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The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus (Rabel)

(Back) Jesus Prays for His Disciples What is a Divine Idea? (Next)

This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Winter semester 1976 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Lecture given on June 8, 1976

Matt. 26:47-56, Mark 14:43-52, Luke 22:47-53, pp. 301-306 of transcript.

26:47And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priest and elders of the people. 26:48Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he: take him. 26:49And straightway he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, Rabbi; and kissed him. 26:50And Jesus said unto him, Friend, do that for which thou art come. Then they came and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. 26:51And behold, one of them that were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and smote the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear. 26:52Then saith Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into its place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 26:53Or thinkest thou that I cannot beseech my Father, and he shall even now send me more than twelve legions of angels? 26:54How then should the scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be? 26:55In that hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a robber with swords and staves to seize me? I sat daily in the temple teaching, and ye took me not. 26:56But all this is come to pass, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples left him, and fled.

The next passage of Scripture we will deal with is found on Page 205 in “Harmony of the Gospels”, Matthew 26:47-56. I want to call your attention to the fact that by this time, historically speaking, Judas is quite a familiar figure, to readers of the Gospel, isn't he? There is no question about the fact that anybody who has been reading the Gospels is well aware of who Judas is as a character in the story; and yet, all three synoptics repeat what looks like a redundant fact in what I have just read. Each one says that Judas is one of the twelve; now, obviously the writers, then, are not trying to give us more historical information. The emphasis is completely unneeded. There is no need for it as a literary device, that he is one of the twelve is a well-established fact in the minds of any reader who has come this far. What we are getting at is that the reason the writers would emphasize that he is one of the twelve at this point is that that metaphysical fact is very important to keep in mind if you are to maintain an understanding of the events which will now follow. In other words, he is not an intruder or an invader.

This work that Judas is doing is being done from within the initiated group. In other words, he knows what he is doing and why he is doing it. He is one of the twelve. The sensual life-consciousness which is again and again the betrayer of our spiritual awareness is still valid, is one of the twelve. You cannot help it fulfill its mission on this dimension by getting rid of it before it has done its job. It must be allowed to do the job it can do on this dimension, which looks to observers or outsiders like a betrayal; but in reality it is a part of the divine plan of evolution. Now this may not be clear and easy to grasp at first, but perhaps as more and more of the metaphysical implications of this last section of Jesus' ministry are revealed it will make more sense.

In verse 48 we read about the kiss. You see, again, Jesus was a well-known figure; He was a notorious public celebrity. I wonder, biographically, historically, did He have to be identified by a kiss? His very physical appearance was such an outstanding phenomenon in those days. Imagine, a thirty-three-year-old man in beautiful, perfect health in those days! That was a rarity of rarities, and yet the kiss is mentioned - a metaphysical point.

In verse 50 Jesus says, "Friend". You notice prior to this Jesus talks about betraying, betraying, betraying Judas; yet, at this point, friend, and He meant it. I am sure He was not being sarcastic.

In verse 51, for the first time, those who had any ill-intent toward Jesus are able to punch Him, to lay hands on Him. Why? Because He permits it. The time has come. They tried before but could not touch Him. They fell to the ground and everything else.

Notice that Jesus very emphatically makes it clear to us that what is happening here is not something being done to Him against His will. This is a mistake, of course, that the orthodox churches [transcriber's note: "orthodox" is not capitalized so as to not imply it is the eastern branch of Christianity that Ed is referring to.] in general make. They begin to feel very sorry and sympathetic toward Jesus, which is a kind of a waste right here, because He indicates that He is still in charge, that He is leaving the results of His own choice, and His choice, of course, blends with the Father's will. He tells us that if He chose, He could have easily put a stop to the whole procedure; and He even rebukes one of His disciples who tries to stop Him. He states that He has a definite purpose for wanting the process to go on. He states that purpose two times in this passage, which is to fulfill the Scriptures. In this very short phrase, to fulfill the Scriptures, we have the key to the meaning behind Holy Week. "To fulfill the Scriptures", to bring into manifestation a perfect demonstration of all that the Scriptures have been telling about and pointing to. Jesus had become our wayshower and the living embodiment of the Truth, which has its basis in the symbolism of what we now call our Bible.

I just want to digress for a moment here. At one time, folks, less than a year ago, I had the opinion that Scriptures were not all of the Bible, that since the Bible was such a large collection of books and their degree of readability and literary quality as well as their appeal to the reader of today all varies so widely, really the Bible was the Bible, but Scripture pertained to only certain sections of the Bible. And the ones I had chosen to designate as Scripture were simply Genesis, parts of Exodus, certain isolated segments from the other books of the Old Testament, the entire Gospels, particularly John, and then the book of Revelations; but since the time that I decided this, I have begun to revise my thinking on this, mostly through Phil White's influence.

