Humble Hero


Christ’s Problems as a Child

Under synagogue teachers, Jewish youth were instructed in the countless regulations that orthodox Israelites were expected to observe. But these things did not interest Jesus. From childhood He acted independently of rabbinical laws. He constantly studied the Scriptures, and the words, “Thus says the Lord,” were always on His lips. HH 33.1

He saw that people were departing from the Word of God and insisting on rites that had no value. They found no peace in their faithless services. They did not know the freedom of spirit that comes by serving God fully. Though Jesus could not approve of mingling human requirements with divine instructions, He did not attack the teachings or practices of the highly educated teachers. When criticized for His own simple habits, He presented the Word of God to justify His conduct. HH 33.2

Jesus tried to please those with whom He came in contact. Because He was so gentle and unobtrusive, the scribes and elders supposed that they could easily influence Him by their teaching. But He asked for their authority in Scripture. He would listen to every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, but He could not obey human inventions. Jesus seemed to know the Scriptures from beginning to end, and He presented them in their true meaning. The rabbis claimed it was their responsibility to explain the Scriptures and His place to accept their interpretation. HH 33.3

They knew that no authority for their traditions could be found in Scripture. Yet they were angry because Jesus did not obey their commands. Failing to convince Him, they went to Joseph and Mary and presented His noncompliance to them. This brought Him rebuke and censure. HH 33.4

At a very early age, Jesus began to act for Himself in character formation. Not even love for His parents could turn Him from obedience to God’s Word. But the influence of the rabbis made His life bitter. He had to learn the hard lesson of silence and patient endurance. HH 33.5

His brothers, as the sons of Joseph were called, sided with the rabbis. They valued human instruction more highly than the Word of God, and they condemned Jesus’ strict obedience to God’s law as stubbornness. Yet the knowledge He showed in answering the rabbis surprised them, and they could not help but see that He was an instructor to them. They recognized that His education was of a higher type than their own, but they did not realize that He had access to a source of knowledge about which they were ignorant. HH 33.6