August 31st, 2018 “Philip now motioned to the group to remain where they were while he hurried back to break the news of his decision to his friend Nathaniel, who still tarried behind under the mulberry tree, turning over in his mind the many things which he had heard concerning John the Baptist, the coming kingdom, and the expected Messiah. …” 137:2.6
On September 3, I will send out the first lesson of Year 2 of my children’s lessons for readers of The Urantia Book. It is titled “Come and See” because that is what Philip said to his friend Nathaniel who was sitting under a mulberry tree by the side of the road.
For more information about this curriculum and how to sign up, click: One Page Lessons for Children. The lessons arrive in PDF format and are free of charge. If you need a PDF with a Bible reference rather than a Urantia reference, I can provide that.
While composing this lesson, I found out some interesting things about how The Urantia Book uses the mulberry tree. In the Bible, Nathaniel is sitting under a fig tree when Philip urges him to “Come and see.” But in the UB, he is sitting under a mulberry tree. I wondered why the revelators made that change. Just for fun, I did a keyword search for “mulberry” in the UB.
The keyword search told me that the disciples were under mulberry trees during the pivotal conference that Jesus held with his disciples at Caesarea-Philippi when he asked them, “Who do men say that I am?” and Peter answers, “You are the Deliverer, the Son of the living God.” Mulberry trees are mentioned twice in connection with this event. The Bible, however, says nothing about trees during this incident.
The Urantia Book also mentions an ancient saying, “When you hear the sound of the rustling of the mulberry trees, then shall you bestir yourself.” In the Bible, this saying appears in a story of David and has been the topic of sermons throughout the years. There is even a hymn about it.
I concluded that The Urantia Book sought to extend the image of the mulberry tree to the momentous decision that Nathaniel had to make while relaxing by the roadside. Although Nathaniel was skeptical at first, he was also sincere and earnest. When he sees Jesus face-to-face he tells Philip, “You are right. He is indeed a master of men. I will also follow, if I am worthy.”
Vicki Arkens (September 2018)