The Urantia Book
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A Synopsis of Paper 124: The Later Childhood of Jesus

Jesus delighted in drawing landscapes and modeling in clay, but these activities were forbidden by Jewish law. One day when Jesus was nine years old he drew a charcoal likeness of his teacher. The elders of the community, after viewing his drawing, sent a committee to demand that Joseph suppress this behavior in his son.

Jesus listened to the discussion between his father and the elders. Resentful that they blamed Joseph for this misdeed, Jesus insisted on being heard by the committee. He defended his viewpoint courageously, then announced that he would abide by the decision of his father. Jesus never again drew or modeled in clay as long as he lived in Joseph's house; giving up this favorite pastime was one of the trials of his youth.

Jesus' sister Martha was born in 3 AD. This year Joseph built an addition onto the house, a combined workshop and bedroom. Jesus had his own workbench and tools, and eventually became proficient at making yokes. His trips away from home during his breaks from school did much to help him understand his own family, and his parents began to learn from him as well as teach him.

When Jesus was ten, he began to become aware of the nature of his life mission. His parents listened to his comments, but neither one volunteered information about what they knew. At school, he was constantly asking questions. His most unusual trait was his unwillingness to fight for himself, and his friend Jacob saw that no one took advantage of Jesus' aversion to fighting. This year he also began to show a preference for the company of older people, delighting in discussing culture, education, economics, politics, and religion. Jesus spent a lot of time at the caravan supply shop, conversing with travelers from around the world. He was a born leader, even when engaged in play. Joseph began to teach Jesus about the various ways of making a living.

When Jesus was eleven his brother Jude was born. Complications from the birth made Mary so ill that Joseph remained at home for several weeks. Jesus became occupied with many duties caused by his mother's illness, and was compelled to assume the responsibilities of first-born son two years earlier than was normally the custom.

In May, 5 AD, Jesus and Joseph traveled to the Greek city Scythopolis on business. It was time for the annual competitive athletic games, and Jesus insisted that his father take him to the amphitheater to watch. Joseph was shocked to see his son's enthusiasm for these games; it was the only time in his life that Joseph was visibly angry with Jesus. Jesus remained unconvinced of the evil of such games, but never again discussed his opinion of athletics while Joseph lived.

Jesus taught home school for his sisters and brothers. He began to notice the difference between Joseph's and Mary's views about the nature of his life's mission. He was inclined to favor his father's viewpoint, that his was a spiritual mission. As time went on, Jesus did much to modify the family's practice of prayer and other religious customs. He also struggled to alleviate his personal conflict between loyalty to his convictions and duty to his family.

A new brother, Amos, was born in 7 AD. This was also the year that Jesus graduated from the Nazareth synagogue school, which gave him the right to participate in the Passover celebrations in Jerusalem. On the day before the Passover Sabbath, a messenger from Salvington appeared to Jesus, declaring, "The hour has come. It is time that you began to be about your Father's business." Jesus was not yet thirteen years old.

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