When the sacrifices were over and the prophets had spoken the amazed parents returned to their own home in the small Galilean village of Nazareth. There follows a time in which little information is forthcoming. That doesn’t mean nothing was happening for the next eleven plus years it just means that we don’t need to know about it. Whatever God decreed for his son is what happened.
We are given a hint, however. Jesus grew like any other child and was schooled in the law with the rest of the young boys in Nazareth. We are also told three additional things about his early years.
He grew strong. He was physically healthy and well developed. He was a boy of strength which would be an advantage for someone who would do manual labor. Later in his ministry we would see how this strength was of benefit as he kept a busy pace crossing and re-crossing Palestine. For all his strength we have no knowledge of his ever misusing it. He was a man of gentle nature and peaceful demeanor.
He grew in wisdom. The original language suggests that he was full of wisdom. Like Solomon Jesus had a special gift from God. He would grow in wisdom so that by the time he began his ministry he would understand mankind as no one ever had before him. He always knew what to say and how to say it. He really was wise in the ways of evil as well as the good.
He was gifted with the grace of God. He grew up without fear for he felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. He was protected and shielded by that grace. He grew to maturity in the knowledge that grace was upon him and that he was in God’s favor.
All three of these special gifts are available to us today. Our bodies are designed to gain strength as are our minds and hearts. We can be strong in the Lord and in that strength can withstand all attempts of evil. We can grow in wisdom. It is a gift from God. We just have to ask and be open to it. All wisdom comes from him and no one can have true wisdom apart from him. Jesus imparts God’s grace to is followers. If you are a disciple of the Lord then grace can be yours as well. Abundant, all overcoming, marvelous grace is God’s gift to all his children.
What greater task could parents have than to bring their children up to be strong, wise and full of grace?