Mary’s Crazy Family, as told by Joseph ben Jacob

Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem
Joseph and Mary in Beth­le­hem

My dear mys­ti­cal friends, this is Broth­er Thomas from the Sev­enth Ray.  Even though I no longer live upon the earth as you do, I remem­ber Christ­mas fond­ly! But more impor­tant­ly, all of us on this side remem­ber the great avatar that vis­it­ed your plan­et some two thou­sand years ago. This is the man you called Jesus! We love Jesus too – though we see his life and work dif­fer­ent­ly from this side of the veil. In future lessons, we will thor­ough­ly dis­cuss this impor­tance of all this.  But for now, as you near the time of Christ­mas, let us share a fun­ny sto­ry we have for you that dis­cuss­es Joseph – Jesus’ earth­ly father.

The bib­li­cal text does not say much about this mar­velous man; how­ev­er, we on this side have a few things to tell you. The man you call Joseph was, in real­i­ty, an accom­plished spir­i­tu­al being who accept­ed a spe­cial earth­ly assign­ment to be the earth­ly father for Jesus. He was to cre­ate a home envi­ron­ment for the God-Man that would shape him for his future work. Mary, Jesus moth­er, was a spe­cial­ly appoint­ed angel who came to earth to be his moth­er. Her present work as Moth­er Mary is only a rather recent con­tin­u­a­tion of her work with humankind. More about her in future lessons.

The sto­ry I have writ­ten for you fol­lows a more tra­di­tion­al under­stand­ing of Joseph and Jesus – and is not the meta­phys­i­cal view we will prob­a­bly teach you about lat­er. Even so, it is always good to hear the tra­di­tion­al sto­ries of our broth­ers Jesus and Joseph – as well as our sis­ter Mary. If you are total­ly unfa­mil­iar with these sto­ries, I might sug­gest you read a few short Bib­li­cal texts.  Don’t wor­ry. They are eas­i­ly under­stood. Mary’s Sto­ry. Joseph’s Sto­ry. Now, let’s read this unusu­al and fun­ny sto­ry about how Joseph met Mary.


Friends, I ask you to join me as we trav­el back into time. It’s been a long jour­ney for Mary, Joseph, and their old faith­ful don­key Jedidi­ah. They have trav­eled about 100 miles from Nazareth to Beth­le­hem in order to pay their tax­es to Rome and enroll in the cen­sus. Will you join us now in the sta­ble at Beth­le­hem? In your mind’s eye, look around and see the farm ani­mals and oth­er fam­i­lies, like Mary and Joseph, who could not find a place to stay in town on this cold winter’s night. Mary has just giv­en birth to a son and is rest­ing as best she can. Joseph is too rest­less to sleep, and so he decides to tell his sto­ry.

Mary’s Crazy Family, as told by Joseph ben Jacob

My name is Joseph ben Jacob (or Joseph son of Jacob). This beau­ti­ful new baby boy I’m hold­ing is named Jesus. Pay atten­tion! You are going to hear more about my son Jesus. Just to clear the air and so you’ll know, Jesus is my son, but he’s not my son. It’s com­pli­cat­ed. We car­pen­ters don’t like com­pli­cat­ed. We lose mon­ey on com­pli­cat­ed — but that’s anoth­er sto­ry.

That’s my mom over there. Accord­ing to her, our fam­i­ly actu­al­ly comes from Beth­le­hem. None of us have lived here in a while — but we still know of a lot of peo­ple from around here.

Mary and I came here from Nazareth to pay our tax­es and enroll in Rome’s cen­sus. We thought we could get here before the baby arrived. But I think all this trav­el­ing must have caused the lit­tle guy to come ear­ly.

I am over the moon with excite­ment. I have some­thing fan­tas­tic to tell you — though I don’t expect any of you to believe me. I doubt I would. But ask me if I care? I’m beyond that now. Any­way, what have you got to lose? The night is cold, so let’s share some wine as you lis­ten to my sto­ry. Let’s begin a lit­tle more than a year and a half ago.

If you talk to my mom, and I wouldn’t advise you to do that, she will talk your ears off about how my fam­i­ly is a direct descen­dant of King David. She doesn’t know if that’s true or not, but that’s what she says! It’s a great sto­ry.

But a big whoop-te-doo to king David — cause now days we’re all lousy car­pen­ters!

I can fix any­thing! Is your chair broke — I can fix that. You need a table — how big? You need some stones cut for your sum­mer­time cot­tage, I high­ly rec­om­mend the Jerusalem Lime­stone, the same as my great, great, great, great, great, grand­dad­dy Solomon used to build the Tem­ple. I tell you, that stuff lasts for­ev­er! Did I tell you that I can get it at a great price? I know the guys who quar­ry it and we have a spe­cial arrange­ment!

But I digress! About a year and a half ago, I was still liv­ing with my mom and dad. Busi­ness was kind of slow. One day my dad Jacob and I got into it. He said, “Joe, you got to get out on your own. I can’t keep tak­ing care of you. It’s time to take your tools and make a life of your own! Now Go!”

