The Early Life of Jesus

When Jesus was eight days old, as with all other Jewish baby boys, he was circumcised. It was at that time his name was officially declared to be Jesus. Mary and Joseph took no shortcuts in conforming to the law of Moses even though Jesus had already been declared to be the son of God.

After forty days, it was said that the new mother was finally purified. At that time, she was to come and make an offering at the Temple. She had the option of sacrificing a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. This was according to Leviticus 12:2-8. These are for a burnt offering and a sin offering so that she would be declared clean again.

While she was there with Joseph, a man named Simeon approach them. The Bible says that he was a just and devout man. The Holy Spirit was upon him and revealed he would not die before he saw Christ. When Simeon saw the new parents, he asked to hold the child and blessed God saying that he was ready to depart in peace because he finally saw God’s salvation in Jesus. Even at that time when Jesus was an infant Simeon said that he was to light the world of the Gentiles and be the glory of the Jews. Simeon made a prophecy when he blessed them by saying that a sword would pierce Mary’s soul because the child was set for the fall and the rising of many in Israel.

Before they left the Temple, the couple encountered a very old woman named Anna who was only married seven years and spent the next eighty-four years practically living in the temple as a widow. She served God with fastings and prayers night and day. She also gave thanks to God about Jesus for all those that looked for redemption.

After they fulfilled all the requirements of the law, they returned to their city of Nazareth. The only thing that we know about the young life of Jesus is that the Bible says he grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him. We know nothing more about his childhood until he was twelve years old. At that time, he went with his parents to Jerusalem for the observance of the feast of the Passover which commemorated God’s deliverance for the Jews from Egyptian slavery.

After the feast, Mary and Joseph assumed that Jesus was with relatives as they traveled in the caravan back home, but he was not. They went back to Jerusalem to find him and searched for three days only to discover that he was in the temple talk about the law with the teachers. The Bible says, “And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.” Mary scolded Jesus for being missing saying that she and Joseph had sorrowed at his disappearance. In a commonsense fashion, Jesus replied that they should have known he was about his Father’s business. Ironically. they had no idea what he was saying. It is likely that by this time Jesus knew who he was and what his mission would be assigned by his Heavenly Father

Again, the Bible tells nothing about the life of Jesus until twenty-one more years passed. All it says for that time period was that he was subject to Mary and Joseph. Similar to the time of Jesus birth in which she kept all the events to ponder them in her heart, these circumstances at Jesus in the temple Mary kept all the sayings in her heart. For this long period of time afterwards the Bible only says about Jesus, “(he) increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”

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