Daily Devotional | Jesus as a Young Boy

asaReading the Old Testament many times over the years is something I have loved to do. It is where I find myself going when I want to really feel close to God and see what He is wanting of me. Sometime back, I shared that we were in Munds Park and Ken was writing in his book and I was sitting outside on the closed in porch. The rain was coming down and thunder and lightning all around me. I was reading the Old Testament and underlining all of the words that God said. Wow, what an experience and now I am doing it again. This time in my own home; not that I wouldn’t want to be in the same place with all the thunder and lighting.

My time with God has taken me to a different time and place. I read something that made me start thinking about Jesus as a young boy growing up. Most of my life I have thought about Him as a baby and when He gave His life for me on the cross, but there is not much about Him as a boy and a young man. This created a desire in me to search to see if there is something about His life as a young man. I began to think about when Mary was holding Him in her arms and when He started to crawl and take His first steps. It helps me to put myself in their life emotionally and think of how close His dad and mom were to Him. My mind then drifts to thinking about what He was going to be doing for us and to think that Mary knew that God had set Him apart; so she knew God wanted to use Him in a special way. What an honor.

When I think about little boys or girls learning to crawl, I visualize Mary and Joseph watching Jesus; smiling and talking with each other about how much they loved Him. When I think about little boys and girls learning to walk, I can just imagine Mary and Joseph sitting down on the floor helping Him make it over to their arms. I remember when my girls learned to walk I was so excited for their first steps. I’m sure they were excited also.

When I think about Jesus lying in His mother or father’s arms and how Jesus must have felt in their arms, it brings back memories of me holding my girls and looking into their eyes and feeling overwhelmed with joy that they were mine. All of this helps His life become real to me.

I’m sure that Jesus played with all the children in His family and how He must have sometimes gotten His feelings hurt or if He fell and hurt Himself, and how Mary would have been there to comfort Him. It helps His life jump out of the pages in the Bible and become authentic to me.

I reflected about the time they went to Jerusalem for celebrating the feast and on their way home they realized He was left behind.  When they went back to find Him, there He was, as a teenager, preaching in the synagogue. Can’t you just picture all the priest’s thoughts and their wondering, who is this young man that He would be able to preach to them? That must have been the beginning of Mary and Joseph knowing that God had started His work in Jesus. Wouldn’t it be something if you had a boy and you found Him preaching to the church about God’s ways? Luke 2:42 says He was 12 years old!

Sadly then, we don’t hear about Jesus from that point on until He was older.  In my new desire to search for more information about His youth, I found all kinds of things about Jesus being in Britain. I typed in “was Jesus in England?” and among various links, I found an article that I have included in my Nancy’s Notes. I really enjoyed it, and thought you would as well.

Please note that we do not know where Jesus was in the “missing years” for sure, yet it is fun to read this account. What we do know for sure is Jesus did grow up into a man and was willing to go through all that He went through, for us. What love He has shown us and because of His example we need to thank Him every day. Personally, I always want to thank our Creator for His love for us; that He would give us such a gift of Love.

CHRIST in BRITAIN

The study of Jesus in Britain touches on the Royal family, the establishment of the Church, Paul’s visit to Britain, and even the founding of the Roman church.

Various and many historical documents indicate that, after Jerusalem, the first Christian church was established in England. It’s founder, and founder as well of many seminaries, was Joseph of Arimathea, the uncle of the Virgin Mary. He was Jesus’ great uncle. Joseph was a rich merchant with a large fleet of ships that ran the tin trade for the Roman Empire, between England and the Mediterranean.

As Jesus’ great uncle, Joseph became Jesus’ Guardian (by Law, as next of kin) when Mary’s husband Joseph died early in Jesus’ life. He took Jesus with him on his journeys to Glastonbury, England. The place we know as Avalon; the King Arthur Avalon. This is the location of the first Christian church built above ground.

To paraphrase an old saying, “All Christian roads lead to England.”

The following information was taken from two of the many volumes on the subject of Jesus’ spending time in Britain. They are, the Traditions of Glastonbury, by E. Raymond Capt, and Did Our Lord Visit Britain, by C.C. Dobson.

ABSENT EVIDENCE

If Jesus was indeed absent from Judea from age twelve to age thirty, as some believe, we should be able to find evidence that this was the case. In Matt 17 Jesus was being asked for the Stranger’s tax. They seemed aware that Jesus lived in Capernaum. They didn’t know if he was exempt from the tax, having been gone for a long time.

John the Baptist, who was Jesus’ cousin, and spent time with Jesus as they grew up, was very uncertain as to Jesus’ identity at his baptism. If Jesus had spent the “lost years” in Judea, he and John would certainly have seen each other at the three yearly Feasts.

