The Family Garden
- A new addition to the Jesus Collection
The Family Garden by Michael Malm
Dear TruthBook Friends,
A very significant and beautiful part of Jesus’ life is the so-called missing years. Our Bible records of Jesus’ early life end when he was twelve. But while the Bible is silent about those years, The Urantia Book reveals them in great detail.
Today, we introduce you to a new painting called The Family Garden by Michael Malm. In it, Jesus is portrayed working in a garden surrounded by family and animals. We've never seen a painting like it anywhere else. We were especially thankful that Michael, a well-known Christian artist, would portray the Son of Man doing the ordinary tasks of life. It is a touching scene from Jesus’ 15th year, as he embraces the role of brother/father to his large family. The Family Garden is a commissioned work featured in The Untold Story of Jesus, due in the spring. It is also part of TruthBook's Religious Art Gallery.
Setting the Scene
Joseph died when Jesus was only 14 years-old. As the eldest son, this tragedy left the responsibility of becoming the "man of the house" to him. And this included raising his siblings.
From The Urantia Book:
“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.”
These were years of tragedy and loss, poverty and privation for Jesus and his family. But it was not all sorrow for this bereaved family. The family garden plot was a practical and creative activity for Jesus and his siblings. They all enjoyed it.
Here’s the story:
“This was the year that Jesus rented a considerable piece of land just to the north of their home, which was divided up as a family garden plot. Each of the older children had an individual garden, and they entered into keen competition in their agricultural efforts. Their eldest brother spent some time with them in the garden each day during the season of vegetable cultivation. As Jesus worked with his younger brothers and sisters in the garden, he many times entertained the wish that they were all located on a farm out in the country where they could enjoy the liberty and freedom of an unhampered life. But they did not find themselves growing up in the country; and Jesus, being a thoroughly practical youth as well as an idealist, intelligently and vigorously attacked his problem just as he found it, and did everything within his power to adjust himself and his family to the realities of their situation and to adapt their condition to the highest possible satisfaction of their individual and collective longings.”
This sunlit scene in the garden plot is sweet and simple, capturing a moment of time where we can feel that all is well. The tender scene depicts one of the younger girls tilling the soil as Jesus offers advice. On the right a young brother stands by, observing. One can see Jesus’ encouraging posture as the budding young gardener leans into the task. This portrayal of a very human Jesus touches us with its simple hope, beauty, movement, and color.
The world will fall in love with Jesus all over again when they see this painting and hear this story! We are so blessed to have The Urantia Book. And we know you’ll share our excitement to think that more of the world might share this bounty, too, as part of the new book coming out soon.
The Family Garden is a welcome addition to The Untold Story of Jesus. Until the finished book arrives, you can see this fine painting in our Gallery, along with many others. And there are more paintings of Jesus' missing years to come!
For now, we wish you a glad day! May we all enjoy the dwindling days of Winter as we await the signs of new life in the Springtime!
Your TruthBook Team