So, I said “Yeah?!

And he said, “Yeah!”

And I said, “Yeah?”

And he said, “Yeah!”

And I said, “You real­ly mean this, you’re kick­ing me out!”

And he said, “Go on kid, beat it, it’s time for you to go!”

So, I picked up my tools, and took Jede­di­ah, (Jed was an old don­key Dad acquired in the year of BCE -10) For the record, dad kept the new­er Ezekiel mod­el for him­self. So, Jed and I left for fame and for­tune.

We head­ed to the big city of Jerusalem. There is always work there – espe­cial­ly if you have a lit­tle ambi­tion – and I had some friends that I knew would put me up. Ahhh, that was a crazy time.

I wasn’t mak­ing it big, but I had enough mon­ey for a lit­tle fish, bread, wine and see­ing the sights. It wasn’t easy, but I kin­da enjoyed being on my own and all. One day, I got a mes­sage. It was my big break! They said I should stop by the big tem­ple in Jerusalem. It seemed there was some work that need­ed to be done — so I head­ed that way.

While I was there, I met an old priest­ly man named Zechari­ah. Well, we got to vis­it­ing and the next thing you know he said, “Young man, you ought to meet my niece! Her name is Mary and she is the cutest and sweet­est lit­tle thing you’ve ever seen!”

Well, I was in the mar­ket — so to speak, and I thought I might take him up on that – being it had been some­time since I had been in the com­pa­ny of pret­ty women. So I fin­ished my work at the tem­ple and went back to my room.

The next day I came to fin­ish the job and dis­cov­ered that some­thing very odd had hap­pened to Zechari­ah. The old man could not talk! It was as if he was struck dumb! He would move his lips and try to talk but noth­ing would come out. He was act­ing strange.

I asked, “What Hap­pened to Zech?” and was told an amaz­ing sto­ry!

Accord­ing to the oth­er peo­ple in the tem­ple, that crazy old coot said he had been vis­it­ed by an angel who told him his old wife Eliz­a­beth was gonna have a baby! Zech said he laughed out loud and said some­thing like, “Yeah right!”

And the Angel said, “Yeah, Right! Shut-up!” And sud­den­ly, Zech couldn’t speak any more!

He must have made that Angel pret­ty mad because he couldn’t say noth­ing! Accord­ing to the angel, Zech was told that he wouldn’t be able to speak until the kid was born because of his mouthing off!

Well, I have to tell you, at the time, I didn’t know if any of that could pos­si­bly be true! Zech seemed pret­ty old to me, and those priests are crazy – always proph­esy­ing about a mes­si­ah and stuff like that. Oy, Vey! It’s hard being a Jew!

But, I have heard of stranger things. What harm is it if the old man thinks his wife is gonna have a baby and all? I guess it wouldn’t hurt to slap the old man on the back a time or two and say con­grat­u­la­tions! I mean, if he believes it, Okay!

Zech saw me talk­ing and came right up to me. He began using sign lan­guage. He made the fig­ure of a beau­ti­ful woman and walked his two fin­gers up his arm like they were walk­ing up the road to Nazareth. He nod­ded his head up and down. I nod­ded my head up and down to agree. And then I left to see Mary — the old man’s niece. I had no idea about the crazy fam­i­ly I was about to become a part of.

Well, well, well! I saw her. Old Zech might be crazy, but he knew a pret­ty woman when he saw one. Of course, Mary was dis­traught to hear that Zech couldn’t speak, but she was excit­ed that Eliz­a­beth would have a baby. Me, I didn’t believe a word of any of it — but all the same, I hung around to ensure that she was prop­er­ly con­soled. It was all on the up and up because that’s how I roll!

I would have to say I was smit­ten. She was beau­ti­ful to look at, and beau­ti­ful on the inside as well. I enjoyed being around her. Mary is a fan­tas­tic cook, but there’s only one prob­lem – she is always run­ning low on wine!

I did as many odd jobs in Nazareth as I could find. Naz is a small town and it wasn’t long before I got to know all the peo­ple there. This town got to feel a lot like home.

I asked Mary to be my wife. She said yes! And that was the hap­pi­est day of my life. Thank you, Dad­dy, for kick­ing me out! There wasn’t any dowry. Her fam­i­ly was poor. That didn’t mat­ter to me. I had strong hand arms and strong hands. I would care for her.

Then one day, she told me some­thing I could not believe. It took the air right out of me. She said an angel vis­it­ed her. What is it with this fam­i­ly and their crazy angels! Then, she broke my heart! She said she was preg­nant!

My world stopped. Then, she start­ed talk­ing crazy! Crazy I tell you! She said that God’s angel had come to talk with her. The angel said God asked her to car­ry the Son of God — the mes­si­ah!

