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The Story of Everything: A Synopsis of The Urantia Book


Paper 145: Four Eventful Days at Capernaum


Jesus and the apostles returned to the Zebedee's home in Capernaum in preparation for their first public tour in Galilee. At the synagogue that week, Jesus preached about religion as a personal experience. He said that the approach to God should be attempted as a child of God, rather than as a child of Israel. The people of Capernaum were astonished at how Jesus taught as one with authority rather than as a scribe.

At the end of this particular sermon, a man suffered an epileptic attack. Jesus took the man's hand just as he began to recover. The inaccurate report spread that Jesus had cast a demon out of the man, healing him. That same afternoon, Jesus visited Peter's mother-in-law, who was sick with a fever and chills. It happened that her fever broke just at the time when Jesus was with her. The apostles saw this coincidence as another miracle, and spread the news to the people of the city.

By the time Jesus sat down to dinner, all of Capernaum was stirring. Scores of afflicted people made their way to the Zebedee home in Bethsaida. Peter's wife heard voices in the front yard, and saw the large company assembling. A voice from the crowd called, "Master, speak the word, restore our health, heal our diseases, and save our souls." Peter asked Jesus to heed their cry, and Jesus replied that if it were the will of his Father in heaven, he would desire to see the afflicted made whole. In that instant, all six hundred and eighty-three people were healed.

Of all who witnessed this healing, Jesus was the most surprised. The apostles were overjoyed; to them this was possibly the greatest day in their time spent with the Master. Jesus was disturbed by what had happened and refused to be congratulated. The majority of those who were healed that evening were not permanently uplifted spiritually by this display of mercy. Miracles were not part of Jesus' plan. They were incidental occurrences that happened because a divine being with almost unlimited creative powers lived in the flesh.

Jesus was so distressed that he couldn't sleep. He didn't wish to avoid physical healing altogether, but he knew that teaching and religious training were more important. The Master rose early the next morning and went into the hills to pray for wisdom and judgment.

Peter, James, and John went searching for Jesus. When they found him, they asked him to tell them why he was troubled. The Master spent more than four hours explaining the reasons why the kingdom of God could not be based on wonder-working and physical healing, but the apostles could not understand him.

Meanwhile, crowds of afflicted people and curiosity-seekers had gathered at the Zebedee home, clamoring to see Jesus. Andrew went in search of Jesus to ask him to work with the new crowd, but Jesus refused to return to the house. The crowd was dismissed and the apostles prepared for travel.

The apostles were saddened to leave the interested multitudes in Capernaum. Peter believed that one thousand believers were ready to be baptized, but Thomas said, "The Master has spoken. No matter if we cannot fully comprehend the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, of one thing we are certain: We follow a teacher who seeks no glory for himself."

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