The Urantia Book
JESUS' EARLY MANHOOD
128:0.1 AS JESUS of Nazareth entered upon the
early years of his adult life, he had lived, and continued to
live, a normal and average human life on earth. Jesus came into
this world just as other children come; he had nothing to do with
selecting his parents. He did choose this particular world as the
planet whereon to carry out his seventh and final bestowal, his
incarnation in the likeness of mortal flesh, but otherwise he
entered the world in a natural manner, growing up as a child of
the realm and wrestling with the vicissitudes of his environment
just as do other mortals on this and on similar worlds.
128:0.2 Always be mindful of the twofold purpose
of Michael's bestowal on Urantia:
1. The mastering of the experience of
living the full life of a human creature in mortal flesh, the
completion of his sovereignty in Nebadon.
2. The revelation of the Universal
Father to the mortal dwellers on the worlds of time and space and
the more effective leading of these same mortals to a better
understanding of the Universal Father.
128:0.3 All other creature benefits and universe
advantages were incidental and secondary to these major purposes
of the mortal bestowal.
1. THE TWENTY-FIRST YEAR (A.D. 15)
128:1.1 With the attainment of adult years Jesus
began in earnest and with full self-consciousness the task of
completing the experience of mastering the knowledge of the life
of his lowest form of intelligent creatures, thereby finally and
fully earning the right of unqualified rulership of his
self-created universe. He entered upon this stupendous task fully
realizing his dual nature. But he had already effectively combined
these two natures into one -- Jesus of Nazareth.
128:1.2 Joshua ben Joseph knew full well that he
was a man, a mortal man, born of woman. This is shown in the
selection of his first title, the Son of Man. He was truly
a partaker of flesh and blood, and even now, as he presides in
sovereign authority over the destinies of a universe, he still
bears among his numerous well-earned titles that of Son of Man. It
is literally true that the creative Word -- the Creator Son -- of
the Universal Father was "made flesh and dwelt as a man of the
realm on Urantia." He labored, grew weary, rested, and slept. He
hungered and satisfied such cravings with food; he thirsted and
quenched his thirst with water. He experienced the full gamut of
human feelings and emotions; he was "in all things tested, even as
you are," and he suffered and died.
128:1.3 He obtained knowledge, gained
experience, and combined these into wisdom, just as do other
mortals of the realm. Until after his baptism he availed himself
of no supernatural power. He employed no agency not a part of his
human endowment as a son of Joseph and Mary.
128:1.4 As to the attributes of his prehuman
existence, he emptied himself. Prior to the beginning of his
public work his knowledge of men and events was wholly
self-limited. He was a true man among men.
128:1.5 It is forever and gloriously true: "We
have a high ruler who can be touched with the feeling of our
infirmities. We have a Sovereign who was in all points tested and
tempted like as we are, yet without sin." And since he himself has
suffered, being tested and tried, he is abundantly able to
understand and minister to those who are confused and distressed.
128:1.6 The Nazareth carpenter now fully
understood the work before him, but he chose to live his human
life in the channel of its natural flowing. And in some of these
matters he is indeed an example to his mortal creatures, even as
it is recorded: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ
Jesus, who, being of the nature of God, thought it not strange to
be equal with God. But he made himself to be of little import and,
taking upon himself the form of a creature, was born in the
likeness of mankind. And being thus fashioned as a man, he humbled
himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the
128:1.7 He lived his mortal life just as all
others of the human family may live theirs, "who in the days of
the flesh so frequently offered up prayers and supplications, even
with strong feelings and tears, to Him who is able to save from
all evil, and his prayers were effective because he believed."
Wherefore it behooved him in every respect to be made like
his brethren that he might become a merciful and understanding
sovereign ruler over them.
128:1.8 Of his human nature he was never in
doubt; it was self-evident and always present in his
consciousness. But of his divine nature there was always room for
doubt and conjecture, at least this was true right up to the event
of his baptism. The self-realization of divinity was a slow and,
from the human standpoint, a natural evolutionary revelation. This
revelation and self-realization of divinity began in Jerusalem
when he was not quite thirteen years old with the first
supernatural occurrence of his human existence; and this
experience of effecting the self-realization of his divine nature
was completed at the time of his second supernatural experience
while in the flesh, the episode attendant upon his baptism by John
in the Jordan, which event marked the beginning of his public
career of ministry and teaching.