Phil and I have had some very interesting, long discussions. Things that Phil has shared with me have caused me to take another look at my opinion about this, and more and more now I am coming to think that the Bible is Scripture, that even the parts of the Bible which I have no interest in at this time does not nullify the fact that they are still the body of Scripture, that even though I cannot read the symbolism yet and identify and relate to it, that does not disqualify the Bible itself. It just means that I have a lot to learn yet, as we all do. So, my feeling now is, regard the entire Bible as Scripture. There is a divine reason why the 66 books have stood up against the criticism, the intellectualizing, the academic this and that that they have been subjected to and still stand, all 66. They are still the Bible. Nobody has been able to diminish it in any way, but the Bible has not changed.

People’s minds are constantly changing; so this tells me something. I am grateful for the sections of the Bible I do now relate to and am able to communicate with, but I am no longer discounting the sections which are still closed doors to me. Let us consider the word Scriptures as used in this incident meaning the Spirit of the Bible which giveth life. As Paul said, "The letter killeth. The Spirit giveth life. Not the sections of the Bible, but the level of meaning in all sections of the Bible, which contains Truth-instruction valid for our dimension, which would be in all 66 books, especially at this time the ones I mentioned and especially right now, in the four Gospels.

So, we look at Jesus as the living embodiment, the demonstrator, the wayshower and fulfiller of all the truth that Scripture has been setting forth and pointing toward up to that moment and the moments still to come. Now, the Spirit of the Bible, the Truth-teachings found within the text of the Bible, is the Scripture that Jesus is speaking of. In other words, really when you come right down to it, your and my spiritual evolution, origin, and destiny: this is Scripture. These are the Scriptures: our life, our thoughts, our feelings, our growth, our mistakes, our over-comings, our oneness with God. These are the Scriptures, the messages within the text of the Bible, which is not the same as the letter, as Paul so wisely pointed out.

A description of you begins on the very first page of the Bible. You are called, on the very first page of the Bible, the beginning. It is you. It is not the beginning of a planetary system; it is the beginning of existence, being, individual being, you and me, every person in our human family. You are talked about, you are analyzed on every page. Your illumination in Truth is described in the four Gospels. Comments on your illumination are made in the Epistles, and you are described in the final stages of entering your full glory and perfection in the final book, which is Revelation. The Gospel-text for this particular lesson is Jesus’ illustration of the fulfillment, on His part, as an example, as an illustration of one of the most necessary points of Scripture, that for any human being to learn and master if he is to go on to greater dimensions. I want to reiterate this and emphasize it. Until any human being can emulate what Jesus is demonstrating in this lesson, he cannot go on to higher dimensions of being. He will be retarded until he can fulfill this particular point that Jesus is demonstrating here, and that is, cooperating with necessary change. This must be mastered, learned, and become a willing choice, otherwise, no dice, flunk on the report card of life. The lesson will be repeated and repeated with the opportunity presented and presented until we make the right choice, to cooperate with necessary change.

Now, remember that generally speaking, there are two kinds of changes which can occur in us and in our lives: unnecessary changes, which I call aimless gesturing, change for its own sake. There is an awful lot of that going on. That is why gasoline is becoming short in supply. That is why there is an energy crunch - too much aimless gesturing is going on. Then the other kind: necessary change, which are changes for evolutionary purposes. Unnecessary changes are not dealt with here, because they are not significant in life, but necessary changes are another matter. They are a vital, essential part of our growth and unfoldment, and we must have them and learn to cooperate with them. One of the great religious symbols for necessary change is called, crucifixion, which is an archetype symbol for a very ordinary, vitally important event, absolutely necessary for evolution, just as it was made necessary by Jesus for His ascension. You see the connection: necessary change – very important kind of change, primarily involving a change from the self who used to be and have gotten so used to, to the self you are now ready to become. The difficulty for this kind of change, even though we know it will be for our good, is that we are not familiar with this new self we are to become. Sometimes we are a little afraid of him or her. So, the crucifixion can appear in contemplation to be a very painful experience; but it need not be. Cooperation with this problem of necessary change causes it to be successful.

Then this leads to resurrection, which has two meanings actually. It means, first, to be restored to a level from which one has slipped, from which one has fallen, in a sense. This is the most frequent kind of resurrection that happens, to be restored from a fall to where you belong, you see, to be revived to a state that is right and you are entitled to but somehow you have fallen away from. But then the meaning of resurrection has been stretched a bit, and it also is used when we are referring to going to the next higher step, or rather a step of progress; resurrection, then, leads to ascension, which is not very easy to explain. Ascension refers to entry into a whole new dimension of consciousness, which would be, in our human family, graduation into the Christ-consciousness; but you see all the steps of ascension and sometimes descension within the gamut from Adam to Christ, are not called rise in ascension. Those are resurrections or progressions or overcomings, you see; and that is all within the framework of Adam to Christ. Within that framework, you can go up or down, you can progress or you can regress. You can evolve and you can devolve. You can regenerate and you can degenerate, but not out of that Adam-consciousness. You cannot degenerate below that Adam-consciousness.

