Why the Silence on Jesus Childhood? 7
February 2, 2019
by Barry Fike
We know this educational premise that we’ve looked at for the last few weeks is true from what Jesus himself said: Matthew 5:17 – “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” How does one fulfill the law? By keeping it. He continues in v. 18, “I keep you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
In Hebrew he says no yod or kotz will pass from the law. A yod is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet. A kotz is a decorative spur found on the letters that the scribes would put on them. How did he revere the law? He so regarded the law that he said not one yod or kotz would pass from the law until it was all fulfilled.
But who would fulfill it? Only he could fulfill it by becoming the embodiment of it which means in all of his life he lived according to law. We know what law required of the Jewish boy. That’s why we know exactly what he was doing at every point in his life. That was what they were supposed to do according to law. Only if he had done that would a member of the Sanhedrin, such as Nicodemus, have come and said, “Rabbi, we perceive that you are a teacher come from God for no one can do the things that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus was a great teacher! If you want to know what he was doing just go to the Mishnah. It tells you what he was doing at certain stages in his life.
The Law required a Jew to study and if he said that he had come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets then he would be doing everything required of a young boy with the Judaism of the first century. Over the last seven weeks we’ve looked at this concept hoping that the reader will gain a better understanding of exactly what is going on in the silent years of his childhood. Now that we have gone beyond that we’ll begin looking at the text from a Jewish point of view since that is the context of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. While Gentiles do from time to time insert themselves into the story, the main portion (99%) is with the “Lost sheep of Israel.” I look forward to each week giving you some tidbits of his mission, his teaching and his passion from His point of view as a Jewish Rabbi talking to a Jewish audience. May God’s richest blessings be on each of you as God’s spirit guides us this year in rethinking some cherish theological positions that we have all had but that need to be looked at again.