128:1.9 Between these two celestial visitations,
one in his thirteenth year and the other at his baptism, there
occurred nothing supernatural or superhuman in the life of this
incarnated Creator Son. Notwithstanding this, the babe of
Bethlehem, the lad, youth, and man of Nazareth, was in reality the
incarnated Creator of a universe; but he never once used aught of
this power, nor did he utilize the guidance of celestial
personalities, aside from that of his guardian seraphim, in the
living of his human life up to the day of his baptism by John. And
we who thus testify know whereof we speak.
128:1.10 And yet, throughout all these years of
his life in the flesh he was truly divine. He was actually a
Creator Son of the Paradise Father. When once he had espoused his
public career, subsequent to the technical completion of his
purely mortal experience of sovereignty acquirement, he did not
hesitate publicly to admit that he was the Son of God. He did not
hesitate to declare, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the
end, the first and the last." He made no protest in later years
when he was called Lord of Glory, Ruler of a Universe, the Lord
God of all creation, the Holy One of Israel, the Lord of all, our
Lord and our God, God with us, having a name above every name and
on all worlds, the Omnipotence of a universe, the Universe Mind of
this creation, the One in whom are hid all treasures of wisdom and
knowledge, the fullness of Him who fills all things, the eternal
Word of the eternal God, the One who was before all things and in
whom all things consist, the Creator of the heavens and the earth,
the Upholder of a universe, the Judge of all the earth, the Giver
of life eternal, the True Shepherd, the Deliverer of the worlds,
and the Captain of our salvation.
128:1.11 He never objected to any of these
titles as they were applied to him subsequent to the emergence
from his purely human life into the later years of his
self-consciousness of the ministry of divinity in humanity, and
for humanity, and to humanity on this world and for all other
worlds. Jesus objected to but one title as applied to him: When he
was once called Immanuel, he merely replied, "Not I, that is my
128:1.12 Always, even after his emergence into
the larger life on earth, Jesus was submissively subject to the
will of the Father in heaven.
128:1.13 After his baptism he thought nothing of
permitting his sincere believers and grateful followers to worship
him. Even while he wrestled with poverty and toiled with his hands
to provide the necessities of life for his family, his awareness
that he was a Son of God was growing; he knew that he was the
maker of the heavens and this very earth whereon he was now living
out his human existence. And the hosts of celestial beings
throughout the great and onlooking universe likewise knew that
this man of Nazareth was their beloved Sovereign and
Creator-father. A profound suspense pervaded the universe of
Nebadon throughout these years; all celestial eyes were
continuously focused on Urantia -- on Palestine.
128:1.14 This year Jesus went up to Jerusalem
with Joseph to celebrate the Passover. Having taken James to the
temple for consecration, he deemed it his duty to take Joseph.
Jesus never exhibited any degree of partiality in dealing with his
family. He went with Joseph to Jerusalem by the usual Jordan
valley route, but he returned to Nazareth by the east Jordan way,
which led through Amathus. Going down the Jordan, Jesus narrated
Jewish history to Joseph and on the return trip told him about the
experiences of the reputed tribes of Ruben, Gad, and Gilead that
traditionally had dwelt in these regions east of the river.
128:1.15 Joseph asked Jesus many leading
questions concerning his life mission, but to most of these
inquiries Jesus would only reply, "My hour has not yet come."
However, in these intimate discussions many words were dropped
which Joseph remembered during the stirring events of subsequent
years. Jesus, with Joseph, spent this Passover with his three
friends at Bethany, as was his custom when in Jerusalem attending
these festival commemorations.
2. THE TWENTY-SECOND YEAR (A.D. 16)
128:2.1 This was one of several years during
which Jesus' brothers and sisters were facing the trials and
tribulations peculiar to the problems and readjustments of
adolescence. Jesus now had brothers and sisters ranging in ages
from seven to eighteen, and he was kept busy helping them to
adjust themselves to the new awakenings of their intellectual and
emotional lives. He had thus to grapple with the problems of
adolescence as they became manifest in the lives of his younger
brothers and sisters.
