother me. Wouldn't you be irritated if you had to constantly go over the lessons you were trying to teach, and still your students didn't understand or doubted what you were saying?
This brings me to the "comforter" that Jesus said would be coming. I do not believe this was the second coming.
Jesus, after ascending, would not physically be with them. Jesus did not want them to feel that they would be alone and spoke of the comforter which was the Spirit of God working through each person who believed in the teachings, miracles and healings that Jesus preformed. It brings me to the thought that when I am "spirited" (In-Spirit or inspired), moved, or motivated to do something,
The demonstrations and miracles that Jesus did was to teach us not to be so limited in our ways or in our thinking… to go outside the box, so to speak. Since my angel experience, and it wasn't an instant transition as I had a lot to work through, I was led on a path to know my true self. It was a freeing experience for me at the time as I lived inside the box most of my life, and afraid to be who I really was. I didn't know who that person was anyway. However, traditional teachings brought me on the path for my search for truth. Much later in life, I learned to turn the knowledge I received to something I could apply in my life, and eventually saw the wisdom in it.
Jesus knew because of His foresight who believed or didn't believe in his teachings. He states that we are not to judge least we be judged also. "And if I do judge" He states… I really don't think this is a contradiction as some may imply. My understanding is if Jesus does judge it is "right judgement" or discernment, a knowing that what He discerns is true. The meaning of "judgement"
can get so out of hand, like political correctness.
This course has given me more insight than I expected. Usually, I focus on staying neutral with no expectations except to learn what the course wants to teach me. Previously, I did not know that Mathew, Mark, Luke and John did not live in the same timeframe as Jesus did, and I want to research that further. I started on a metaphysical path 28 years ago after my encounter with an angel. This encounter was published in the book called "Angel Visions" by Dr. Doreen Virtue Ph.D., should you want to read about it.
Thank you for the inspiring, and mind expanding views of this course.
The ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials. I've been ordained with Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.