I have four boys. One is thirteen, another eleven, and then eight and seven. They pretend sticks are swords, swing with their fists, laugh at their farts, burp after drinking soda, and haven’t realized that a shower and deodorant matter. Boys!
In the Bible it says that Jesus is like us in all things, except sin. So, Jesus would have sweat, would have bathed . . . sometimes. Jesus certainly would have played with His cousins and friends, would have bled if He fell and skinned His knee. Jesus would have loved each person He met in a way that would have made them feel so special.
It’s kind of fun to imagine what Jesus was like as a young boy.
Who is Jesus?
This was a mystery to a lot of people who walked with him many years ago.
After all, Jesus walked on water, made blind eye’s see, the deaf hear, and dead were brought back to life! It’s no wonder He was a mystery – you don’t see miracles like those every day! For those not interested in the miraculous, Jesus was just another guy. He worked in carpentry with His father and was a momma’s boy.
There’s a lot we know about Jesus from the Gospels, but there’s even more we don’t know about him. From the age of 12 until he is 30, it’s like Jesus remains hidden. Really, even from the beginning of Jesus‘ life we only get a few moments from Mary as to the infant’s impact in the world at that time. What did he do during this time of silence? Where did he go? What was he like?
I have a nine kids, and I am telling you now that if Jesus was at all like them, then he was probably super cute as a baby, bringing a smile to everyone when he laughed. I would bet that Jesus’ first word was “momma” (after all it was Mary!).
I kind of think that when Jesus ran, even if he lost a race he was so genuinely happy when his opponents won that it took away any competitive animosity. Jesus would have understood that people talked about his mother in a less than flattering way, and certainly, since he was not of great financial means, it is possible that Jesus was potentially picked on by those who were socially and economically better off.
Jesus certainly was a young boy who cried when he saw injustice, celebrated with unmatched joy when a festivity came about, and who lived each moment with perfect appreciation. I can imagine Jesus splashing water on his friends when playing near a stream (did they bless themselves?), and yes, I think Jesus probably wrestled with St. Joseph in the evenings as they sat around talking about the stories of God’s workings among the men of ancient days. I love throwing my children around the house. One of the perks of being a dad!
Man and God
Look, Jesus is fully man and fully God. That’s complex and difficult to fathom, but He is just one person. His human side and Divine side were in harmony together and it really makes a big difference for us. For example, Jesus even as a young man probably had countless opportunities to be self-controlled when falsely accused (remember how He handles that with Judas and Pilot).
See, I think Jesus lived out all of the things he would later tell us in the Gospels. I think he was gentle and repeatedly forgiving, even turning another cheek when someone slapped him. I think Jesus was patient and kind, gentle and self-controlled, keeping no records of wrongs, just like St. Paul would tell the Corinthian Church concerning real love. When Jesus didn’t condemn the woman caught in adultery, I think it is because he had seen people so often hurt and condemned that he knew what the world needed most was healing, forgiveness and mercy.
Many people can accuse and judge, but without love it’s harsh and ineffective. I think Jesus lived out the message He would give to us in these hidden years.
Jesus as a young man certainly obeyed His parents, honored His elders, and was generous to the poor.
Jesus wanted us to really know that love is what we were made from and for. His hidden years embodied the love He would show us on Calvary.