Urantia Book 11. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of the Universe of Nebadon. The year Jesus was 22 (AD 16) Simon graduated from school and became a stone mason in partnership with Jesus’ old friend Jacob. Jesus spent most of his time at the caravan repair shop soaking up news and information from all the world. The family decided they should diversify–not all become carpenters. When work was slack, Jesus went to Sepphoris and worked in metals. After 6 months he acquired considerable skill at the anvil. Jesus called together a family conference and solemnly installed James, who had recently turned 18, as acting head of the house. James assumed full financial responsibility. Jesus gave to James his wages on a weekly schedule, and he never intended to take back the position of head of household. Neither did he come home every night. He wanted to train James and Joseph in taking responsibility for the family. He was in the process of weaning his family from him. He came home on the Sabbath and during the week “to observe the working of the new plan, to give advice and offer helpful suggestions” (128.2.4). Living and working in Sepphoris gave Jesus an opportunity to study gentiles, habits of living, attitudes and minds. After 6 months he found that this city of Herod Antipas possessed such low morals that he anticipated his trips back to Nazareth. Jesus finally moved back home and to the caravan repair shop, but he left James and Joseph in charge of the house. After James ran the household for 2 years, Joseph started managing the household.** In Jesus’ 23rd year (AD 17) there was less financial pressure because 4 of the older boys were working. And Miriam earned a considerable amount selling milk and butter. Martha too was working; she had become an expert weaver. Jesus stopped work for 3 weeks to take Simon to Passover in Jerusalem. It was the longest vacation he ever had. The brothers met a rich merchant who invited Jesus to enter his Oriental import business. Jesus thought about seeing all the wonderful places he would like to see, but he told the merchant he had family obligations. While Simon was going through the ceremonies, Jesus talked to gentile proselytes (gentiles who are studying to join the Hebrew faith). Incidentally, Judaism was well respected in the ancient world for its moral laws, its family values and its monotheism. Jesus did go to Damascus to visit the merchant and stayed 4 months. The merchant had a proposal that was the greatest temptation that Jesus faced thus far in his life. The merchant wanted to found a school in Damascus, and he wanted Jesus to 1) travel the world and look at the best schools and 2) be the head of a school of religious philosophy. And the merchant brought before Jesus 12 more merchants who supported this project. Jesus would not consent due to prior “obligations”—-very vague obligations. Jesus knew he couldn’t be trapped in other men’s plans and ideas.****************************** The UB says that the disciples twisted the meaning of Jesus religion. Jesus’ religion was about the love of the Father, the mercy and forgiveness of God, the Fatherhood of God. Most of all, God was not the vengeful god in the Hebrew scriptures. Jesus’ religion was not about Jesus. But the disciples made their religion about Jesus and Paul invented Christ. Paul literally invented the Christian religion. The UB says: “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” (128.4.6). And he did not want men to believe in him unless their hearts were responsive to the spiritual realities revealed in his teachings (UB).********** By Jesus’ 24th year (AD 18) he was comparatively free of family responsibility. James was excellent at home management, with occasional counsel from Jesus. After Passover of this year Jesus had a conference in Caesarea with 5 prominent Jews of Alexandria. They wanted him to set himself up as a religious teacher in Alexandria, where they would give him the position of assistant to the chazan in their chief synagogue. They predicted a revolt in Jerusalem, at which time the Temple would be destroyed, leaving Alexandria as the only center of Jewish learning. And Alexandria is already becoming the chief intellectual and religious city in the Empire. Jesus, of course, declined with the vague reason that “my hour has not yet come…” He also refused a money gift meant to defray the expenses of the trip to Caesarea.**************************** The rest of the year was uneventful. James told Jesus that he wanted to marry a girl named Esta. He would train Joseph for 2 years and then be ready to marry. And then marriage was in the air. Miriam came and put her plans before Jesus. Jacob was now a business associate of James and Joseph, and Jacob had wanted to marry Miriam for a long time. Jesus told Miriam that Jacob would have to come to him and ask for her, and he would consent when Martha was trained in the duties of the eldest daughter.**** When Jesus was 25 (AD 19), he took Jude to Passover in Jerusalem, where Jude got in trouble. A Roman guard made a lewd remark about a Jewish woman, which Jude heard. So Jude expressed his resentment about everything Roman–in the guard’s face. Jude was taken to the prison, and Jesus went with him to help. As a result, Jude was never consecrated as a son of the commonwealth of Israel. The magistrate let them go and suggested that Jesus keep a tighter rein on Jude. But he was always a problem for Jesus. This was the last Passover Jesus attended with a family member. He started to drift away from the family and toward his destiny as the Son of Man.