I. General Description
A. This series of lessons on the Words of Jesus explores the metaphysical meaning of some of the significant words of Jesus Christ.
As Charles Fillmore noted in his foreword to Jesus Christ Heals, "We are all in mind related to a great creative Spirit that infuses its very life into our minds and bodies when we turn our attention to it. We have mentally wandered away from this creative Spirit or Father-Mind and lost contact with its life-giving currents. Jesus Christ made connection for us, and through Him we again begin to draw vitality from the great Fountainhead."
The words of Jesus Christ, along with their metaphysical interpretation working in our conscious mind, help connect us to the "life-giving currents of the creative Spirit" of God within us.
With their metaphysical significance highlighted, the words of Jesus also offer practical ways we can use the ideas and principles taught by Jesus in handling the day-to-day issues in our lives.
The series includes some of the words of Jesus spoken during His ministry in Galilee, Judea, and Perea; words spoken during the training of His disciples; words from His final public appearance; and words spoken on the cross and after His resurrection.
B. These lessons are presented by the Rev. Ed Rabel, who is loved and appreciated by many as a teacher of metaphysical Bible interpretation. Currently, Ed is a member of the USRS faculty, serving as instructor in Metaphysical Studies and Skills. Ordained as a Unity minister in 1957, Ed has served ministries in this country and in Canada.
II. How Can These Lessons Be Used?
A. Inspirational viewing and individual home study. The study questions in this pamphlet can assist you in making practical use of the metaphysical understanding highlighted in each lesson. Progress in individual study is measured by the positive change that takes place in your everyday life.
B. Non-credit teaching through Unity study groups. Leaders of Unity study groups may want to use these videotaped lessons for special Bible study. The study questions in this pamphlet can be used to generate discussion and to provide a comprehensive focus on the material in the lessons.
C. Credit study of an elective course, Words of Jesus. Qualified Unity ministers and licensed teachers may use these videotaped lessons to create an elective entitled Words of Jesus for the USRS Continuing Education Program (CEP) Extension Program (3 credits). Ministers and licensed teachers will want to consult the Extension Program Teacher's Guide for suggestions in planning this elective.* These credit classes may only be offered in authorized AUC Unity ministries or study groups.
D. Credit study of the required course, New Testament Interpretation. Qualified Unity ministers and licensed teachers may use these videotaped lessons in a variety of ways as resource for the USRS-CEP required course, New Testament Interpretation, taught in the CEP Extension Program. Ministers and licensed teachers will find suggestions for effective use of these tapes in the USRS Extension Program Teacher's Guide. *
•Note: Option C and D are available only under the conditions described. The classwork offered may be taken by anyone who has access to an authorized AUC Unity ministry offering these classes. The Extension Program Teacher's Guide is available only to ordained or licensed Unity ministers and licensed Unity teachers.
Personal Use Study Questions
Lesson One—"Earliest Words - Beginning of Galilean Ministry"
1. How would you explain your relationship with God in the light of Jesus' understanding of God as our Father? How can this understanding help you determine "the Father's business" or purpose for your life?
2. What, in your own words, is a definition of temptation? In what ways can the "Satan level of thinking" tempt you away from your Real purpose? How can the words spoken by Jesus to Satan help you deal with your "Satan level of thinking"?
3. How would you explain the metaphysical meaning of "calling the disciples"? (Review Charles Fillmore TM/Ch. 1, p. 15-24) How can you call forth your disciples?
4. Explain the difference between physical birth and being "born anew." How can being "born anew" be helpful to you in solving your own problems?
5. In your own words, what does it mean to sow and to reap? (John 4:36-37) Why do we sometimes reap where we have not sown, and sow where we do not reap? What specific thoughts can you hold in your mind that will help you cooperate with the sowing and reaping process in your life?
6. Write, in your own words, the significance of "human beings having the power to forgive sins." Of what practical use is the quote from Jacob Bohme in our efforts to forgive and be forgiven?
7. Explain why the need to "see" before we "believe" breaks our connection with the healing consciousness of the Christ within. Write three affirmations that state your willingness to "believe" before you "see." How can these affirmations re-establish your connection to the healing consciousness of the Christ within?
8. How would you describe the "new wine" and the "new wineskin?" Describe, also, how we stuff our "new wine" into "old wineskins." What three suggestions does Ed Rabel give for keeping our "new understanding" in a "new wineskin?"
Lesson Two— "Words from the Galilean Ministry"
1. What, in your words, does it mean to be willing to accept responsibility for healing in body and affairs?
2. How would you explain the "authority" that enabled Jesus to heal the sick? How can this same "authority" bring healing into our lives?
3. Explain in your own words the difference between intellectual comprehension and spiritual understanding.
4. Describe how "wise guy" and "know-it-all" thoughts keep the Truth in Jesus' teachings hidden from us. Describe the "babe" state of mind to which they are revealed.
5. List some of the ways that "loving much" can help us receive forgiveness for our "many sins."
6. Explain, in your own words, the metaphysical understanding of "sin," "blasphemy," and "the action of the Holy Spirit." What are some of the ways you "talk against your good"? Turn each example into an affirmation, declaring the action of the Holy Spirit in that situation.
