Well, we just have to wade in on this story - yet again. That's right, the story about Jesus having been married to Mary Magdalene is once again making the rounds, but this time he is said to have fathered two children, too!
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It seems that this story emerges from time to time - usually after some new piece of ancient writing is discovered. This one is more obscure than most, though. The names of the two people in the writings were Joseph and Aseneth, but the authors of the book claiming the marriage of Jesus say that these were names to disguise the true identities of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. These are actually two figures from the book of Genesis (41:50), and coincidentally, they had two sons. We say that is a pretty long stretch, to say the least! This approach may sell books, but it does not reflect reality.
What does The Urantia Book Say?
Readers of The Urantia Book smile indulgently-or clench their teeth-when they read these kinds of things because The Urantia Book dispels any notions of Jesus being married. And those who authored the Jesus Papers know what they're talking about, as many were eyewitnesses to all the events of Jesus' life, and were able to access all planetary records of those eventful days and years.
Jesus was a handsome and dynamic man. It should surprise no one that there were women who were interested in him; one, in particular, was Rebecca of Sepphoris. She wanted to marry Jesus when he was 19 years-old, but here's what happened:
127:5.4 Then began that eventful talk with Rebecca. Thus far in his life, Jesus had made little distinction in his association with boys and girls, with young men and young women. His mind had been altogether too much occupied with the pressing problems of practical earthly affairs and the intriguing contemplation of his eventual career "about his Father's business" ever to have given serious consideration to the consummation of personal love in human marriage. But now he was face to face with another of those problems which every average human being must confront and decide. Indeed was he "tested in all points like as you are."
"After listening attentively, he sincerely thanked Rebecca for her expressed admiration, adding, "it shall cheer and comfort me all the days of my life." He explained that he was not free to enter into relations with any woman other than those of simple brotherly regard and pure friendship. He made it clear that his first and paramount duty was the rearing of his father's family, that he could not consider marriage until that was accomplished; and then he added: "If I am a son of destiny, I must not assume obligations of lifelong duration until such a time as my destiny shall be made manifest."
"Rebecca was heartbroken. She refused to be comforted and importuned her father to leave Nazareth until he finally consented to move to Sepphoris. In after years, to the many men who sought her hand in marriage, Rebecca had but one answer. She lived for only one purpose—to await the hour when this, to her, the greatest man who ever lived would begin his career as a teacher of living truth. And she followed him devotedly through his eventful years of public labor, being present (unobserved by Jesus) that day when he rode triumphantly into Jerusalem; and she stood "among the other women" by the side of Mary on that fateful and tragic afternoon when the Son of Man hung upon the cross, to her, as well as to countless worlds on high, "the one altogether lovely and the greatest among ten thousand."
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Here is another passage about Jesus and marriage:
167:5.7 After Jesus had talked about marriage and divorce, later on that evening his apostles privately asked many additional questions, and his answers to these inquiries relieved their minds of many misconceptions. At the conclusion of this conference Jesus said: "Marriage is honorable and is to be desired by all men. The fact that the Son of Man pursues his earth mission alone is in no way a reflection on the desirability of marriage. That I should so work is the Father's will, but this same Father has directed the creation of male and female, and it is the divine will that men and women should find their highest service and consequent joy in the establishment of homes for the reception and training of children, in the creation of whom these parents become copartners with the Makers of heaven and earth. And for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall become as one.
He Left no Writings...And No Children
One reason people have to grope so much to find out about Jesus is that he deliberately refrained from leaving anything on the earth when he left that could have diluted his message - that could be idolized...
When Jesus (aka Michael) was entering into the incarnation process for his seventh and final time he chose our world as the place that he would fulfill this final mission to incarnate as a human being on Earth. Here, he is being advised by his elder brother, Immanuel prior to the incarnation:
0:3.7"6. To the end that you may not unnecessarily contribute to the creation of subsequent stereotyped systems of Urantia religious beliefs or other types of nonprogressive religious loyalties, we advise you still further: Leave no writings behind you on the planet. Refrain from all writing upon permanent materials; enjoin your associates to make no images or other likenesses of yourself in the flesh. See that nothing potentially idolatrous is left on the planet at the time of your departure.
Later in his life, when Jesus was about to enter on his public mission, he followed this advice
136:4.2 The first thing Jesus did, after thinking through the general plan of co-ordinating his program with John's movement, was to review in his mind the instructions of Immanuel. Carefully he thought over the advice given him concerning his methods of labor, and that he was to leave no permanent writing on the planet. Never again did Jesus write on anything except sand. On his next visit to Nazareth, much to the sorrow of his brother Joseph, Jesus destroyed all of his writing that was preserved on the boards about the carpenter shop, and which hung upon the walls of the old home. And Jesus pondered well over Immanuel's advice pertaining to his economic, social, and political attitude toward the world as he should find it.
And about marriage, he was advised by Immanuel:
20:3.8"7. While you will live the normal and average social life of the planet, being a normal individual of the male sex, you will probably not enter the marriage relation, which relation would be wholly honorable and consistent with your bestowal; but I must remind you that one of the incarnation mandates of Sonarington forbids the leaving of human offspring behind on any planet by a bestowal Son of Paradise origin.
Click to read Immanuel's complete pre-bestowal statement to Jesus
The Life and Teachings of Jesus - A Must-Read
In the end, Jesus' life stands as his true legacy...his life and his teachings...teachings which are now restated for us in our 21st century world because we really, really need them. We really need to discover the whole story of Jesus and what kind of life he lived. What did he think? Did he follow a real religion, or was he primarily "spiritual?" How did he relate to the heavenly Father?
Jesus' religion of personal spiritual experience is really what can bridge any gap we may have between our understanding of the historical Jesus (and The Urantia Book supplies ample witness of the historical Jesus) and the desire to KNOW Jesus
140:8.29 The teaching of Jesus is a religion for everybody, not alone for weaklings and slaves. His religion never became crystallized (during his day) into creeds and theological laws; he left not a line of writing behind him. His life and teachings were bequeathed the universe as an inspirational and idealistic inheritance suitable for the spiritual guidance and moral instruction of all ages on all worlds. And even today, Jesus' teaching stands apart from all religions, as such, albeit it is the living hope of every one of them.
The revelation of the Life and Teachings of Jesus helps all seekers find Jesus - not only those who already know him, but also those who WANT to know him - who suspect that he is far more than a Christian symbol. And that is right. Jesus is for everyone - Christians, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, atheists and agnostics, too. In the pages of The Urantia Book, Jesus is lifted out of the traditional Christian context and is made available to all.
So, while so many are so desperate for Jesus that they'll grasp at any straw to find the truth, here it is for anyone who wants it. Read The Urantia Book, and find Jesus...