The Death of Joseph

Ann Bendall, Qld., Australia

Blind and unforeseen accidents do not occur in the cosmos" (556) and "material accidents, commonplace occurrences of a physical nature, are not arbitrarily interfered with by celestial personalities. Under ordinary circumstances only midway creatures can intervene in material conditions to safeguard the persons of men and women of destiny, and even in special situations these beings can so act only in obedience to the specific mandates of their superiors." (1361)

    And so it appears that no intervention was approved, or desired, when Joseph sustained injuries on the construction site which led to his death when Jesus was only 14. And we are advised that,

Thus were permitted those occurrences of the natural order of events on Urantia which would force this young man of destiny so early to assume these heavy but highly educational and disciplinary responsibilities attendant upon becoming the head of a human family, of becoming father to his own brothers and sisters, of supporting and protecting his mother, of functioning as guardian of his father's home, the only home he was to know on this world." (1388)

    And so, shortly after Jesus had arrived at an awareness of his life purpose as being to reveal the nature of God to the world, he lost his father, the parent whose company he had so recently preferred to that of his mother (1386), and was confronted with shouldering the responsibility of an earthly family consisting of seven brothers and sisters, and an unborn child.

    There were a number of apparent advantages in Joseph dying at this time, namely:

  • As the incarnation mandates of Sonarington forbid the leaving of human offspring behind on any planet by a bestowal son of Paradise origin, perhaps this precludes Creator Sons having the opportunity to parent children, unless all experience the untimely death of their father as occurred with Jesus. To his brothers and sisters he was regarded as a brother/father, and the Urantia Book refers to his having minimal opportunity to enjoy the company of the grandchildren due to his death in his thirties.
  • As part of Jesus' life, he experienced the worst tragedy of any child, the death of a parent, "all the more tragic to think that he died ere they could speak to him or hear his farewell blessing." (1389).
  • Jesus experienced the worst tragedy of a parent, in the death of his young brother, Amos.
  • Jesus was present, and assisted Mary, at the birth of Ruth. He ran the household financially and emotionally due to Mary becoming a very depressed lady after the loss of her husband, and "This lad of Nazareth now became the sole support and comfort of this so suddenly bereaved family.....Jesus had a larger and longer experience rearing his family than was accorded to Joseph" (.1373) and, "the rigorous experience of supporting his family was a sure safeguard against his having overmuch time for idle meditation or the indulgence of mystic tendencies." (1393)
  • "He left this world ripe in the experience which his creatures pass through during the short and strenuous years of their first life, the life in the flesh. and all of this human experience is an eternal possession of the Universe Sovereign. He is our understanding brother, sympathetic friend, experienced sovereign, and merciful father." (1405)

    What would have been Jesus' future had Joseph lived? Although a speculative question, in the vein of "what if," it appears that there could have been a few major problems for Jesus fulfilling the mandate of his bestowal mission.

    It had already been decided that he was to go to Jerusalem to study under the rabbis the following year. Hence, with Joseph's death, "at least one problem and anticipated difficulty in his life had been tragically solved--he would not now be expected to go to Jerusalem to study under the rabbis. It remained always true that Jesus 'sat at no man's feet.' He was ever willing to learn from even the humblest of little children, but he never derived authority to teach truth from human sources." (1388)

    At the age of 13 when he first attended the Passover at Jerusalem "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." (1378).

    At the age of 13, "under the surging of intense emotion," he stated, "I will return to cleanse yonder temple and deliver my people from this bondage." (1384). And so built up a righteous indignation which led to his driving the money lenders from the temple, thus challenging the Sanhedrin in a manner which led to the unanimous decision to exterminate him.
       It is highly likely that, had he been forced to attend the school at Jerusalem that this

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