Series: Luke—The Infancy Of Jesus (1:1-2:52)
One of the mysteries about Jesus is what He did during His childhood. Nearly thirty years of His life on this earth is unrecorded. Only Luke gives us a brief glimpse into His life at the age of twelve.
Needless to say, this “information gap” in Jesus’s life was just too much for some people to stand.
Many years after the four biblical Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—were written, other false gospels began appearing. Some of these had stories supposedly about Jesus’s childhood.
One of these false gospels was called “The Infancy Gospel of Thomas.” The early Christians recognized that it did not have the ring of truth to it and never accepted it as real scripture.
I read through this false gospel, and found it has Jesus doing things like making live birds out of clay, healing a man who struck his foot with an axe, stretching a board that Joseph cut too short, raising a child from the dead, and so on.
There’s a real sense of a lack of originality in this gospel. It’s like a bad sequel to a great movie. It picks what it thinks was the favorite parts of the real Gospels and has Jesus do something similar as a child.
It also has Jesus doing things that simply are not what Jesus would have done. For example, when another child makes fun of him, Jesus strikes the child with a withering disease. When another child bumps into him, Jesus strikes him dead!
This false gospel was obviously written by someone who had a rough childhood and wished he could have done mean things to the bullies in his life!
In the end, the Infancy Gospel of Thomas was clearly written only to satisfy our curiosity about what Jesus did when He was a child.
In my years of study, one thing that I’ve learned is that the Bible was not written to satisfy our curiosity. It was written for a purpose—to teach us about God, and how to be saved, and how to live in His ways.
This passage in Luke 2:40-52 gives us a brief glimpse of Jesus’s childhood, not to satisfy our curiosity, but, first, to show us that…