JESUS’ TWENTY-NINTH YEAR
The whole of Jesus’ twenty-ninth year was spent finishing up the tour of the Mediterranean world. The main events, as far as the revelators have permission to reveal these experiences, constitute the subjects of the narratives which immediately follow this record.
Throughout this tour of the Roman world, for many reasons, Jesus was known as the Damascus scribe. At Corinth and other stops on the return trip he was, however, known as the Jewish tutor.
This was an eventful period of Jesus’ life. While on this journey he made many contacts with his fellow men, but this experience is a phase of his life which he never revealed to any member of his family nor to any of the apostles. Jesus lived out his life in the flesh and departed from this world without anyone (save Zebedee of Bethsaida) knowing that he had made this extensive trip. Some of his friends thought he had returned to Damascus; others thought he had gone to India. His own family inclined to the belief that he was Alexandria, as they knew that he had once been invited to go there for the purpose of becoming an assistant chazan.
When Jesus returned to Palestine, he did nothing to change the opinion of his family that he had gone from Jerusalem to Alexandria; he permitted them to continue in the belief that all the time he had been absent from Palestine had been spent in that city of learning and culture. Only Zebedee the boatbuilder of Bethsaida knew the facts about these matters, and Zebedee told no one.
In all our efforts to decipher the meaning of Jesus life on our planet Urantia, we must be mindful of the motivation of the Michael (as Jesus) bestowal. If you would comprehend the meaning of many of his apparently strange doings, we must discern the purpose of his sojourn on our world. He was consistently careful not to build up an over attractive and attention-consuming personal career. He wanted to make no unusual or over powering appeals to his fellow men. He was dedicated to the work of revealing the heavenly Father to his fellow mortals and at the same time was consecrated to the sublime task of living his mortal earth life all the while subject to the will of the same Paradise Father.
It will also always be helpful in understanding Jesus’ life on earth if all mortal students of this divine bestowal will remember that, while he lived this life of incarnation on our planet Urantia, he lived it for his entire universe of Nebadon. There was something special and inspiring associated with the life he lived in the flesh of mortal nature for every single inhabited sphere throughout all the universe of Nebadon. The same is also true of all those worlds which have become habitable since the eventful times of his sojourn on our planet Urantia. And it will likewise be equally true of all worlds which may become inhabited by will creatures in all the future history of this local universe Nebadon.
The Son of Man, during the time and through the experiences of this tour of the Roman world, practically completed his educational contact-training with the diversified peoples of the world of his day and generation. By the time of his return to Nazareth, through the medium of this travel- training he had just about learned how man lived and wrought out his existence on Urantia.
The real purpose of his trip around the Mediterranean basin was to know men. He came very close to hundreds of humankind on this journey. He met and loved all manner of men, rich and poor, high and low, black and white, educated and uneducated, cultured and uncultured, animalistic and spiritual, religious and irreligious, moral and immoral.
On this Mediterranean journey Jesus made great advances in his human task of mastering the material and mortal mind, and his indwelling Spirit fragment of God made great progress in the ascension and spiritual conquest of this same human intellect. By the end of this tour Jesus virtually knew – with all human certainty – that he was a Son of God, a Creator Son of the Universal Father. The indwelling Spirit more and more was able to bring up in the mind of the Son of Man shadowy memories of his Paradise experience in association with his divine Father ere he ever came to organize and administer this local universe of Nebadon. Thus, did the indwelling Spirit, little by little, bring to Jesus’ human consciousness those necessary memories of his former and divine existe4nce in the various epochs of the well-nigh eternal past. The last episode of his prehuman experience to brought forth by the indwelling Spirit was his farewell conference with Immanuel (his elder spirit brother) of Salvington (the capital headquarters sphere of Nebadon) just before his surrender of conscious personality to embark upon the Urantia incarnation as Jesus ben Joseph. And this final memory picture of prehuman existence was made clear in Jesus’ consciousness on the very day of his baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordon.
