The wedding at Cana.
March 3rd, 2002
Received by H.
My dear brother,
I am very happy that you have returned to your previous state of receptivity. I know that this week you did not feel well; it is understandable that you are not able to “to soar high on a cloud of spirituality” every day. However I have realized that you missed my messages, and I admit that I also missed our encounters.
A few days ago I told you how I met the Master for the first time. In the weeks that followed, the life of most of the disciples did not change much. They continued working as usual, as fishermen. But for Matthew and myself, the encounter with the Master meant a lot. Matthew had given up his lucrative position, but in exchange he had achieved something which he had dreamt of for so many years: his integration into society, true recognition from a group of friends, and therefore, as you can imagine, he felt like he was in the seventh heaven. I, on the other hand, accompanied the fishermen, as Jesus did, and the unaccustomed physical work exhausted me. But I, like Matthew, felt very happy.
In our free time, the Master taught us his new doctrine. Much of what he explained to us in these weeks you know already. He talked about God, our Father, and His Love for us. He also stressed the importance of prayer and of the necessity of a personal encounter with our Creator. What most confused us, I admit, were his references to the Old Testament, where not only the Messiah’s coming, but also the transformation of all people, implanting in them a “heart of flesh,” was prophesized. We did not get it at that time, and I never got it while I lived on earth.
Winter had already begun with its rains and storms, when one day a messenger came to Jesus. He brought the invitation to a wedding that would take place in the village of Cana. A niece of Nathanael would marry a distant cousin of the Master. Nathanael, as the “rich man” of the village, organized the feast, and he invited, of course, Jesus’ family and the Master himself with all his disciples.
It was a weary walk to the village, and finally we arrived wet to the bone because of the heavy rainfall. On the day of the wedding itself we had better luck, because it stopped raining. You have surely read what Dr. Samuels received on the wedding of Cana.
[H.: Dr. Samuels received the following passages on the above-named wedding in three messages:
I want to tell you more about the absurdities of the New Testament. Another is the supposed miracle of the water changed to wine at the marriage feast at Cana. At this time a cousin of mine on the side of my mother was being married and as the wine gave out, I was able to procure wine from a nearby wine dealer by simply paying for it and using the water jugs that are mentioned in the New Testament.
I would also like to call attention to the fact that the story of the water to wine episode at the marriage at Cana was a story that was borrowed from the Greek account of Dionysius of Elis, the god of wine who would make jars of water turn to wine overnight by putting them into a concealed chamber. (Revelation 48: The ancient origins of some of the miracles found in the New Testament)
Now before continuing with David, I would like to tell you about the sentence, “What have I to do with thee, ye son of Zeruiah?” which was lifted out of the story in the Old Testament and placed by New Testament writers into my mouth as follows: “What have I to do with thee, woman? Mine hour is not yet come.”(John 2: 4) This is what I am supposed to have said at the marriage feast of Cana, according to John, the Evangelist. Needless to say, neither did I make wine out of water, for I was not Dionyseus, the god of the grape, nor did I ever address my mother as “woman.” The sentence was written into this fable because it associates me with King David, my ancestor dating back a thousand years, and the Davidic covenant, of which I am the fulfillment. (Sermon 17 - King David, a man of God)]
I will not repeat the story. However, I do not want to skip this episode, for several reasons:
First, I want to remind you and to reaffirm that at that feast the Master did not perform any miracle that the Bible ascribes to him. It was a tremendous feast, where the whole village participated as well as many guests from the neighboring settlements. Hundreds of people were eating and drinking, dancing and singing, and I still remember very well this romantic experience.
It is also worthwhile remembering it because after many weeks of absence the Master met his parents again, and the feast’s relaxing atmosphere favored the coming closer of father and son. Even more, two of Jesus’ brothers decided to follow him. They were not fully convinced of his mission as the Messiah, but their rejection and initial mockery had transformed into curiosity and admiration when they found out that many of their brother’s disciples had been disciples of John the Baptist, whom they knew personally and whom they held in high esteem. In addition, they knew that John himself had recognized Jesus as the true Messiah of the Jews. They remembered what their father had always taught them, and seeing how their father even began to try to understand Jesus and to recognize that perhaps his idea of the Messiah was not necessarily the correct one, they asked him for his permission to follow Jesus.
[H.: Who were they?]
Ya’cob (James) and Yehuda (Judas). But even more happened there. Nathanael even took courage and joined the group, abandoning his home, without seeing his family for weeks, in order to accompany Jesus.
[H.: Are Nathanael and Bartholomew one and the same person? It does not come through very clearly in the New Testament.]
Yes, this is correct. The name of Nathanael’s father was Tulmai, and therefore Nathanael was also called “son of Tulmai” or “bar Tulmai” in Aramaic.
Now, this would be a good moment for to finish this message, but I want to add some more because I see that you are still fresh and full of energy. First, I will tell you a story.
Jesus now had many disciples: Simon the fisherman and his brother Andrew. James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Philip and Simon the Zealot, Matthew, James and Judas, his brothers, and last but not least Nathanael. As you see, there were two persons by the name of Simon (Shim’on), two by the name of Judas (Yehuda) and two by the name of James (Ya’cob). When Jesus called: “Simon!” two men answered: “Here I am, Master!” It was even worse, when later on Simon, Jesus’ brother, joined the group.
You know already that in the town where you live, people frequently have nicknames, such as “zorro” (fox), “gander” (ganso), “venado” (deer), etc. And so, Jesus nicknamed his disciples too. He called Simon the fisherman “Kefa,” meaning rock, for his compact and strong body and his firm faith in the Master. He did not want to call the other Simon “zealot,” because of the political tension that reigned in the country. It would have been like nicknaming someone “communist” in Nazi Germany.