128:2.2 This year Simon graduated from school
and began work with Jesus' old boyhood playmate and ever-ready
defender, Jacob the stone mason. As a result of several family
conferences it was decided that it was unwise for all the boys to
take up carpentry. It was thought that by diversifying their
trades they would be prepared to take contracts for putting up
entire buildings. Again, they had not all kept busy since three of
them had been working as full-time carpenters.
128:2.3 Jesus continued this year at house
finishing and cabinetwork but spent most of his time at the
caravan repair shop. James was beginning to alternate with him in
attendance at the shop. The latter part of this year, when
carpenter work was slack about Nazareth, Jesus left James in
charge of the repair shop and Joseph at the home bench while he
went over to Sepphoris to work with a smith. He worked six months
with metals and acquired considerable skill at the anvil.
128:2.4 Before taking up his new employment at
Sepphoris, Jesus held one of his periodic family conferences and
solemnly installed James, then just past eighteen years old, as
acting head of the family. He promised his brother hearty support
and full co-operation and exacted formal promises of obedience to
James from each member of the family. From this day James assumed
full financial responsibility for the family, Jesus making his
weekly payments to his brother. Never again did Jesus take the
reins out of James's hands. While working at Sepphoris he could
have walked home every night if necessary, but he purposely
remained away, assigning weather and other reasons, but his true
motive was to train James and Joseph in the bearing of the family
responsibility. He had begun the slow process of weaning his
family. Each Sabbath Jesus returned to Nazareth, and sometimes
during the week when occasion required, to observe the working of
the new plan, to give advice and offer helpful suggestions.
128:2.5 Living much of the time in Sepphoris for
six months afforded Jesus a new opportunity to become better
acquainted with the gentile viewpoint of life. He worked with
gentiles, lived with gentiles, and in every possible manner did he
make a close and painstaking study of their habits of living and
of the gentile mind.
128:2.6 The moral standards of this home city of
Herod Antipas were so far below those of even the caravan city of
Nazareth that after six months' sojourn at Sepphoris Jesus was not
averse to finding an excuse for returning to Nazareth. The group
he worked for were to become engaged on public work in both
Sepphoris and the new city of Tiberias, and Jesus was disinclined
to have anything to do with any sort of employment under the
supervision of Herod Antipas. And there were still other reasons
which made it wise, in the opinion of Jesus, for him to go back to
Nazareth. When he returned to the repair shop, he did not again
assume the personal direction of family affairs. He worked in
association with James at the shop and as far as possible
permitted him to continue oversight of the home. James's
management of family expenditures and his administration of the
home budget were undisturbed.
128:2.7 It was by just such wise and thoughtful
planning that Jesus prepared the way for his eventual withdrawal
from active participation in the affairs of his family. When James
had had two years' experience as acting head of the family -- and
two full years before he (James) was to be married -- Joseph was
placed in charge of the household funds and intrusted with the
general management of the home.
3. THE TWENTY-THIRD YEAR (A.D. 17)
128:3.1 This year the financial pressure was
slightly relaxed as four were at work. Miriam earned considerable
by the sale of milk and butter; Martha had become an expert
weaver. The purchase price of the repair shop was over one third
paid. The situation was such that Jesus stopped work for three
weeks to take Simon to Jerusalem for the Passover, and this was
the longest period away from daily toil he had enjoyed since the
death of his father.
128:3.2 They journeyed to Jerusalem by way of
the Decapolis and through Pella, Gerasa, Philadelphia, Heshbon,
and Jericho. They returned to Nazareth by the coast route,
touching Lydda, Joppa, Caesarea, thence around Mount Carmel to
Ptolemais and Nazareth. This trip fairly well acquainted Jesus
with the whole of Palestine north of the Jerusalem district.
128:3.3 At Philadelphia Jesus and Simon became
acquainted with a merchant from Damascus who developed such a
great liking for the Nazareth couple that he insisted they stop
with him at his Jerusalem headquarters. While Simon gave
attendance at the temple, Jesus spent much of his time talking
with this well-educated and much-traveled man of world affairs.
This merchant owned over four thousand caravan camels; he had
interests all over the Roman world and was now on his way to Rome.
He proposed that Jesus come to Damascus to enter his Oriental
import business, but Jesus explained that he did not feel
justified in going so far away from his family just then. But on
the way back home he thought much about these distant cities and
the even more remote countries of the Far West and the Far East,
countries he had so frequently heard spoken of by the caravan
passengers and conductors.