Then we find two accounts of Jesus’ identity being questioned. “Is this not Joseph’s son?” “Brought up here?” (Luke 4) “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” (Matt 14) And in John 1 we find that Nathaniel, who only lived five miles from Nazareth, doesn’t know Jesus. Capt says that Nathaniel was from Cana.

JESUS’ VISITS

Of Jesus’ visits to England, scattered evidence abounds. Here’s a short scenario from C.C. Dobson:

“As a boy He was brought merely for a visit by Joseph of Arimathea on one of his voyages. Later as a young man He returned and settled at Glastonbury for the purpose of quiet study, prayer, and meditation. Here He erected for Himself a small house of mud and wattles.” Dobson goes on to present historical evidence.

In a letter to Pope Gregory, St. Augustine states that there was a church “constructed by no human art, but divinely constructed (or by the hands of Christ Himself), for the salvation of His people.”

The historian, Gildas, says Jesus’ “Light and precepts” were “afforded…to this island during the …last year of the reign of Tiberius. Tiberius retired to Caprae in A.D. 27.

William of Malmesbury includes in his writings the contents of a letter given by King Ina to Glastonbury, 700 AD.”To the ancient church, situate in the place called Glastonbury (which Church the Great High Priest and Chiefest Minister formerly through His own ministry and that of angels…..” This confirms Gildas’ statement that Jesus had a ministry at Glastonbury.

The historical records called the Domesday Surveys, also bear witness to Jesus’ presence in Glastonbury. These surveys state that Glastonbury contained 12 hides (160 acre parcels) of land that “have never paid tax.” This was because the King Arviragus gave these parcels to Joseph of Arimathea when he arrived in England in 37 AD.

TRADITIONS

Four of the many traditions of Jesus coming to England are discussed in Capt’s book.

Ancient carvings on the stone arch of Place Manor Church has an insignia of an anchor, a lamb and cross. The accompanying pictographs tell the story of Jesus and His uncle coming to Place for tin.

Another traditional story is that of Jesus teaching the miners of Cornwall how to smelt tin from ore.

Old Cornwall mining Ordinance maps show two interesting names. “Corpus Christi” (Body of Christ), and “Wheel of Jesus” (wheel is a Cornish name for mine). Also found in abundance in Cornwall’s mining area are “Tunic Crosses.” These crosses picture a Christian cross on one side and the image of a young lad dressed in a short tunic; obviously not a picture of a crucified or risen Christ.

This quote from Capt relates the Mendips mining area to Joseph and Jesus. “Traditions among the hill folk of Somerset relate that Joseph, after first seeking tin from the Scillies (islands) and Cornwall, came to the Mendips and was accompanied on several occassions by the boy Jesus. At the parish Church of Priddy, high on top of the Mendips, they have an old saying: ‘As sure as our Lord was at Priddy.’ And a carol sung be the children of Priddy begins: “Joseph was a tin merchant, a tin merchant, a tin merchant, and goes on to describe him arriving from the sea in a boat.”

Much has been written about the Lost Years of Jesus. Many accounts place him in India. One South American tradition sounds very much like Jesus visiting that continent. In fact, many say that the complete and speedy success of the Spanish invaders was due to this tradition; that the Visitor prophesied that He would return.

Consider. If Joseph had a fleet of ships, that gave Jesus access to worldwide travel. Do not doubt for even a second that world travel to ALL lands was possible. There is abundant evidence to prove the fact.

The traditions of Glastonbury and Cornwall form the following scenario:

Joseph of Arimathea was an uncle of the Virgin Mary, being a younger brother of her father. He gained his wealth as an importer in the tin trade, which existed between Cornwall and Phoenicia. On one of his voyages he took Our Lord with him when a boy. Our Lord either remained in Britain or returned later as a young man, and stayed in quiet retirement at Glastonbury. Here he erected for himself a small house of mud and wattle. Later Joseph of Arimathea, fleeing from Palestine, settled in the same place and erected a mud and wattle church there.

The contents of these several pages on the Cradle of Christianity will be found to overlap. That can’t be helped, as the whole topic takes in many areas of study which all relate importantly to each other. So the study of Jesus in Britain touches on the Royal family, the establishment of the Church, Paul’s visit to Britain, and even the founding of the Roman church.

Most of all if want to thank Jesus for being willing to go through all that he went through for us and finally is hung on a cross. What love He has shown us and because of His example we need to thank Him every day. I also want to thank our Creator for His love for us that He would give us such a gift of Love.

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