Jesus and Ganid
By Mo Siegel, President, Urantia Foundation, Colorado, USA
For the last few years my wife, Jen, and I had been planning a special journey for my 60th birthday. We decided to trace parts of the trip that Jesus took with the Indian lad Ganid and his father Gonod, from April 26, A.D. 22, until December 10, A.D. 23. Besides visiting many of their stops on the Mediterranean, we also visited Jerusalem and Galilee.
As we expected, our visit to Jerusalem and Galilee felt very significant. We dangled our feet in the Sea of Galilee and stood on the ground at Bethsaida where the Master fed the 5,000, ordained the evangelists and woman's corps, and much more. We explored the hillside where the Master delivered the Ordination Sermon and roamed the hills near his childhood home in Nazareth. At times it seemed like a dream to see where Michael of Nebadon spent his earth life as Jesus of Nazareth. As we visited the various sites in Israel, we read from my IPOD, which contained the entire Urantia Book downloaded from the ITunes Apps store. Our guide finally put away his New Testament and listened as we read the thrilling stories and vivid details from what he called "The IPod Bible".
Before taking the trip, Jen and I knew that our time in Israel would leave a deep impact on our understanding of Jesus' life. Little did we expect that the visits to Alexandria, Egypt, and Cyprus would provide the greater lessons. While the stops in Athens, Rhodes, and Italy were interesting, it was while standing on the ground where the Alexandrian lighthouse and library once stood that we really began to understand why Jesus took 19 months for this trip. Later we visited Cyprus and wondered into the highlands where the Master spent five weeks of his life. It was in those hills that Jesus "skillfully and tenderly" attended to the grievously ill Ganid.
The Urantia Book says that "the real purpose of his trip around the Mediterranean basin was to know men. He came very close to hundreds of humankind on this journey. He met and loved all manner of men, rich and poor, high and low, black and white, educated and uneducated, cultured and uncultured, animalistic and spiritual, religious and irreligious, moral and immoral." (1424.3):3.8
The fact is that Jesus spent over 550 days of his life traveling with two East Indians and their entourage. As we roamed the rugged mountains in Cyprus, we wondered where they ate and slept during the three weeks of Ganid's illness. We conjured up a picture of how this scene must have looked from the other worlds―the Creator of Nebadon nursing this Indian lad back to health on the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere. What kind of loving visualization was being created for all the worlds to see?
When we headed down the mountains, we smiled as we drove past the little Christian churches dotting the mountainside in Cyprus. Someday they'll marvel to learn that the very Jesus they teach about spent five weeks in their hills.
Flash forwarding to Urantia today, we live in a world where a rapidly growing Indian population numbers more than 1.1 billion people. I think that it's no coincidence that Jesus spent more than a year and a half with the Indian lad and his father. I believe that one day the people of India will learn about Jesus' tour of the Roman world with the two Indians, and that this knowledge will bring hope to millions of hungry souls who believe today that the teachings of Jesus were meant only for the Occident. What a mercy ministry Jesus exhibited by choosing Gonod and Ganid as his traveling companions!
I'm writing this article as I'm flying home from this wonderful journey. The truth is that Jen and I took this trip because we wanted to know Jesus of Nazareth better, and because I wanted to escape the reality of hitting the big 6-0. Turning 60 came out fine; no wheels fell off the bus. What unexpectedly happened was the discovery of another treasure in The Urantia Book. When the Master said his gospel was for rich and poor, for Jew and Gentile, for men and women, and for all peoples of all races, nations, and religions, he proved his love, when, in the hills of Cyprus, he nursed back to health the grievously ill lad from India.
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