Summary: We know little about Jesus' boyhood, but what we do know says much about Him.
Getting to Know Jesus Series,
#1 – Jesus grows up Jan. 10, 2010
Luke 2:39-52 (New International Version)
39When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.
The Boy Jesus at the Temple
41Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. 42When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. 43After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you."
49"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" 50But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
1) Jesus grew up in a family that held to the Law of the Lord. Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. 33 days after He was born, His parents brought Jesus to the temple to present their son to the Lord and to offer a sacrifice for Mary’s cleansing, also according to the Law, as after giving birth to a child a woman was considered ‘unclean for 33 days; unless she gave birth to a girl, then it was 66 day. Leviticus 12 gives the details.
They brought with them two young pigeons or doves, which bird we do not know. The requirement was for a yearling lamb and a pigeon or dove. But, if they could not afford a lamb, then the two birds would be acceptable. Obviously, we learn here that Jesus’ earthly parents were poor, of simple means, not well-off.
This would also then mean that Jesus was poor, living a simple life, and was not wealthy or rich by man’s standards. Isaiah 53 foretells of what the Messiah, Jesus, would be like. ‘Despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering.’
Being poor or ‘different’ then is the same as it is today in many societies. People tend to look down on the poor, those who are ‘lower’ than they are. Jesus was likely looked down on. I can hear the children in Jerusalem, ‘Look at that poor little boy, must be so awful to live like him. Look at his lowly parents, they can’t afford the latest clothes, the coolest sandals, the nice home. They live in Na-za-reth….’ Teasing and joking, put-downs and slander; Jesus was familiar with these things.
Hometown of Nazareth – ABC's Simon McGregor-Wood reports from Jerusalem:
Just a few days before millions of Christians worldwide celebrate Christmas, Israeli archaeologists say they have discovered the first remains of a house in the town of Nazareth dating from the time of Jesus.
According to the New Testament Jesus grew up in Nazareth, which at the time was a small village of no more than 50 homes. Similar buildings have been uncovered elsewhere in the surrounding Galilee region but never in Jesus’ home town itself.
Yardena Alexandre, head of the team that discovered the remains of the house told ABC News Monday, “This would have been a small house with several rooms and a courtyard. Since it was built on a hillside it may have been terraced and had more than one level.”
The remains were found during building work on a museum. They include a wall, a hideout and a cistern. Archaeologists also found clay and chalk pots used by Jews in the area at the time. From that the team deduced the home belonged to what they referred to as a “simple Jewish family.”
“This is an important find because it is the first dwelling place from the early Roman period found in Nazareth itself. It helps give us a clearer picture of what the place was like when Jesus was alive” Alexandre said.