According to the Urantia Book, author of unknown origin, Jesus and the apostles visited the city of Tyre and, besides preaching to the populous, it was a teaching time for the apostles.
He used the analogy of the white lily whose pure white flower rises above the snow while its roots are anchored into the muck of dark soil below. “Likewise,” he said, “mortal man, while he has his roots of origin and being in the animal soil of human nature, can by faith raise his spiritual nature up into the sunlight of heavenly truth and actually bear the noble fruits of the spirit.”
“Build well the foundations for the growth of a noble character of spiritual endowments,” he said. “In order to yield the fruits of the spirit you must be born of the spirit.” He insisted on a connection with spirit in order to lead a spirit-filled life. To live a life that was not based on spirit was like “the foolish carpenter who wastes valuable time squaring, measuring, and smoothing his worm-eaten and inwardly rotting timber and then, when he has thus bestowed all of his labor upon the unsound beam, must reject it as unfit to enter into the foundations of the building which he would construct to withstand the assaults of time and storm.”
He admonished his followers to infuse their spiritual natures with intellectual and moral character for the “evolvement of the soul of immortal destiny.” “Your spirit nature — the jointly created soul — is a living growth, but the mind and morals of the individual are the soil from which these higher manifestations of human development and divine destiny must spring. The soil of the evolving soul is human and material, but the destiny of this combined creature of mind and spirit is spiritual and divine.”
He spoke of how their forefathers were disposed to see God in almost everything that happened. They looked for the hand of God in all natural occurrences and in every unusual episode of human experience. They connected God with both good and evil. Since humans are so prone to temptation, our forefathers blamed God for being “tested,” but their own conscious decisions were driven by their own selfishness and by the impulses of their animal natures. He encouraged his apostles to become aware of their temptations towards baseness and to redirect that energy toward higher channels. “In this way may you transform your temptations into the highest types of uplifting mortal ministry while you almost wholly avoid these wasteful and weakening conflicts between the animal and spiritual natures.”
But here the Master gave a warning. “Let me warn you against the folly of undertaking to surmount temptation by the effort of supplanting one desire by another and supposedly superior desire through the mere force of the human will.” At times like these, if an interest and love for “those higher and more idealistic forms of conduct” is present, one may be able to avoid these lower and less idealistic habits of behavior recognized as temptation and deliver one’s self through spiritual transformation instead of being overburdened with the deceptive suppression of mortal desires.
“Beauty is always triumphant over ugliness in the hearts of all who are illuminated by the love of truth,” preached the Christ. “And again I say to you, be not overcome by evil but rather overcome evil with good.”
Long into the night the apostles and evangelists continued to ask questions. Jesus went on to say, “Forceful ambition, intelligent judgment, and seasoned wisdom are the essentials of material success,” and added that real leadership is dependent on natural ability, discretion, will power, and determination. He insisted that a thirst for righteousness must be cultivated; a wholehearted desire to find God and to be like him.
“Do not become discouraged by the discovery that you are human” Jesus, said. He admitted that human nature may tend toward evil, but it is not inherently sinful. “The mistakes which you fail to forget in time will be forgotten in eternity,” thus fostering a long-distance view of our personal destiny. He advised against evaluating spiritual progress using imperfections of the mind or by the appetites of the body. “Your spiritual destiny is conditioned only by your spiritual longings and purposes.”
In addition to religion, Jesus suggested that moral power and spiritual energy were mighty forces which could be utilized in dealing with difficult social situations and in solving intricate economic problems. “These moral and spiritual endowments make all levels of human living richer and more meaningful,” he added. “You are destined to live a narrow and mean life if you learn to love only those who love you,” Jesus preached. Love doesn’t seek to satisfy itself and divine love cannot be self-contained; it must be unselfishly bestowed.
In his own way, Jesus embraced meditation. “Believers must increasingly learn how to step aside from the rush of life — escape the harassments of material existence — while they refresh the soul, inspire the mind, and renew the spirit by worshipful communion.”
“People of the spirit are not discouraged by material eruptions to their lives,” he added. Souls seeking eternal life are practitioners of an invigorating and constructive technique for meeting all of the vicissitudes and harassments of mortal living. He added that, “Every day a true believer lives, he finds it easier to do the right thing.”
He admonished his followers to increase their true self-respect and not self-admiration and to cultivate love and service for humanity. “It is not possible to respect yourself more than you love your neighbor; the one is the measure of the capacity for the other.” Ideals must be sufficiently high enough to insure one’s eternal salvation while ideas should be practical as to render them useful to society.
The measure of the spiritual capacity of the evolving soul is faith in truth and love for mankind. Jesus told his disciples that “Defeat is the true mirror in which you may honestly view your real self” and human strength of character is measured by the ability to resist the holding of grudges and the capacity to withstand brooding in the face of deep sorrow; to endure unavoidable suffering and to remain vigilant when faced with inescapable hardship.
“Tact is the fulcrum of social leverage, and tolerance is the earmark of a great soul,” he said. Jesus taught that cultivating these qualities will ensure the avoidance of any unnecessary, social misunderstandings caused by the lack of “emotional adjustment,” referring to those who refuse to spiritually mature or to grow old gracefully.
And finally, “Avoid dishonesty and unfairness in all your efforts to preach truth and proclaim the gospel. Seek no unearned recognition and crave no undeserved sympathy. Freely receive love from both divine and human sources regardless of whether you believe you deserve it or not. But in all other things related to honor and adulation, seek only that which honestly belongs to you.”
The day before Jesus left Tyre for the return to the region of the Sea of Galilee, he called his associates together and directed the twelve evangelists to go back by a route different from that which he and the twelve apostles were to take. The Urantia Book goes on to add the cryptic remark that “After the evangelists here left Jesus, they were never again so intimately associated with him.”