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Where was Jesus from the age of 13-30 years? What was He doing?


Thank you for your interesting question about the life of Jesus.

The simple truth is that we know very little about the life of Jesus the Messiah before He began his public ministry around the age of thirty. We don't know what He looked like, if He had any hobbies, what His favourite colour was, etc. We can of course speculate that He did what other children, teenagers and young adults of His time did and then probably eventually followed Joseph in His job as a carpenter. People have not only speculated about these formative years but have fantasised about them.

There are countless apocryphal stories of mainly petty miracles supposedly performed by the Christ child. The Gospels of Mark and John don't even include the Christmas story of Jesus' birth, beginning straightaway with Jesus as an adult. In this they follow what some scholars have suggested is the ancient pattern of beginning biographies with the public lives of their subjects, skipping over everything previous, regarding it as irrelevant.

Though knowing what happened during these years would be very interesting, the Scriptures are utterly silent on them - save to say that Jesus grew and became strong in stature, spirit, wisdom and favour and was subject to the wishes of His earthly parents. Indeed, most parents would long for that to be a testimony they could apply to their own children!

The Scriptures are silent on these years in order not to detract in any way from the all important final three years of Christ’s earthly ministry.

Jesus' final three earthly years are obviously the period of His life which God the Father and God the Holy Spirit would have us focus our faith upon. If we truly want to understand why the Son of God came to earth, this is where we must look - and the four Gospels contain all the record we require.

Where was Jesus during these early years? He was praying. He was growing. He was working and He was eventually waiting for God’s command to begin His ministry. As followers of Jesus we should always try to emulate Him in this.

And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favour of God was upon him...And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man. (Luke 2:40, 51-52).

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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

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