The Urantia Book -- Part IV. The Life And
Teachings Of Jesus
PAPER 177: Section 2.
Early Home Life
In the course of this day's visiting with John Mark, Jesus spent considerable
time comparing their early childhood and later boyhood experiences. Although
John's parents possessed more of this world's goods than had Jesus' parents,
there was much experience in their boyhood which was very similar. Jesus said
many things which helped John better to understand his parents and other members
of his family. When the lad asked the Master how he could know that he would
turn out to be a "mighty messenger of the kingdom," Jesus said:
"I know you will prove loyal to the gospel of the kingdom because I can depend
upon your present faith and love when these qualities are grounded upon such
an early training as has been your portion at home. You are the product of a
home where the parents bear each other a sincere affection, and therefore you
have not been
overloved so as
injuriously to exalt your concept of self-importance.
Neither has your personality suffered distortion in consequence of your parents'
loveless maneuvering for your confidence and loyalty, the one against the other.
You have enjoyed that parental love which insures laudable self-confidence and
which fosters normal feelings of security. But you have also been fortunate
in that your parents possessed wisdom as well as love ; and it was wisdom which
led them to withhold most forms of indulgence and many luxuries which wealth
can buy while they sent you to the synagogue school along with your neighborhood
playfellows, and they also encouraged you to learn how to live in this world
by permitting you to have original experience. You came over to the Jordan,
where we preached and John's disciples baptized, with your young friend Amos.
Both of you desired to go with us. When you returned to Jerusalem, your parents
consented; Amos's parents refused; they loved their son so much that they denied
him the blessed experience which you have had, even such as you this day enjoy.
By running away from home, Amos could have joined us, but in so doing he would
have wounded love and sacrificed loyalty. Even if such a course had been wise,
it would have been a terrible price to pay for experience, independence, and
liberty. Wise parents, such as yours, see to it that their children do not have
to wound love or stifle loyalty in order to develop independence and enjoy invigorating
liberty when they have grown up to your age.
"Love, John, is the supreme reality of the universe when bestowed by all-wise
beings, but it is a dangerous and oftentimes
semiselfish trait as it is manifested
in the experience of mortal parents. When you get married and have children
of your own to rear, make sure that your love is admonished by wisdom and guided
"Your young friend Amos believes this gospel of the kingdom just as much as
you, but I cannot fully depend upon him; I am not certain about what he will
do in the years to come. His early home life was not such as would produce a
wholly dependable person. Amos is too much like one of the apostles who failed
to enjoy a normal, loving, and wise home training. Your whole afterlife will
be more happy and dependable because you spent your first eight years in a normal
and well-regulated home. You possess a strong and
well-knit character because
you grew up in a home where love prevailed and wisdom reigned. Such a childhood
training produces a type of loyalty which assures me that you will go through
with the course you have begun."
For more than an hour Jesus and John continued this discussion of home life.
The Master went on to explain to John how a child is wholly dependent on his
parents and the associated home life for all his early concepts of everything
intellectual, social, moral, and even spiritual since the family represents
to the young child all that he can first know of either human or divine relationships.
The child must derive his first impressions of the universe from the mother's
care; he is wholly dependent on the earthly father for his first ideas of the
heavenly Father. The child's subsequent life is made happy or unhappy, easy
or difficult, in accordance with his early mental and emotional life, conditioned
by these social and spiritual relationships of the home. A human being's entire
afterlife is enormously influenced by what happens during the first few years
It is our sincere belief that the gospel of Jesus' teaching, founded as it
is on the father-child relationship, can hardly enjoy a world-wide acceptance
until such a time as the home life of the modern civilized peoples embraces
more of love and more of wisdom. Notwithstanding that parents of the twentieth
century possess great knowledge and increased truth for improving the home
and ennobling the home life, it remains a fact that very few modern homes
are such good places in which to nurture boys and girls as Jesus' home in
Galilee and John Mark's home in Judea, albeit the acceptance of Jesus' gospel
will result in the immediate improvement of home life. The love life of a
wise home and the loyal devotion of true religion exert a profound reciprocal
influence upon each other. Such a home life enhances religion, and genuine
religion always glorifies the home.
It is true that many of the objectionable
stunting influences and other cramping
features of these olden Jewish homes have been virtually eliminated from many
better-regulated modern homes. There is, indeed, more spontaneous freedom
and far more personal liberty, but this liberty is not restrained by love,
motivated by loyalty, nor directed by the intelligent discipline of wisdom.
As long as we teach the child to pray, "Our Father who is in heaven," a tremendous
responsibility rests upon all earthly fathers so to live and order their homes
that the word father becomes
worthily enshrined in the minds and hearts
of all growing children.