We all notice the unmistakable silence of Yeshua, Christ Jesus from 12 years of age until 30.
Luke 2:41-52 (NKJV)
41 His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 43 When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother[a] did not know it;44 but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. 46 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. 48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” 49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. 51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
I have heard and read much speculation and conjecture as to what happened during that time. There are even apocryphal accounts (Book of Thomas) of events that took place when Jesus was young. However, I think there is enough information given to us in Matthew 13 and John 2 to let us know that nothing miraculous happened. That, after amazing the teachers when He was twelve years old, Jesus went back to being an ‘apparently’ very good boy and young man. No Jesus didn’t sin. His ‘goodness’ ( much like Joseph in Genesis) could have led to His brothers’ initial unbelief and antagonism…
John 7:5-7 (NKJV)
5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him.
6 Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.
Think about what is reported in Matthew 13 when Jesus was rejected in His hometown of Nazareth…
Matthew 13:53-58 (NKJV)
53 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there. 54 When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses,[a] Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” 57 So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” 58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
…If Jesus had spent His youth sharing His wisdom and His supernatural powers, the people of His town would not have wondered ‘where did this man get this wisdom?’. They would have known He was unique among His half-brothers and sisters. They would have recognized Him beyond being ‘Joseph’s son’ and a carpenter. They were around Jesus every day as He grew and would not have been surprised at His wisdom if He had revealed that He was special after 12 years of age.
In fact, this implies to me that Jesus spent His teenage years and twenties doing the work of a carpenter while He and Mary held His divinity in their hearts.
As Jesus said at the wedding in Cana after His first miracle, His time had not yet come. And, yes John Chapter 2 confirms that turning the water to wine was Jesus’ first miracle. So no miracles could have happened before that.
The fact that Mary was anxious for Jesus to do something about the wine dilemma at the wedding could imply that she was ready for Him to ‘get the show started’.
She hadn’t even told her other children about their Holy brother. We all know how hard it can be to hold some things in our hearts. How hard it can be to keep a huge secret…especially one this big.
John 2:1-12 (NKJV)
2 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” 6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” 11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.
PROTECTED BY ANONYMITY?
We all know how the enemy used Herod to kill baby boys Jesus’ age killed trying to prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled. God very well could have been protecting Jesus in anonymity to protect Him and His identity until His time had come.
Matthew 2:16-18 (NKJV)
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more.”[a]
God’s wisdom goes beyond our desire to know what happened before Jesus began His earthly ministry. As I said earlier, we can speculate and guess, but that is all it is…guessing and speculation.
Besides, what’s most important is what happened after Jesus began His earthly ministry. His occupation was carpenter but His calling and purpose was SAVIOR.
Jesus’ silent years are one of the greatest lessons in the wisdom of God doing all things in HIS OWN TIMING. And, that we should relate this lesson to our own lives. Even the Son of God didn’t begin His purpose before it was time.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: