Jesus as a kid


Why don’t we know much about Jesus as a kid? Is there any reliable information on his childhood other than the short story in the Bible about his visit to the temple as a 12 year old?

As a follow up to this topic, how old was Jesus when he realized that he was the Son of God?


The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity has known from all eternity that He is the Son of God.


Hi McKevin,

As a matter of fact, we know also know nothing about Jesus from 12 years old to his public ministry - about 25 years.

Jesus came as our Savior. Anything not having to do with that is of no interest. Jesus lived a thoroughly ordinary life, so much so that when he began his ministry, people were amazed.



I don’t know if it was completely ordinary. Consider the wedding feast at Cana.

Mary: Son, they have run out of wine.

Jesus: So?

     **if Jesus had been completely ordinary, story would have
        ended there**

Mary (addressing the servants): Do whatever He tells you.

Does this not imply that Mary knows full well that Jesus can and will do something rather extraordinary? Would that not further imply that she has experienced the more extraordinary side of Him before?


I thought it was around 18, though I don’t know what that thought is based on.



I thought he was around 30 when the Holy Spirit descended on him?


For the stupidest stories of Our Lord as a kid all you have to do is read the Gnostic gospels. I’ve read some of them and you just sit there and shake your head. Totally inconsistent with the Jesus that we see in the Canon.


The simplest answer is that God reveals to us that which we need to know in order to be saved. So the other parts of Jesus’ life did not need to be revealed - God chose not to.

This is in the Catechism of the Catholic Church too.


Hi jemfish,

Jesus was born around 6 BC. His ministry began around 29AD. That would make him about 35. 35-12= 23.



Read Anne Rice’s new book, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt.


Hi Dranzal,

Does this not imply that Mary knows full well that Jesus can and will do something rather extraordinary? Would that not further imply that she has experienced the more extraordinary side of Him before?

. He was announced by an angel

. He was conceived virginally

. His birth was accompanied by several supernatural events

. It was predicted that God had given him a very special mission

I believe that was enough to indicate that there was something extraordinary about him.

As for Cana, there is no evidence that she wa expecting a miracle. Obviously, Jesus had established himself as a person ready to help in all circumstances. She expected him to do it in this instance.



I think so…after all the miraculous signs surrounding Jesus’ birth leading up to and including Simeon’s reaction to Christ when he was taken up to the temple on his 8th day, Luke 2:19 records Mary’s reaction…that she “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart”.



There may be no evidence, but what do you think she thought He would do? It appears she knows He both can and will do something. I think it strongly suggests that she is fully aware of at least some of His capabilities.

Of course the circumstances of His birth made her aware of how special He is. That wasn’t my point. It’s at least possible that He was performing “miracles” throughout His life and that Cana was simply the first public one. That would have made for an interesting childhood and the OP was about Jesus as a child.


Maybe Luke and I have differing definitions of “about” then: “Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age” (Luke 3:23). It seems to be He’d have to be somewhere between 29 and 31 years old when He began His ministry.



Slight math error. There is no year zero. Only 1 BC and AD 1. So it’s not the same as negative numbers. When you subtract the two you have to also adjust for the “Year Zero” So it comes out to 36.

Best info I can find is Jesus was born between 6 BC and 3 BC. The AD 29 number comes from Luke who says he began his work at about 30 and they discount BC years as part of his life so put ‘about 30’ to AD 30. SO a more accurate year for initiating his public work would be 30-6(+1)=AD 25 to 30-3(+1)=AD 28.

Anyway. It is called his Public Work because we, the public know about it. Private stuff is for family only.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit