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Jesus' youth

The childhood and youth of Jesus were spent in a little mountain village. He passed by the homes of wealth and the renowned seats of learning to make His home in despised Nazareth. "The child grew, and waxed strong in Spirit, filled with wisdom: and the Grace of God was upon Him." In the sunlight of His Fathers countenance, Jesus "increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" >Luke2:52<. His mind was active and penetrating, with a thoughtfulness and wisdom beyond His years. The powers of mind and body developed gradually, in keeping with the laws of childhood. As a child, Jesus manifested a loveliness of disposition, a patience that nothing could disturb, and a truthfulness that would never sacrifice integrity. In principle, firm as a rock, His life revealed the Grace of unselfish
courtesy. The mother of Jesus watched the unfolding of His powers, and sought to encourage that bright, receptive mind. Through the Holy Spirit she recieved wisdom to co-operate with Heavenly agencies in the development of this child who could claim only 'God as His Father' In the days of Christ the religious instruction of the young had become formal. Tradition had in a great degree supplanted the Scriptures. The mind was crowed with material that would not be recognized in the higher schools of the courts above. Students found no quiet hours to spend with God, to hear His voice speaking to their hearts. They turned away from the source of wisdom. That which was regarded as 'Superior' education was the greatest hinderance to real development of the youth. Their minds became cramped and narrow. The child
Jesus did not recieve instruction in the synagogue schools. From His mother and the scrolls of the prophets, He learned of Heavenly things. As He advanced to youth, He did not seek the schools of the rabbi's. He needed not the education to be obtained from such sources. His intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures shows how diligently His early years were given to the study of God's word. Spread out before Him was the great library of God's created works. He who had made all things
Studied the lessons His own hand had written in earth and sea and sky. He gathered stores of scientific knowledge from nature-from plants, animals, and man. The parables by which He loved to teach lessons of truth show how He gathered Spiritual teaching from nature and the surroundings of His daily life. As Jesus was trying to understand the reason of things, Heavenly beings were His attendants. From the first dawning of intelligence He was constantly growing in Spiritual Grace and Knowledge of truth. Every child may gain knowledge as Jesus did. As we try to become acquainted with our Heavenly Father, Angels will draw near, our minds will be strengthened, our characters elevated and refined. We shall become more like our Saviour. And as we behold the beautiful and grand in nature, our affections go out to God. The
Spirit is awed, the soul invigorated by coming in contact with the Infinite through His works. Communion with God through Prayer developes the mental and moral faculties. While Jesus was a child, He thought and spoke as a child, but no trace of sin marred the image of God within Him. Yet He was not exempt from temptation. The inhabitants of Nazareth were proverbial for their wickedness. >see John1:46<. It was necessary for Jesus to be constantly on guard in order to preserve His purity. He was subject to all the conflicts we have to meet, that He might be an example to us in childhood, youth, and manhood. From His earliest years Jesus was guarded by Heavenly Angels, yet His life was one long struggle against the powers of darkness. The prince of darkness left no means untried to ensnare Jesus with temptation. Jesus
was familiar with poverty, self-denial, and privation. This experience was a safeguard to Him. No aimless hours opened the way for corrupting associations. Neither gain nor pleasure, applause nor censure, could induce Him to consent to a wrong act. Christ, the only sinless one who ever dwelt on earth, for nearly thirty years lived among the wicked inhabitants of Nazareth. This fact is a rebuke to those who think themselves dependant upon place, fortune, or prosperity, to live a blameless life. Jesus had been the Commander of Heaven, and Angels had delighted to fulfill His word: now He was a willing servant, a living, obedient Son. With His own hands He worked in the carpenter's shop with Joseph. He did not employ divine power to lessen His burdens or lighten His toil. Jesus used His physical powers in such a way as to
keep in health, that He might do the best work. He was not willing to be defective, even in handling tools. He was perfect as a workman, as He was perfect in character. By example He taught that work should be performed with exactness and thoroughness and that labor is honourable. God appointed work as a blessing, and only the diligent worker finds the true Glory and Joy of life. The approval of God rests on children and youth who take their part in the duties of the household, sharing the burdens of Father and Mother. Jesus was an earnest and constant worker. He expected much: therefore He attempted much. He said, "I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." >John9:4<. Jesus did not shirk care or responsibility, as do many who profess to be His followers. Because they
seek to evade this discipline, many are weak, insufficient, nerveless, and almost useless when difficulties are met. The positiveness and strength of character manifested is Christ are to be developed in us, through the same discipline He endured. The Grace He recieved is for us. Our Saviour shared the lot of the poor. Those who have a true conception of His life will never feel that the rich are to be honored above the worthy poor. Often Jesus expressed the gladness of His heart by singing Psalms and Heavenly songs. Often the dwellers in Nazareth heard His voice raised in Praise and song. As His companions complained of weariness, They were cheered by the sweet melody from His lips. Through those secluded years in Nazareth, His life flowed out in currents of sympathy and tenderness. The aged, the sorrowing, the sin
burdened, children at play, little creatures of the groves, the patient beasts of burden-all were happier for His presence. He whose word upheld the worker would stoop to relieve a wounded bird. There was nothing beneath His notice, nothing to which He disdained to minister. Thus He grew in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and man. He showed Himself capable of sympathizing with all. The atmosphere of hope and courage that surrounded Him made Him a blessing in every home. Often on the Sabbath day He was called on to read the lesson from the Prophets, and the hearts of the hearers thriled as new light shone out from the sacred text. Yet during all the years at Nazareth, He made no exhibition of miraculous power. He assumed no titles, His quiet and simple life teaches an important lesson: the more free the life of the child
from artificial excitement, and the more in harmony with nature, the more favourable is it to physical and mental vigor and Spiritual strength. Jesus is our example, in His home life He is the pattern for all Children and Youth. The Saviour condescended to poverty, that He might teach how closely we in a humble lot may walk with God. His work began in consecrating the lowly trade of the craftsmen who toil for their daily bread. He was doing God's service just as much when labouring at the carpenter's bench as when working miracles for the multitudes. Every Youth who follows Christ's example of Faithfulness and obedience in his lowly home may also claim these words spoken by the Father; "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice
to the Gentiles." >Isaiah42:1<
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