What did Jesus do before His ministry?

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By BibleAsk Team


The period before Jesus’ public ministry, often referred to as his “hidden years” or “silent years,” is a topic of curiosity among scholars and believers. While the New Testament provides limited information about this period, it offers glimpses into Jesus’ upbringing, family background, and early life prior to the commencement of his public ministry around the age of thirty. By examining the biblical accounts, historical context, and cultural background, we can piece together a nuanced understanding of what Jesus may have done before embarking on his mission.

Early Life in Nazareth

Some claim that Jesus went to India to receive training for His ministry during His early years before His public ministry. But to find out where Jesus was before He started His ministry and what He was doing, we need to look closely at Luke chapter 2.

  1. Birth and Childhood: Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, according to the prophetic Scriptures, and raised in the town of Nazareth in Galilee (Matthew 2:1-23). He grew up in a humble family environment, the son of Mary and Joseph, and likely experienced the joys and challenges of childhood in a first-century Jewish household.
  2. Education and Training: As the son of a carpenter, Jesus likely learned the trade from his earthly father Joseph, working alongside him in the family business. He would have received instruction in Jewish religious practices, Scripture reading, and synagogue attendance, as was customary for Jewish boys of his time (Luke 2:41-52).

Journey to Jerusalem

  1. Annual Pilgrimages: As observant Jews, Jesus and his family would have made regular pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the annual feasts, including Passover (Luke 2:41). These trips provided opportunities for Jesus to deepen his understanding of Jewish religious practices and engage with the religious leaders in the temple.
  2. Encounter in the Temple: At the age of twelve, Jesus had a notable encounter in the temple in Jerusalem, where he engaged in dialogue with the teachers of the law, astonishing them with his understanding and answers (Luke 2:41-52). This incident foreshadowed His future role as a teacher and rabbi.

Mary, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit was Jesus’ teacher. She used the Holy Scriptures and nature as His subject matter. Jesus received excellent training at an early age which was evident when He was talking with the religious doctors at His first temple visit. “Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers” (Luke 2:46,47, NKJV).

Preparation for Ministry

  1. Spiritual Preparation: Jesus’ early years were marked by spiritual preparation for his future ministry. He grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man, demonstrating an intimate relationship with his heavenly Father and a deep knowledge of Scripture (Luke 2:52).
  2. Silent Preparation: While there are no recorded miracles or public acts during this period, Jesus’ hidden years were likely a time of silent preparation, prayer, and communion with God. He may have spent time in solitude, fasting, and seeking God’s will for his life and ministry. As for the ability to work miracles, which some claim that Jesus learned from India, God Almighty gave Jesus the power to perform miracles during His ministry. “Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know” (Acts 2:22, NKJV).

During these 18 years, Jesus became known to His fellow townsmen as “the carpenter” of Nazareth (Mark 6:3) and “the carpenter’s son” (Matthew 13:55). During these 18 years Joseph died and Jesus took on the responsibility for taking care of His mother. Luke 2:51 is the last indirect Scripture reference to Joseph in the narrative of Christ’s life (verse 48). His childhood and youth were years of harmonious development of His physical, mental, and spiritual powers. The goal toward which He aspired was to reflect perfectly the character of His Father in heaven.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the period before Jesus’ public ministry was a time of preparation, growth, and spiritual formation. Raised in the town of Nazareth, He experienced the joys and challenges of childhood in a first-century Jewish household. He likely learned the trade of carpentry from his earthly father Joseph and received instruction in Jewish religious practices and Scripture reading.

While there are no recorded miracles or public acts during this period, His hidden years were a time of silent preparation, prayer, and communion with God. He grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man, demonstrating an intimate relationship with his heavenly Father and a deep knowledge of Scripture.

Regular pilgrimages to Jerusalem provided opportunities for Jesus to deepen his understanding of Jewish religious practices and engage with the religious leaders in the temple. His notable encounter in the temple at the age of twelve foreshadowed his future role as a teacher and rabbi. Overall, the period before His public ministry laid the foundation for his mission to proclaim the kingdom of God, heal the sick, and bring salvation to humanity.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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