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Michael

The teenage years

The other night i was watching tv and went across the History channel and they were discussing love in the Bible.  Now i don't really want to discuss love in this little blog but they did say something that grabbed my attention.  Nowhere in the Bible is there any reference of Jesus during his teen years.  What happened to Him?  We get all kinds of documentation from His birth up to about age 12, and then we pick up the story again around age 30 through the crucifiction.  That leaves some 18 years of His life with no record.  Can someone point me towards anything they have read that talks about this?

I have ran across some notes on a documentary called The Lost Years.  It talks about Jesus going east and studying buddhism and it also mentions Him being in India and them referring to Him as St. Essa.  (that may not be the exact wording of the documentary, but that's about what i got from it.
Rick

Michael,

Sorry, I can’t recall reading anything specific regarding the 18 silent years. However, as you might suspect, I am not without an opinion.  Certainly your question is intriguing.

The Bible record is not exhaustive, but rather characterized by the careful and exact evaluation and judgment of God.  This is especially true regarding the record of Jesus Christ.  The Bible confirms the virgin birth and His genealogy.  Jesus was raised according to the Jewish Law.  For example, He was circumcised as an infant and at age 12, while observing the Passover, preached in the Temple.  We know that the gospels are eyewitness accounts, and the virgin birth and early life of Jesus must have come from Mary, the mother of Jesus.  In Mark 6:3 Jesus is identified as “the carpenter”. One can assume that after 12 years of age, He worked with Joseph as a carpenter.  We know that Jesus was aware of divine timing, because at the marriage feast He said to His mother “mine hour is not yet come”.  

Oddly, while the Bible is silent regarding some eighteen years of Christ’s incarnate existence, it is not silent regarding His pre-incarnate existence.  For example, in the gospel of John we read: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made…He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  Also in Ephesians 3:9 “And to make all [men] see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:”

If, as is stated in 2 Timothy 3:16,  “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”; then the absence of scripture can be equally significant.  In the case of the missing years, God did not evidently intend for us to know the activities of Jesus.  Perhaps physical maturity was essential for His message to be taken seriously.

Just prior to the 18 silent years Luke 2:52 says “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”  Wisdom, humility and patience are crafted over time. Perhaps the Father and the Holy Spirit were further establishing these characteristics within Christ during His teens and twenties.  We know that God did not place Jesus on Earth as a mature human adult, but rather as a baby.
Michael

Rick - sorry it took so long to get back to this.

i have been trying to find some historical references to this.  But as you could probably guess, i am coming up short.  One thing i did run across was this:  There's a lot of theory out there about Jesus' lost years--in fact some new American religious groups built themselves around that time frame; most notably Clare Prophet (yes, that's her name).  Other than that there is no hard historical data that I know about concerning those years.  

I am just curious about it....why is there nothing?  Why don't we learn of the struggles that may or may not have been brought upon Him during his teenage years?

If you look at it from your perspective, as in what we do know is first hand observation....does that mean he was alone during those times?  Did he travel off on his own?  i have read some things that tend to lean towards that....Jesus going east.

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If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. --C. S. Lewis