It’s Christmas…almost. Christians celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. Do you ever wonder about Jesus? About Jesus being born and growing up into adulthood? Being a young man? I mean he lived on the earth for around thirty-three years and for his first thirty years we have in the bible but one episode of his life centered around him being left behind by his family while he remained in a Jerusalem temple. That’s it. For thirty years he lived on earth, and we know virtually nothing about that time.
Is it fair to make some assumptions? I’d like to assume about Jesus that going through childbirth he came out of the womb wet and cold, screaming for oxygen, completely unaware of his own birth. Jesus, the infant who needed to be breastfed, ass wiped and in great need of the affection only a mother can provide. OK, dads’ a little bit too.
I assume Jesus needed help learning how to walk and maybe found out what “hot” means by touching the hot kettle. Surely, Jesus must have had a cold or two, perhaps even a fever now and then. Can we assume he played with other children, got dirty and scraped a few knees and elbows. Did Jesus ever bleed? No doubt Jesus went to school and had to learn the basics and later took a few religious AP classes at the local synagogue. The pressure of being a student.
Can we assume Jesus went through puberty and felt the urges of his sexuality bloom into existence? How could he not? I know, I know…. they made a movie about the temptations of Jesus. I won’t go there. At least, we can assume Jesus could appreciate the beauty of a woman, both inside and out. Can we assume that as a teenager Jesus might have felt the feelings of being lonely or left out? Did he have a bar mitzvah? Did he ever have a cup of wine? Or two?
At what age did it first occur to Jesus he was from God? Two, Six, Ten, Thirteen, Eighteen, Twenty-Six, Thirty? Who knows when and how he came to know this? What a thing to ponder eh? How about being a young man? We must assume from his late teens on he had work to do. Was he a carpenter? Did he ever miss a nail and smash his thumb? $%&@! We can assume he was well studied in the Jewish religion. A brilliant student of the Torah. But man, sixteen to thirty years old. What was his life like? Did he live with mom and dad until thirty?
We must assume all these things because we just don’t know. Maybe we shouldn’t assume anything at all. Ever. But we must believe that Jesus knew every aspect of what it means to be human and to identify with helplessness, sickness, injury, heartache, sexuality, uncertainty and on and on. All the things we mean when we say he was fully human from infancy through childhood and adulthood. I can’t begin to describe or assume what it might have been like for him to be fully divine through all his life. How could I? I’m only human (reminds me of a song).
Merry Christmas. We can safely assume Jesus was God’s gift to humanity.