The Story of Everything: A Synopsis of The Urantia Book
Paper 154: Last Days at Capernaum
Jewish leaders pressured Herod to arrest Jesus, but Herod sent them away. The Sanhedrin ordered all the synagogues in Palestine closed to Jesus and his follower. Five members of the Sanhedrin resigned in protest. Although this unprecedented mandate over the independent congregations was unusual, all but one synagogue complied.
In May the Jewish leaders tried again to have Herod arrest Jesus. Herod refused, but decreed that the Sanhedrin could seize Jesus on religious charges and take him to Jerusalem for trial. Meanwhile, Jesus and his disciples rested; no public teaching took place during this time.
Citizens of Capernaum gathered to discuss their opinions of Jesus. A few believed that Jesus was the Messiah. Others thought he was a harmless religious fanatic, a dangerous agitator, in league with the devil, or crazy. This was the lowest point of Jesus' popularity. When news of Herod's decree reached Capernaum, Jesus prepared to flee. He called an early morning meeting to give instructions to the disciples.
Jesus' family learned of his pending arrest and decided to try to meet with Jesus to talk some sense into him. Ruth was the only person in Jesus' earth family who still believed in her brother's mission. The Pharisees had been trying to convince Mary that Jesus was mad, and she wavered between love and fear. Jesus' brothers felt disgraced and embarrassed by him. The family decided that while Joseph kept Ruth quiet, Mary, James and Jude would try to dissuade Jesus from his plans.
When the family reached the Zebedee's house, it was so crowded that they could not enter. Not realizing that Jesus' enemies were so nearby at the time, they waited on the back porch and sent word to Jesus that they needed to see him.
When Jesus heard they were waiting, he said, "Say to my mother and my brothers that they should have no fear for me. The Father who sent me into the world will not forsake me; neither shall any harm come upon my family. Bid them be of good courage and put their trust in the Father of the kingdom. But, after all, who is my mother and who are my brothers? I have no mother; I have no brothers. Behold my mother and behold my brethren! For whosoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my mother, my brother, and my sister."
Jesus finished his message to the disciples, intending to go out to the garden to meet his family privately. But just then a messenger arrived warning of the imminent arrival of the authorities sent from Tiberias to arrest Jesus. Jesus and the apostles hurried through the front door onto boats and escaped by rowing across the Sea of Galilee to Kheresa. The Jewish authorities arrived soon thereafter and wasted a week looking for Jesus near Capernaum.