The Childhood of Jesus

Text: Luke 2:40

Many wonder what the childhood of Jesus was like. The Bible says little about it, though other writings claim to contain accounts of His childhood. His childhood was important because it was a necessary part of God’s scheme of redemption (Hebrews 2:14-15; 10:5). But it is also significant that the Bible says little about it.

Fundamental Reason for the Interest in Jesus’ Childhood

  • Why do people have an interest in learning about Jesus’ childhood? … curiosity – this is the primary factor
  • God made us curious – so that we would seek for Him (Acts 17:26-27)
  • Important to remember – the Bible was not written to satisfy our curiosity; it was written to save our souls (Psalm 19:7-11; Romans 1:16)
  • We will not find in Scripture everything we might wonder about – but it does have all that we need (2 Peter 1:3)

Problems with Alleged Accounts of Jesus’ Childhood

  • Aside from the very beginning of His earthly life (birth, fleeing to Egypt, settling in Nazareth), the only account of Jesus’ childhood is when he was found in the temple at age 12 (Luke 2:41-52)
  • Other writings claim to contain accounts of Jesus’ childhood – notably the Infancy Gospel of Thomas
  • What do the alleged examples have in common? … they strip Jesus of His divine attributes – they do not depict one who is God in the flesh; they depict an immature, ignorant, mischievous child who happens to have special powers

What Does the Bible Say About Jesus’ Childhood?

  • Only one event recorded (Luke 2:41-52) – let us notice what lessons are contained in the actual and inspired record
  • He knew where He came from (Luke 2:49) – only 12 years old, but knew He was not just a carpenter’s son (Matthew 13:55); evident by His discussion in the temple (Luke 2:46-47); His understanding was from above (John 7:14-16)
  • He was still God in the flesh – He said “My Father…” (Luke 2:49), indicating His equality with the Father (John 5:17-18); He was deity in bodily form (Colossians 2:9), even as a child
  • He submitted to His earthly parents (Luke 2:51) – an example for all children to follow (Ephesians 6:1-3)
  • He grew in different areas (Luke 2:52) – wisdom (practiced what was right in every stage of life); stature (He had a regular, human, flesh and blood body – Hebrews 10:5); favor with God (done by pleasing God – Galatians 1:10; John 17:4); favor with men (by fulfilling the Law, He demonstrated love – Romans 13:10)
  • He lived without sin (1 Peter 2:22) – even as a child, He committed no sin (Hebrews 5:1-3); not even in the “ignorance” of youth

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