Urantia Book 6. The story of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, God of the Universe of Nebadon. In Jesus’ 13th year (AD 7) he passed into manhood due to several experiences. His voice started to change. He also became assured that he had a special mission for the enlightenment of man and the revelation of God. Also, on Sunday night, January 9, his brother Amos was born. On March 20 Jesus graduated from the course of training at the Nazareth synagogue. “This was a great day in the life of any ambitious Jewish family, the day when the first-born son was pronounced “a son of commandment” and the ransomed first-born of the Lord God of Israel, “a child of the Most High” and servant of the Lord of all the earth” (124.5.4). To explain: Yahweh demanded the sacrifice of the first-born male child, but He waived that sacrifice and settled for the dedication of the child to Himself. Joseph traveled from a work site to be present at the graduation. He was in charge of the work on a new public building in Sepphoris. The elders were very proud of Jesus and planned his further education in Jerusalem at the “renowned Hebrew academies.” Jesus knew he wouldn’t be fulfilling these plans, but had no idea that he would be raising his brothers and sisters, making higher education impossible.************ Jesus attended his first Passover, which fell on April 9. The family departed for Jerusalem as part of a group of 103 worshipers. They traveled through Archelaus’ region, but he had been deposed, so there was nothing to fear. By the 4th day the road was clogged with worshipers attending Passover. When Joseph told Jesus that the Holy City lay just beyond the next ridge, his “heart beat fast with joyous anticipation of soon beholding the city and house of his heavenly Father” (124.5.8). At Bethany the family was invited to rest and have a snack. Mary, Martha and Lazarus were about the age of Jesus, and they became lifelong friends. Jesus experienced his first human thrill in gazing down on Jerusalem from Olivet. As they hurried through Jerusalem, Jesus was impressed by the crowds, who came from every part of the known world. The family stayed in the large house of a relative who knew the story of Jesus and John through Zacharias. Joseph took Jesus to the Temple where it was planned that he would continue his education when he reached 15 years of age. Joseph couldn’t understand Jesus’ lack of interest in these plans. But Jesus did ask some embarrassing questions, such as why the heavenly Father required the death of so many helpless and innocent animals.**** “The day before the Passover Sabbath was one of the most extraordinary days that the Son of God spent in the flesh; and during the night, for the first time in his earth career, there appeared to him an assigned messenger from Salvington, commissioned by Immanuel, and this messenger said, “The hour has come. It is time that you began to be about your Father’s business.”” (124.6.15). The UB interprets this message to mean that Jesus must now take responsibility of running the universe as well as continue his bestowal activities. He was 13 at the time, so I’m not sure I agree with the UB interpretation of the message. I think the message means that he should start to preach the Word or the Revelation of God. He did decide to go back to Salvington after his Baptism, but he grew up after the experience at Passover.***** Jesus was consecrated in the Temple, another milestone in his becoming a man. He was shocked, indignant and angry that his mother wasn’t allowed to witness his consecration–no women were allowed–there was a women’s court for women. He was also disappointed with the routine, perfunctory nature of the ritual. Afterwards, Joseph took Jesus on a tour of the Temple, which could hold 200,000 worshipers at one time. Jesus heard too much about God’s anger and punishment. He did not accept explanations of worship and religious devotion which involved belief in the wrath of God or the anger of the Almighty. When Joseph insisted that Jesus accept orthodox Jewish beliefs, Jesus appealed to Joseph, saying, “My father, it cannot be true–the Father in heaven cannot so regard his erring children on earth. The heavenly Father cannot love his children less than you love me. And I well know, no matter what unwise thing I might do, you would never pour out wrath upon me, nor vent anger against me. If you, my earthly father, possess such human reflections of the Divine, how much more must the heavenly Father be filled with goodness and overflowing with mercy. I refuse to believe that my Father in heaven loves me less that my father on earth” (125.0.6). Jesus was sickened by the court of the gentiles: noise, bleating of sheep, cursing, fighting, money changers, prostitutes, screams of dying animals–he couldn’t believe this was happening in his Father’s house. Farther in, the priests slaughtered the animals: more dying animals, blood, blood all over the priests. And the smell! And everywhere he went, he was depressed by the spirit of irreverence, and noise, clamor and yelling. Jesus complained to his parents about all this, but they didn’t say anything. They never again tried to change his mind about his Father’s love and mercy.**************** Jesus’ family celebrated Passover with his friends in Bethany. He was asked to recount the origin of Passover, but, to his parents’ chagrin, he included comments on the condition of the Temple. Jesus began to think of someday having a bloodless Passover–no lamb. His sleep was very disturbed that night, with dreams of slaughter and suffering. His mind and heart were tortured by the eyes of the innocent animals. He obsessed about the inconsistencies of the theology of the Jewish ceremonial system. His parents couldn’t sleep, either. They were upset by their son’s strange reaction to everything. Why was this not a good experience for Jesus? Why was he reacting this way? Why was he different? They were both afraid to talk to Jesus, but he would have freely told them what was in his mind. In fact, he should have had somebody he could have talked to. The next day was much better for Jesus. Lazarus took Jesus to parts of the Temple where discussions took place, and they spent a large part of the day listening to these discussions. Also the day’s services were more acceptable to Jesus. He also visited the Holy of Holys and reflected on what might or might not be behind the curtain. During Passover week Jesus was deep in contemplation of many problems that he had to work out in order to assume the status of a man and a God. His parents would come upon him sitting with his head in his hands, and this caused them to want him safely back in Nazareth.