From Luke 2-3
Jesus had an unusual childhood. As one might expect for one who shares two natures. One eternal and divine, the other human. He learnt and grew like most of us, yet already we see significant differences in the Son of God. Q. Did Jesus have to learn things as he grew up?
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
The following excerpt says a number of things about Jesus in his youth.
39 And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. (Lk 2.39-40)
The reference in v39 to the ‘law of the Lord’ concerns circumcision and probably a sacrifice to dedicate Jesus. Jesus was the firstborn so Mary and Joseph had to do things to redeem him (Ex 13.11-16). Jesus was favoured by God.
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. (Lk 2.41-45)
Jews of all stripes made a regular practice of observing the covenant laws. In this instance it includes the Passover. But, we have a potential problem here. Jesus goes missing afterwards. From the passage it is reasonable to infer Mary and Joseph were worried about him. They begin looking.
46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. (Lk 2.46-47)
This is quite an intriguing couple of verses about Jesus. Is Jesus learning? Asking questions as it says? We might have a few different opinions here. Lets for now run with the possibility he did learn. His ignorance at this point does not necessarily imply he was in error. Rather he built truth upon truth. I suspect Jesus had a remarkable ability to absorb the scriptures and understand them. As those around him observed.
48 And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. (Lk 2.48-50)
Did Mary and Joseph try to tell Jesus Joseph was his father? If so in what sense? Jesus knows who his Father is none the less. His Fathers is God, the Father. He is the Son of God. His Fathers house is the temple. They did not understand the relationship between Jesus and God the Father, because of yet they didn’t understand who Jesus is. Which is strange concerning what they were told of his conception.
51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. (Lk 2.51-52)
Jesus was submissive to them and Mary treasured all these things, I guess fondly, in her heart. Jesus also continued to increase in wisdom, growing in knowledge and understanding. He grew up into a man, well thought of by God and man.
Jesus had an unusual childhood. As one might expect for one who shares two natures. One eternal and divine, the other human. He learnt and grew like most of us, yet already we see significant differences in the Son of God.
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