Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to grow up in the home of Mary and Joseph? How did the information that Mary “treasured in her heart” sustain her and influence her? What did Joseph and Jesus enjoy doing together? How did sibling rivalry, competition, chores, and all those family dynamics come together for both the parents and the children? There are so many curious questions that we could ask, aren’t there?
As you begin your study of the biography of Jesus, which was written by Luke, you will learn more about the childhood of Jesus than in any other place in the Bible. It seems to be a fair assumption that Jesus was considered to be a “normal” child until they made the trip to the temple in Jerusalem and discovered that He could converse meaningfully with the leaders there. Isn’t it interesting that for about 30 years His mission and destiny were apparently not central to His relationships and activities? Yet He always knew exactly why He had left His place with His heavenly Father. He left eternity to limit himself to time. He left his position and power as creator to dwell among the ones that he had created. He left it all for one simple reason. He came to “seek and save what was lost” – Luke 19:10
The first four chapters of Jesus’ life story include all that we really need to know about his birth, his childhood, and his young adult years. We will never know, this side of heaven, whether Jesus was tall or short, mischievous or shy, curious or inquisitive, impulsive or determined, but there are some unique characteristics that we do know. He was total deity, the Son of God, and at the same time it is extremely important to understand that He was completely human, the Son of Man. It seems that at any age and for all peoples a great life time goal might be the one that Luke used to describe Jesus’ childhood – “he grew in wisdom and in favor with God and man”. How does that fit in with your desires for this new year?