Articles that speculate about Jesus and his family are often a perfect opportunity to introduce readers of this blog to the wonderful stories in The Urantia Book on that subject; Bible stories are also good, as in this article from 2016 that prompted the blog: Jesus' family's values by Elijah Zehyoue. They're very scanty, but this is all the world had had about this subject for over 200 centuries.
The article is sweet, as it illustrates the easy way some of us can be with our families - so comfortable that we can really be our true selves. And then the article shares the stories we have from the Bible about Jesus' family; but of course, there is really only Mary and Joseph, Jesus' parents, in the Bible.
In our blog below, we're going to expand on Jesus' family as it is revealed to us in The Urantia Book; but frst a snip from the article:
"If being around our respective families could teach my wife and me so much about each other, I wonder what we could learn of Jesus if we got to know his family better. So often in our practice of the Christian faith we treat Jesus as if he was born and raised unto himself and changed the world simply because of his will or relationship with God. Too often we read the stories about the life of Jesus in our western individualist context in which it is all about him and say nothing about the community which formed him and instilled values into him to help make him the liberating king he needed to be."
Click to read the article
Let's get to know Jesus and his family!
Even though Jesus never married and he never engendered his own children, he did nonetheless, have a rich family experience - even to the point where he became the head-of-household to seven siblings! The world has never really known about Jesus having brothers and sisters - and in fact very little about any of his early years, aside from his birth and infancy. But the details were carefully recorded and have been carefully preserved for this time, wen The Urantia Book is in printed form for all the world to read.
In PART IV of The Urantia Book the story of Jesus parenting experience is one of the highlights of Jesus youth and young manhood. There are many years of Jesus' life that are not covered at all in Scripture, for example, the years between his birth and infancy and the flight to Egypt, and the time that Jesus was left in the temple at age thirteen. It might interest the reader to know that, during those years, Mary and Joseph had seven more children. And when Jesus was 14, his mother had yet one more child who was conceived before Joseph died, but who was not born until after that sad day.
Jesus was a truly human person - as well as a divine Son of God - and he was born the eldest son of Mary and Joseph. But Mary and Joseph were a happily married couple, living a happily married life which produced children in regular order during the years that they were together. They are, in birth order: James, Miriam, Joseph, Simon, Martha, Jude, Amos, and Ruth.
Here's when the brothers and sisters of Jesus were born
Here's some info from the book about when Jesus' brothers and sisters were born, and how old Jesus was on those dates:
When Jesus was 4:
The next important event in the life of this Nazareth family was the birth of the second child, James, in the early morning hours of April 2, 3 B.C. Jesus was thrilled by the thought of having a baby brother, and he would stand around by the hour just to observe the baby's early activities.
When Jesus was 5:
In this year, 2 B.C., a little more than one month before his fifth birthday anniversary, Jesus was made very happy by the coming of his sister Miriam, who was born on the night of July 11. During the evening of the following day Jesus had a long talk with his father concerning the manner in which various groups of living things are born into the world as separate individuals.
Since returning to Nazareth, theirs had been a busy household, and Joseph had been unusually occupied building his new shop and getting his business started again. So fully was he occupied that he had found no time to build a cradle for James, but this was corrected long before Miriam came, so that she had a very comfortable crib in which to nestle while the family admired her. And the child Jesus heartily entered into all these natural and normal home experiences. He greatly enjoyed his little brother and his baby sister and was of great help to Mary in their care.
When Jesus was 7:
The fourth member of the Nazareth family, Joseph, was born Wednesday morning, March 16, A.D. 1.
When Jesus was 8:
His third brother, Simon, was born on Friday evening, April 14, of this year, A.D. 2.
When Jesus was 9:
Jesus' second sister, Martha, was born Thursday night, September 13. [AD. 3]
When Jesus was 11:
On Wednesday evening, June 24, A.D. 5, Jude was born. Complications attended the birth of this, the seventh child.
When Jesus was 13:
On Sunday night, January 9, A.D. 7, his baby brother, Amos, was born.
Following the untimely death of Joseph, Jesus - just 14 years-old - became the head of his father Joseph's family. He became father-brother to all the siblings. And then more stress on top of sadness:
When Jesus was 15:
On Wednesday evening, April 17, A.D. 9, Ruth, the baby of the family, was born, and to the best of his ability Jesus endeavored to take the place of his father in comforting and ministering to his mother during this trying and peculiarly sad ordeal. For almost a score of years (until he began his public ministry) no father could have loved and nurtured his daughter any more affectionately and faithfully than Jesus cared for little Ruth. And he was an equally good father to all the other members of his family.
When Jesus was 18 years-old, there was a terrible day when they lost one of the children to a sudden illness. Here's what happened:
On Saturday afternoon, December 3, [A.D. 12] of this year, death for the second time struck at this Nazareth family. Little Amos, their baby brother [Age 5], died after a week's illness with a high fever. After passing through this time of sorrow with her first-born son as her only support, Mary at last and in the fullest sense recognized Jesus as the real head of the family; and he was truly a worthy head.
Read much more about Jesus and his siblings
Even though it was caused by such sad events, it really does make so much sense, and seems very appropriate that Jesus should have had this experience of parenting. Although Jesus never married, circumstances conspired to provide him with an experience of guiding these younger ones through childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood as any good father would do. He endured difficulty with day-to-day living, just situations as face all parents.
Jesus' hardship were compounded by the poverty that resulted from losing Joseph as breadwinner. At age fourteen, he had to wrestle with many challenges, but by age 19, he had developed quite a successful parenting style.
And through this experience, he then could demonstrate with increasing clarity the Fatherhood of God himself, whose love and tender care he came to personify. And he learned to do this in increasing measure through these trials of living in his tender, adolesecent years of life - even before, and as, he was becoming aware of his true identity and his true mission to the world. .
Let Jesus help you be a better parent - and a better human being!
If you ever want guidance in your own parenting skills, you can't do any better than this:
Jesus' Parenting Style - Jesus' 19th Year
Again, we discover in The Urantia Book the rich life that Jesus lived; in this case, the details of his youth that are virtually unknown in the world. And the rest of his life is detailed in much the same way - in an almost daily chronicle of the trials and triumphs experienced by Jesus - the son of man and the Son of God.
Through this amazing narrative - what the book calls a "restatement" - we come to know Jesus in a way that is astounding, compelling, and completely believable. Like the stories of Jesus and his siblings, each and every stage of the Master's life is replete with lessons for living, lessons for loving, lessons that all mortals would do well to study. The Urantia Book authors state very clearly the importance of doing so:
2:0.2 The nature of God can be studied in a revelation of supreme ideas, the divine character can be envisaged as a portrayal of supernal ideals, but the most enlightening and spiritually edifying of all revelations of the divine nature is to be found in the comprehension of the religious life of Jesus of Nazareth, both before and after his attainment of full consciousness of divinity.
196:1.3 To "follow Jesus" means to personally share his religious faith and to enter into the spirit of the Master's life of unselfish service for man. One of the most important things in human living is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals, and to strive for the achievement of his exalted life purpose. Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.
Here's where to get started!