Q. Unless I missed the point or that lecture you gave on being multi-dimensional and what may appear as a regression is never a regression but only, always growth?

A. Not growth in this manner: "I was here and now I'm here and now I'm going there." We use that device, but metaphysically that is not really the way it is. It is not a matter of so much where you are on what level within the spectrum of Adam to Christ. The highest level any individual really earns within that spectrum is his home base, is where he really belongs; but he can wander from there within that spectrum. He can't go below Adam and he certainly can't go beyond Christ, but he is free, his soul is pivotal within this spectrum; now, within this spectrum, even when he wanders away from his rightful place, the Father's house, this is still where he belongs. He can go into the far country, he can degenerate into vice habits, skid-row living and all that; yet, the highest attainments he has achieved in this, within this, is where he has the right to return in any case. Then from there he can go on, but the progress that occurs, regardless of what direction one goes in, which is lessons learned and the faculties given expression, makes him more and more what we call eligible, eligible for the final tests that will come near the consummation of his age, of his world, so to speak, will determine, then, entry into Christ-consciousness. Now we cannot teach anything beyond that, just as we cannot teach anything prior to Adam-consciousness, at least not in Unity.

Let's concentrate now on crucifixion, because that is where most of us are right now. There are always certain changes in ourselves and in our life which simply must take place for own highest good. You might say, "Well, who determines all this? Who is to say what change is necessary for me?" I'll tell you right now, and never forget this; the name of the one who has this right to determine such things is not self but Lord. The Lord is simply a word which personifies the law of your highest good. There is nothing dictatorial or arbitrary about it. It is all love. It is all goodwill. It is all Spirit, the Lord; the law of your highest good determines what these necessary changes shall be. Self is still in the picture, and self always is being given by the Lord opportunities for choice. Even Jesus had an opportunity for choice, here, and His Lord, the Father, had revealed to Him what the choice was: continue your mission, continue your ministry, the ministry of teaching through word and example. The same thing goes for every person. The necessary change is not thrown at you and you must take it willy-nilly. It is always an opportunity for choice, and the more alert, prayed-up, one is, the more God-consciousness one has established, the more quickly one will realize what the guidance is, what the choice is. And when the choice is to consent, to cooperate with the needed change, it always brings greater being, and you increase your eligibility for ascension.

I did not say that you go into an ascension but that you increase your eligibility for an ascension, and that is what we are all working toward. Some of these changes we will welcome immediately. Some we will be suspicious of and may not like. Some of them will appear easy and pleasant to take. Some will appear difficult and painful, but in any case, any change which helps bring forth a new and better me, which is a realization of I AM, is a necessary change, an evolutionary necessity; and if there is pain connected with that change, there can be, it is what the Bible calls crucifixion. But what kind of pain? Growing pain, creative suffering, productive suffering; a very wonderful word for that is found in the Old Testament in Genesis, called travail, which signifies what kind of pain or suffering, and it is always bearable.

Jesus speaks these very significant words, "Thinkest thou that I cannot beseech my Father and He shall even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?" When is your point of contact with all power? Now, always now. Jesus carries that through right through His whole ministry. He always refers to the "now" of when the Father can and will do things for Him, now. There are, of course, at least two levels of meanings in His words here. One of them would be that if we REALLY want to, we can use the freedom and power that God has given us to stop our own growth. Remember, self gets opportunities for choice, and even if self recognizes this as an opportunity to grow, can still, if he really wants to, decline. We talked about unnecessary change, not necessary in the sense that you have to take it and go through it, but it is necessary for your progress; so we can, even when we know it is for our good, say "no”.

I have seen this in healings, and it has broken my heart; and someday I am going to stop letting it break my heart. I have known with my intuition that if this patient really wanted to be healed, the healing is here and available for him, that all the groundwork had been done, the consciousness was there, and here is the opportunity. I have seen many patients decline it, and it always, of course, tears me apart; what I must learn is that the soul has its secrets, the soul has its reasons, and what might appear as a mistake to one person may appear as the desirable thing to another. I must learn to make my peace with other people's soul choices. I wish we could all do it, but nevertheless, we can still have our private wishes about such things.

