Q: The Urantia Book says Jesus was not in a physical body after his resurrection—how then did he break bread? Did he also eat? The Bible says he did.

A: Thanks for writing with this interesting question.

I am going to start with a few passages from Paper 189 The Resurrection. This way, we’ll all understand better the nature of the resurrected form of Jesus. However, I suggest a complete reading of this paper for the best understanding of what happened that day:

…at two minutes past three o’clock, this Sunday morning, April 9, A.D. 30, the resurrected morontia form and personality of Jesus of Nazareth came forth from the tomb.

…the body of flesh in which he had lived and wrought on earth for almost thirty-six years was still lying there in the sepulchre niche, undisturbed and wrapped in the linen sheet, just as it had been laid to rest by Joseph and his associates on Friday afternoon. ..the body which they were guarding was now a discarded outer covering which had no further connection with the delivered and resurrected morontia personality of Jesus.

(Note: To find out exactly what happened to Jesus’ physical body, please go here.)

“…On Friday he laid down his life as a mortal of the realm; on Sunday morning he took it up again as a morontia being of the system of Satania in Norlatiadek.

…He did come forth from this tomb of Joseph in the very likeness of the morontia personalities of those who, as resurrected morontia ascendant beings, emerge from the resurrection halls of the first mansion world of this local system of Satania.

When Jesus resurrected from the tomb, he was in a physical form, but he was not visible to everyone. His body was made from “morontia” material, which is the next form which all mortals will assume upon resurrection after death. He only made his presence known to certain people, and he could appear and disappear at will. Perhaps you’ll remember his meeting with Mary Magdalene at the tomb; she did not at first recognize him, as he was very changed, but as soon as he spoke, she instantly knew it was the Master.

This seems to be a good place to explain why it was that Jesus appeared in this form. This is revealed material that can only be found in The Urantia Book, as far as I know, but it makes perfect sense when you see the whole story.

As part of Jesus’ mission to Urantia, he was required to assume the form of all creatures of his vast universe. You can read all about these various bestowals, seven in all, and the reasons for his mission here.

Jesus’ seventh and final bestowal was as the babe of Bethlehem, Jesus of Nazareth, who grew up as a mortal of the realm, just as all mortals do. And Jesus died as a mortal of the realm as well, although his death was particularly brutal and violent—not the same as most humans—but still, he did die a “natural” death, as would any mortal. While he was here in physical form, he revealed the Father to mortals and established the kingdom of heaven in the hearts of mankind, which was a most important part of his overall mission to our universe.

After that, he had to experience the natural outcome of human life and death, and that was as a newly resurrected mortal, in the form that all of us mortals will assume when we die—the above-mentioned morontia form. The only difference between what Jesus experienced and what we will experience is that Jesus remained on earth to spend more time with his followers before he finally left the earth for the last time. We will not be doing that—but in all other respects, what happened to Jesus is what will happen to us when we die, except that we will be resurrected on the Mansion Worlds as morontia beings—changed, but with our personalities intact and recognizable by those of our loved ones who went there before us. Our mortal bodies will remain on earth, to turn into the dust from which they came. We learn in The Urantia Book that we will eat food of “a kingdom of living energy unknown on the material worlds”

You can read more about this unique material in Paper 48—The Morontia Life

(48:1.7) Paul learned of the existence of the morontia worlds and of the reality of morontia materials, for he wrote, “They have in heaven a better and more enduring substance.” And these morontia materials are real, literal, even as in “the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” And each of these marvelous spheres is “a better country, that is, a heavenly one.”

One of the resurrection appearances that Jesus made was to the two brothers at Emmaus, and on this occasion, Jesus did sit down to dinner with these two brothers, but he vanished before they could eat. Here is a passage from that story:

By this time they had come near to the village where these brothers dwelt. Not a word had these two men spoken since Jesus began to teach them as they walked along the way. Soon they drew up in front of their humble dwelling place, and Jesus was about to take leave of them, going on down the road, but they constrained him to come in and abide with them. They insisted that it was near nightfall, and that he tarry with them. Finally Jesus consented, and very soon after they went into the house, they sat down to eat. They gave him the bread to bless, and as he began to break and hand to them, their eyes were opened, and Cleopas recognized that their guest was the Master himself. And when he said, “It is the Master—, ” the morontia Jesus vanished from their sight.

Again, Jesus appeared to the apostles (his thirteenth resurrection appearance), and again, there was bread. Here is a passage from that section:

Jesus spoke to them, saying: “Come now, all of you, to breakfast. Even the twins should sit down while I visit with you; John Mark will dress the fish.” John Mark brought seven good-sized fish, which the Master put on the fire, and when they were cooked, the lad served them to the ten. Then Jesus broke the bread and handed it to John, who in turn served it to the hungry apostles. When they had all been served, Jesus bade John Mark sit down while he himself served the fish and the bread to the lad. And as they ate, Jesus visited with them and recounted their many experiences in Galilee and by this very lake.

In this passage, we are left wondering whether Jesus actually ate the fish, but I suspect not, as his new form had no need for food of the earthly kind. But he did sit with them, he prepared the fish, and served the meal of fish and bread to John Mark. And he broke the bread with his hands. Never having had any experience with morontia materials, I cannot say how this was accomplished, but if morontia material is of a “more enduring substance, ” I suspect that physical material can be easily manipulated with it. So, breaking bread would not be a difficult act.

To me, it is also not a very important detail whether Jesus actually ate anything. The important feature of these stories is the fact of his resurrection, and that he did spend a considerable amount of time with many people before finally leaving Urantia for the last time. During these nineteen appearances, he reiterated his teachings, and said fond farewells to many. His resurrection from the dead after his mortal life is of particular interest to us, as it is what we can anticipate as our experience as well following our death.

Thank you for this most interesting question.

Date published:
Author: Staff