Had Jesus bypassed childhood, arriving as a full-fledged adult on planet Earth, serious questions might be raised regarding His ability to identify with children. Christ, however, developed as all children must, skipping none of the developmental stages associated with growth and maturity. He understands teenage temptations. He underwent the frailties and insecurities of childhood. Christ encountered those challenges that, in their own sphere, all children face. His experiencing childhood was another crucial way in which our Savior revealed His true humanity.
Read Luke 2:40-52. What does this teach about Jesus’ childhood?
Among the Jews the twelfth year was the dividing line between childhood and youth. On completing this year a Hebrew boy was called a son of the law, and also a son of God. He was given special opportunities for religious instruction, and was expected to participate in the sacred feasts and observances. It was in accordance with this custom that Jesus in His boyhood made the Passover visit to Jerusalem.-Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 75.
According to the texts, Jesus acquired wisdom. God bestowed grace on Him. From Christ’s boyhood temple encounter during the Passover visit we can see that Jesus had deep scriptural wisdom. Rabbinical teachers were markedly impressed by Jesus’ questions and answers.
God surely used multiple childhood experiences to shape that attractively flawless character. Perhaps the discipline of learning carpentry skills, the attention of devoted parents, regular exposure to Scripture, and His interactions with Nazareth’s townspeople formed the foundation of His early upbringing. In the end, however remarkable a child Jesus was, He had still been—as we all have been—a child.
The child Jesus did not receive instruction in the synagogue schools. His mother was His first human teacher. From her lips and from the scrolls of the prophets, He learned of heavenly things. The very words which He Himself had spoken to Moses for Israel He was now taught at His mother’s knee.-Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 70. Dwell on the incredible implications of those words. What do they teach us about the humanity of Christ?