- Assistant Minister
And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favour of God was upon him.
There is very little information in Scripture about the early life of Jesus and his family. Inevitably there is speculation and apocryphal information is promoted, but the reality is we have what we need and conjecture is unhelpful. It’s always best to focus on what we do know rather than use human imagination to invite something that is just conjecture.
Here we are told four things:
Firstly the child grew. This seems to indicate that he essential enjoyed a relatively normal childhood in the context of family life.
Secondly he became strong. Whether or not this relates to time working with his carpenter father doesn’t matter, but he did develop physically, seems to have been robust and was well equipped for the demanding life that lay ahead.
Thirdly he was filled with wisdom. The record of his family visit to the Temple where he remained behind and engaged in debate with the teachers suggests that he was well versed in the truth and erudite in his conversation.
Fourthly we note that the favour of God was upon him. There was apparently enough in his character and life to indicate that he was indeed someone exceptionally special and anointed by God.
There is a good illustration here of the importance of accepting the record of Scripture that we have inherited without hankering for additional information that is only guess work. The latter helps us not one iota – rather it detracts from the evident truths we have received and are recorded. (RS)