Urantia Book 56. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. About 8AM this Sunday morning Jesus’ earth family arrived in response to an urgent summons by Jude’s sister-in-law. Each one was caught between fear and family pride, and only Ruth believed that Jesus was divine. The Pharisees had been trying to convince Mary that Jesus was insane. They told her that only dishonor and disgrace would come upon the family if Jesus was allowed to continue. James and Jude knew about the plans to take Jesus to Jerusalem for trial, and they feared for their own safety. When they reached the Zebedee house, Jesus was in the middle of his farewell address to the disciples. The house was so crowded that they had to sit on the back porch; and they did not see Jesus. It was just another of those instances in which his earth family could not comprehend that he must be about his Father’s business. And so Mary and his brothers were deeply hurt when, instead of his rushing out to greet them, they heard his musical voice speak with increased volume: “Say to my mother and brothers that they should have no fear for me. The Father who sent me into the world will not forsake me; neither shall any harm come upon my family. Bid them be of good courage and put their trust in the Father of the kingdom. But, after all, who is my mother and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hands to the disciples in the room, he said: “I have no mother; I have no brothers. Behold my mother, behold my brethren! For whosoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my mother, my brother and my sister.” And when Mary heard these words, she collapsed in Jude’s arms. Jesus was about to go to his family, but a messenger arrived saying officers were coming to arrest Jesus. The disciples pushed Jesus out of the house and into a boat, and Jesus never saw his family. But Jesus did not forsake his earth family to do his Father’s work–they forsook him. Later on, after the Master’s death and resurrection, when James became connected with the early Christian movement, he suffered immeasurably as a result of his failure to enjoy this earlier association with Jesus and his disciples.* ***And so it was on this Sunday morning, May 22 in the year 29, that Jesus, with his 12 apostles and 12 evangelists, engaged in this hasty flight from the Sanhedrin officers who were on their way to Bethsaida with authority from Herod Antipas to arrest him and take him to Jerusalem for trial on charges of blasphemy and other violations of the sacred laws of the Jews. It was almost eight-thirty when the boats left shore for the other side of the Sea of Galilee (Tiberias). Jesus was never again to make his home at the house of Zebedee. From now on, throughout the remainder of his earth life, the Master had truly “not where to lay his head.” No more did he even have semblance of a settled abode. They rowed over to near the village of Kheresa, put their boat in the custody of friends, and began the wanderings of this eventful last year of the Master’s life on earth. That night, Jesus and the 24 camped in a beautiful park, and Jesus told them the plans for preaching in northern Galilee to the Phoenician coast. He also clarified the message for them. He said: “My kingdom is founded on love, proclaimed in mercy, and established by unselfish service. My Father does not sit in heaven laughing in derision at the heathen. He is not wrathful in his great displeasure. True is the promise that the Son will have the so-called heathen (in reality his ignorant and untaught brethren) for an inheritance. And I will receive these gentiles with open arms of mercy and affection. All this loving-kindness will be shown the so-called heathen. The Psalmist exhorted you to serve the Lord with fear–I bid you enter into the exalted privileges of divine sonship by faith; he commands you to rejoice with trembling–I bid you rejoice with assurance. Let me state emphatically this eternal truth. If you, by truth coordination, learn to exemplify in your lives this beautiful wholeness of righteousness, your fellow man will then seek after you that they may gain what you have so acquired. The measure with which truth seekers are drawn to you represents the measure of your truth endowment, your righteousness.********* On Monday, May 23, Jesus directed Peter to go to Chorazin with the 12 evangelists while he, with the 11, went to Caesarea Philippi. Chorazin turned out to be a wasteland for Peter and the evangelists. Souls were hard and converts were few and far between. They stayed for 2 weeks, but had little success. It was a “baptism of adversity for the 12 evangelists; it was the most difficult and unproductive period in their careers up to this time. Being deprived of winning souls for the kingdom, each of them earnestly and honestly took stock of his own soul and its progress in the path of the new life. They were beginning to understand that the “kingdom of heaven is not meat and drink but the realization of the spiritual joy of the acceptance of divine sonship.”* ***It was also a difficult 2 weeks for the apostles, but they benefited by daily conferences with the Master. They learned that the Jews were spiritually stagnant and dying because they had crystallized truth into a creed; that when truth becomes formulated into a boundary line of self-righteous exclusiveness instead of serving as signposts of spiritual progress, such teachings lose their life giving and creative power and ultimately become merely preservative and fossilizing. And Jesus dug down on serving others when he said: “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me.” True religion is designed to lessen the strain of existence; it releases faith and courage for daily living and unselfish serving. Faith promotes spiritual vitality and righteous fruitfulness. Jesus repeatedly taught that no civilization could long survive the loss of the best in its religion. And he never grew weary of pointing out to the 12 the great danger of accepting religious symbols and ceremonies in place of religious experience.

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