I am often struck post-Christmas with how little we know about so much of Jesus life. Apart from glimpsing Jesus aged 12 in Jerusalem, we know of no specific event between him as a toddler on the run as a refugee and him proclaiming himself as Messiah aged around 30.
So what do you think Jesus was doing all of this time? Doctor Luke tells us that ‘Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and all the people’ (Lu 2:52). What does that mean in practice? I guess it means that he was weaned off a potty; graduated from crawling and walking to running; learned his times tables; was apprenticed by his step-dad Joseph; struggled with a surge of hormones in his teenage years; listened to the stories of great men and women who walked with God; and as he grew in his own relationship with his Heavenly Father, started to understand how the prophets spoke of his coming.
Over the years both scholars and sceptics have become obsessed about filling the silence with ‘extraordinary’ claims. Yet, I believe that the coming of Jesus brings dignity to the ‘ordinary’. I find it thrilling that Jesus was someone’s son, someone’s brother and someone’s friend. I find it humbling that the pre-existent Son of God, shared our experiences, understands our emotions and has been ‘tempted in every way that we have and yet was without sin’ (Heb 4:15). Don’t you?
Lost in wonder! Gareth