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  The Great Bible Story #90
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The growing years of Jesus

Jacob Ninan
As was expected of all Jews, Joseph and Mary used to go to the temple in Jerusalem every year during the Feast of the Passover. When Jesus was twelve years old, after they had spent the time of the Passover in Jerusalem, Joseph and Mary started back to Nazareth, assuming that Jesus was also in the caravan going back. After they had travelled for about a day, they started looking for Him and could not find Him! So they panicked and returned to Jerusalem, looking all around for Him. They found Him after three days sitting in the temple, and having a discussion with the Jewish teachers about different things. It was apparent that these teachers and others who were listening to them were very impressed by the way He asked questions and sought out the answers. But when Joseph and Mary found Him, they showed Him their frustration, asking Him why He had left them like this and telling Him how they had been worried about Him.

For Jesus it was not as if He had done anything wrong. He said that He had been involving Himself with His Father's work and told them that they should have known! We do not know how much they understood Him at this point. But anyway, Jesus left the temple along with them, reached home in Nazareth and continued in submission to them. Later some people referred to Him as a Nazarene, or a native of Nazareth (which is different from a Nazirite who is someone who has made a vow to God, not drinking wine, not cutting the hair, etc.).

We have no further record of anything about Jesus between this time and the time when He came out into the public at the age of thirty. It is believed that He helped Joseph in the carpentry work, and later took over the work when Joseph passed away. We can believe that He was faithful in attending the synagogue where the scriptures were taught regularly because He was very familiar with the word of God when He started His public ministry. God laid a great foundational work in His life in those years before it became the time for Him to start proclaiming the good news to people. We also know from the certificate that the Father gave Him later that He was faithful and true to the Father in every way, not giving in to any sin even though He was tempted in all ways just as we are tempted now. It was this knowledge of the word of God and His faithfulness to it that prepared Him to minister to other people with the proclamation of the kingdom of God.


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Comfort & Counsel