“The more we study, the more we know. The more we know, the more we forget. The more we forget, the less we know. So, why study?” Anonymous
When we’re just beginning to learn, it seems kind of pointless to go through the motions because of the results. I feel this way as I begin this journey through the years in between twelve and thirty of Jesus’ life. There have been countless stories, observations and speculations regarding what occurred during that time. Some said Jesus went to India to study Buddhism. Others said he went to England. When we don’t have any facts, we tend to make things up, because enquiring minds want to know. I believe these days were not revealed for a reason. Each of the significant events in Christ’s life are recorded.
In the last story of his youth, at the age of twelve, the Word says this:
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52 ESV
His family was in Jerusalem at that time of His twelfth year, because they were a traditional Jewish family, who went there to celebrate the Passover. During these first few years of Jesus’ life, He would’ve become accustomed to making the journey. At the age of twelve, it followed Jewish custom for a male child to have the church take over in His education of the scriptures. It was a confirmation of what He’d learned at home. The entire event was an indicator that His family was devoted to God and they taught their son all the truths of their religion. It also shows us the human side of Jesus. Because He is true man as well as true God, it was necessary for Him to go through the same things we experience in life.
At the announcement of His birth, both Mary and Joseph were confused by the event to occur in nine months, but they acted in faith and accepted God’s will for their lives. So Jesus grew in his mother’s womb. He developed into a baby with ten fingers and toes. He felt the comfort and closeness of His mom. He knew her voice before he was born. He was becoming human – yet He was still God. Of course this is one of the great mysteries of the Bible, but because we believe the Bible is true, we accept with the same faith of Mary and Joseph. When Jesus was born, there were so many questions, but Mary pondered all of them in her heart.
At Jesus’ presentation at the temple, Simeon said,
“Behold this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2:34-35
Again Mary kept those words in her heart for future reference.
Jesus went through the trauma of the birthing process. He was presented as was the custom at the temple. He was confirmed in His faith at the proper age of twelve and He continued to study the scriptures under the direction of those well versed in them. They were amazed at His understanding and knowledge.
As a small child, I imagine He felt the discomfort of teething, growth spurts, bumps and bruises and all the things every young child endures as they grow. At twelve He would begin puberty – study and learn things – endure emotional ups and downs – serve as apprentice to Joseph in the family carpentry business. His life from age twelve until thirty, would be like that of any other Jewish boy, growing up at that time in history.
He saw the poverty surrounding him. He learned how life under Roman rule would affect those he loved. He continued to pore over the Scriptures and live an average life. His humanity was being made known to men. He grew in favor with them. He was preparing for the time when His Godhead would be revealed.
So as I go through this series I hope to give a clear picture of why this was the perfect time in history for God’s own Son to come and live among us – to appreciate our plight – to experience every emotion – to love us, to teach us and to die for us so that we could be His own forever. His resurrection proves that He is God. Now we look at the culture in which He lived as a man.
Stay tuned for Installment Two.