128:3.4 Simon greatly enjoyed his visit to
Jerusalem. He was duly received into the commonwealth of Israel at
the Passover consecration of the new sons of the commandment.
While Simon attended the Passover ceremonies, Jesus mingled with
the throngs of visitors and engaged in many interesting personal
conferences with numerous gentile proselytes.
128:3.5 Perhaps the most notable of all these
contacts was the one with a young Hellenist named Stephen. This
young man was on his first visit to Jerusalem and chanced to meet
Jesus on Thursday afternoon of Passover week. While they both
strolled about viewing the Asmonean palace, Jesus began the casual
conversation that resulted in their becoming interested in each
other, and which led to a four-hour discussion of the way of life
and the true God and his worship. Stephen was tremendously
impressed with what Jesus said; he never forgot his words.
128:3.6 And this was the same Stephen who
subsequently became a believer in the teachings of Jesus, and
whose boldness in preaching this early gospel resulted in his
being stoned to death by irate Jews. Some of Stephen's
extraordinary boldness in proclaiming his view of the new gospel
was the direct result of this earlier interview with Jesus. But
Stephen never even faintly surmised that the Galilean he had
talked with some fifteen years previously was the very same person
whom he later proclaimed the world's Savior, and for whom he was
so soon to die, thus becoming the first martyr of the newly
evolving Christian faith. When Stephen yielded up his life as the
price of his attack upon the Jewish temple and its traditional
practices, there stood by one named Saul, a citizen of Tarsus. And
when Saul saw how this Greek could die for his faith, there were
aroused in his heart those emotions which eventually led him to
espouse the cause for which Stephen died; later on he became the
aggressive and indomitable Paul, the philosopher, if not the sole
founder, of the Christian religion.
128:3.7 On the Sunday after Passover week Simon
and Jesus started on their way back to Nazareth. Simon never
forgot what Jesus taught him on this trip. He had always loved
Jesus, but now he felt that he had begun to know his
father-brother. They had many heart-to-heart talks as they
journeyed through the country and prepared their meals by the
wayside. They arrived home Thursday noon, and Simon kept the
family up late that night relating his experiences.
128:3.8 Mary was much upset by Simon's report
that Jesus spent most of the time when in Jerusalem "visiting with
the strangers, especially those from the far countries." Jesus'
family never could comprehend his great interest in people, his
urge to visit with them, to learn about their way of living, and
to find out what they were thinking about.
128:3.9 More and more the Nazareth family became
engrossed with their immediate and human problems; not often was
mention made of the future mission of Jesus, and very seldom did
he himself speak of his future career. His mother rarely thought
about his being a child of promise. She was slowly giving up the
idea that Jesus was to fulfill any divine mission on earth, yet at
times her faith was revived when she paused to recall the Gabriel
visitation before the child was born.
4. THE DAMASCUS EPISODE
128:4.1 The last four months of this year Jesus
spent in Damascus as the guest of the merchant whom he first met
at Philadelphia when on his way to Jerusalem. A representative of
this merchant had sought out Jesus when passing through Nazareth
and escorted him to Damascus. This part-Jewish merchant proposed
to devote an extraordinary sum of money to the establishment of a
school of religious philosophy at Damascus. He planned to create a
center of learning which would out-rival Alexandria. And he
proposed that Jesus should immediately begin a long tour of the
world's educational centers preparatory to becoming the head of
this new project. This was one of the greatest temptations that
Jesus ever faced in the course of his purely human career.
128:4.2 Presently this merchant brought before
Jesus a group of twelve merchants and bankers who agreed to
support this newly projected school. Jesus manifested deep
interest in the proposed school, helped them plan for its
organization, but always expressed the fear that his other and
unstated but prior obligations would prevent his accepting the
direction of such a pretentious enterprise. His would-be
benefactor was persistent, and he profitably employed Jesus at his
home doing some translating while he, his wife, and their sons and
daughters sought to prevail upon Jesus to accept the proffered
honor. But he would not consent. He well knew that his mission on
earth was not to be supported by institutions of learning; he knew
that he must not obligate himself in the least to be directed by
the "councils of men," no matter how well-intentioned.
128:4.3 He who was rejected by the Jerusalem
religious leaders, even after he had demonstrated his leadership,
was recognized and hailed as a master teacher by the businessmen
and bankers of Damascus, and all this when he was an obscure and
unknown carpenter of Nazareth.
