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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Bringing Up Jesus

Having been warned in a dream, he (Joseph) went and lived in a town called Nazareth.
Matthew 2:22a; 23a

Have you ever moved to a place with a less than wonderful reputation? Nazareth was not a town with a stellar reputation. In fact, it may have been a challenge for Joseph and Mary, but once again Joseph had a dream. He took his family to the district of Galilee and lived in Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene” (Matthew 2:23b).

The family settled down in Nazareth. During Jesus’ childhood and growing up, the scriptures are silent with one exception. When He was twelve years old, He went with His parents to Jerusalem (Luke 2:42) for the Feast of the Passover.

Was Jesus a typical little boy? You know: dirt, frogs, and games? Was he especially challenging? When brothers and sisters arrived in the family, how did they view Him? Was He treated any differently?

Bil Keane, creator of The Family Circus cartoon, poses this question by one of the children in the family: “Do you think Mary and Joseph ever thought they should give Jesus a “time-out”?  What do you think? Did He ever have to sit in the “think-to-be-nice” chair?

Scripture does tell us that He was obedient to His parents (Luke 2:51). Remember the trip to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. At the age of twelve, He made it very clear that His mission was from God. Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house? (Luke 2:49). And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men (Luke 2:52).

A question for all parents and grandparents: are we training our children in the way they should go? (Proverbs22:6). Jesus fulfilled His Father’s purpose. We can be confident that Mary and Joseph were godly parents. Are we?


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