The Urantia Book -- Part IV. The Life And
Teachings Of Jesus
PAPER 134: Section 9.
The Time Of Waiting
It was now near the end of the summer, about the time of the day of atonement
and the feast of tabernacles. Jesus had a family meeting in Capernaum over the
Sabbath and the next day started for Jerusalem with John the son of Zebedee,
going to the east of the lake and by Gerasa and on down the Jordan valley. While
he visited some with his companion on the way, John noted a great change in
Jesus and John stopped overnight at Bethany with Lazarus and his sisters, going
early the next morning to Jerusalem. They spent almost three weeks in and around
the city, at least John did. Many days John went into Jerusalem alone while
Jesus walked about over the near-by hills and engaged in many seasons of spiritual
communion with his Father in heaven.
Both of them were present at the solemn services of the day of atonement. John
was much impressed by the ceremonies of this day of all days in the Jewish religious
ritual, but Jesus remained a thoughtful and silent spectator. To the Son of
Man this performance was pitiful and pathetic. He viewed it all as misrepresentative
of the character and attributes of his Father in heaven. He looked upon the
doings of this day as a travesty upon the facts of divine justice and the truths
of infinite mercy. He burned to give vent to the declaration of the real truth
about his Father's loving character and merciful conduct in the universe, but
his faithful Monitor admonished him that his hour had not yet come. But that
night, at Bethany, Jesus did drop numerous remarks which greatly disturbed John;
and John never fully understood the real significance of what Jesus said in
their hearing that evening.
Jesus planned to remain throughout the week of the feast of tabernacles with
John. This feast was the annual holiday of all Palestine; it was the Jewish
vacation time. Although Jesus did not participate in the merriment of the occasion,
it was evident that he derived pleasure and experienced satisfaction as he beheld
the lighthearted and joyous abandon of the young and the old.
In the midst of the week of celebration and ere the festivities were finished,
Jesus took leave of John, saying that he desired to retire to the hills where
he might the better commune with his Paradise Father. John would have gone with
him, but Jesus insisted that he stay through the festivities, saying: "It is
not required of you to bear the burden of the Son of Man; only the
must keep vigil while the city sleeps in peace." Jesus did not return to Jerusalem.
After almost a week alone in the hills near Bethany, he departed for Capernaum.
On the way home he spent a day and a night alone on the slopes of Gilboa, near
where King Saul had taken his life; and when he arrived at Capernaum, he seemed
more cheerful than when he had left John in Jerusalem.
The next morning Jesus went to the chest containing his personal effects, which
had remained in Zebedee's workshop, put on his apron, and presented himself
for work, saying, "It behooves me to keep busy while I wait for my hour to come."
And he worked several months, until January of the following year, in the boatshop,
by the side of his brother James. After this period of working with Jesus, no
matter what doubts came up to
becloud James's understanding of the lifework
of the Son of Man, he never again really and wholly gave up his faith in the
mission of Jesus.
During this final period of Jesus' work at the boatshop, he spent most of his
time on the interior finishing of some of the larger craft. He took great pains
with all his handiwork and seemed to experience the satisfaction of human achievement
when he had completed a commendable piece of work. Though he wasted little time
upon trifles, he was a painstaking workman when it came to the essentials of
any given undertaking.
As time passed, rumors came to Capernaum of one John who was preaching while
baptizing penitents in the Jordan, and John preached: "The kingdom of heaven
is at hand; repent and be baptized." Jesus listened to these reports as John
slowly worked his way up the Jordan valley from the ford of the river nearest
to Jerusalem. But Jesus worked on, making boats, until John had journeyed
up the river to a point near Pella in the month of January of the next year,
A.D. 26, when he laid down his tools, declaring, "My hour has
come," and presently presented himself to John for baptism.
But a great change had been coming over Jesus. Few of the people who had enjoyed
his visits and ministrations as he had gone up and down in the land ever subsequently
recognized in the public teacher the same person they had known and loved
as a private individual in former years. And there was a reason for this failure
of his early beneficiaries to recognize him in his later role of public and
authoritative teacher. For long years this transformation of mind and spirit
had been in progress, and it was finished during the eventful sojourn on Mount