What does the Bible say about Jesus when He was young?


By BibleAsk Team

The Bible records information about Jesus Christ when He was young, specifically from birth till the age of 12 years old.

Birth of Jesus

The birth of Jesus is a pivotal event in Christianity, marking the incarnation of Jesus into human form. The accounts of His birth are primarily found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

In Matthew 1:18-25, the angel Gabriel appears to Joseph, informing him of Mary’s miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit. Joseph is instructed to take Mary as his wife and to name the child Jesus, which means “Savior,” for He will save His people from their sins. This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14.

Luke 2:1-7 narrates the circumstances surrounding His birth in Bethlehem during the reign of Caesar Augustus. Joseph and Mary, who was pregnant with the child, traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem due to a census decree. The child was born in humble surroundings and laid in a manger, as there was no room for them in the inn.

Angelic Visits and the Announcement to the Shepherds

In Luke 2:8-20, an angel of the Lord appears to shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem, announcing the birth of the Savior. The glory of the Lord shines around them, and they are filled with fear. The angel reassures them, saying, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11 NKJV).

Following the angel’s proclamation, a multitude of heavenly hosts joins in praising God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14 NKJV). The shepherds then hasten to Bethlehem and find Jesus lying in a manger, just as the angel had told them. They share the news of Jesus’ birth with others, and all who hear it are amazed.

Visit of the Magi

In Matthew 2:1-12, wise men from the East come to Jerusalem, seeking the one who has been born king of the Jews. They have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him. King Herod, troubled by this news, gathers the chief priests and scribes to inquire about the birthplace of the Messiah. They point to Bethlehem, as prophesied in Micah 5:2.

The wise men follow the star to Bethlehem, where it stops over the place where Jesus is. They enter the house and find the child with Mary, His mother. They worship Him and present gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they depart for their own country by another route.

Massacre of the Innocents and Flight to Egypt

In Matthew 2:13-18, an angel of the Lord appears to Joseph in a dream, warning him to flee to Egypt with Mary and Jesus, as King Herod seeks to destroy the child. They depart immediately and remain in Egypt until Herod’s death, fulfilling the prophecy, “Out of Egypt I called My Son” (Hosea 11:1).

Meanwhile, Herod, realizing that the wise men have deceived him, becomes furious and orders the massacre of all male children in Bethlehem and its surrounding regions who are two years old and under. This horrific event fulfills the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:15, “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

Circumcision and Presentation at the Temple

Luke 2:21-24 describes the circumcision of Jesus on the eighth day after His birth, in accordance with Jewish custom and the Law of Moses (Leviticus 12:3). He is given the name Jesus, as directed by the angel before His conception.

Following Jesus’ circumcision, Mary and Joseph bring Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord, as prescribed by the Law (Exodus 13:2, 12; Leviticus 12:2-8). This act of dedication is also an offering of thanksgiving for the redemption of the firstborn, as required by the Law.

Simeon and Anna’s Encounter with Jesus

Simeon and Anna’s encounter with baby in the temple is a poignant moment recorded in Luke 2:25-38. Simeon, described as a just and devout man waiting for the consolation of Israel, was led by the Holy Spirit into the temple when May and Joseph brought their child there for the customary rites. Simeon, recognizing the child as the fulfillment of God’s promise, took baby in his arms and blessed God, declaring, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation” (Luke 2:29-30 NKJV).

Anna, a prophetess of great age, who had served God with fasting and prayer, also came to the temple and began to give thanks to God upon seeing the baby. She spoke of Him to all who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

This encounter is significant as it reinforces the anticipation and recognition of Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah, not only by His parents but also by devout individuals like Simeon and Anna. Their testimonies affirm Jesus’ divine mission and the fulfillment of prophecies concerning Him, providing further validation of His identity as the Savior of Israel and the world.

Temple Visit at the Age of 12

Luke 2:41-52 recounts an incident when Jesus, at the age of twelve, goes with His parents to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. After the feast, as they return home, Jesus stays behind in Jerusalem, unbeknownst to His parents. When they realize He is missing, they search for Him and find Him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.

Mary questions Jesus, expressing her distress at not finding Him. Jesus responds, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49 NKJV). This event demonstrates Jesus’ unique understanding of His divine mission, even from a young age. And Luke 2:52 summarizes His early life by stating, “Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”

After the Age of 12

The Bible is then silent on the life of Jesus after the age of 12 in Nazareth to about the age of thirty or His early thirties when He began His public ministry. This is because the prophetic significance of His life in relation to the plan of salvation did not begin until He was baptized by John the Baptist and thus entered His ministry (Matthew 3:13-17).


In conclusion, the Bible provides several accounts of Jesus’ childhood, including His miraculous birth, angelic announcements, visits from wise men and shepherds, obedience to Jewish customs, and early recognition of His divine identity and mission. These narratives underscore the significance of Jesus’ incarnation and His role as the Savior of humanity. The Bible doesn’t have record on the life of Jesus after the age of 12 in Nazareth to about the age of 30 when He began His public ministry.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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