Questions. Lots and lots of questions. And…..many more questions. But they all have answers, though for the time being we are stumped.
What’s the deal with the questions you might ask? I was involved with a men’s small group for quite some time and every once in a while, a biblical question would arise. It would be an obvious, yet unanswered, question that stemmed from a particular study we were doing. For example, when we were studying about John the Baptist, it suddenly dawned on us that there was no disposition (in the biblical account) of what happened to his head when it was chopped off. Maybe it’s just morbid curiosity, but it would seem fitting to understand where it went and why after it left John’s body and was shown to the king. The resolution by our small group for that question was to relegate the question to “the book”. We have started a mental book of questions to ask God when we get settled into the kingdom when we finally become dearly departed brothers.
It’s Christmas time, and that too has brought with it a question. Christmas is all about the events leading up to the birth of Baby Jesus and the birth itself. The beautiful scriptural account presented in Luke has been a mainstay of Christianity for eons. The account is special indeed and is held closely in the heart of untold millions–and always has been. But the story of Baby Jesus is just that—only about the birth and Baby Jesus and nothing more.
There is only one Bible story about Jesus’ childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. In approximately 8 AD, Joseph, Mary and Jesus return from Egypt to their home at Nazareth in Galilee. Aged 12, Jesus goes to Jerusalem with his parents for the Jewish festival of Passover. Mary and Joseph head home mistakenly leaving Jesus behind. They return to look for him. After three days they find him in the temple, talking to the religious teachers. The Bible book, Luke, says ‘Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers’. When Mary challenges him about his absence, Jesus replies, ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?’ – the first indication he knows of his divinity. That’s it folks.
There is a lot of scripture devoted to the approximately three years of the public ministry of Jesus. And there is a lot on His death and resurrection. I’m a curious George type, so my automatic questioner fires up and I really would like to know what happened in those approximately 30 years between His birth and His public ministry–besides the episode in the temple at age 12.
I find myself wondering some things. What kind of childhood did He have? How were Mary and Joseph as parents? Did He play with other kids? Was he a happy-go-lucky kid, or was he silently somber and pensive? Did He have the same hormonal issues that so many teenage boys experience? When did He start to shave, if He shaved? Did He like girls? Would He have worn skinny jeans if they were a thing back then? Would He have been a boxer or brief kind of guy? And there are lots more, but you get my drift. What was with that 30-year span? So many questions, and no answers.
Yep, this is another one of those questions that are in “the book”. And, it’s just one more reason for me to live the life that Christ modeled so that I will be able to ask my questions at the appropriate time.