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When did Jesus know his true identity?

jesus, urantia book, son of God, jesus dual nature, childhood of jesus, baptism of jesus

Here's is a very good question that came across my feed, and one that The Urantia Book answers fully. The article is titled: Did Jesus Know He Was God? by Stephanie Foley. The article maintains that Jesus ALWAYS knew of his identity and his dual nature...but did he? Lack of information about Jesus full life makes understanding of just how Jesus came aware of himself hard to come by. The Urantia Book helps us truly grasp the process of Jesus' awakening. We will discuss this below, but first, a couple of snippets from this very interesting article with a Catholic flavor.

"God became one of us. He didn't put on a human costume, He wasn't 50% divine and 50% human. In Christ Jesus, the 2nd person of the Holy Trinity became flesh. He is 100% divine and 100% human. What that means is that the two natures are utterly united. How that is, we can't really understand, because there is nothing to compare it to.

"As God and man, Jesus in His divine intellect knows everything. There is nothing He doesn't know, because He is God. His knowledge is infinite, it's unlimited, it's perfect."

Click to read the article


Since there is such a dearth of Scriptural records about Jesus' life during his very early years, no one has ever known the progression of Jesus' mind from that of a child to the time when he became fully aware of who he was. Assuming that he always knew does not take into account the times in his life before we was able to think and be self-conscious. The Urantia Book is a wonderful revelation of Jesus life, and it includes all of the details about his growth in awareness.

No human infant has an innate knowledge of who he or she is. Human beings do not come into the world knowing very much at all. We have to grow - our bodies have to grow, and most importantly, our minds have to grow. No human infant or young child is equipped to be self-conscious.

And Jesus was a truly human child. As a baby and in his early years, he was as helpless and dependent as any human child. This is why he was born to two selected human parents who were responsible for nurturing and fostering his growth, keeping him safe from harm, and educating his mind and spirit in preparation for the life he was to live.

Mary and Joseph knew of a certainty that Jesus was a child of promise...Mary through her visitation by Gabriel and Joseph, through his prophetic dream. And so, through those momentous years between the time that Jesus was born and the time that he began to be self-conscious of his dual nature, his entire care was relegated to this pair...and they proved to be wonderful parents...wonderful caregivers, providers, and educators.

The Urantia Book covers these years in detail beginning in Paper 122. We see that Jesus was a normal child in every way, happy, loved, and well cared-for.

The beginnings of awareness

In Paper 123 The Early Childhood of Jesus, when Jesus is age five, we start to see the unfoldment of his mental awareness of himself. At that age, we are told, he made his first "personal and wholehearted moral decision; and there came to abide with him a Thought Adjuster, a divine gift of the Paradise Father, which had aforetime served with Machiventa Melchizedek, thus gaining the experience of functioning in connection with the incarnation of a supermortal being living in the likeness of mortal flesh."

All human beings receive a Thought Adjuster at generally that same time of life. Jesus' adjuster was quite special, as described above, but nonetheless, his Adjuster served the same purpose in his life as ours does in our lives - that of guiding and harmonizing our thoughts with the will and purposes of God.

About this fifth year of Jesus' life, we are told:

123:2.15 Jesus appeared to be a well-nigh perfect child physically and continued to make normal progress mentally and emotionally. He experienced a mild digestive upset, his first minor illness, in the latter part of this, his fifth (calendar) year.

123:2.16 Though Joseph and Mary often talked about the future of their eldest child, had you been there, you would only have observed the growing up of a normal, healthy, carefree, but exceedingly inquisitive child of that time and place.

The Dawning of Awareness

When Jesus was six, he revolutionized prayertime in the Nazareth household by insisting upon having "just a little talk with my Father in heaven." Even at that tender age, he seemed to understand that he had an intimate relationship with God the Father, and added that "little talk" with God after dutifully reciting saying the prayers he had been taught to say.

From age seven through age twelve, Jesus attended school, and this seems to have been his primary activity - that, and playtime with friends. He was an excellent student, early master of mathematics, language, and keenly interested in astronomy and music, and art.

But at age ten:

124:2.1 It was the fifth of July, the first Sabbath of the month, when Jesus, while strolling through the countryside with his father, first gave expression to feelings and ideas which indicated that he was becoming self-conscious of the unusual nature of his life mission. Joseph listened attentively to the momentous words of his son but made few comments; he volunteered no information. The next day Jesus had a similar but longer talk with his mother. Mary likewise listened to the pronouncements of the lad, but neither did she volunteer any information. It was almost two years before Jesus again spoke to his parents concerning this increasing revelation within his own consciousness regarding the nature of his personality and the character of his mission on earth.

And at age twelve (from that same paper):

124:4.2 Throughout this year he experienced many seasons of uncertainty, if not actual doubt, regarding the nature of his mission. His naturally developing human mind did not yet fully grasp the reality of his dual nature. The fact that he had a single personality rendered it difficult for his consciousness to recognize the double origin of those factors which composed the nature associated with that selfsame personality.

124:4.4 It was a trying experience for Joseph and Mary to undertake the rearing of this unprecedented combination of divinity and humanity, and they deserve great credit for so faithfully and successfully discharging their parental responsibilities. Increasingly Jesus' parents realized that there was something superhuman resident within this eldest son, but they never even faintly dreamed that this son of promise was indeed and in truth the actual creator of this local universe of things and beings. Joseph and Mary lived and died without ever learning that their son Jesus really was the Universe Creator incarnate in mortal flesh.

And at age thirteen:

124:5.3 It was about the middle of February that Jesus became humanly assured that he was destined to perform a mission on earth for the enlightenment of man and the revelation of God. Momentous decisions, coupled with far-reaching plans, were formulating in the mind of this youth, who was, to outward appearances, an average Jewish lad of Nazareth. The intelligent life of all Nebadon looked on with fascination and amazement as all this began to unfold in the thinking and acting of the now adolescent carpenter's son.

