.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

15 March 2006

Jesus’ Life from Twelve to Thirty

Q: Why does the Bible skip through many years of Jesus’ life, from when He was 12 to when He was thirty-something?

A: We don’t have a clear answer. Probably, after age twelve, there were no special events to show that He was fulfilling either the Law or any of the prophecies. In other words, Scripture is silent because Jesus was relatively silent, also.

Note that the Nativity (and the introductions of Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, and John) establish His true humanity while also completing some of the Old Testament prophecies, such as his place of birth. His circumcision shows that He placed Himself under the full Law as given to Israel at Sinai, as does His presentation at the temple.

Jesus in the TempleThe trip at age twelve shows Him following normal human development (although not normal as regards either His perfection in character or His attentiveness to His Father’s business). I assume that any following accounts would only continue the pattern established in early years.

As for the wait, it was probably at least in part because rabbinical tradition dictated that one had to be at least thirty to study certain books of the Scriptures and the commentaries and no teacher would have been taken seriously until he reached this final majority age.

Of course, human nature abhors such an extended period of silence, so numerous spurious stories and mythologies cropped up to fill the void. Some have a certain appeal but most seem so at odds with the revealed Scriptures that we have no problem in immediately denouncing them as impious frauds.

Send email to Ask the Pastor.

Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

Technorati Tags: | | |


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home