The Hidden Life of Jesus


#1

I have always, even in my “lapsed Catholic” days, been intrigued – and even inspired – by thinking of what Jesus did and experienced as a child, and even as a young adult.

I’m reminded, for example, of two flashback scenes in The Passion of the Christ: in one, Jesus is building a table and has a friendly banter with Mary; in another, he’s a child, and Mary is looking after him.

I find it heartwarming to think of Jesus having a mom. Imagine a 7-year-old Jesus with a skinned knee, or having caught a cold, and being consoled by Mary.

Or imagine him helping Joseph as a carpenter’s apprentice…making a gift for his mother (the kind that parents proudly display on the fridge or a book case nowadays)… sharing with other children…studying and/or doing his homework…picking up around the house…running a last-minute errand while his mother made dinner…the list could go on and on.

I’m touched and inspired by Jesus’ humanity – I guess you could say it gives me hope, of a different sort perhaps than I get from his divinity.

What do you guys think? Do you feel it’s profitable to ponder these things? Clearly, there’s a reason that his early life was hidden from us, but I don’t imagine it’s because we’re not meant to wonder about it.

Thanks in advance!

Peace,
Dante


#2

St Therese of the Child Jesus is only one saint who had devotion to the holy childhood of Jesus, which is is hidden life. The Holy Childhood association, which encourages Catholic children to support the missions, also expresses this entirely orthodox Catholic devotion.


#3

I find it immeasurably comforting.

Contrast the Christian belief that God became Incarnate for us, taking on a human body like our own, in Jesus Christ… with the Muslim belief that God would never stoop to such a low to have a “son”, let alone to become Incarnate Himself.

Until the Incarnation, there was so much uncleanness that separated the people of God from God: this, I believe, was the reason for all the ritual washing and purifying and “days of uncleanness” and what-not. But that was changed when God took on flesh for us. Dare I say it… Jesus went to the bathroom. Jesus bled. Jesus probably had a runny nose from time to time. He was like us in all things but sin, and that was only because he is both God and man.

Yes, we still wash our hands after using the bathroom, but not because we are “unclean” to God for X number of days, but because it’s the sanitary thing to do. No man has to “go outside his camp” until evening after having a wet dream, washing his whole body in water and being unclean until evening (cf. Lev 15:16, Deut 23:11-12).

What it comes down to is this: God, in taking on our humanity, has made our sin the dividing line. Ceremonial cleanliness of the Mosaic Covenant has been replaced by the cleanliness that comes from grace and forgiveness of sins. In his birth, infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, Jesus sanctified the very act of being human for us.


#4

DanteAlighieri posted:

Or imagine him helping Joseph as a carpenter’s apprentice

I wonder what happened to the artefacts He would have made :slight_smile:

What price would they fetch today at Auction?


#5

This thread brings to mind two questions:

  1. Are there any approved relics that are supposed to be the carpentry work of either Jesus or St Joseph? Would Jesus’ woodwork have been perfect, if everything else about him was perfect, or would, like all humans, this work have needed training and dexterity?

  2. Were the scribes who interpreted the Mosaic Law obsessive-compulsive? There seems to be an inordinate amout of washing in the Mosaic tradition, almost enough to suggest OCD.


#6

Heh. That reminds me of the old “multiplying skulls of John the Baptist” routine… two churches, around the 10th or 11th century, claimed to have the skull of John the Baptist. When this was challenged, one church claimed its skull, which was considerably smaller than the other church’s skull, was in fact the skull John the Baptist… when he was a child. :wink:

Talkin’ outta turn? That’s a paddlin’.

Lookin’ out the window? That’s a paddlin’.

Starin’ at my sandals? That’s a paddlin’.

Paddlin’ the school canoe? Oh, you better believe that’s a paddlin’.


#7

I seem to recall that author Anne Rice (of the vampire books fame) recently converted to Catholicism and wrote a book on the childhood of Jesus. I think she based it on the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas, but I could be mistaken, just my recollection. Obviously, many ponder and meditate on Jesus’ early years. Must have been fascinating for Mary and Joseph watching him grow in wisdom and skill.


#8

DL 82

This thread brings to mind two questions:

  1. Are there any approved relics that are supposed to be the carpentry work of either Jesus or St Joseph? Would Jesus’ woodwork have been perfect, if everything else about him was perfect, or would, like all humans, this work have needed training and dexterity?