What? I was qui­et. I tried to lis­ten. Mary said she had not known a man. Her friends had told me that she had nev­er been with anoth­er man but me. We had nev­er been togeth­er. Yet, here she was — preg­nant and try­ing to telling me that it was some kind of a mir­a­cle!

Look, I’m not edu­cat­ed. I’m no rab­bi, and nobody has ever said that Joseph ben Jacob is a smart man. But I know, what I know. I’m a good car­pen­ter and I’m a hard work­er. I did not get this woman preg­nant. And I’m sor­ry, I can’t accept this crazy sto­ry that she hasn’t slept with anoth­er man. I love her — but if she can’t be truth­ful with me, we’ve got no future togeth­er. Life’s too short to spend it with a crazy woman!

Mary was hurt that I didn’t believe her. I didn’t like hurt­ing her — but I was hurt­ing too! What did she expect? I went to my room and stayed away for a while. I knew that the child she was car­ry­ing would be show­ing very soon. I con­tin­ued to do odd jobs and come home to my room. I didn’t know what I should do. My friends were ask­ing, “Hey, where have you been? Aren’t you guys engaged? We haven’t seen you togeth­er for a while.”

Mary was heart­bro­ken too. She tried to send for me — but I reject­ed all of her friends. “What would be the point of it all?” I asked.

I decid­ed to fin­ish up my projects and put Mary away qui­et­ly. She may be crazy, but I don’t want to humil­i­ate her. I’ll just move back to Beth­le­hem and start over.

It was set­tled. I would get away from this crazy fam­i­ly with their angels and visions. No harm, no foul. I felt at peace for arriv­ing at this deci­sion. The work and all this men­tal stress had tak­en a lot out of me. I was exhaust­ed, so, I lay down to sleep.

Oh, my, I’m going crazy! Am I asleep? Am I awake? Did I drink too much? Did I eat bad fish? Do I have a fever? No, I feel fine! What­ev­er it is, I see an angel! Oh no! This crazy fam­i­ly is get­ting to me! I’m see­ing an angel. It’s real! Whoa boy, take it easy!

Yup! Joseph ben Jacob, I’m an angel — and I’m here to talk with you! Pay atten­tion and lis­ten up! And what­ev­er you do, don’t mouth off like Zech did! I hate that!

Yes, that angel and I had a long talk. It was much longer than what the Bible says. But let’s just say, that the angel told me that I should not be afraid to take Mary to be my wife. The angel told me that, as strange as it may be, my dear Mary had told me the truth!

He told me oth­er amaz­ing things. He said I would have a son named Jesus who would save peo­ple from their sins. He said Jesus was a holy child. I lis­tened respect­ful­ly. Then, I told the angel, I love Mary, but I don’t think I’m your guy! Look at me! I’m a car­pen­ter. I’m not a rab­bi, I’m poor, I have friends in low places…and I start­ed to go on…but the angel raised a fin­ger to shush me!

I stopped. I didn’t want to have that Zech thing hap­pen to me!

The angel said, “Yes, Joseph, you are all of those things, and the Most High loves you any­way!”

The angel con­tin­ued, “Did you know that you are a noble descen­dant from the house of King David?”

Who knew? I thought to myself, “I guess mom was right after all.”

“Of course I am,” Mom yelled from the back cor­ner.

The angel con­tin­ued, “Don’t wor­ry about being a Rab­bi, for a while, we want the Son of God as far away from those peo­ple as pos­si­ble! Any­way, your new crazy Uncle Zechari­ah, and his son John, will teach your son about all of that any­way.

What’s more impor­tant is that you raise your son to be a man. We want him to be ful­ly man — as well as ful­ly God! Teach him what you know about car­pen­try. Teach him how to fish from the sea of Galilee. Teach him how to get away from it all and live in the desert! Teach him how to pray — as you do. Teach him to be skep­ti­cal of the Sad­ducees and Phar­isees and show him how to love God from his heart — like you do. Teach him to love the poor and the out­cast. Teach him to love all men and women — and espe­cial­ly those friends of yours in low places you were talk­ing about. Joseph ben Jacob, we want you to teach your young son Jesus how to roll – just like you do!

Seri­ous­ly?” I said?

Seri­ous­ly.” The angel replied.

And then the angel asked me the same ques­tion that Mary said he asked of her. He said that the Most High God was humbly ask­ing me, “Will you help me raise my son?”

I said “Yes”, and I nev­er looked back. I saw Mary the next day and told her everything.She was clear­ly show­ing now. We knew what oth­er peo­ple were think­ing. Some of them shook their heads at us and gave judg­men­tal sighs! Oth­ers gave a know­ing look and winked at us. Most didn’t notice or care. It didn’t mat­ter.

I’m proud to say, that I am now a mem­ber of crazy Mary’s fam­i­ly — the ones that see angels and has visions. Some­thing tells me that my new baby boy is just like us!


Mary and Joseph in Beth­le­hem Pic­ture use by per­mis­sion of Cre­ative Com­mons

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