He called his brother Ya’cob “Lebi,” my heart. From that word derives the Greek expression “Lebbaeus”, commonly assigned to Judas, due to the contradictory lists of apostles contained in the gospels. In fact the contradiction has its origin in the intention of presenting lists of exactly twelve people, when in fact there were not twelve but more followers of Jesus who formed the so-called “inner circle.” Lebbaeus is mentioned only once in the gospels, the one according to Matthew, because later editors did a good job in their desire to eliminate all traces of the Master’s brothers from the scriptures.
And in my case, since the Master’s brother was called Judas too, all referred to me as Judas the man from Kerioth, Yehuda Ish Kerioth.
But now I see that you wonder how the story of the wedding of Cana finally made its way into the gospels, or rather, into John’s gospel. The explanation is very simple.
John wrote his short gospel very soon after Jesus’ death. Therefore it is much older than is commonly assumed. However what he wrote was only the skeleton of what you know now as the gospel, and which bears his name. Later on this work was translated from the original Aramaic into Greek, in Asia Minor. Then many parts were added: Hellenistic, such as the Neoplatonic prologue, the episode of the wedding at Cana, which was taken from a collection of miraculous (and largely exaggerated) events in the Master’s life, a collection that does not exist any longer and that is denominated the “signs gospel,” parts of what is called the “cross gospel” and many other writings, even a reordering in the sequence of some chapters. We also find in this gospel some glosses, that is to say, marginal annotations that voluntarily or involuntarily found their way into the text. Voluntarily, because some editor wanted to insert the gloss into the pertinent text. Involuntarily, because during the work of copying the document, the person who read the text and dictated it to the copyists, included it in his reading by mistake, and the scribes copied what they heard.
Now I see that another question bothers you. How is it possible that in the Book of Urantia the episode appears more or less as in the gospel according to John, when this story does not have its foundation in truth?
Well, in this case I ask you the following question: If somebody asked you to write an extensive story about Jesus’ life, what would you do? You would surely take recourse to the messages received by Mr. Padgett and Dr. Samuels. From these messages you can build a skeleton for your story. Nevertheless there are many gaps yet to be filled. And since you do not find another source of information, you would use the gospels in order to complete your work.
[H.: Do you want to say with this that the Book of Urantia, or at least the part dealing with Jesus’ life, is based partially on messages delivered by spirits, and partially it was written by “somebody” to complete the story?]
You have said it.
[H.: Is it then a mixture of truth and falsehood?]
It contains valuable information. I have commented already that the description of the Last Supper is very good. It also gives much information on Jesus’ appearances after his resurrection, information that has largely disappeared from the gospels. In Paul’s epistles, there are some indications that there was something more than what you can now find in the New Testament. It also contains much information which the authors supposed was truthful, but it is not. It is difficult to transmit several thousands of pages of compact information.
The transmission of concrete information is not so simple. It is as in translations. The information passes through the mortal’s brain and leaves much space for its interpretation and transformation.
He wrote that the first line of prayer, “ABba duwooshMAya yeetQAdeh shmak”, could be translated in various ways:
- Father in the Heavens, Holy is your name.
- Creator of all that is light and sound, we are blessed in the spirit of your light.
- Maker of all that vibrates in light, you are the hallowed sound.
Now, if a conservative Bible scholar were to translate the phrase, which one of the options would he choose? And which one would a New Age follower choose, with a deep knowledge of western Aramaic that Jesus spoke?
I already mentioned that Aramaic had words that encompassed many meanings, leaving a wide margin for interpretation in their translation. Therefore, it was so suitable for word plays and parables.
And now, thinking that Aramaic presents so many problems in its translation, imagine how enormous is our problem in communicating information, when our way of reasoning is more different from yours than mortals’ modern reasoning is different from that of the ancient inhabitants of Galilee.
It is not easy, and the messages that you receive are the reflection of what we want to communicate, as an amended reflection, or modeled by the mortal brain. But, despite these difficulties, you may always find the Truth in the messages when you are willing to read them with your heart, because their essence continues vibrating with It. Therefore, the Padgett messages are gibberish for many, and therefore the Urantia Book is absurd for others, and therefore, there are people who read the one or the other, very different collections, but they come to the same conclusion: Our Heavenly Father loves us, He offers us His Love, and He communicates to us His Will. We can accept His offer and attain to true Immortality and eternal happiness in at-onement with Him.
There are revelations for every taste and character. And when people read and study them with their heart, they will find their way to our Creator. There are many possible ways, some longer, others shorter. The shortest ones are not necessarily the quickest ones, but finally all will come to the same goal, which you already know.
Truth is not for reading, it is not for learning, but rather, It is for experiencing and living. If you look for Truth in words, you will never find It.
Some days have passed since our last message, but I am happy that today you have really been in a condition of very good receptivity. I hope you will continue so. We still have much to communicate, years of information.
But now the moment has come for finishing. I do not want to abuse your energy. Stay prepared, I am keen to continue.
Your brother in the spirit,
NOTE. The term “gloss” above is a term used to describe the problems associated with ancient manuscripts. Hand written annotations could easily become part of the text during the process where the text is read out to a group of scribes who naturally do not see the original text, as they are writing out the “new” copies. When the original is destroyed, then the annotation has become part of the “original.”
© Copyright is asserted in this message by Geoff Cutler 2013