128:4.4 He never spoke about this offer to his
family, and the end of this year found him back in Nazareth going
about his daily duties just as if he had never been tempted by the
flattering propositions of his Damascus friends. Neither did these
men of Damascus ever associate the later citizen of Capernaum who
turned all Jewry upside down with the former carpenter of Nazareth
who had dared to refuse the honor which their combined wealth
might have procured.
128:4.5 Jesus most cleverly and intentionally
contrived to detach various episodes of his life so that they
never became, in the eyes of the world, associated together as the
doings of a single individual. Many times in subsequent years he
listened to the recital of this very story of the strange Galilean
who declined the opportunity of founding a school in Damascus to
compete with Alexandria.
128:4.6 One purpose which Jesus had in mind,
when he sought to segregate certain features of his earthly
experience, was to prevent the building up of such a versatile and
spectacular career as would cause subsequent generations to
venerate the teacher in place of obeying the truth which he had
lived and taught. Jesus did not want to build up such a human
record of achievement as would attract attention from his
teaching. Very early he recognized that his followers would be
tempted to formulate a religion about him which might
become a competitor of the gospel of the kingdom that he intended
to proclaim to the world. Accordingly, he consistently sought to
suppress everything during his eventful career which he thought
might be made to serve this natural human tendency to exalt the
teacher in place of proclaiming his teachings.
128:4.7 This same motive also explains why he
permitted himself to be known by different titles during various
epochs of his diversified life on earth. Again, he did not want to
bring any undue influence to bear upon his family or others which
would lead them to believe in him against their honest
convictions. He always refused to take undue or unfair advantage
of the human mind. He did not want men to believe in him unless
their hearts were responsive to the spiritual realities revealed
in his teachings.
128:4.8 By the end of this year the Nazareth
home was running fairly smoothly. The children were growing up,
and Mary was becoming accustomed to Jesus' being away from home.
He continued to turn over his earnings to James for the support of
the family, retaining only a small portion for his immediate
128:4.9 As the years passed, it became more
difficult to realize that this man was a Son of God on earth. He
seemed to become quite like an individual of the realm, just
another man among men. And it was ordained by the Father in heaven
that the bestowal should unfold in this very way.
5. THE TWENTY-FOURTH YEAR (A.D. 18)
128:5.1 This was Jesus' first year of
comparative freedom from family responsibility. James was very
successful in managing the home with Jesus' help in counsel and
128:5.2 The week following the Passover of this
year a young man from Alexandria came down to Nazareth to arrange
for a meeting, later in the year, between Jesus and a group of
Alexandrian Jews at some point on the Palestinian coast. This
conference was set for the middle of June, and Jesus went over to
Caesarea to meet with five prominent Jews of Alexandria, who
besought him to establish himself in their city as a religious
teacher, offering as an inducement to begin with, the position of
assistant to the chazan in their chief synagogue.
128:5.3 The spokesmen for this committee
explained to Jesus that Alexandria was destined to become the
headquarters of Jewish culture for the entire world; that the
Hellenistic trend of Jewish affairs had virtually outdistanced the
Babylonian school of thought. They reminded Jesus of the ominous
rumblings of rebellion in Jerusalem and throughout Palestine and
assured him that any uprising of the Palestinian Jews would be
equivalent to national suicide, that the iron hand of Rome would
crush the rebellion in three months, and that Jerusalem would be
destroyed and the temple demolished, that not one stone would be
left upon another.
128:5.4 Jesus listened to all they had to say,
thanked them for their confidence, and, in declining to go to
Alexandria, in substance said, "My hour has not yet come." They
were nonplused by his apparent indifference to the honor they had
sought to confer upon him. Before taking leave of Jesus, they
presented him with a purse in token of the esteem of his
Alexandrian friends and in compensation for the time and expense
of coming over to Caesarea to confer with them. But he likewise
refused the money, saying: "The house of Joseph has never received
alms, and we cannot eat another's bread as long as I have strong
arms and my brothers can labor."
