3:4:6 Mortal man cannot possibly know the infinitude of the heavenly Father. Finite mind cannot think through such an absolute truth or fact.
But this same finite human being can actually feel — literally experience — the full and undiminished impact of such an infinite Father's LOVE.
Such a love can be truly experienced, albeit while quality of experience is unlimited, quantity of such an experience is strictly limited by the human capacity for spiritual receptivity and by the associated capacity to love the Father in return.
and Brotherly Love
The following passages are taken from Paper 140 of The Urantia Book. In this Paper we are given a detailed account of the momentous ceremony in which Jesus solemnly ordained the 12 apostles as public preachers of the gospel of the kingdom.
This is the occasion of the famous Sermon on the Mount when Jesus proclaimed the "8 Beatitudes" which are revealed to be based on LOVE and faith in God's eternal promises — not on ethics and duty or the idea that we 'should' do a certain thing because some commandment says we should.
Rather, the more we grow in God-consciousness, the more we act with Fatherly love toward every person. We truly experience a state of bliss in the practice of goodness, for love and goodness are the nature of God.
This is the meaning of 'beatitude': supreme blessedness and exalted happiness, derived from the Latin word 'beatus,' meaning both "happy" and "blessed." We have the capacity to evolve to the level that we actually experience that "Fatherly love delights in returning good for evil — doing good in retaliation for injustice." (140:5.24)
Sermon on the Mount
(1573.3) 140:5.1 From the Sermon on the Mount to the discourse of the Last Supper, Jesus taught his followers
to manifest fatherly love rather than brotherly love.
Brotherly love would love your neighbor as you love yourself, and that would be adequate fulfillment of
the “golden rule.” But fatherly affection would require that you should love your fellow mortals as Jesus loves you.
(1573.4) 140:5.2 Jesus loves mankind with a dual affection. He lived on earth as a twofold personality — human and divine. As the Son of God he loves man with a fatherly love — he is man’s Creator, his universe Father. As the Son of Man, Jesus loves mortals as a brother — he was truly a man among men.
(1573.5) 140:5.3 Jesus did not expect his followers to achieve an impossible manifestation of brotherly love, but he did expect them to so strive to be like God — to be perfect even as the Father in heaven is perfect — that they could begin to look upon man as God looks upon his creatures and therefore could begin to love men as God loves them — to show forth the beginnings of a fatherly affection. In the course of these exhortations to the twelve apostles, Jesus sought to reveal this new concept of fatherly love as it is related to certain emotional attitudes concerned in making numerous environmental social adjustments.
(1573.6) 140:5.4 The Master introduced this momentous discourse by calling attention to four faith attitudes as the prelude to the subsequent portrayal of his four transcendent and supreme reactions of fatherly love in contrast to the limitations of mere brotherly love.
(1573.7) 140:5.5 He first talked about those who were poor in spirit, hungered after righteousness, endured meekness, and who were pure in heart. Such spirit-discerning mortals could be expected to attain such levels of divine selflessness as to be able to attempt the amazing exercise of fatherly affection; that even as mourners they would be empowered to show mercy, promote peace, and endure persecutions, and throughout all of these trying situations to love even unlovely mankind with a fatherly love. A father’s affection can attain levels of devotion that immeasurably transcend a brother’s affection.
(1573.8) 140:5.6 The faith and the love of these beatitudes strengthen moral character and create happiness. Fear and anger weaken character and destroy happiness. This momentous sermon started out upon the note of happiness.
(1573.9) 140:5.7 1. “Happy are the poor in spirit — the humble.” To a child, happiness is the satisfaction of immediate pleasure craving. The adult is willing to sow seeds of self-denial in order to reap subsequent harvests of augmented happiness. In Jesus’ times and since, happiness has all too often been associated with the idea of the possession of wealth. In the story of the Pharisee and the publican praying in the temple, the one felt rich in spirit — egotistical; the other felt “poor in spirit” — humble. One was self-sufficient; the other was teachable and truth-seeking. The poor in spirit seek for goals of spiritual wealth — for God. And such seekers after truth do not have to wait for rewards in a distant future; they are rewarded now. They find the kingdom of heaven within their own hearts, and they experience such happiness now.
(1574.1) 140:5.8 2. “Happy are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Only those who feel poor in spirit will ever hunger for righteousness. Only the humble seek for divine strength and crave spiritual power. But it is most dangerous to knowingly engage in spiritual fasting in order to improve one’s appetite for spiritual endowments. Physical fasting becomes dangerous after four or five days; one is apt to lose all desire for food. Prolonged fasting, either physical or spiritual, tends to destroy hunger.
(1574.2) 140:5.9 Experiential righteousness is a pleasure, not a duty. Jesus’ righteousness is a dynamic love — fatherly-brotherly affection. It is not the negative or thou-shalt-not type of righteousness. How could one ever hunger for something negative — something “not to do”?
(1574.3) 140:5.10 It is not so easy to teach a child mind these first two of the beatitudes, but the mature mind should grasp their significance.
(1574.4) 140:5.11 3. “Happy are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Genuine meekness has no relation to fear. It is rather an attitude of man co-operating with God — “Your will be done.” It embraces patience and forbearance and is motivated by an unshakable faith in a lawful and friendly universe. It masters all temptations to rebel against the divine leading. Jesus was the ideal meek man of Urantia, and he inherited a vast universe.
(1574.5) 140:5.12 4. “Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Spiritual purity is not a negative quality, except that it does lack suspicion and revenge. In discussing purity, Jesus did not intend to deal exclusively with human sex attitudes. He referred more to that faith which man should have in his fellow man; that faith which a parent has in his child, and which enables him to love his fellows even as a father would love them. A father’s love need not pamper, and it does not condone evil, but it is always anticynical. Fatherly love has singleness of purpose, and it always looks for the best in man; that is the attitude of a true parent.
(1574.6) 140:5.13 To see God — by faith — means to acquire true spiritual insight. And spiritual insight enhances Adjuster guidance, and these in the end augment God-consciousness. And when you know the Father, you are confirmed in the assurance of divine sonship, and you can increasingly love each of your brothers in the flesh, not only as a brother — with
brotherly love — but also as a father — with fatherly affection.
(1574.7) 140:5.14 It is easy to teach this admonition even to a child. Children are naturally trustful, and parents should see to it that they do not lose that simple faith. In dealing with children, avoid all deception and refrain from suggesting suspicion. Wisely help them to choose their heroes and select their lifework.(1574.8) 140:5.15 And then Jesus went on to instruct his followers in the realization of the chief purpose of all human struggling — perfection — even divine attainment.
Always he admonished them: “Be you perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” He did not exhort the twelve to love their neighbors as they loved themselves. That would have been a worthy achievement; it would have indicated the achievement of brotherly love. He rather admonished his apostles to love men as he had loved them — to love with a fatherly as well as a brotherly affection. And he illustrated this by pointing out four supreme reactions of fatherly love:
(1575.8) 140:5.23 And so it is revealed that the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount are based on faith and love and not on law — ethics and duty.
(1575.9) 140:5.24 Fatherly love delights in returning good for evil — doing good in retaliation for injustice.