Inspiration – The Child Life of Jesus

Christ appeared upon the scene as a babe, as a child, having no extra advantages in the world. He came of poor parentage, He had no privileges that the poor have not known, He experienced the difficulties that the poor and lowly experience from babyhood to childhood, from youth to manhood. There is a mystery surrounding the birth of Christ that cannot and need not be explained. Nearly two thousand years ago a voice strange and mysterious was heard in heaven, proceeding from the throne of God, and saying: “Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me.” “Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of Me, I delight to do Thy will, O My God; yea, Thy law is within My heart.” God manifest in the flesh came to our world, being justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

In contemplating the incarnation of Christ in humanity, we stand baffled before an unfathomable mystery, that the human mind cannot comprehend. The more we reflect upon it, the more amazing does it appear. How wide is the contrast between the divinity of Christ and the helpless infant in Bethlehem’s manger! How can we span the distance between the mighty God and a helpless child? And yet the Creator of worlds, He in whom was the fullness of the Godhead bodily, was manifest in the helpless Babe in the manger. Far higher than any of the angels, equal with the Father in dignity and glory, and yet wearing the garb of humanity! Divinity and humanity were mysteriously combined, and man and God became one. It is in this union that we find the hope of our fallen race. Looking upon Christ in humanity, we look upon God, and see in Him the brightness of His glory, the express image of His person.

Christ … was a pattern of obedience and industry. He was as a pleasant sunbeam in the home circle. Faithfully and cheerfully He acted His part in doing the humble duties that His lowly calling required. As the world’s Redeemer, He had chosen a most humble position. He had clothed His divinity with humanity in order that He might be able to reach humanity. …

It is written of Jesus in childhood that “the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.” When only twelve years of age, He made manifest the fact that His mind was developing along spiritual lines. His parents went to Jerusalem every year to the feast of the Passover, and in His twelfth year Jesus accompanied them to the city. “And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and His mother knew not of it. But they, supposing Him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance; and when they found Him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking Him.” For three days they sought Him anxiously … . “And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.”

His parents listened in amazement as they heard His searching inquires. Jesus was taking advantage of the providential occasion that had opened to Him to diffuse light. … Tho taking the attitude of a learner, Christ imparted light in every word He uttered. He interpreted the Scripture to the darkened mind of the rabbis, and gave them clear light in regard to the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world. The sharp, clear questions of the child learner brought a flood of light to their darkened understanding. The truth shone out as the clear shining of a light in a darkened place, as He received and imparted the knowledge of the plan of salvation. …

The doctors and the wise men were amazed at the question of the child Jesus, and, desiring to encourage such a student of the prophecies, they sought to draw out the knowledge He had obtained. Joseph and Mary were as much astonished, as they heard the wise answers of their Son, as were the learned men themselves. When there was a pause in the conversation, Mary, the mother of Jesus, approached her Son, and asked, “Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us? behold, Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing.” Divine light shone through humanity as Jesus lifted His right hand, and asked, “How is it that ye sought Me? wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business? … ” The Signs of the Times, July 30, 1896