“He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.” Luke 1:17
Luke 1:41; Matthew 3:1-13; Luke 1:17, 3:1-20
Think about the things you loved as a child: playing with friends, playing pretend, reading books, drawing, making arts and crafts, etc. Now think of the things you did not love: doing chores, obeying your parents, being bored, etc. Just as Jesus was a child like us, He also experienced many of these same feelings. He was fully God and fully man, which meant He had the full, normal experience of a child.
Though we do not have documentation, there is a lot we can assume about Jesus’ childhood based on what is written in the Bible and historical context of His time. Jesus lived in a household with two parents, which meant He probably had chores to do like taking out the trash or washing the dishes. His father was a carpenter so He likely helped with his tasks and projects. Jesus probably spent a lot of time outside, playing and imagining with His friends and neighbors like any other child. However, He was not like every other child.
Though Jesus was fully man, He was fully God even as a child. He knew what was expected of Him and He knew the important job He would one day carry out – dying for us on the cross. But as a child, there was a lot of growing up Jesus had to do first. He experienced every part of growing up that we have and He slowed down to enjoy every moment of it, knowing that it would not last forever and one day His life would change drastically.
Sometimes we are so anxious to grow up and get to the next phase of life that we forget to enjoy our current phase. God wants to teach us something in each phase and He is constantly preparing us for what is to come. God was preparing Jesus for a big job ahead of Him, but He first had to be shaped and molded by His childhood. If we move too quickly, we may miss the chance for God to speak to us and prepare us for what is next.
Questions to think about:
- How was/is your childhood different or similar to Jesus’?
- Why are we often so anxious to grow up and move on to the next phase of life?
- What might God be teaching you in your current phase of life?