Friday, January 07, 2005

Yahshua: A Travelin' Man

Does it seem strange that there is so little in western civilisation written about most of Jesus' life when He is the central figure and its inspiration? The Bible tells us a little about His first twelve years, nothing about the next eighteen, and then a lot about the last three and a half years of His life.

Luke tells us that Jesus was about thirty when He became a public figure in Judea when He began teaching the people about the Kingdom of God, but where had He been and what had He been doing since the age of twelve? The New Testament's silence is significant. Luke 1:2 states that the narratives of Jesus' life were eye-witness accounts, implying that the gospel writers had not witnessed any of the events of Jesus' adult life before age thirty. A further implication is that Jesus was not in Judea or Galilee during the "missing" eighteen years.

If He had been living in Palestine, a youth worshipped by foriegn dignitaries, and able to confound the great "teachers" in the synagouge would have surely been observed and would have had some impact upon His society. Did the spiritual power that was manifesting itself in Jesus go dormant for eighteen years? Did Jesus "quench the spirit" until age 30 so He could be a carpenter?

The event at the Temple shows that Jesus was in the process of separating from His parents to pursue the divine mission that He had been born to fulfill. Matthew 13:54-56 indicates that after this 18 year period Jesus was scarcely remembered in his own hometown. The people were asking after hearing Him speak "where did this man get this wisdom?" As if to say, "you sure do talk funny for a carpenter".

They are asking "is this the carpenter's son?" The fact that they could name His mother, 4 brothers and at least two sisters {vs 55-56} indicates that His home town congregation was struggling to identify or remember who Jesus was. Which in turn indicates that He had been gone from Nazareth a long time. Surely if He had been working as a carpenter for all this time, making these folk's furniture, the local citizens would have recognized Him. Yet they spoke as if they had never heard Him speak.


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