128:5.5 His friends from Egypt set sail for
home, and in subsequent years, when they heard rumors of the
Capernaum boatbuilder who was creating such a commotion in
Palestine, few of them surmised that he was the babe of Bethlehem
grown up and the same strange-acting Galilean who had so
unceremoniously declined the invitation to become a great teacher
128:5.6 Jesus returned to Nazareth. The
remainder of this year was the most uneventful six months of his
whole career. He enjoyed this temporary respite from the usual
program of problems to solve and difficulties to surmount. He
communed much with his Father in heaven and made tremendous
progress in the mastery of his human mind.
128:5.7 But human affairs on the worlds of time
and space do not run smoothly for long. In December James had a
private talk with Jesus, explaining that he was much in love with
Esta, a young woman of Nazareth, and that they would sometime like
to be married if it could be arranged. He called attention to the
fact that Joseph would soon be eighteen years old, and that it
would be a good experience for him to have a chance to serve as
the acting head of the family. Jesus gave consent for James's
marriage two years later, provided he had, during the intervening
time, properly trained Joseph to assume direction of the home.
128:5.8 And now things began to happen --
marriage was in the air. James's success in gaining Jesus' assent
to his marriage emboldened Miriam to approach her brother-father
with her plans. Jacob, the younger stone mason, onetime
self-appointed champion of Jesus, now business associate of James
and Joseph, had long sought to gain Miriam's hand in marriage.
After Miriam had laid her plans before Jesus, he directed that
Jacob should come to him making formal request for her and
promised his blessing for the marriage just as soon as she felt
that Martha was competent to assume her duties as eldest daughter.
128:5.9 When at home, he continued to teach the
evening school three times a week, read the Scriptures often in
the synagogue on the Sabbath, visited with his mother, taught the
children, and in general conducted himself as a worthy and
respected citizen of Nazareth in the commonwealth of Israel.
6. THE TWENTY-FIFTH YEAR (A.D. 19)
128:6.1 This year began with the Nazareth family
all in good health and witnessed the finishing of the regular
schooling of all the children with the exception of certain work
which Martha must do for Ruth.
128:6.2 Jesus was one of the most robust and
refined specimens of manhood to appear on earth since the days of
Adam. His physical development was superb. His mind was active,
keen, and penetrating -- compared with the average mentality of
his contemporaries, it had developed gigantic proportions -- and
his spirit was indeed humanly divine.
128:6.3 The family finances were in the best
condition since the disappearance of Joseph's estate. The final
payments had been made on the caravan repair shop; they owed no
man and for the first time in years had some funds ahead. This
being true, and since he had taken his other brothers to Jerusalem
for their first Passover ceremonies, Jesus decided to accompany
Jude (who had just graduated from the synagogue school) on his
first visit to the temple.
128:6.4 They went up to Jerusalem and returned
by the same route, the Jordan valley, as Jesus feared trouble if
he took his young brother through Samaria. Already at Nazareth
Jude had got into slight trouble several times because of his
hasty disposition, coupled with his strong patriotic sentiments.
128:6.5 They arrived at Jerusalem in due time
and were on their way for a first visit to the temple, the very
sight of which had stirred and thrilled Jude to the very depths of
his soul, when they chanced to meet Lazarus of Bethany. While
Jesus talked with Lazarus and sought to arrange for their joint
celebration of the Passover, Jude started up real trouble for them
all. Close at hand stood a Roman guard who made some improper
remarks regarding a Jewish girl who was passing. Jude flushed with
fiery indignation and was not slow in expressing his resentment of
such an impropriety directly to and within hearing of the soldier.
Now the Roman legionnaires were very sensitive to anything
bordering on Jewish disrespect; so the guard promptly placed Jude
under arrest. This was too much for the young patriot, and before
Jesus could caution him by a warning glance, he had delivered
himself of a voluble denunciation of pent-up anti-Roman feelings,
all of which only made a bad matter worse. Jude, with Jesus by his
side, was taken at once to the military prison.
128:6.6 Jesus endeavored to obtain either an
immediate hearing for Jude or else his release in time for the
Passover celebration that evening, but he failed in these
attempts. Since the next day was a "holy convocation" in
Jerusalem, even the Romans would not presume to hear charges
against a Jew. Accordingly, Jude remained in confinement until the
morning of the second day after his arrest, and Jesus stayed at
the prison with him. They were not present in the temple at the
ceremony of receiving the sons of the law into the full
citizenship of Israel. Jude did not pass through this formal
ceremony for several years, until he was next in Jerusalem at a
Passover and in connection with his propaganda work in behalf of
the Zealots, the patriotic organization to which he belonged and
in which he was very active.
