Episode 13: Wisdom in The Bible's Silence on Jesus' Childhood

Episode 13 September 18, 2020 00:08:14
Episode 13: Wisdom in The Bible's Silence on Jesus' Childhood
Thinking Christian
Episode 13: Wisdom in The Bible's Silence on Jesus' Childhood

Sep 18 2020 | 00:08:14


Show Notes

Have you ever wondered about Jesus' childhood? I have! Mary and Joseph knew his miraculous origin, yet they still must have wondered about him. So must his half-brothers and half-sisters. We, too, wonder what it was like. Yet maybe there was wisdom in the Bible's silence. Maybe we would have been misled to follow Jesus in ways he doesn't call us to follow him, such as being a craftsman — which not all of us are called to be.

Based on a blog post, "Jesus Was Perfect. That's Why I'm Glad We Don't Have a Record of His First Thirty Years," and also on material in Tom Gilson’s book Too Good to be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality, available here.

Many who’ve read this book have had their lives lit up for Christ, so I encourage you to see what God does for you through it!

Subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or Stitcher. And please take a moment to rate the Thinking Christian podcast on your podcast provider of choice. It really helps make this content visible and available to more people. Thank you!

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:08 Welcome to the thinking Christian podcast, your weekly guide to solid Christian thinking on culture, science, faith, and Christian confidence hosted by Tom Gilson. Speaker 1 00:00:22 Are you skeptical that anyone could present fresh insights about Jesus after 2000 years? That's a question to Frank Turk asked as he wrote an endorsement for my book, too. Good to be false, how jesus' incomparable character reveals his reality and he answers Tom Gilson has done just that. And a lot of readers have discovered surprising new life, new joy, new worship in finding out surprising new things about the life of Jesus Christ. And I want to share that with you here through this podcast, as we go through the book of Luke and find surprising new insights into his life this time, it's about jesus' childhood. As it was last time. Last time we talked about Jesus and his answer to his parents when they were searching for him in the temple. And what else do we know about jesus' childhood, besides that? Is there anything that could surprise us? Speaker 1 00:01:14 We don't have much to go on. It says in Luke chapter two, verse 52, that Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and with man. Well, that, that ought to raise some questions. One of the best things you can do in Bible study is saying, Whoa, that raises a question. I thought Jesus was God, how could he grow in wisdom? How could he grow in favor with God, especially how could he get any better when he was already perfect? Well, I think that the doctrine, the fact of Jesus being God does imply some kinds of perfection, right? From the start. It implies that he didn't sin. It doesn't say that about his childhood, but we do have that being mentioned about his adulthood, that no sin was found in him. He didn't have original sin because he wasn't born in the same manner as the rest of us. Speaker 1 00:02:06 He did have the nature of God in him in ways that we do not understand. And yet he was human. So how does this come together? Taking that as my evidence, I'm going to propose a couple of thoughts on that. One is he didn't sin, which means he was perfect relationally and spiritually. So I can imagine Mary and Joseph saying, honey, I thought it was our job to teach our kids this young one. How not to be selfish. I'd teach them how to love. Why do I get the feeling he's teaching us? I think that kind of thing had to have been going on. It, it might've been even kind of a disturbing thing to see. And the question that I have for years been saying that I want to ask Jesus brothers like, uh, James and Jude. We know by name. I want to ask in heaven. Speaker 1 00:02:59 When, when you were growing up, did you ever say to Jesus, you think you're so perfect. And when you did, how did he answer? These are things that are beyond my ability to imagine. And because the record doesn't tell us more. That's all we have. But the doctrine of jesus' perfection, it doesn't even apply with the beloved. Carol says that little Lord Jesus, no crying. He makes, well, of course he cried. How else was he going to communicate? He didn't come out a little wound speaking, perfect Aramaic. He came out of the womb, a human baby with human baby needs in comprehensible. I know God, isn't supposed to be comprehensible. If we could understand God, then he should worship us. No danger of that happening. It's incomprehensible. But he had human needs and he had a human need to learn many things. He had to learn how to walk. Speaker 1 00:04:01 He had to learn how to, how to hold a, a spoon or whatever it was that, uh, to eat with his hand, which is more likely how they did it in those days. He probably had to learn manners because good manners. Aren't a matter of sin. It's a matter of convention. He had to learn in his father's workshop, how to build. And so I can easily imagine Joseph saying to him, no, no, no, Jesus. Yeah. Cut that wrong measure twice. Cut once and Jesus saying, Oh, okay, thank you. Yeah. He grew up in submission. It says earlier in Luke chapter two in submission to Mary and Joseph, his earthly parents. But why is it? Why is it that we don't hear more about jesus' childhood? Don't you wish we knew more maybe, and maybe not in biographies of that day, it was typical to start at the inauguration of a person's adult life. Speaker 1 00:05:02 So it wasn't unusual in that day to leave a person's childhood out. That's not a glaring omission. That's just normal for biographies of that day. But think with me one moment, what would have happened if we had the story of Jesus as he was growing up, it was perfect and we're supposed to follow him now, what kind of perfection does that mean? Does that mean that we put our 10 year old kids under the pile of the same kind of standards that Jesus lift up to hell appear off? I can't, we can't even come close to it as adults. Can we, does that mean that it's our job to be perfect as craftsman? Well, what if our job isn't to be craftsmen? See what I think might have happened. If we had the story of everything that he did growing up, we would end up following him in things that he did not intend us to follow him in that we don't need to follow him in. Speaker 1 00:05:58 When he comes along as an adult and starts his ministry. This is, this is really quite striking. What we know about Jesus in his relationships and his teaching is exactly what we need to know in order to live a godly life. We don't hear anything else about him in terms of, you know, how he cooked, how he dressed. Well, a little bit, we know a little bit about the homespun robe at the time of his crucifixion, but there's really very little data there other than what we need to know in order to live a godly life, whether you call that intentional or not on the part of the Holy spirit I do. But whether you see it that way or not, you have to see the wisdom in it, because if we're supposed to follow Jesus, that doesn't mean that we're all supposed to be our Tinariwen preachers or carpenters. Speaker 1 00:06:56 We're supposed to be who we are. We're supposed to be the teacher, the engineer, the medical person, the military person, whatever vocation we've been called into that's, who we're supposed to be. And the fact that Jesus didn't model any other career or vocation gives us freedom to live the vocation that he's called us to, and yet to follow his teachings and to follow his ways in terms of what counts as godly living, which mostly has to do with our relationships with God and with one another there's wisdom in the Bibles silence on Jesus childhood. Pretty smart. When you think about it, there's a lot more to find like that in the Bible, there are surprises there and we'll keep going through them as we continue this series on the thinking Christian podcast. I'm Tom Gilson. Thank you for listening. Speaker 0 00:07:57 The thinking Christian podcast is copyright by Thomas Gillson for more information, visit the thinking Christian [email protected].

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