And so, we see that Jesus' consciousness that he was a truly special personality sent by God to perform an extraordinary mission to earth was a gradual awareness. There surely was always a part of him that knew, but as the child of Nazareth, growing from infancy to adolescence, the awareness of his true identity was gradual, gaining understanding in only small steps.

The trip to Jerusalem

We now come to the story that is well-known frojm Scripture: that of the trip to Jerusalem for the Passover when Jesus was 13 years-old. But what is not told in the Bible stories is this amazing event, which helped Jesus understand for a certainty that he was truly the Son of God with a mission to accomplish:

124:6.15 On the day before the Passover Sabbath, flood tides of spiritual illumination swept through the mortal mind of Jesus and filled his human heart to overflowing with affectionate pity for the spiritually blind and morally ignorant multitudes assembled for the celebration of the ancient Passover commemoration. This was one of the most extraordinary days that the Son of God spent in the flesh; and during the night, for the first time in his earth career, there appeared to him an assigned messenger from Salvington, commissioned by Immanuel, who said: "The hour has come. It is time that you began to be about your Father's business."

124:6.16 And so, even ere the heavy responsibilities of the Nazareth family descended upon his youthful shoulders, there now arrived the celestial messenger to remind this lad, not quite thirteen years of age, that the hour had come to begin the resumption of the responsibilities of a universe. This was the first act of a long succession of events which finally culminated in the completion of the Son's bestowal on Urantia and the replacing of "the government of a universe on his human-divine shoulders."

The revelators tell us:

124:6.17 As time passed, the mystery of the incarnation became, to all of us, more and more unfathomable. We could hardly comprehend that this lad of Nazareth was the creator of all Nebadon. Neither do we nowadays understand how the spirit of this same Creator Son and the spirit of his Paradise Father are associated with the souls of mankind. With the passing of time, we could see that his human mind was increasingly discerning that, while he lived his life in the flesh, in spirit on his shoulders rested the responsibility of a universe.

124:6.18 Thus ends the career of the Nazareth lad, and begins the narrative of that adolescent youth— the increasingly self-conscious divine human—who now begins the contemplation of his world career as he strives to integrate his expanding life purpose with the desires of his parents and his obligations to his family and the society of his day and age.

In the whirlwind of life

The next years of Jesus' life were concentrated on the obligations and duties that Jesus inherited after the death of his earth father, Joseph. But through all of these years, the Master continued to grow in understanding of himself and his mission. He continued to live a very human life, a very eventful and meaningful life, gaining experience and knowledge of himself and his world in preparation for the time when he would truly be about the Father's biusiness in earnest.

The next ten papers, from Paper 126 to Paper 136 contain a wealth of information about this amazing period of Jesus' life and can be found nowhere but in Part IV of The Urantia Book.

The final dawning of full self-consciousness

But, it was not until Jesus' baptism in the Jordan and the Forty Days' experience in the wilderness that he truly became fully aware - he remembered fully who he was and what the nature of his mission to the world was to be:

136:2.6 When Jesus was baptized, he repented of no misdeeds; he made no confession of sin. His was the baptism of consecration to the performance of the will of the heavenly Father. At his baptism he heard the unmistakable call of his Father, the final summons to be about his Father's business, and he went away into private seclusion for forty days to think over these manifold problems. In thus retiring for a season from active personality contact with his earthly associates, Jesus, as he was and on Urantia, was following the very procedure that obtains on the morontia worlds whenever an ascending mortal fuses with the inner presence of the Universal Father.

136:2.7 This day of baptism ended the purely human life of Jesus. The divine Son has found his Father, the Universal Father has found his incarnated Son, and they speak the one to the other.

136:3.3 Jesus did not go into retirement for the purpose of fasting and for the affliction of his soul. He was not an ascetic, and he came forever to destroy all such notions regarding the approach to God. His reasons for seeking this retirement were entirely different from those which had actuated Moses and Elijah, and even John the Baptist. Jesus was then wholly self-conscious concerning his relation to the universe of his making and also to the universe of universes, supervised by the Paradise Father, his Father in heaven. He now fully recalled the bestowal charge and its instructions administered by his elder brother, Immanuel, ere he entered upon his Urantia incarnation. He now clearly and fully comprehended all these far-flung relationships, and he desired to be away for a season of quiet meditation so that he could think out the plans and decide upon the procedures for the prosecution of his public labors in behalf of this world and for all other worlds in his local universe.

136:4.4 These forty days were the occasion of the final conference between the human and the divine minds, or rather the first real functioning of these two minds as now made one. The results of this momentous season of meditation demonstrated conclusively that the divine mind has triumphantly and spiritually dominated the human intellect. The mind of man has become the mind of God from this time on, and though the selfhood of the mind of man is ever present, always does this spiritualized human mind say, "Not my will but yours be done."

The wonderful and revealing glimpse into the process by which this infant child of promise grows into certain knowledge of himself appeals to the imagination in all of us. It helps us to understand and celebrate the humanity of Jesus, and endears him to us ever more. We can't help but think of him as a child like any other child, maybe imagining what it must have been like to be his parent. We see how the process came about, and we love this God/man so much as we see him rise to the occasion of fulfilling his mission, even as a young child. It's a beautiful thing to watch him grow in awareness of his true identity.

There is far more to the story of Jesus than we have known before the arrival of The Urantia Book. Its information about the truths of the universe is sweeping; its historical details of our world are thrilling; its restatement of the Life and Teachings of Jesus is superb and everlastingly inspiring. Taken as a whole, it cannot fail to leave the sincere student of Jesus, of truth, of meaning, unmoved.

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