Episode:Jesus—Child of Divine Destiny (Part 2)
Paper 170:0-3, p.1858
In some particulars Jesus was a blending of his parents’ traits; in other respects he exhibited the traits of one in contrast with those of the other. Joseph and Mary were of good ancestry and educated far above the average for their day and station in life. Their Nazareth home was a simple one-room stone structure with basic furnishings. The Roman census required all inhabitants of the empire to be numbered, and so the parents-to-be traveled to Bethlehem for enrollment. And during this trip, on August 21, 7 B.C., the child of destiny was born in the stable of an overcrowded inn.
Summary by Kermit
This narrative of the beginnings of Jesus' earth life, with its manifold details of Jesus' parents, environment, and homeland provide a matter of fact version of the story, in stark contrast to the mythical and mystical versions found in Scripture.
5. Jesus’ Birth Parents
The authors paint a picture of Jesus' parents as entirely normal and average except that they were both educated far above the average for their day and station in life. The initial paragraphs of this section describe the contributions to Jesus’ nature of each of his parents from the standpoint of temperament. Discussion: we discussed the words personality, temperament, and character. Temperament should be thought of as your genetic programming for emotional and behavioral characteristics. Personality however, is that transcendent reality bestowed by the Father. Character is the product of a purposed or personalized self. Temperament is the foundation upon which personality forges character. Also it was pointed out that the authors use personality in two distinct ways. They can refer to personality is the transcendent reality mentioned above. And they can also refer to personality as the personalized self. It is important to understand which context the authors are speaking.
Subsequent paragraphs in this section provide insight into Joseph's and Mary's contributions to Jesus' upbringing. Thus we are given a brief yet informative picture of the nature and nurture aspects of Jesus’ beginning's.
6. The Home at Nazareth
The description of the location of Jesus' Nazareth home is so specific as to suggest that it might be possible to actually locate in current day Nazareth the site of young Jesus' youth. Again all descriptions here give the impression of a normal and average home of that day.
7. The Trip to Bethlehem
As Scriptures relate, the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus decreed that the Roman Empire should be numbered. This necessitated Joseph’s travel to Bethlehem to register for the census. However, Mary fearing that Joseph would be absent when the baby arrived, decided to accompany him to Bethlehem. The authors here provide details that clarify dates that have confused scholars who have tried to establish the year of Jesus birth.
Here again we are provided with details of the itinerary to Bethlehem as well as topics of conversation along the way. The Bethlehem inn being overcrowded, Joseph and Mary were given accommodations in the caravan stables, which had been cleared of animals and cleaned for the reception of lodgers.
8. The Birth of Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth was born into the world at noon on August 21, 7 B.C. according to the Jewish practice on the eighth day he was circumcised and formally named Joshua (Jesus). The day following Jesus’ birth the new family moved into the in where they stayed for almost three weeks.
The second day following Jesus' birth, Mary notified Elizabeth that her child had come. Joseph was subsequently invited to Jerusalem to discuss affairs with Zacharias. Joseph traveled accordingly to Jerusalem and discovered that Zacharias and Elizabeth were both convinced that Jesus was to become the Jewish deliverer, the Messiah. Mary was likewise convinced, even though Joseph adhered to the idea that Jesus would be a spiritual teacher. Thus, was Joseph prevailed upon to remain in Bethlehem, that Jesus might grow up to become the successor of David on the throne of all Israel.
The authors conclude this section with further details concerning three features of the generally accepted version of the Nativity.
While we are told that the seraphim of Urantia did sing anthems of glory over the Bethlehem manger, they were not heard by human ears.
There were indeed certain priests from Ur, who had been told by a religious teacher of their country that "the light of life" was about to appear on earth as a babe and among the Jews. They sought the babe in Jerusalem, met Zacharias and were sent to Bethlehem.
These wise men were not guided to Bethlehem by a star. However, extraordinary conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn occurred three separate times in the year 7 B.C. Thus did well-meaning zealots construct the legend of the star of Bethlehem and the adoring Magi.
While the revelation’s version of the Nativity has here been cleansed of the mystical, and mythical fairy story details so many of us grew up with, what remains is the most profound event in our planetary history, the incarnation—making two one. And not just any incarnation, but the one in ten million occurrence (in a local universe) of the bestowal of the Creator Son in his final act of cooperative subordination to the Paradise Trinity, enabling him to rule his universe and administer its affairs with that perfection of insight and wisdom of execution which will sometime be characteristic of the exalted rule of the Supreme Being.