Your Not-So Baby Jesus

I’m sure some of you have opinions about the search for the historical Jesus. The morning after ABC aired a documentary about this topic several years ago, I remember DJs on the local Christian radio station in our area being very critical. I was, too; most of the network’s research relied on the Jesus Seminar. I’m not entirely comfortable with their work.

More recently, a lecture touched on this issue and, in passing, mentioned The Infancy Gospel of Thomas. I had never read it; so, I took a moment or two. I’ve had many young people ask about what Jesus was like when he was a kid. It’d be funny, at least for me, to see what their responses would be to some of the stories in the document.

Here are couple of them:
Chapter IV:
And when Jesus was five years old, there fell a great rain upon the earth, and the boy Jesus walked up and down through it. And there was a terrible rain, and He collected it into a fish-pond, and ordered it by His word to become clear. And immediately it became so. Again He took of the clay which was of that fish-pond, and made of it to the number of twelve sparrows. And it was the Sabbath when Jesus did this among the boys of the Jews. And the boys of the Jews went away, and said to Joseph His father: Behold, thy son was playing along with us, and he took clay and made sparrows, which it was not lawful to do on the Sabbath; and he has broken it. And Joseph went away to the boy Jesus, and said to Him: Why hast thou done this, which it was not lawful to do on the Sabbath? And Jesus opened His hands, and ordered the sparrows, saying: Go up into the air, and fly; nobody shall kill you. And they flew, and began to cry out, and praise God Almighty. And the Jews seeing what had happened, wondered, and went away and told the miracles which Jesus had done. But a Pharisee who was with Jesus took an olive branch, and began to let the water out of the fountain which Jesus had made. And when Jesus saw this, He said to him in a rage: Thou impious and ignorant Sodomite, what harm have my works the fountains of water done thee? Behold, thou shalt become like a dry tree, having neither roots, nor leaves, nor fruit. And immediately he dried up, and fell to the ground, and died. And his parents took him away dead, and reproached Joseph, saying: See what thy son has done; teach him to pray, and not to blaspheme.

Chapter XII
And Joseph, seeing that He had such favour, and that He was increasing in stature, thought it right to take Him to learn His letters. And he handed Him over to another teacher to be taught. And that teacher said to Joseph: What letters dost thou wish me to teach that boy? Joseph answered and said: First teach him the Gentile letters, and then the Hebrew. For the teacher knew that He was very intelligent, and willingly took Him in hand. And writing for Him the first line, which is A and B, he taught Him for some hours. But Jesus was silent, and made him no answer. Jesus said to the master: If thou art indeed a master, and if thou indeed knowest the letters, tell me the power of the A, and I shall tell thee the power of the B. Then His master was filled with fury, and struck Him on the head. And Jesus was angry, and cursed him; and he suddenly fell down, and died.
And Jesus returned home. And Joseph gave orders to Mary His mother, not to let Him go out of the court of his house.

So, what about you? What do you think Jesus was like when he was child? Do you see a bratty Savior? What about a hormone-raged King of Kings? How often was Jesus grounded? Let me know what you think. It might be worth thinking about now that we’re heading into the Advent season (sermon material maybe?) Stay blessed…john

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