The Urantia Book 3. Jesus’ father Joseph had mild depression when Jesus was very young, but when he became a contractor and the family’s financial condition improved, he was happier. Mary was the opposite of Joseph. She was cheerful and rarely depressed. She was free about expressing her feelings and emotions. But Jesus was an unusual child and took all the wisdom she had. Jesus derived his understanding of human nature from Joseph; he inherited his capacity for righteous indignation from Mary. Joseph trained Jesus in Jewish ceremonials and Hebrew scriptures; but from Mary he derived a more liberal concept of personal freedom (122.5.1-4). Joseph and Mary were educated far above the average for their day and station in life. Mary would often doubt that Jesus had a special mission in life, especially if others doubted, but then she would remember Gabriel’s visit and come back to faith. Joseph and Mary were married after a courtship of two years. Their courtship started when Mary brought Joseph a cup of water as he was helping her father build an addition to his house. Joseph was not an old man, as tradition has it; he was only 21 years old (122.5.8).*************** The house Jesus lived in was stone with an annex for the animals. There was a stone table, which the family gathered around to eat. There were also several stools, a lampstand, a loom and earthenware and stone pots. There were mats that would be spread on the floor for sleeping. The was a mill for grinding and an oven in the backyard. When Jesus’ sister Martha was born, a room was added at the back of the house. At mealtimes they gathered around the low table and helped themselves from a common pot.**************************** Joseph and Mary were married in March of 8 BC. Caesar Augustus decreed that a census be taken in 8 BC for more thorough taxation. It was postponed a year in Palestine because the Jews objected to any attempt to number them. So Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem on the morning of August 18, 7 BC. Joseph didn’t want Mary to go, but her sense of adventure overruled him. The Bible is accurate in its story of the birth of Jesus. There were no accommodations in Bethlehem; it was too busy with people registering for the census. But below the Inn there were caravan stables carved out of the rock, and it had been cleaned out for lodgers. Mary and Joseph occupied a room used for grain, and curtains had been put up for privacy. Mary went into labor that night, and with the help of other female travelers, gave birth to Jesus at noon the next day, August 21, 7 BC. Mary had brought clothes for this possibility, and she did lay the baby Jesus in a nearby manger (122.8.1). According to Jewish practice Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day and formally named Joshua. Today’s Messianic Jews refer to Jesus as Joshua, his real name. When Jesus was born, the seraphim (angels) of Urantia, assembled under their directors, did sing anthems of glory over the Bethlehem manger, but these songs of praise were not heard by human ears. No shepherds came to the manger. There was no bright guiding star. Oddly, though, there were 3 conjunctions that year: on May 29 there was a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation Pisces. Similar conjunctions occurred on September 29 and December 5. There were priests who came looking for Jesus on the strength of a dream. They were from the city of Ur in Mesopotamia (Iraq), and they did have gifts. They were about to give up looking when they were told by Zacharias in the Temple in Jerusalem where to find Jesus. So they went to Bethlehem and delivered their gifts. After this Mary had to go to Temple for ritual Purification, and two Temple regulars made a huge fuss over Jesus, calling him the King of the Jews. This came to Herod’s ears, and he sent for the priests from Ur. They refused to satisfy his curiosity and headed back to Ur. Herod searched for Jesus for a year, and finally took an evil step. He ordered that every Jewish boy 2 years of age be killed. This massacre of 16 boys took place in October of 6 BC. Mary and Joseph were warned and left Bethlehem the night before the massacre. They went to Alexandria in Egypt and stayed there for 2 years, until after the death of Herod.************************* In Alexandria Joseph worked as the foreman on the construction of a public building. Mary was very over-protective of Jesus, but there were other children of Jesus’ age, so she was persuaded to let him grow up as a normal child. The news was out that Jesus had a mission, so descendants of Ikhnaton presented Jesus with a Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures. Mary and Joseph then left Egypt and arrived at the port of Joppa in August of 4 BC. But there was a question of where it was safest to live–Bethlehem or Nazareth. They went to Bethlehem, but Herod Antipas’ brother Archelaus ruled there, and Joseph thought he might be a danger to Jesus, so they returned to Nazareth, thinking Antipas the lesser of two evils. Several relatives accompanied them and they avoided Jerusalem.****** They settled into their home very happily; Jesus was 3 years and 2 months old. Joseph and Mary made a strict agreement not to mention to anyone that Jesus was “a child of promise,” and they kept the agreement. Jesus found a new friend named Jacob when he was 4, but the big event was the birth of his brother James on April 2, 3 BC. Jesus was thrilled with his baby brother, and loved to stand and watch him.************************** Joseph built a workshop near the caravan parking lot, and as Jesus grew up, he spent his time either at the workshop or helping his mother with his younger siblings. A year after the return to Nazareth, when Jesus was about 5 years old, ” he arrived at the age of his first personal and wholehearted moral decision; and there came to abide with him a Thought Adjuster, a divine gift of the Paradise Father…This event occurred on February 11, 2 BC. Jesus was no more aware of the coming of the TA than are million upon millions of other children. TAs indwell their minds and work for the ultimate spiritualization of these minds and the eternal survival of their evolving immortal souls” (123.2.1). The Universe Rulers terminated their supervision of Michael and left him in the hands of his TA and seraphic guardians and midwayers with special assignments. Also in 2 BC when Jesus was 5, his sister Miriam was born on July 11. The next day Joseph talked with Jesus about how living things are born into the world. Joseph and Mary always took pains to answer Jesus’ questions. From age 5 to age 10 Jesus was “one continuous question mark.” It was tradition in Jewish homes for the mother to train the child until age 5, and then turn the child over to the father for further education. And so on August 21, 2 BC Mary turned Jesus over to Joseph.