Brother Mike’s Message
Tell Me the Story of Jesus: His Childhood
After searching for Jesus in Jerusalem for at least a day, Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the temple. Relieved and frustrated at the same time, Mary exclaimed, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You” (Luke 2:48). Jesus, responded with what seems to be genuine amazement, “Why is it that you were looking for me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house” (Luke 2:49). These are the first recorded words of Jesus. While there is some ambiguity in the exact translation of Jesus’ words, it is obvious that even at the age of twelve He had a genuine sense of His intended mission.
They then returned to Nazareth where Jesus “continued in subjection to them . . . and kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:51-52). The Greek word that translates “kept increasing” reflects one who is advancing or making progress. This statement shows that Jesus is advancing in four ways, just as every child should: in “wisdom”—intellectually, in “stature”— physically, “in favor with God”— spiritually, and in favor with “man”—socially. Two things seem applicable here: Jesus showed us how we should grow as children being in subjection to our parents (see Eph. 6:1). Also, Jesus endured all the trials that any child goes through, but kept advancing as any child should. This is all that is said specifically about Jesus’s childhood.
However, we know Jesus grew up in a large household, having at least two sisters and four brothers (Matt. 13:55, 56; Mark 6:3). His brothers, at least early in His ministry, did not believe He was the promised Messiah (John 7:5). We know He learned the carpenter's trade from Joseph (Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3). We know Jesus did not have, what we might call, a college degree (see John 7:15), yet He learned scripture. Nothing else is written about Jesus other than John’s preaching about the coming Messiah (John 1:19-23) until Jesus left Nazareth to go to John on the outside of Jerusalem to be baptized (Matt. 3:13-17).
The early years of Jesus are filled with applicable lessons for parents and children. From Mary and Joseph we learn that godly parents should be humble, submissive, and obedient. From the childhood of Jesus we learn that children should be learning to love God, receptive to the teaching of books and parents (cf. Prov. 22:6), subject to parents (Eph. 6:1-3), learning to get along with other people, and learning to work.
How are you doing?