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Jesus, the Family Man

burial joseph by russ docken

Not everyone is yet aware just how much of a family man Jesus really was, but Urantia Book readers know...and dearly love this part of Jesus' life. That's why the title of this article caught my eye: Jesus was a Family Man by Dr Ray Pritchard.

It's a nice article, recounting the time when Jesus remembered his mother, Mary, even while he was dying on the cross, and exhorting all of us not to neglect our duty to serve others. Here's a small, but significant snippet - and the subject of our blog, below:

"When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple He loved standing there, He said to His mother, "Woman, here is your son.' Then He said to the disciple, 'Here is your mother'" (John 19:26-27).

" Mary is older now.

"Jesus has grown up. Mary has grown older too. She might be in her early 50s. Or she might be 55 now. She could even be 60 or 65. She's not a young girl anymore. She's long past the childbearing years. She's past her 20s, past her 30s, past her 40s. She's a widow now. I think that's certain. Joseph is gone. Somewhere between the time Jesus was twelve and the time he began his ministry, Joseph seems to have dropped off the scene. Mary is alone now. Her shoulders are stooped a little bit. There are a few silver threads among the gold. Those carefree days of youth are gone forever."

Click to read the entire article


What DID happen to Joseph, Jesus' father?

As the snippet above illustrates, most people who know the life of Jesus from Scripture are not aware of the circumstances of Jesus' early life - the life he lived within his family as the eldest son of nine children of Mary and Joseph. They wonder what happened to Joseph, who "seems to have dropped off the scene." Nowhere but in The Urantia Book do we learn both what happened to Joseph as well as the details of those years of Jesus' life.

From The Urantia Book, we receive the true story, the real story, as preserved by the angels for our uplift and inspiration.

Jesus' early life was one of relative ease and happiness, up until Jesus was 14 years-old. That year, Joseph, Jesus' beloved earthly father died of injuries he suffered on his job one day in his work as a construction contractor. From The Urantia Book:

126:2.1 All did go well until that fateful day of Tuesday, September 25, when a runner from Sepphoris brought to this Nazareth home the tragic news that Joseph had been severely injured by the falling of a derrick while at work on the governor's residence. The messenger from Sepphoris had stopped at the shop on the way to Joseph's home, informing Jesus of his father's accident, and they went together to the house to break the sad news to Mary. Jesus desired to go immediately to his father, but Mary would hear to nothing but that she must hasten to her husband's side. She directed that James, then ten years of age, should accompany her to Sepphoris while Jesus remained home with the younger children until she should return, as she did not know how seriously Joseph had been injured. But Joseph died of his injuries before Mary arrived. They brought him to Nazareth, and on the following day he was laid to rest with his fathers.
Just at the time when prospects were good and the future looked bright, an apparently cruel hand struck down the head of this Nazareth household, the affairs of this home were disrupted, and every plan for Jesus and his future education was demolished. This carpenter lad, now just past fourteen years of age, awakened to the realization that he had not only to fulfill the commission of his heavenly Father to reveal the divine nature on earth and in the flesh, but that his young human nature must also shoulder the responsibility of caring for his widowed mother and seven brothers and sisters—and another yet to be born. This lad of Nazareth now became the sole support and comfort of this so suddenly bereaved family. Thus were permitted those occurrences of the natural order of events on Urantia which would force this young man of destiny so early to assume these heavy but highly educational and disciplinary responsibilities attendant upon becoming the head of a human family, of becoming father to his own brothers and sisters, of supporting and protecting his mother, of functioning as guardian of his father's home, the only home he was to know while on this world.
Jesus cheerfully accepted the responsibilities so suddenly thrust upon him, and he carried them faithfully to the end.

What kind of "family man" was Jesus?

From the above account, we learn that Jesus - the eldest son - was now suddenly the "man of the house." This was a huge responsibility to place on the shoulders of such a young man; but of course, Jesus rose to the occasion, and for more than ten years, until Jesus was 26, he faithfully carried out his duties "of becoming father to his own brothers and sisters, of supporting and protecting his mother, of functioning as guardian of his father's home, the only home he was to know while on this world."

All through out the ensuing years, through times of severe hardship and poverty and times of a return to a more comfortable life, Jesus carried the duty of head of his household. He parented his siblings, and saw to it that Mary and the children were always to be taken care of. He carefully orchestrated his eventual leave-taking of the family, which took place when Jesus was 27 years-old, so that they gradually became used to the idea that he would not be with them forever. But in the meantime, he was a model parent ... although Jesus never married, still, he managed to gain this vital experience of parenting through his life circumstances.

What kind of parent was Jesus to his siblings?

