Urantia Book 30. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of the Universe of Nebadon. James and Judas Alpheus, twin fishermen, were the ninth and tenth apostles chosen, and chosen by James and John Zebedee. They were 26 years old and married with children. The UB says there is not much to say about these commonplace fishermen. They didn’t understand the philosophical discussions or theological debates of the other apostles. But they loved being among such mighty men. They were identical in appearance and in spiritual perception, so what is said about one can be said about the other (139.9-10.2). Their assignment by Andrew was to police the multitudes. They were the ushers while Jesus or the apostles were preaching, and they had to recruit more ushers if the crowds were large. They were general gofers at other times; they helped Philip with the supplies; they carried money to the families for Nathaniel and were always ready to help the other apostles. The multitudes of common people were encouraged to see two like themselves serving high in the kingdom. By their acceptance as apostles, they were the means of bringing a host of fainthearted believers into the kingdom. Such hesitant doubters took more kindly to being directed and managed by such common folk. James and Judas had neither strong points nor weak points. The nickname given to them by the other apostles was “the least of all the apostles,” which they accepted cheerfully. James Alpheus loved Jesus for his simplicity. They couldn’t comprehend the mind of Jesus, but they could grasp the sympathetic bond between themselves and the heart of the Master. They were intellectually challenged, but they had real spiritual experience; they believed in Jesus; they were sons of God and fellows of the kingdom. Judas Alpheus was drawn to Jesus because of his humility. Jesus never wanted people to know about his miracles. The twins, along with John, were the first to believe in the Resurrection. After the Ascension, they went back to fishing, not realizing there was more to be accomplished.*********** Simon the Zealot, the eleventh apostle, was chosen by Simon Peter. He was an able man of good background; he was 28 and lived with his family. He was also a fiery, nationalist, agitating revolutionist. Before he joined the apostolic corps, his whole attention had been on the nationalist organization of the Zealots. He often spoke without thinking. Andrew assigned him to the Wednesday recreation and relaxation program, and he was quite efficient at this assignment. “His strength was his inspirational loyalty. When the apostles found a man or woman who floundered in indecision about entering the kingdom, they would send for Simon. It usually required only about 15 minutes for this enthusiastic advocate of salvation through faith in God to settle all doubts and remove all indecision, to see a new soul born into the liberty of faith and the joy of salvation” (139.11.3). Simon’s great weakness was materialism. Jesus was patient with him, because changing from a materialist patriot to a spiritual internationalist was a great leap. He never quite made it. Simon admired Jesus for his inexplicable composure. Simon gradually went from being a rabid revolutionist to a powerful and effective preacher of “Peace on Earth and Goodwill Among Men.” Simon loved to argue, so when it came to dealing with legalistic Jews or the intellectual quiblings of Greeks, the task was always assigned to Simon. He was a rebel by nature and an iconoclast by training, but Jesus won him over for the higher concepts of the kingdom of heaven. Simon was a loyal and devoted person to any cause he adopted, and he profoundly loved Jesus. “Jesus had many talks with Simon and told him it was proper to want to see the social, economical and political areas improved.” But, Jesus would say, “That is not the business of the kingdom of heaven. We must be dedicated to the doing of the Father’s will. Our business is to be ambassadors of a spiritual government on high, and we must not immediately concern ourselves with aught but the representation of the will and character of the divine Father who stands at the head of the government whose credentials we bear” (139.11.9). During the Jerusalem persecutions, Simon went into retirement for a few years. But later he rallied and went to Alexandria, where he preached and baptized. He went up the Nile River and into the heart of Africa, preaching and baptizing. He died an old man in Africa.** Judas Iscariot, the twelfth apostle, was born in a small town in southern Judea. He grew up working in his father’s various businesses. He joined John the Baptist, which caused his parents to disown him. He was 30 years old and unmarried when he joined the apostolic corps. Judas was a good thinker, but not always honest with himself. Andrew assigned him to be treasurer, a position he was well fitted to hold. Up to the betrayal he carried out his duties honestly, faithfully and most efficiently (139.12.2). Jesus didn’t have a trait that Judas admired above all others, except in general the Master’s exquisitely charming personality. Judas, a Judean, was never able to overcome his prejudice against all the Galilean apostles. He even criticized Jesus in his mind. He thought Jesus was timid and afraid to assert his power and authority. But “Judas was a good business man. It required tact, ability and patience, as well as painstaking devotion, to manage the financial affairs of such an idealist as Jesus, to say nothing of wrestling with the helter-skelter business methods of some of the apostles. Judas was a great executive, a far-seeing and and able financier. And he was a stickler for organization. None of the apostles ever criticized Judas” (139.12.5). Money, says the UB, could never have been the motive for his betrayal of the Master. To Jesus, Judas was a faith adventure. From the beginning, Jesus understood the weaknesses of Judas and the dangers of admitting him to intimacy. “But it is the nature of the Sons of God to give every created being a full and equal chance for salvation and survival…The door of eternal life is open to all; there are no restrictions or qualifications save the faith of the one who comes” (139.12.7-8). Jesus let Judas go to the end, doing everything possible to save “the weak and confused apostle.” Judas grew intellectually but not spiritually. Judas became a brooder over disappointments, which led to resentments. He became suspicious of his fellow apostles, even the Master. Next, he became obsessed with the idea of getting even, and even betraying his Master. All of these thoughts were in the form of a smog in Judas’ mind until a woman put an expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet. Judas spoke up that the money should be used for the poor. Jesus put him down with a crowd looking on, spiking Judas’ anger, and his anger focused on the most innocent person in the crowd: Jesus. As far as the UB is concerned, Judas has never been forgiven. It doesn’t say how he died.