The Urantia Book
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A Synopsis of Paper 122: Birth and Infancy of Jesus

Based on a report by the Melchizedeks, Michael chose Urantia as the planet of his final bestowal. Subsequently, Gabriel visited Urantia to study the spiritual, intellectual, racial, and geographic features of the world and its people. He selected the Hebrews as the bestowal race. A commission appointed by Gabriel was sent to investigate Jewish family life, after which Gabriel personally judged Joseph and Mary to be best suited to become the earthly parents of the local universe Creator Son.

Jesus' lifework was begun by his distant cousin, John the Baptist. John was born to Zacharias and Elizabeth in March of 7 BC. Gabriel appeared to Elizabeth before John's birth to reveal  John's mission as forerunner of a divine teacher who would soon be born to Elizabeth's kinswoman, Mary. Gabriel appeared to Mary in November, 8 BC, to tell her that she had conceived a son who would inaugurate the kingdom of heaven on earth. Joseph had doubts about the Gabriel visitation but was reconciled to it after he had an impressive dream. Joseph and Mary eventually came to believe that they were to become the parents of the Messiah.

Joseph was mild-mannered, conscientious, gentle, sympathetic, meditative and worshipful. Mary was cheerful, composed, courageous, optimistic, and a gifted teacher. They were both well educated for their time. Joseph leaned toward the Eastern, Babylonian view of the Jewish religion, while Mary leaned toward more liberal, Hellenistic interpretations.

In 7 BC, a census for the Roman empire was taken in the Palestinian kingdom of Herod. Joseph was required to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem to enroll in the census. Mary, fearful of being left alone while so near delivery, insisted on accompanying him. Bethlehem was so crowded when they arrived that Joseph and Mary settled into a grain storage room in front of a stable for the night.

At noon the next day, August 21, 7 BC, Mary gave birth. The following day Joseph and Mary were offered a room at the local inn where they stayed for nearly three weeks. Three priests from the city of Ur came to visit after a religious teacher had a dream that the light of life was to appear on earth as a baby.

When Jesus was eight days old, he was circumcised and given the name Joshua. Zacharias confided to a singer, Simeon, and a poet, Anna, that the baby was to be the deliverer of the Jewish people. During Jesus' ceremony at the temple, Simeon sang a poem that Anna had written describing the mission of this child of promise who was to bring salvation from the enemies of the Jewish people.

Herod's spies reported that the priests of Ur had visited Bethlehem. Herod called the priests in and questioned them, but they gave him no satisfactory answers. After informers brought Herod information about Simeon's song, Herod decided to destroy the potential "king of the Jews" by having all male babies in Bethlehem killed. One of Herod's court attach├ęs came to warn Zacharias the night before the massacre. Zacharias warned Joseph and Mary, who fled to Egypt for two years. They did not return to Bethlehem until after the death of Herod.

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