Index/Table of Contents
Old Testament and New Testament
Credits and Copyright
INFORMATION ABOUT JESUS' CHILDHOOD AND JEWISH CUSTOMS OF THE TIME
I. The Childhood of Jesus
A. e grew up in Nazareth
1. Locked on the northwestern slope of the mountains of Galilee.
2. The Jewish prejudice against Nazareth is reflected in the question, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:46).
Antonius the Martyr likened Nazareth to Paradise. The town was closed in by hills with a beautiful view.
B. He grew up in a Jewish home.
1. Other Children in Home:
a. Joseph, Judas, Simon, end dames; several daughters (Matt. 13:55)
b. Jesus was Mary's firstborn - not her only son. Catholic tradition implies that Mary was a perpetual virgin and the "brothers'' of Jesus were really cousins.
a. Began at home - his parents would have taught him. Jesus' Bible was the Old Testament - the foundation stone of Jewish education. Jesus would have learned Hebrew in order to read and study the Scriptures.
b. Synagogue study At the age of six or seven, a Josh boy was sent to his elementary school, the synagogue. Every village had its own synagogue an therefore, its own school. If a student wanted to pursue further studies he went to the Scribal "college" where the great Rabbis taught. The main business was the drilling of the students in the oral tradition. It is unlikely Jesus ever attended any of these " colleges. "
C. Learning a craftIt was required of every Jewish father that he should teach his son some honest craft. Like every Jewish child, Jesus was put to work and he probably followed Joseph's vocation - carpentry .
II. Jesus at the Temple at Age 12 (Luke 2:41-51)
A. Jewish Custom of Attending Passover By this time in Jewish history, Jews celebrated eight ~ Brent festivals. The three main festivals were:
1. Passover - Unleavened Bread- celebrated the Exodus from Egypt.
2. Pentecost - Marked the end of the wheat harvest
3. Tabernacles commemorated living in tents during Exodus. It had become common practice for the Jews living outside Jerusalem to attend only Passover.
B. Outline of Events
1. This may have been Jesus' first trip to the Passover celebration, but not necessarily.
2. At age of 12 a Jewish boy was reckoned "a Son of the In" (BarMitzvah) and entered upon au the privileges and responsibilities of an Israelite. Psalm 122 describes the joy a young Israelite experienced as he stood within the city gates and saw the Temple. Although the Temple area itself measured a square of 1000 feet, it cot hold at least 200,000 people.
3. Jesus and the Teachers of the Law (2:46-47) In some part of the Temple, Jesus was "sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions." The presence and questioning of a child of that age did not necessarily imply anything so extraordinary. Jewish tradition gives us insight into other instances of advanced students. Yet au who heard him were amazed at his insight and discerning answers.
4. Reaction of Mary and Joseph (2:48-50) Following the Passover, Joseph and Mar began their journey back home. Having traveled one day and having failed to see the child, they began a thorough search, but were unable to find him among their friends and relatives. They returned to Jerusalem and to their astonishment found him among the teachers. As his parents felt Jesus had been inconsiderate, they asked Jesus why he had done this. Jesus' response: "I had to be in my Father's House."
5. Jesus' reply to his parents tells us that even at this age, he was beginning to realize his special relations hip with his Heavenly Father.
C. Luke's concluding comments about Jesus' Childhood (2:51-52)
1. Jesus was an obedient child as he placed himself under their authority (2:51)
2. Jesus grew in four ways Wing his youth according to verse 52:
a. Intellectually - "in wisdom"
b. Physically- "in stature"
c. Spiritually - "in favor with God"
d. Socially - "in favor with man"
Read the article entitled "Nazarite" in The Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, page 526.
TN1 There are accounts in the New Testament apocryphal writings regarding the childhood of Jesus. These are absurd experience of Jesus -
These do not harmonize with the spirit and teaching of Jesus.
DQ1 What evidence do the Gospels give of Jesus' meditation on the Old Testament Scriptures, and what is the significance of this for our attitude to the 01d Testament today?
DQ2 Why do you believe He gospel waters spent very hale time with the childhood Ed youth of Jesus?
Updated Thursday, February 24, 2000
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