128:6.7 The morning following their second day
in prison Jesus appeared before the military magistrate in behalf
of Jude. By making apologies for his brother's youth and by a
further explanatory but judicious statement with reference to the
provocative nature of the episode which had led up to the arrest
of his brother, Jesus so handled the case that the magistrate
expressed the opinion that the young Jew might have had some
possible excuse for his violent outburst. After warning Jude not
to allow himself again to be guilty of such rashness, he said to
Jesus in dismissing them: "You had better keep your eye on the
lad; he's liable to make a lot of trouble for all of you." And the
Roman judge spoke the truth. Jude did make considerable trouble
for Jesus, and always was the trouble of this same nature --
clashes with the civil authorities because of his thoughtless and
unwise patriotic outbursts.
128:6.8 Jesus and Jude walked over to Bethany
for the night, explaining why they had failed to keep their
appointment for the Passover supper, and set out for Nazareth the
following day. Jesus did not tell the family about his young
brother's arrest at Jerusalem, but he had a long talk with Jude
about this episode some three weeks after their return. After this
talk with Jesus Jude himself told the family. He never forgot the
patience and forbearance his brother-father manifested throughout
the whole of this trying experience.
128:6.9 This was the last Passover Jesus
attended with any member of his own family. Increasingly the Son
of Man was to become separated from close association with his own
flesh and blood.
128:6.10 This year his seasons of deep
meditation were often broken into by Ruth and her playmates. And
always was Jesus ready to postpone the contemplation of his future
work for the world and the universe that he might share in the
childish joy and youthful gladness of these youngsters, who never
tired of listening to Jesus relate the experiences of his various
trips to Jerusalem. They also greatly enjoyed his stories about
animals and nature.
128:6.11 The children were always welcome at the
repair shop. Jesus provided sand, blocks, and stones by the side
of the shop, and bevies of youngsters flocked there to amuse
themselves. When they tired of their play, the more intrepid ones
would peek into the shop, and if its keeper were not busy, they
would make bold to go in and say, "Uncle Joshua, come out and tell
us a big story." Then they would lead him out by tugging at his
hands until he was seated on the favorite rock by the corner of
the shop, with the children on the ground in a semicircle before
him. And how the little folks did enjoy their Uncle Joshua. They
were learning to laugh, and to laugh heartily. It was customary
for one or two of the smallest of the children to climb upon his
knees and sit there, looking up in wonderment at his expressive
features as he told his stories. The children loved Jesus, and
Jesus loved the children.
128:6.12 It was difficult for his friends to
comprehend the range of his intellectual activities, how he could
so suddenly and so completely swing from the profound discussion
of politics, philosophy, or religion to the lighthearted and
joyous playfulness of these tots of from five to ten years of age.
As his own brothers and sisters grew up, as he gained more
leisure, and before the grandchildren arrived, he paid a great
deal of attention to these little ones. But he did not live on
earth long enough to enjoy the grandchildren very much.
7. THE TWENTY-SIXTH YEAR (A.D. 20)
128:7.1 As this year began, Jesus of Nazareth
became strongly conscious that he possessed a wide range of
potential power. But he was likewise fully persuaded that this
power was not to be employed by his personality as the Son of Man,
at least not until his hour should come.
128:7.2 At this time he thought much but said
little about the relation of himself to his Father in heaven. And
the conclusion of all this thinking was expressed once in his
prayer on the hilltop, when he said: "Regardless of who I am and
what power I may or may not wield, I always have been, and always
will be, subject to the will of my Paradise Father." And yet, as
this man walked about Nazareth to and from his work, it was
literally true -- as concerned a vast universe -- that "in him
were hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
128:7.3 All this year the family affairs ran
smoothly except for Jude. For years James had trouble with his
youngest brother, who was not inclined to settle down to work nor
was he to be depended upon for his share of the home expenses.
While he would live at home, he was not conscientious about
earning his share of the family upkeep.
