From Heaven With Love


Chapter 9—Christ's Problems as a Child

Under synagogue teachers, Jewish youth were instructed in the countless regulations which as orthodox Israelites they were expected to observe. But Jesus did not interest Himself in these. From childhood He acted independently of rabbinical laws. The Scriptures were His constant study, and the words, “Thus saith the Lord,” were ever on His lips. HLv 51.1

He saw that men were departing from the Word of God, and exacting rites that possessed no virtue. In their faithless services they found no peace. They did not know the freedom of spirit that comes by serving God in truth. Though Jesus could not sanction the mingling of human requirements with divine precepts, He did not attack the precepts or practices of the learned teachers. When reproved for His own simple habits, He presented the Word of God in justification of His conduct. HLv 51.2

Jesus tried to please those with whom He came in contact. Because He was so gentle and unobtrusive, the scribes and elders supposed He would be easily influenced by their teaching. But He asked for their authority in Holy Writ. He would hear every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, but could not obey the inventions of men. Jesus seemed to know the Scriptures from beginning to end, and He presented them in their true import. The rabbis claimed it was their office to explain them and His place to accept their interpretation. HLv 51.3

They knew that no authority could be found in Scripture for their traditions. Yet they were angry because Jesus did not obey their dictates. Failing to convince Him, they sought Joseph and Mary and set before them His noncompliance. Thus He suffered rebuke and censure. HLv 51.4

At a very early age, Jesus began to act for Himself in the formation of character. 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. HLv 52.1

His brothers, as the sons of Joseph were called, sided with the rabbis. They regarded the precepts of men more highly than the Word of God, and condemned Jesus’ strict obedience to the law of God as stubbornness. Surprised at the knowledge He showed in answering the rabbis, they could not 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 discern that He had access to a source of knowledge of which they were ignorant. HLv 52.2