The Urantia Book-- Part IV. The Life And Teachings
PAPER 125: Section 1.
Jesus Views The Temple
Everywhere Jesus went throughout the temple courts, he was shocked and sickened
by the spirit of irreverence which he observed. He deemed the conduct of the
temple throngs to be inconsistent with their presence in "his Father's house."
But he received the shock of his young life when his father escorted him into
the court of the gentiles with its noisy
jargon, loud talking and cursing, mingled
indiscriminately with the
bleating of sheep and the babble of
noises which betrayed
the presence of the money-changers and the
vendors of sacrificial animals and
sundry other commercial commodities.
But most of all was his sense of propriety outraged by the sight of the frivolous
parading about within this precinct of the temple, just such
women as he had so recently seen when on a visit to Sepphoris. This profanation
of the temple fully aroused all his youthful indignation, and he did not hesitate
to express himself freely to Joseph.
Jesus admired the sentiment and service of the temple, but he was shocked by
the spiritual ugliness which he beheld on the faces of so many of the unthinking
They now passed down to the priests' court beneath the rock ledge in front of
the temple, where the altar stood, to observe the killing of the
droves of animals
and the washing away of the blood from the hands of the officiating slaughter
priests at the bronze fountain. The bloodstained
pavement, the gory hands of
the priests, and the sounds of the dying animals were more than this
lad could stand. The terrible sight sickened this boy of Nazareth; he
his father's arm and begged to be taken away. They walked back through the court
of the gentiles, and even the coarse laughter and profane jesting which he there
heard were a relief from the sights he had just beheld.
Joseph saw how his son had sickened at the sight of the temple rites and wisely
led him around to view the "gate beautiful," the artistic gate made of
bronze. But Jesus had had enough for his first visit at the temple. They returned
to the upper court for Mary and walked about in the open air and away from the
crowds for an hour, viewing the Asmonean palace, the stately home of Herod,
and the tower of the Roman guards. During this stroll Joseph explained to Jesus
that only the inhabitants of Jerusalem were permitted to witness the daily sacrifices
in the temple, and that the dwellers in Galilee came up only three times a year
to participate in the temple worship: at the Passover, at the feast of Pentecost
(seven weeks after Passover), and at the feast of tabernacles in October. These
feasts were established by Moses. They then discussed the two later established
feasts of the dedication and of Purim. Afterward they went to their lodgings
and made ready for the celebration of the Passover.