The Boyhood of Jesus

From Issue: Discovery 12/1/2005

When Jesus was a small boy, Mary and Joseph took Him to Egypt to protect Him from the wicked King Herod. When God told them to return to Palestine, they went to the city of Nazareth, in Galilee. While Jesus was growing up, Joseph taught Him to be a carpenter. It was the custom for a son to learn the trade of his father.

Like most Jews, Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem every year to observe the Feast of the Passover. One year, when Jesus was 12 years old, He stayed behind in Jerusalem. Because Mary and Joseph were traveling as part of a big group, they did not notice that Jesus was missing until the end of the first day’s journey. They rushed back to Jerusalem. After searching for three days, they found Jesus in the temple. He was talking with the teachers of the old Law. Everyone was amazed by His knowledge of the Scripture and His answers to their questions.

Mary and Joseph were amazed, too, but they wondered why Jesus had not returned with the family. Jesus replied, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” He wasn’t being disobedient or disrespectful to Mary and Joseph. He was simply letting them know that he was the Son of God, and was preparing Himself for grater things.

Luke 2:52 tells us that Jesus grew in size, wisdom, and reputation with God and man. Even as a boy, Jesus knew that His purpose was to do His Father’s work and teach others about God. We, too, can share that same purpose of heart, and grow just as Jesus did.


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