Luke takes us back to Nazareth with Jesus and His family. I’m not sure why Luke fast forwarded here. He does not talk about Jesus’ first year to two years in Bethlehem. Nor does he mention Jesus’ time in Egypt. We have these facts from Matthew’s gospel. Joseph, Mary and Jesus returned to Nazareth after the death of Herod. Luke is not in error in what he shares because the family did complete the requirements of the law before returning to their home town.
I believe Luke’s gospel was just as inspired by the Holy Spirit as Matthew, Mark and John’s gospels. Luke’s intended audience was different too, so God prompted him to add data relevant to His intended purpose.
From Luke we get rare information from Jesus’ childhood. One could say that Jesus, from Luke’s writings, led a “charmed” childhood. He was protected by God and His earthly father, Joseph. God warned Joseph of the dangers to Jesus after the wise men left. Joseph watched over Jesus while in Egypt and brought Him safely back to Nazareth when prompted to by God.
Luke spoke of Jesus’ wisdom and strength. Jesus exhibited these traits throughout His childhood. Did He come with the wisdom of God or did He search it out in the scriptures? Were the words familiar to Him because He was inspiring them as they were penned? I’m sure He was wise in more than God’s word. I’m betting He was pretty good at settling disputes between His siblings too.
Did Jesus run and play like other children? We know for a fact that He skipped many childhood milestones. A couple of the “skipped” steps include learning to lie and being rebellious to His parents. I have never met a child yet who didn’t learn how to lie, if only to prevent themselves from getting into trouble. And have you ever known a child who didn’t go through the “terrible two’s” at some point? This distancing and independence in necessary and expected. What teen doesn’t test the limits? Apparently Jesus is the exception to these “rules” of childhood behavior. He had to miss these stages in order to be without sin.
Were Jesus’ brothers and sisters jealous of Jesus’ relationship with His parents? Did they feel like their parents favored Him over them? Did they? Did they rely on Him to help with the younger children? Having a “perfect child” probably made it harder on those following Him. Was that why it took them so long to accept His message?
Luke also tells us that Jesus’ walked in God’s favor. Did that favor drive a wedge between Jesus and His siblings or remove any natural rift that would have developed? Did God’s favor on Him make Him popular with His contemporaries? I believe God’s favor is what allowed Him to debate with the scholars in our next section of reading.
Father God, thank You for this brief look into Jesus’ childhood. Thank You Jesus for CHOOSING not to sin, even as a young child. Is there an age of accountability? Are regular childhood activities before this time counted as sin? Children who die very young; what happens to their souls? I know I got off track, but I do wonder about it. Thank You Jesus for choosing the harder path. The one of true surrender to God.