The Story of Everything: A Synopsis of The Urantia Book
Paper 125: Jesus at Jerusalem
Jesus was thrilled that he would be allowed to participate in the Passover rituals as a full-fledged son of Israel. From the time the group left Nazareth for Jerusalem, he looked forward to the experience with great anticipation. Although women seldom attended the Passover in Jerusalem, Jesus insisted that his mother accompany him and was shocked that Mary and the other women separated from the men when they reached Jerusalem. Mary was not allowed to watch her son's consecration ceremonies.
Jesus was further disappointed by the perfunctory nature of the rituals. While he found some Jewish rituals beautiful, he could not accept those which required belief in the wrath of God. When Joseph became mildly insistent that Jesus accept the orthodox beliefs, Jesus responded, "I refuse to believe that my Father in heaven loves me less than does my father on earth."
Jesus was also upset by the irreverence of people in the temple, and by the moneychangers, animal vendors, and courtesans in the court of the gentiles. He was especially sickened by the killing of animals in the priests' court. Jesus was sure that God was not pleased with these sacrificial offerings. As time passed he became increasingly determined to establish a bloodless Passover.
Often during this Passover week Jesus sat off by himself, thinking. Joseph and Mary were perplexed, and looked forward to the time when they could bring their son home.
At the end of the week the Nazareth company gathered to travel home. It was customary for the men to travel separately from the women and children. Jesus, now a consecrated son of Israel, could have traveled home with the men, even though he had accompanied the women and children on the journey into Jerusalem.
As he waited for the group to assemble, Jesus became absorbed in the temple discussions. Joseph and Mary, each thinking that their son was with the other, left for Nazareth without him. Neither realized that Jesus was missing until they stopped for the night in Jericho. The next morning Joseph and Mary returned to Jerusalem to find him.
Jesus spent his time in the temple, asking many questions of the teachers. He showed such hunger for knowledge that most of the temple teachers humored him, even when his questions seemed critical. The teachers were impressed at Jesus' familiarity with the scriptures in Hebrew and Greek. Some of Jesus' questions were:
1. What exists in the holy of holies?
2. Why are mothers segregated during worship?
3. Why would the slaughter of animals gain divine favor?
4. Why is secular barter allowed in a temple dedicated to the worship of God?
5. Is the Messiah to be a temporal prince or a spiritual leader?
Meanwhile, Joseph and Mary continued their anxious search for the boy, never thinking to find him in the temple. On the fourth day, they looked for Zacharias, hoping that he would know Jesus' whereabouts. As they walked through the temple, they were surprised to recognize the voice of their missing son, who was giving his views on prayer and worship. Mary ran up and chastised Jesus in front of the assembly, bringing his instruction at the temple to a halt.
Jesus said to Mary, "Why is it that you have so long sought me? Would you not expect to find me in my Father's house since the time has come when I should be about my Father's business?" The crowd was astonished at his words.
Jesus said little during the three-day journey back to Nazareth. Upon reaching home, Jesus told them that although he must do the will of the heavenly Father, he would also be obedient to his father on earth. Jesus became adept in adjusting his spiritual duty to his family obligations. Joseph was puzzled by his son's words and behavior, but Mary was more convinced than ever that her son was to be Israel's deliverer. From then on she worked to prepare Jesus for his place on the throne of David.