THE HUMAN JESUS
To the onlooking celestial intelligences of the local universe, this Mediterranean trip was the most enthralling of all Jesus’ earth experiences, at least of all his career right up to the event of his crucifixion and mortal death. This was the fascinating period of his personal ministry in contrast with the soon- following epoch of public ministry. This unique episode was all the more engrossing because he was at this time still the carpenter of Nazareth, the boatbuilder of Capernaum, the scribe of Damascus; he was still the Son of Man. He had not yet achieved the complete mastery of his human mind; the indwelling Spirit had not fully mastered and counter-parted the mortal identity. He was still a man among men.
The purely human religious experience – the personal spiritual growth – of the Son of Man well-nigh reached the apex of attainment during this, the twenty-ninth year. This experience of spiritual development was a consistently gradual growth from the moment of the arrival of his indwelling Spirit fragment of God until the day of the completion and confirmation of that natural and normal human relationship between the material mind of man and the min-endowment of the spirit – the phenomenon of the making of these two minds one, the experience which the Son of Man attained in completion and finality, as an incarnated mortal of the realm, on the day of his baptism in the Jordan.
Throughout these years, while he did not appear to engage in so many seasons of formal communion with his Father in heaven, he perfected increasingly effective methods of personal communication with the indwelling spirit presence of the Paradise Father. He lived a real life, a full life, and a truly normal, natural, and average life in the flesh. He knows from personal experience the equivalent of the actuality of the entire sum and substance of the living of the life of human beings on the material worlds of time and space.
The Son of Man experienced those wide ranges of human emotion which reach from superb joy to profound sorrow. He was a child of joy and a being of rare good humor; likewise as he a “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” In a spiritual sense, he did live through the mortal life from the bottom to the top, from the beginning to the end. From a material point of view, he might appear to have escaped living through both social extremes of human existence, but intellectually he became wholly familiar with the entire and complete experience of humankind.
Jesus knows about the thoughts and feelings, the urges and impulses, of the evolutionary and ascendant mortals of the realms, from birth to death. He has lived the human life from the beginnings of physical, intellectual, and spiritual selfhood up through infancy, childhood, youth, and adulthood — even to the human experience of death. He not only passed through these usual and familiar human periods of intellectual and spiritual advancement, but he also fully experienced those higher and more advanced phases of human and indwelling Spirit reconciliation which so few Urantia mortals ever attain. And thus he experienced the full life of mortal man, not only as it is lived on our world, but also as it is lived on all other evolutionary worlds of time and space, even on the highest and most advanced of all the worlds settled in light and life (the final stage of evolutionary world development).
Although this perfect life which he lived in the likeness of mortal flesh may not have received the unqualified and universal approval of his fellow mortals, those who chanced to be his contemporaries on earth, still, the life which Jesus of Nazareth lived in the flesh and on Urantia did receive full and unqualified acceptance by the Universal Father as constituting at one and the same time, and in one and the same personality- life, the fullness of the revelation of the eternal God to mortal man and the presentation of perfected human personality to the satisfaction of the Infinite Creator.
And this was his true and supreme purpose. He did not come down to live on Urantia as the perfect and detailed example for any child or adult, any man or woman, in that age or any other. True it is, indeed, that in his full, rich, beautiful, and noble life we may all find much that is exquisitely exemplary, divinely inspiring, but this is because he lived a true and genuinely human life. Jesus did not live his life on earth in order to set an example for all other human beings to copy. He lived this life in the flesh by the same mercy ministry that we all here may live our lives on earth; and as he lived his mortal life in his day and as he was, so did he thereby set the example for all of us thus to live our lives in our day and as we are. You may not aspire to live his life, but you can resolve to live your life even as, and by the same means that, he lived his. Jesus may not be the technical and detailed example for all the mortals of all ages on all the realms of this local universe, but he is everlastingly the inspiration and guide of all Paradise pilgrims from the worlds of initial ascension (here) up through a universe of universes and on through the eternal central universe of Havona to the Eternal Isle of Paradise, itself. Jesus is the new and living way from man to God, from the partial to the perfect, from the earthly to the heavenly, from time to eternity.
By the end of the twenty-ninth year Jesus of Nazareth had virtually finished the living of the life required of mortals as sojourners in the flesh. He came on earth the fullness of God to be manifest to man; he had now become well-nigh the perfection of man awaiting the occasion to become manifest to God. And he did all of this before he was thirty years of age.