The Urantia Book 4. Joseph proceeded to teach Jesus from the Greek scriptures. There were only 2 copies of the Greek scriptures in Nazareth so students came to Joseph’s house in an endless stream to learn the Greek version of the scriptures. This enabled Jesus to meet many different students and intellectuals and sincere truth seekers. Jesus received a mild shock in his sixth year when he asked Joseph the cause of an earthquake they had experienced. Jesus thought Joseph knew everything. Joseph answered his question by saying, “My son, I really do not know.” Jesus then began a long disillusionment that his earthly parents weren’t all-knowing. Joseph knew that telling Jesus that God or the devil did it would not satisfy Jesus, or it would just lead to more questions. It would also be an insult to Jesus’ intelligence. As young as Jesus was–6 years old–he became curious about Israel’s history, sabbath rules, feast days and synagogue sermons. Joseph explained all this to him. The first was the mid-winter 8 day festival of lights called Hannukah. Next was the springtime festival of Purim. Then followed Passover, which Jews celebrated in Jerusalem, arriving from all over the Empire. The Day of Atonement was next, followed by the Feast of Tabernacles, when people made tents or booths and just had a good time. During this 6th year Mary and Joseph had trouble with Jesus about his prayers. He would say his prayers as taught, but afterward he would “just have a little talk with my Father in heaven.” Unfortunately this talk was aloud, to the embarrassment of those around him.*********************** During this year Joseph became a contractor and the family’s income tripled. They now had no money worries and could take trips and buy more things. When James was old enough, he helped Mary in the house while Jesus worked with Joseph. Jesus, in his trips with Joseph, was always studying people and how they lived. Joseph, though, would explain to Jesus that it was necessary to curtail “personal desires in deference to the welfare and tranquility of the entire family.” You can be sure that Jesus got the message. But one troublesome thing he liked to do was stay up beyond his bedtime and stare at the stars. Children of those days didn’t have organized games like we do today. They mostly played at things they saw their parents doing. There was little outlet for Jesus’ capacity for play and humor. But he did play with James in the workshop with blocks of wood. Up to the age of 14, he was cheerful and lighthearted most of the time. Mary had a dovecote on top of the animal annex, and they used the profit from the sale of doves as a special charity fund. Jesus deducted a tithe and took it to the officer at the synagogue. He was in charge of the fund.********************** There were 2 events of note in AD 1. First, Jesus caused Mary great anxiety by falling down the stone stairs from the roof. He liked to play up there, but he saw a sandstorm coming. Coming down the stairs, he was blinded by the sand and fell. Joseph subsequently built rails on both sides of the stairway. “There was no way in which this accident could have been prevented. It was not chargeable to the neglect of the midway temporal guardians, one primary and one secondary midwayer having been assigned to the watchcare of the lad; neither was it chargeable to the guardian seraphim. It simply could not have been avoided” (123.4.6). Celestial beings do not as a rule interfere with accidents of a physical nature. Only midway creatures, able to act on physical reality, will act for persons of destiny, but then only with permission of superiors.**************** Jesus turned 7 years old, the age at which formal education begins in the synagogue school. Jesus came to school fluent in Greek and Aramaic. Next, he must learn to read, write and speak Hebrew. Until he was 10, he attended the elementary school of the Nazareth synagogue. He studied the Law as it was recorded in Hebrew. After the 3rd year, he spent 3 more years studying the deeper aspects of the Law. He graduated when he was 13, and Jewish boys are then considered men. He was expected to attend Passover in the Temple at Jerusalem. “Jesus received his moral training and spiritual culture mainly in his own home. He secured much of his intellectual and theological education from the rabbi. But his real education–that equipment of mind and heart for the actual test of grappling with the difficult problems of life–he obtained by mingling with his fellow men. It was this close association with other people, young and old, Jew and gentile, that afforded him the opportunity to know the human race. Jesus was highly educated in that he thoroughly understood men and devotedly loved them” (123.5.8). The synagogue in Nazareth was very modern and liberal, and thus Joseph was able to take Jesus for long walks on the Sabbath. They would climb the hill near their home, and get a panoramic view of all Galilee. They could see Mount Hermon, almost 3000 feet of the upper slopes glistening white with perpetual snow. Or they would just stroll through the countryside and study nature. When Jesus was 8 he learned to milk the family cow, care for the other animals, make cheese, and learned to weave. But the big family event was the birth of Joseph on Wednesday morning, March 16, AD 1.**** Jesus was such a good student that he was allowed 1 week off every month. He would spend the week with an uncle on his farm or with another uncle who was a fisherman. Also about this time, AD 2, he met a teacher of mathematics and for several years spent much time on math. He developed a keen sense of numbers, distances and proportions. Jesus also became a skillful harpist. But despite his progress, things did not always go smoothly for parents or teachers. He persisted in asking many embarrassing questions about science and religion, especially about geography and astronomy. Also he asked why there was a dry season and a rainy season. He never ceased to ask such perplexing questions. Maybe the birth of his 3rd brother Simon took his mind off his questions. It happened on Friday, April 14, AD 2.****** A teacher from the academy of rabbis at Jerusalem, named Nahor, came to Nazareth to invite Jesus to the school , where he could learn so much more at the center for learning and culture. He wanted to take Jesus back with him. Mary was inclined to consent. Joseph not so much. Nahor suggested they leave the decision to Jesus. Jesus consulted with all the adults, prayed, and couldn’t come up with a solid decision either way. So, since he didn’t feel old enough to make the decision on his own, he decided not to go. I think his intuition told him that he wouldn’t like it. Jesus liked his freedom.

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