Interesting question! :slight_smile:


#9

I believe he would had to have been trained like any other child of his time. After all, I’m sure he didn’t walk at 2 months old or make clay pigeons fly and that sort of thing. No, he was just like us in that regard, growing and learning how to do things from Joseph. He subsumed his divinity in his humanity precisely so he could truly be one of us.

  1. Were the scribes who interpreted the Mosaic Law obsessive-compulsive? There seems to be an inordinate amout of washing in the Mosaic tradition, almost enough to suggest OCD.

All the washing was to remind people of the inner cleansing of their souls. After Jesus established baptism for the cleansing of sins, an actual grace brought about by his sacrifice on the cross, the outward washing is no longer necessary. But, the OT rituals are a good lesson to us in how seriously God takes sin and how careful we should be to keep our hearts, minds and souls clean.


#10

DL POSTED:

Are there any approved relics that are supposed to be the carpentry work of either Jesus or St Joseph?

Well it is strange you say that, I have got a pair of book ends made for the encylopedia britannica [Roman edition] engraved ‘made by St Joseph Carpentry and Joinery Industries, Gallilee, London and New York’.

They cost me $2 but you can have them for $100,000,0000,000 each! :stuck_out_tongue: A snip at twice the price :wink:


#11

No offence intended. Of course I jest.

I too ask if there are any relics that have servived and if not, what happened to them?


#12

i will imagine Jesus have a normal childhood. just like my son cristian. full of energy and curiosity.:slight_smile: V. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed are thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
R. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.:slight_smile:


#13

First, thanks to all for your responses – very comforting to know I’m not the only one who ponders this!

Sixtus,

I find it hard to imagine woodwork – no matter the quality – surviving 2000 years without divine intervention. Could the Lord have preserved it, as he has preserved incorruptible bodies? Of course. Would he have done? I don’t know…it seems that a table built by the hands of Christ would in itself be such a diversion from Christ’s message that it would cause more problems than it would solve. All you have to do is look at the response to every apparition of the Blessed Mother, and extrapolate what the response would be if they were appearances by or relics of the Son of the Most High – it’d be pandemonium!

Of course, I’m just speculating…

Peace,
Dante


#14

I think the story of the first miracle at the wedding feast can offer some insight into His earlier years.

Consider:

Mary tells her Son that they are out of wine.
He effectively replys with a, “So?”

Here’s the really telling part…

Mary tells the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”

I think the implication here is that she knows He can do something about the lack of wine. How would she know this unless He was doing things of this nature (miraculous) as a youth? What might life with a young Jesus have been like?

I have sometimes joked that it would have been nice if Mary, being perfect, had written a parenting book. But then, it wouldn’t be very practical because her Son was also perfect. :smiley:


#15

QFT. (Quoted for truth.)
SMS. (See my signature.)


#16

Yeah…

Jesus definitely could have made the most beautiful table on earth if He wanted to, and even as a little child, He could have done it. When He was a little baby, He could have done it, provided He had the strength, and even if he didn’t, by His Divine Power, He could. :slight_smile: He didn’t “grow” in intellgience like we do, but instead, allowed His humanity to experience the processes of learning, of working at things, of being tempted.

Without a doubt, Jesus’ work would have been good :), but I think God would have enough sense not to become popular as a carpenter. You know, he’s recoginzed as the SON of a carpenter and not THAT REALLY GOOD carpenter, from nazereth.


#17

mayra hart
i will imagine Jesus have a normal childhood. just like my son cristian. full of energy and curiosity.

Did he play hopsotch and marbles? What was his fav football team? What was his favourite candy? :slight_smile:


#18

the Saints, of course1! White Necco’s, his favorite candy.


#19

I must respectfully disagree.

Yes, Jesus, being God, could have built a perfect table at the age of two merely by willing it, but that would not have been as full an embrace of his human nature. According to Luke 2:52

52And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

This says to me that Jesus experienced a childhood much like you and I did, in which he learned things from his parents (including the Heavenly Father). Does the Father know how to build a table? I reckon so. Would it have been valuable for Jesus to learn that skill from his foster father? I would have to insist it would have been so.

That verse also indicates that Jesus probably made friends in whatever ways were customary at the time, which, I imagine, means he played with other children and didn’t “cheat” at games by using his divine nature to get the upper hand. :wink:

Peace,
Dante


#20

Kind of hard to play hopscotch and marbles without pavement. :slight_smile:

Football? Probably the Dallas Cowboys. :smiley:

Candy? I’m convinced it had to be chocolate, even if it hadn’t been invented yet.

Peace,
Dante


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