The Lost Years of Jesus
June 26, 2020
|What was Jesus doing those 18 years between 12 and 30 years of age? Was he learning the carpenter's
trade with Joseph? Was he traveling and sitting at the feet of sages from India, China, and Tibet? Was he the
beloved Saint Issa of the Brahman Monks? Why were these 18 years never mentioned in the Bible?
Many stories of Jesus' 18 years have been told. You can find them on the WEB. You can find them in
bookstores. Why can't we find them in the Bible? Following is one explanation.
In the Bible it is written;
5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the
Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The
kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Matthew 10: 5-7
He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." Matthew 15: 24
It is clear by these verses that Jesus' mission was an unfolding one and he did not yet have all the pieces. He
and his 12 disciples would have learned the vastness of his mission by next chapter of Matthew:
He will come in glory with the angels and reward all men according to their works. Matthew 16: 27.
If Jesus was such a travelled, learned, and experienced man, why would he lord it over the simple, poor, and
uneducated disciples and followers that he drew to himself? He made himself a story teller. He taught deep
and holy truths in such a way that all people, even children, could understand. It takes a fantastic mind and
God's grace to be able to do that.
So, in fact, it makes no difference if he stayed at home or travelled the world. He is who he is and those lost
years may not have been important.
Thanks be to God. JSG
|The Lost Years of Jesus (Part One)
Among the authors of the four gospels of the Bible, neither St Mark or St John make any reference to the life
led by Jesus before he began his ministry. St Matthew limits his account to the birth of Jesus, and the
subsequent flight by Joseph and Mary to Egypt in order to escape the death warrant issued by Herod.
St Luke is the only apostle who makes any mention of the early years of Jesus. In Chapter 2 of his gospel, he
mentions that it was the custom of Joseph and Mary to go up to Jerusalem every year to celebrate the feast
of the Passover. Jesus naturally accompanied them on these pilgrimages.
On one particular occasion, when Jesus was twelve years old, Joseph and Mary began their return journey to
Nazareth after the festival had ended. But after travelling about a day, they discovered to their dismay that
Jesus was not with them.
Hurriedly retracing their footsteps to Jerusalem, they found Jesus in the temple, three days later, ”sitting in the
midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished
at his understanding and answers.”
When Mary confronted Jesus, demanding to know why he had caused them such anxiety, he replied: “How is
it that ye sought me? Know ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2: 46-49)
Despite the fact that Jesus makes it clear in this response that the time had come to begin “his Father’s
work”, most interpreters of the Bible have assumed that Jesus was referring to his father Joseph and his
work as a carpenter.
They believe that Jesus returned to Nazareth with his parents following this episode, as the Bible describes,
and that he continued to live there working with his father as a carpenter for the next eighteen years.
The absence of any other reference in the Bible to the missing years of Jesus between the ages of twelve
and thirty, continues to pose a mystery to those scholars who seek a deeper understanding of the formative
years of Jesus, and of his further spiritual development.
For these scholars it seems clear that, if Jesus was able to astonish the religious elders at the temple with
his grasp of spiritual matters and the profundity of his answers at the tender age of twelve, it would be highly
unlikely that he would simply return to Narareth and live a life of obscurity for the next eighteen years.
The problem confronting these researchers is that no written record exists among the Jewish writers of those
times about any other events in the life of Jesus during those intervening years. But there may be an
unexpected answer to this mystery.
Perhaps Jesus did not remain in Nazareth as these Biblical scholars have assumed. Perhaps Jesus left
Judea and travelled to other lands in search of greater spiritual wisdom.
This could well be the case, for there is ample written evidence elsewhere that Jesus did in fact leave Israel
and travel to the East. These records show that his travels took him to such places as Nepal, India and Tibet...
At the age of thirty, the Bible records that Jesus travelled from Galilee to the river Jordan where he was
baptized by John the Baptist. According to St Matthew, as Jesus emerged from the river, the heavens
opened and a voice cried out saying: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. (Matthew 3:17)
However, Jesus did not begin his ministry of salvation at that point, for Matthew goes on to report that he
retired into the desert, where he fasted for a period of forty days and forty nights. It was at this point that the
devil came and tempted him.
When Jesus returned to Galilee after his forty day vigil in the desert, he was no longer Jesus the man. He was
now the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
As recorded in the Gospel of St John, Jesus came with a simple message for all mankind. His message was
one of hope, of the overcoming of sorrow, of the liberation of the spirit, and of the transformation of the soul.
Anyone who wanted to escape from the troubles of this world could attain eternal life, regardless of their age,
race, gender, or the circumstances of their lives.
When the Jews asked Jesus what his purpose was in preaching to the multitudes, he replied: “I am come that
they might have life, and they might have it more abundantly”. (John 10:10)
The life that Jesus spoke of was not a state that could only be experienced after death. It was something that
could be experienced here and now. It was a life that transcended the power of death. ”And I give them
eternal life; and they shall never perish.” (John 10:28)
Because Jesus experienced life at the level of Supreme Awareness, he was able to raise others to that
same state, if they were prepared to do what he had done. “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall
be saved.” (John 10:9)
When the Jews asked him who he thought he was, Jesus replied that he was the Son of God: “I and my
Father are one.” (John 10:30) In fact Jesus went further. Not only did he have the power to do miraculous
things, but others who believed in him would be able to do even greater things than he had done.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works
than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do,
that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14)
The Jews were so incensed at his words that they took up stones to kill him. Jesus challenged them: “Many
good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?" The Jews
answered him, saying, for a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a
man, makest thouself God.” (John 10: 32-33)
His response was telling. “Jesus answered them, is it not written in your law (Psalm 82:6), I said, Ye are
gods; (and all of you are children of the most High?)” (John 10:34) In the two thousand years that have
passed since that reply, mankind still refuses to believe this simple truth.
Truly, each one of us is Divine, and each one of us has the power to transform the world and the
circumstances of our lives.