The Urantia Book
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A Synopsis of Paper 126: The Two Crucial Years

The story of Jesus' experience in the temple at Jerusalem gratified the people of Nazareth, especially his former teachers. By now Jesus had become adept at yoke making and leather work. He was learning carpentry and cabinet making. The family finances were improving; Jesus was permitted to resume his music lessons. During this year Joseph and Mary began to entertain doubts about Jesus' destiny-he was so difficult to understand, and nothing miraculous had happened.

In September, 8 AD, Joseph was killed at work by a falling derrick. Mary and the children were overcome with sadness. Jesus, just fourteen years old, became the sole support and guardian of his father's family. The youngest of the children, Ruth, was born the following April, and Jesus took his father's place in the delivery and care of the child.

Family responsibility removed all thought in Jesus' mind of immediate plans to be about his Father's business. He understood that the welfare of his earthly family took priority over all other duties; the support of his family became his first obligation.

During his fifteenth year, Jesus became convinced that he was not to be the Jewish Messiah. He was impressed by the phrase "Son of Man" in the book of Enoch, and decided to adopt it as his title when he began his public work.

The greatest confusion of his youth arose when he tried to understand the Scriptural reference to the coming Messiah. Would he recognize this messiah? What would his relationship be to him? Jesus thought through these and many other problems as he worked at the carpenter's bench. Mary was alarmed at his strange ideas and his frequent trips to the hilltops for meditation and prayer.

Jesus worked long hours, faithfully fulfilling the responsibilities of his immediate situation. Each passing month necessitated the practice of greater frugality. Jesus donated his copy of the Greek scriptures to the Nazareth synagogue rather than risk its confiscation by tax collectors. He rented a piece of land where the other children each planted a vegetable garden. Jesus gave serious thought to purchasing a small farm, but when their claim for Joseph's back pay was denied, the family's dream of a life in the country ended.

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