Part three of the Life of Jesus

The Holy Family returns to Galilea

Joseph is told [in a dream] that Herod TG is dead and that he and his family can return to Galilea.

As mentioned before Jesus’s birth is only mentioned in two of the four gospels [Mathew and Mark] the other two gospels [Luke and John] don’t. Why?

The first thing is that they were written from different viewpoints

Mathew was written for a gentiles and it is only in this Gospel is it mentioned the threat to Jesus and the Holy families escape to Egypt to escape Herod’s anger and the slaughter of the innocents. It also appears that Joseph and Mary was living in Jerusalem at the time [not Nazareth], so the travel to Bethlehem would have only been a fairly short journey. Also when Joseph is told that he can return from Egypt he his warned not to go to Jerusalem, because Herod’s son, [Herod Archelaus] is reigning so they went to Nazareth instead. In doing so Jesus would be called a Nazarene as the prophets said.

Luke, was probably written for the Jewish Christians and goes more deeply into the circumstances around Jesus’ birth and prophecies surrounding it. It also mentions the forthcoming birth of John [John, to be known as John the Baptist] to Zechariah and Elizabeth.

Zechariah was a priest, who was serving in the temple [the only place known as a temple was in Jerusalem] as it was the turn of his priestly division to serve in the temple. He entered into the temples inner sanctum [only priests allowed] to burn incense, when the angel of the lord appeared and told him that his wife Elizabeth would have a baby son, and you are to call him John.

Zechariah, said how can this be, we are both old and Elizabeth is well-passed child bearing age. The Angel said “I am Gabriel, the Lord as said that this will happen, because you doubt my word you shall be dumb till the birth of your son. Who you will call John”.

In Luke Mary is told by an angel, that she will have a baby, She replies, “How can this be I am a virgin,” The angel replied, your relative Elizabeth is going to have a child, even though she is past child bearing, she is in her six month, for with God nothing is impossible. So you will conceive and give birth to a son and you will call him Jesus. He will be great and be called the son of the most high.”

It is only in the second chapter of Luke does it mention the Birth of Jesus, and the census of the Roman Emperor. Or the fact that Jesus was born in a stable and the visit by the shepherds.

But what it does mention is important for Jewish Christians. Joseph and Mary take Jesus to the temple, Mary to be ritually cleansed after the birth of Jesus, and Jesus to be presented to the temple. In the temple they meet man called Simeon who it was said was told that he would not die till he had seen the Lord’s Messiah, who on seeing Jesus, picked him up and said, “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother marvelled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

Nothing more is heard of the young Jesus till he reaches his twelfth birthday, when the family his family take him to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival according to custom. [In this I assume was Jesus’s bar mitzvah, when a Jewish boy becomes an adult in the Jewish faith.] After the festival is over Joseph and Mary travel back home, but Jesus remained at the temple. Thinking that Jesus was with other family members it was only till evening they found Jesus was not with them.

So they went back to Jerusalem to look for him, were they found him in the temple courts, sitting amongst the teachers, listening to them and asking questions? It was said, everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.

When his parents saw him, they were upset. Mary said to him, Jesus, why have you treated us this way? Your father and me have been worried out of our minds. Jesus replied, “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them. [I would have thought typical; selfish conceited know it all teenager.]

Then he went back to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Nothing more his heard about Jesus’s life till he meets John the Baptist and then starts his teaching in Galilea

As mentioned earlier, there are four gospels written by different people for different people Jews, Jewish converts and gentiles. Mark is of a more general nature, whilst John is of a more mystic quality. But they all come together talking about the life and teachings from John the Baptist onwards.

as been lots of speculation of Jesus’s missing years, did he just live a quiet life with his parents, did he travel round Judea as a jobbing builder, there are even theories that he travelled to India and met Buddhist monks? I have my own opinions that I will share with you.