by Tom Mellett

For those unfamiliar with the phenomenon of the two distinct Jesus children or for those who need a quick review, let me outline the bare essentials. The Gospel of Matthew opens with the genealogy of Jesus. It outlines the generational development of the physical, etheric and astral sheathes needed genetically to prepare this Jesus for the incarnation of Christ at the Baptismin the Jordan. There are 14 generations from Abraham to King David (physical-Matt. 1:1-6); 14 from King Solomon to the Babylonian captivity (etheric- Matt.1: 7-11); 14 from the Captivity to the birth of Jesus. (astral- Matt. 1:12-17).

In the Luke Gospel, the generations number not 42, but rather 77. Also, the listing of this genealogy does not occur till the end of the 3rd chapter (Luke 3: 23-38). Moreover, the listing occurs after the Baptism and proceeds from Jesus back up to Adam and God; whereas the listing in Matthew starts with Abraham and proceeds down to Jesus.

But the biggest discrepancy of all is that while both listings agree between Abraham and David, the lists diverge between the two sons of David: Solomon the King and Nathan the priest. Both lines end with a Mary and a Joseph being the parents of Jesus, and admittedly, there is something "fishy" about two sets of parents with identical names, but that's what appears in the Gospel record and what Rudolf Steiner tells us is the case from his own clairvoyant research.

In the Luke Gospel lecture cycle (Sept. 1909, Basle, GA 114), Steiner describes the Jesus born through the Nathan line as a being who had never incarnated before. This Jesus child was a pure feeling soul which had been held back from the Fall of Man and was the baby born in the manger in Bethlehem, visited by the shepherds and overshadowed by the Guatama Buddha as the "host of angels" hovering over the stable.

In the Matthew Gospel cycle, the Jesus born through the Solomon line was a being who had incarnated many times before, most notably as Zarathustra. This baby was also born in Bethlehem, but was visited by the Magi in a house (See Matt. 2:11) not by shepherds in a stable.

I want to leave aside the religious and historical controversies about proving or disproving the existence of two distinct Jesus children and take the phenomenon as anthroposophists should take anything asserted by Rudolf Steiner--- neither believe nor disbelieve the assertion, but rather let it work on our souls, observe what happens and where it leads us.

According to Steiner, the two boys were only separated in age by 6 or 9 months; they grew up near each other, one in Nazareth, and the other in Bethlehem. But there was a clear difference between the two. The Nathan/Luke Jesus had never incarnated before and Steiner tells us that this child would have been looked upon as retarded, perhaps autistic. On the other hand, the Matthew child would have been seen as very precocious since it contained the advanced ego of Zarathustra.

However, things change at puberty, and Steiner tells us that both boys reached puberty some what prematurely at age 12 where upon the ego of Zarathustra--- to that point contained in the Solomon/Matthew Jesus--- then left that boy's body and incarnated into the 3 bodily sheathes of the Nathan/Luke Jesus, a boy who really was as egoless as a boy could be. In Luke 2: 41-51, this event is described. Mary and Joseph lose their naive and innocent child in Jerusalem for 3 days only to find him conversing with the learned rabbis in the temple.

After this "ego-jump," the Solomon Jesus child can no longer advance and he quickly dies. So do the mother Mary of the Nathan Jesus and the father Joseph of the Solomon Jesus also die at this time. The remaining widow Mary marries the surviving Joseph and the children of both families, 6 boys and 4 girls all live together.

Now there is only one Jesus child. He is indwelt by the ego of Zarathustra, who now permeates the purified astral body of Buddha, anetheric body untouched by the corruption of the Fall and the physical bodyof the Nathan/Luke Jesus. It is this one Jesus child who grows up and, att he age of 30, is baptized by his cousin John in the River Jordan.

So I ask the question: why were two Jesus children necessary? Why couldn't one Jesus child suffice? I'd like to answer this question with an even more profound question: why are male and female necessary? According to Steiner, the differentiation into male and female took place before the Fall in ancient Lemuria. At that time, we existed in tenuous form as male-female, as androgynous beings who reproduced internally, parthogenetically, without any need for partners. But what we did not possess was individualized thinking and individualized ego consciousness. The price we paid for the development of that thinking ability and egoconsciousness was the loss of this androgyny, so that reproduction now required separate male and female bodies. Hence Adam and Eve--- and the rest of course is mythology and history!

Now this pre-Adamic soul being that incarnated as the Nathan/Luke Jesus was held back before the Fall, and hence partook of that androgynous essence. But this soul could only incarnate in a human body 2,000 years ago as far as puberty. That is to say, the Nathan/Luke Jesus could not live beyond the age of 12 because it had not undergone the separation into male and female. In the individual human life span, boys and girls recapitulate this "androgyny" until puberty, when the astral body is "born" or separates out of the androgynous state and we have the attraction between boys and girls after puberty that was not there before puberty. (For more information on this issue, please consult any parents of any teenage children.)

Thus this innocent cosmically pre-pubescent soul required that the ego of Zarathustra, a being who had many incarnations and much experience of puberty and adulthood to enter its body in order to enable this innocent soul to survive into full manhood. Thus Zarathustra sacrificed his Matthew Jesus puberty for the puberty of the Luke Jesus boy. Only then could the purified astral body of Guatama Buddha, called the Nirmanakaya of Buddha, become viable for this child so that this childcould also sustain the most purified body of all, the etheric body of the purest Tone and Life ethers, also called the Word and Meaning ethers--- may I call them together the Logos Ether.

In the Paradise Legend, the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil," represented the two lower ethers, Light and Warmth ethers, that were given over to humankind, while the Logos Ether was that part of the "Tree of Life" guarded in the Garden of Eden by the Cherub with the Flaming Sword so that fallen humanity could never partake of this Tree--- until the first sacrifice of Zarathustra made it possible that these pristine life forces could develop in the Nathan/Luke Jesus boy until this Jesus became a man. Then Zarathustra made his second sacrifice, displacing his ego once again so that now the "I AM" of the Christ Being could then penetrate and direct the 3 bodies of this Jesus man. At the end of 3 years, Christ Jesus is crucified on the "Tree of Death" at the "Place of the Skull" which Steiner refers to as the Mystery of Golgotha.

Thus the price of human thinking was paid for by the separation of the sexes; the price of individual ego consciousness was paid for by human death. Zarathustra made those two sacrifices for the Nathan/Luke Jesus-boy and Jesus-man so that we could speak the words that Rudolf Steiner gave us in the Foundation Stone: "In Christ, death becomes life."


Image and text about two Jesus childern from Gotland Sweden in Swedish.

Jaerna Bridge - Järnabron