What was the young pre-teenage Jesus really like? Well, we know that by 12 years old He was all the things we would imagine He must be: gentle, kind, loving and wise … focused on heavenly matters, on religious matters, on matters of the House of God … not an “of this” world but an “in it” God become Man. With us – but not with us. Of us – but not of us. Down here – but (really) still up there.
There are accounts of his childhood. There are other “gospels” that never made the final cut. One example is: “The Childhood of the Saviour (Infancy Gospel of Thomas)” In which a tantrum fuelled Jesus smites and punishes at a whim those around Him. A Jesus out of control. A Jesus no one can tame. A Jesus who ends up in the Temple at 12 years old given the stereotypical image we have created for our young boy Jesus (see above). The Infancy Gospel ends with the same verses to be found in Luke 2:41-51 – The Boy Jesus at The Temple
Why didn’t these boy Jesus “other gospels” make the final cut?
Tantrums and Jesus don’t fit our insider beliefs.
Why do you always seek the gaps, Paul? Why are the gaps so important to you? What is your fascination with the nothing?
Well, Lord, because you spent the best part of 30 years anonymously and then 3 years changing the world for ever. That’s why.
How many years have you spent “anonymously”, Paul? How much of your life has been your preparation for changing the world? How do you know when one becomes the other? What makes one “a nobody” and the other “a somebody”? Why is the difference so important?
I learn “why” and “how”, Lord. Why and how I could be better in my own life.
For what purpose, Paul? To become “me”? Is that who you are – is that who you were created to be – a mere clone?
No. Not a clone, Lord. The essence. The unconditional and eternal love that you are. To become love just like you.
You already are, Paul. You are family. You are one with one. You already are “unconditional love”. You cannot become more than you already are. And to desire to become more than you already are – you miss the point of who you are and how you are.
You never become unconditional love because you never realise you already are. And by chasing something you are already – you pass by what you could be today – right now.
“I believe … “ (in all this stuff the church has carved in stone) chases shadows – chases the impossible (and makes the chasing impossible) – makes fulfilling what you already are impossible (and leaves me as the only example of unconditional love ever).
Why your discomfort, Paul … ?
Because I see unconditional love everywhere. In the oddest of places. In the oddest of people. In those who would never believe in you – who don’t believe in you – who would never enter a church – who would never welcome a “follower” as anything more than deluded – those who deny you. I see unconditional love everywhere. I see you in these people and places.
And I am taught that I shouldn’t. I am told they are sinners yet to be saved. I am told they are outside and we are inside. I am told they are unclean and I have been washed clean with blood and they haven’t. And until they are? They remain outside. And yet …
And yet you see me in so many of “them”?
How many of those have you know since their birth, Paul? So why don’t you yearn to “fill in their gaps”? You say you see me in them – yet you have no curiosity as to why. You accept they are but “struggle” because the church teaches they are not me and I am not them. Why no curiosity towards their anonymous years?
And like a veil lifted slowly …
The unknown and unrecorded boy Jesus is all those outside – the unclean – the anonymous – the unnoticed – the judged – those we label unsaved … My boy Jesus is all those we call “unchurched”. He is in all those who deny Him (as defined by our religion) – as defined by us who are saved – who gather as church – who re-write God as religion – who keep our God in bite-sized “mysteries” never to be unravelled.
Us who might just have missed the point – who have made the possible and natural impossible and unnatural …
Who in our very believing that we are now saved might just make ourselves incapable of being who we already are – and which we then deny in others not yet saved – which we claim as only “good works” – as “not enough” for God …
Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, Paul, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.