By the time Jesus was 19 years-old - just five years after the death of Joseph, his deceased father's home was a smoothly running household, and Jesus was the unquestioned parental father-figure:

127:4.0 By this time Jesus and Mary were getting along much better. She regarded him less as a son; he had become to her more a father to her children. Each day's life swarmed with practical and immediate difficulties. Less frequently they spoke of his lifework, for, as time passed, all their thought was mutually devoted to the support and upbringing of their family of four boys and three girls.<
By the beginning of this year Jesus had fully won his mother to the acceptance of his methods of child training—the positive injunction to do good in the place of the older Jewish method of forbidding to do evil. In his home and throughout his public-teaching career Jesus invariably employed the positive form of exhortation. Always and everywhere did he say, "You shall do this—you ought to do that." Never did he employ the negative mode of teaching derived from the ancient taboos. He refrained from placing emphasis on evil by forbidding it, while he exalted the good by commanding its performance. Prayer time in this household was the occasion for discussing anything and everything relating to the welfare of the family.
Jesus began wise discipline upon his brothers and sisters at such an early age that little or no punishment was ever required to secure their prompt and wholehearted obedience. The only exception was Jude, upon whom on sundry occasions Jesus found it necessary to impose penalties for his infractions of the rules of the home. On three occasions when it was deemed wise to punish Jude for self-confessed and deliberate violations of the family rules of conduct, his punishment was fixed by the unanimous decree of the older children and was assented to by Jude himself before it was inflicted.
While Jesus was most methodical and systematic in everything he did, there was also in all his administrative rulings a refreshing elasticity of interpretation and an individuality of adaptation that greatly impressed all the children with the spirit of justice which actuated their father-brother. He never arbitrarily disciplined his brothers and sisters, and such uniform fairness and personal consideration greatly endeared Jesus to all his family.
James and Simon grew up trying to follow Jesus' plan of placating their bellicose and sometimes irate playmates by persuasion and nonresistance, and they were fairly successful; but Joseph and Jude, while assenting to such teachings at home, made haste to defend themselves when assailed by their comrades; in particular was Jude guilty of violating the spirit of these teachings. But nonresistance was not a rule of the family. No penalty was attached to the violation of personal teachings.
In general, all of the children, particularly the girls, would consult Jesus about their childhood troubles and confide in him just as they would have in an affectionate father.
James was growing up to be a well-balanced and even-tempered youth, but he was not so spiritually inclined as Jesus. He was a much better student than Joseph, who, while a faithful worker, was even less spiritually minded. Joseph was a plodder and not up to the intellectual level of the other children. Simon was a well-meaning boy but too much of a dreamer. He was slow in getting settled down in life and was the cause of considerable anxiety to Jesus and Mary. But he was always a good and well-intentioned lad. Jude was a firebrand. He had the highest of ideals, but he was unstable in temperament. He had all and more of his mother's determination and aggressiveness, but he lacked much of her sense of proportion and discretion.
Miriam was a well-balanced and level-headed daughter with a keen appreciation of things noble and spiritual. Martha was slow in thought and action but a very dependable and efficient child. Baby Ruth was the sunshine of the home; though thoughtless of speech, she was most sincere of heart. She just about worshiped her big brother and father. But they did not spoil her. She was a beautiful child but not quite so comely as Miriam, who was the belle of the family, if not of the city.
As time passed, Jesus did much to liberalize and modify the family teachings and practices related to Sabbath observance and many other phases of religion, and to all these changes Mary gave hearty assent. By this time Jesus had become the unquestioned head of the house.

Click to read about Jesus' life from age 16-20

Click to read about Jesus life from age 21-26


When did Jesus leave his home?

As the children gradually began to grow up and have lives of their own, Jesus began the careful planning for his eventual parting from the family. And when he was 27, we read this about Jesus:

129:0.1 JESUS had fully and finally separated himself from the management of the domestic affairs of the Nazareth family and from the immediate direction of its individuals. He continued, right up to the event of his baptism, to contribute to the family finances and to take a keen personal interest in the spiritual welfare of every one of his brothers and sisters. And always was he ready to do everything humanly possible for the comfort and happiness of his widowed mother.
The Son of Man had now made every preparation for detaching himself permanently from the Nazareth home; and this was not easy for him to do. Jesus naturally loved his people; he loved his family, and this natural affection had been tremendously augmented by his extraordinary devotion to them. The more fully we bestow ourselves upon our fellows, the more we come to love them; and since Jesus had given himself so fully to his family, he loved them with a great and fervent affection.
All the family had slowly awakened to the realization that Jesus was making ready to leave them. The sadness of the anticipated separation was only tempered by this graduated method of preparing them for the announcement of his intended departure. For more than four years they discerned that he was planning for this eventual separation.
In January of this year, A.D. 21, on a rainy Sunday morning, Jesus took unceremonious leave of his family, only explaining that he was going over to Tiberias and then on a visit to other cities about the Sea of Galilee. And thus he left them, never again to be a regular member of that household.

If you like these stories, there are LOTS more!

In Part IV of The Urantia Book, we are given page after page, paper after paper that are crammed full of delightful and interesting stories like these...but they are not just stories. These are the facts of Jesus' real life, preserved for eternity by the angels and now shared - in The Urantia Book - with a world hungry for the truth of Jesus life.

Are YOU hungry to know more about Jesus? Knowing details like these will deepen your love and your understanding of the Master!

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