7. Explain how the Law of Mind Action can bring either increase or decrease of good in our lives.
8. List some of the ways you experience "storms" in your inner world. Summarize and practice the technique Ed Rabel suggests for bringing "peace" to the stormy inner conditions. Why must we be careful to do more than just speculate about this technique's effectiveness?
9. Describe, in your own words, how you can use the two steps from the words of Jesus (Matt. 10:14) to handle the experience of rejection in your life.
Lesson Three— "Words During Training of Disciples"
1. Explain why we need to remind ourselves not to "worry in advance" about solutions to future problems. Paraphrase the words of Jesus (Matt. 10:19) into an affirmative prayer that you can use the next time you are tempted to "worry in advance."
2. List two or three ways that you can begin right now to appropriate the "body of teachings" of Jesus Christ in your life. Write a brief explanation of how this is symbolic for "eating the bread of life."
3. Describe the important difference between Jesus' works and His words as they relate to our lives today. Give some examples from your daily life experience showing how you would "carry on His ministry of words."
4. Why do you think it is important to know that negative conditions reported in the "news" can't, of themselves, contaminate our consciousness? What is there inside of us that can contaminate our consciousness? Write an affirma- tion you can use to purify your consciousness.
5. Explain how the Canaanite woman's faith helped in the healing of her daughter. What does this mean about the way faith can help bring healing to you and those with whom you pray?
6. How would you explain the difference between "our human opinions about other humans" and the truth about our Real nature? Why do you think knowing about our Real nature is so important?
7. Review chapters four and five in Lessons in Truth by H. Emilie Cady. Explain in your own words the Unity process of denial and affirmation. What is it that we really deny? Whose attitude does an affirmation change? Give some examples of denials and affirmations.
8. Describe how the instruction for success - prayer and fasting — can operate in your life when you feel that you have failed in some endeavor.
9. How would you explain the "will of God" for every human being? Explain in your own words how something can happen that is "not the will of God."
10. What does it mean to forgive someone "until seventy times seven"? Who does forgiveness really help and bless?
11. What in your own words is the difference between "seeing only the good" and "worshiping only the good"? What implications does this have for how you deal with "all" that you see in the outer world of appearance and facts?
12. What is the message, for those who worry about the faults of other people, found in the words of Jesus recorded in John 8:7? Why is this message important for our spiritual development?
13. How would you explain the way that the consciousness of Jesus Christ, here now, functions as a "Good Shepherd" in our daily lives?
Lesson Four— "Words During Judean and Perean Ministry"
1. Give three or four examples of "the human attempt to negate a Divine Idea."
2. How would you explain Ed Rabel's statement, "Even exchange is no profit"? Can you think of a time when this "worked" in your life?
3. What does it mean to you that "God is not only within us"?
4. When do you most need to remember to "tune in to the good"? What effect does "tuning in to the good" have on the situation?
5. Explain what "with God all things are possible" means to you.
6. Why do you think it was so difficult for the disciples to understand the "hints" Jesus gave about how His ministry would end?
7. How would you explain the difference between the "letter" and the "spirit" of the law?
8. Answer the question in your own words; "Does your heart really want anything else other than to love and be loved?" How can knowing the answer to this help you keep the greatest commandment? (Matt. 32:35-40)
Lesson Five—"Words During Final Public Appearances
1. How would you explain the emphasis Jesus gave to His "words"? Why do you think Ed Rabel emphasizes "Jesus lives in His words"?
2. List some ways you can "keep alert for your highest good." What does it mean to you to "watch and pray"?
3. What is your understanding of "Judgment Day"? Of what value is this understanding to you in your every day life?
4. Explain in your own words the significance of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. What message of service to others does this imply for you?
5. Read carefully John 13:36 and John 14:19-20. Write, in your own words, what these passages mean to you.
6. What do you think Ed Rabel means when he says, "You don't get it 'til you are ready"? What are the implications for your spiritual unfoldment?
7. Explain, in your own words, "useless unnecessary suffering."
8. When was the last time you exaggerated a negative appearance into tragedy? What is an affirmation you can use when you are tempted to "exaggerate"?
9. How would you explain the significance of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ?
Lesson Six—"Final Words of Jesus Christ"
1. How would you explain the way in which crucifixion is symbolic of "letting go old patterns of thought and ways of responding to life situations"?
2. What, in your own words, is the result in your life when the "thief of living in the past or future" takes over your thought world? How can you stop this thief from robbing you of the here and now?
3. Explain the difference between your genealogical family and your spiritual family. Why do you think Jesus emphasized this difference at the Cross?
4. Explain, in your own words, the significance of the Law of Mind Action. How has it been working in your life?
5. What does Ed Rabel's commentary on the words, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me" mean to you? Read Psalms 22:1. Do you agree or disagree that Jesus is not quoting the Psalm?
6. How would you explain the significance of "using" the words, "It is finished," when we find it difficult to "throw away thoughts about what has happened to us"?
7. Meditate on the statement, "You are a total being with a Spirit, a soul, and a body." What practical significance does this statement have for you?
8. When do you think is an appropriate time to express "clinging, affectionate sentimentality"? When is its expression inappropriate? How would you explain the danger of its inappropriate expression?
9. How would you explain the statement, "Love cancels karma"?
10. Explain, in your own words, what it means to "unplug our thoughts from groupie consciousness." Describe some of the ways "groupie consciousness" can impede our spiritual unfoldment.