128:7.4 Jesus was a man of peace, and ever and
anon was he embarrassed by Jude's belligerent exploits and
numerous patriotic outbursts. James and Joseph were in favor of
casting him out, but Jesus would not consent. When their patience
would be severely tried, Jesus would only counsel: "Be patient. Be
wise in your counsel and eloquent in your lives, that your young
brother may first know the better way and then be constrained to
follow you in it." The wise and loving counsel of Jesus prevented
a break in the family; they remained together. But Jude never was
brought to his sober senses until after his marriage.
128:7.5 Mary seldom spoke of Jesus' future
mission. Whenever this subject was referred to, Jesus only
replied, "My hour has not yet come." Jesus had about completed the
difficult task of weaning his family from dependence on the
immediate presence of his personality. He was rapidly preparing
for the day when he could consistently leave this Nazareth home to
begin the more active prelude to his real ministry for men.
128:7.6 Never lose sight of the fact that the
prime mission of Jesus in his seventh bestowal was the acquirement
of creature experience, the achievement of the sovereignty of
Nebadon. And in the gathering of this very experience he made the
supreme revelation of the Paradise Father to Urantia and to his
entire local universe. Incidental to these purposes he also
undertook to untangle the complicated affairs of this planet as
they were related to the Lucifer rebellion.
128:7.7 This year Jesus enjoyed more than usual
leisure, and he devoted much time to training James in the
management of the repair shop and Joseph in the direction of home
affairs. Mary sensed that he was making ready to leave them. Leave
them to go where? To do what? She had about given up the thought
that Jesus was the Messiah. She could not understand him; she
simply could not fathom her first-born son.
128:7.8 Jesus spent a great deal of time this
year with the individual members of his family. He would take them
for long and frequent strolls up the hill and through the
countryside. Before harvest he took Jude to the farmer uncle south
of Nazareth, but Jude did not remain long after the harvest. He
ran away, and Simon later found him with the fishermen at the
lake. When Simon brought him back home, Jesus talked things over
with the runaway lad and, since he wanted to be a fisherman, went
over to Magdala with him and put him in the care of a relative, a
fisherman; and Jude worked fairly well and regularly from that
time on until his marriage, and he continued as a fisherman after
128:7.9 At last the day had come when all Jesus'
brothers had chosen, and were established in, their lifework. The
stage was being set for Jesus' departure from home.
128:7.10 In November a double wedding occurred.
James and Esta, and Miriam and Jacob were married. It was truly a
joyous occasion. Even Mary was once more happy except every now
and then when she realized that Jesus was preparing to go away.
She suffered under the burden of a great uncertainty: If Jesus
would only sit down and talk it all over freely with her as he had
done when he was a boy, but he was consistently uncommunicative;
he was profoundly silent about the future.
128:7.11 James and his bride, Esta, moved into a
neat little home on the west side of town, the gift of her father.
While James continued his support of his mother's home, his quota
was cut in half because of his marriage, and Joseph was formally
installed by Jesus as head of the family. Jude was now very
faithfully sending his share of funds home each month. The
weddings of James and Miriam had a very beneficial influence on
Jude, and when he left for the fishing grounds, the day after the
double wedding, he assured Joseph that he could depend on him "to
do my full duty, and more if it is needed." And he kept his
128:7.12 Miriam lived next door to Mary in the
home of Jacob, Jacob the elder having been laid to rest with his
fathers. Martha took Miriam's place in the home, and the new
organization was working smoothly before the year ended.
128:7.13 The day after this double wedding Jesus
held an important conference with James. He told James,
confidentially, that he was preparing to leave home. He presented
full title to the repair shop to James, formally and solemnly
abdicated as head of Joseph's house, and most touchingly
established his brother James as "head and protector of my
father's house." He drew up, and they both signed, a secret
compact in which it was stipulated that, in return for the gift of
the repair shop, James would henceforth assume full financial
responsibility for the family, thus releasing Jesus from all
further obligations in these matters. After the contract was
signed, after the budget was so arranged that the actual expenses
of the family would be met without any contribution from Jesus,
Jesus said to James: "But, my son, I will continue to send you
something each month until my hour shall have come, but what I
send shall be used by you as the occasion demands. Apply my funds
to the family necessities or pleasures as you see fit. Use them in
case of sickness or apply them to meet the unexpected emergencies
which may befall any individual member of the family."
128:7.14 And thus did Jesus make ready to enter
upon the second and home-detached phase of his adult life before
the public entrance upon his Father's business.