Why a soul might choose transition before we think it is ready for it, is its business, too; we do not know, but yet we will continue to pray to keep the opportunity for choice, you see. You do not go to a hospital to force a healing on a patient. You go there to bring your consciousness to bear on keeping that opportunity alive for its choice, and 99% will choose healing, and that is great. We are with them. Remember that God gives us the freedom, and part of our freedom is freedom to interfere with changes that are for our own highest good. God does not force anything upon us except freedom.

Jesus goes on, "How then should the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?... But all this is come to pass, the scriptures might be fulfilled." Now, remember what Scriptures refer to, they are the truth about you. The truth about you is not being fulfilled or demonstrated when you refuse, resent or obstruct the progress of necessary change in yourself or in your life. These must be handled as demonstrated by Jesus, with a strong sense of reliance on God. Notice that He said He could get out of this if He wanted. He did not say, "I can get out of this if I want." He said, "I will ask of the Father, and the Father will get me out of this." This reliance on God: He declares. "God's good purposes in all things." He kept Himself in a spirit of cooperation and non-resistance, and as a result He becomes the fulfillment of all the Scriptures.

It is almost uncanny, folks, when you are familiar with Old Testament metaphysics how many metaphysical ideas are presented to the student but not resolved, you know, questions, dilemmas, problems, ideas are presented, challenges are presented of a metaphysical nature, but the answers are not given; in many, many, cases it is left suspended, so to speak. Then you come and study the teachings of Jesus on a metaphysical level and you see how time after time after time He goes back into the unfinished business of Old Testament metaphysics and brings you a conclusion, brings you a spiritual resolution to the whole thing, never a political, a racial, or a biological end of the line to these ideas, always spiritual. When you begin to detect these connections, you see the total validity in His ministry.

Now, the same opportunities to fulfill the Scriptures awaits every one of us. We and our lives are subject to changes. Shall we resist them, shall we fight, shall we cut off the ears of the people involved in causing changes in our life? We try it, don't we? If an individual becomes an agent for bringing a change into your life that you have not called for or invited, you will often try to cut his ears off. It will usually start with this statement, "Who do you think you are?", or the other way, same meaning, "Do you know who I am?" Jesus rebukes the disciple that tries to cut off the ears of the agent for change, who happens to be a soldier, in that case. Or the alternative to this is, shall we seek to grow by God in every change that occurs in our life and thereby learn and grow into the higher levels of consciousness.

You know there are three main areas of life where the crucifixion-type of changes occur. They would be in the physical body, our position in the world, and our relationships with other persons. These are the three main areas of crucifixion for the average person. Now, some of these changes feel good and some can feel very painful at first. Some of these changes appear as a step upward right away, and some of them appear to be a step downward at first. Some of these changes will give us a feeling of happiness right away, and some may give us a feeling of sadness at first, but remember, whatever our initial human opinion of the change itself might be for the moment, the truth behind all necessary changes remains God means it for good.

Q. It seems that there is a definite reason why Peter cuts off the servant's ears? I don't have it all thought through yet, but it would have something to do with misguided fears.

A. Remember that prior to this Peter had objected to Jesus revealing the plan, and Jesus called him Satan when he did that. In other words, there is a Satanic side even to our faith-faculty, to our expression of it.

If I affirm such and such, and instead of what I have affirmed, something else which is better than that takes place, I object. In other words, I am more interested in my affirmation working, MY affirmation working, personal, Peter, than I am in the over-all highest good according to God's plan; and in those moments, our awareness of the faith faculty can be a Satanic thing, an anti-evolutionary factor in us, quickly corrected, though, by the Christ-mind.

Now remember that if one believes and remembers this and tries to emulate the same faith and courage that were in Christ Jesus, faith and courage maintained in the midst of changes builds greater consciousness for us, and leads us into spiritual victory, maybe not victory for the ego or personality but victory for our real self. You know a person cannot maintain status quo in himself and in his life and at the same time develop and grow. That is, you and I cannot remain as we are and at the same time become better than we are. Certain things must change; factors in the old self must be eliminated or crossed out, crucified, left behind, or denied so that greater and truer factors emerge. Certain conditions and relationships in life must change so that new opportunities and experiences and understandings can be brought forth.

The final point is that all necessary changes are good; therefore, are good for us. Make that your basic premise: God means it for good. Sometimes they are temporarily painful, but that does not nullify their goodness; but any kind of pain connected with change is always, at most, temporary, while the good is permanent. Your old self is always willing to turn into your new self. Your familiar sense of the good should always be willing to make room for some unfamiliar good. All your changes can occur only within God, omnipresence, because this is where you have your being, and this is where you will have your changes, in God. Faith through the realization and your times of personal crucifixion will result in the very same victory of resurrection and ascension as demonstrated by Christ Jesus.

Text of the original transcript at the 2nd paragraph of p.301 through the next to last paragraph of p.306.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 04-15-2014