The Youth’s Instructor



February 1, 1873

The Life of Christ—No. 3


Christ was our example in all things. He was a perfect pattern in childhood, in youth, and in manhood. Christ's childhood and youth were scarcely noticed in the gospels. He was brought up in wicked Nazareth. The inhabitants were proverbial for their selfishness, avarice, fraud, deceit, and general wickedness. YI February 1, 1873, par. 1

Christ, the Redeemer of the world, was not situated where the influences surrounding him were the best calculated to preserve a life of purity and untainted morals, yet he was not contaminated. He was not free from temptation. Satan was earnest and persevering in his efforts to deceive and overcome the Son of God by his devices. Christ was the only one who walked the earth upon whom there rested no taint of sin. He was pure, spotless, and undefiled. That there should be One without the defilement of sin upon the earth, greatly disturbed the author of sin, and he left no means untried to overcome Christ with his wily, deceptive power. But our Saviour relied upon his Heavenly Father for wisdom and strength to resist and overcome the tempter. The Spirit of his Heavenly Father animated and regulated his life. He was sinless. Virtue and purity characterized his life. YI February 1, 1873, par. 2

How great must be the humiliation of the Son of God, that he should live in the despised and wicked town of Nazareth. The most holy place upon earth would have been greatly honored by the presence of the world's Redeemer a single year. The palaces of kings would have been exalted to receive Christ as a guest. But the Redeemer of the world passed by the courts of royalty, and made his home in a humble mountain village, for thirty years, thus conferring distinction upon despised Nazareth. YI February 1, 1873, par. 3

The Redeemer of the world passed up and down the hills and mountains, from the great plain to the mountain valley. He enjoyed nature's beautiful scenery. He was delighted with the fields glowing with the beautiful flowers, and in listening to the birds of the air, and uniting his voice with them in their happy songs of praise. The groves and mountains were his places of retreat for prayer, and frequently whole nights were spent in communion with his Father. From the lofty mountains of Nazareth he looked forth upon a land that had waited a thousand years for his coming, and now he was not received. His parents had been obliged, in his infancy, to find for him an asylum in a heathen country from the wrath of an envious king. YI February 1, 1873, par. 4

Notwithstanding the sacred mission of Christ, his exalted relationship with God, of which he was fully aware, he was not above performing the practical duties of life. He was the Creator of the world, and yet he acknowledged his obligation to his earthly parents, and at the call of duty, in compliance with the wishes of his parents, he returned with them from Jerusalem after the passover, and was subject unto them. YI February 1, 1873, par. 5

He submitted to restraints of parental authority, and acknowledged the obligations of a son, a brother, friend and citizen. He discharged his duties to his earthly parents with respectful courtesy. He was the Majesty of Heaven. He had been the great commander in Heaven. Angels loved to do his bidding. And now he was a willing servant, a cheerful, obedient son. YI February 1, 1873, par. 6

Jesus was not turned aside by any influence from the faithful service expected of a son. He did not aim to do anything remarkable to distinguish himself from other youth, or to proclaim his heavenly birth. Even his friends and relatives, in all the years that Christ's life was passed among them, saw no special marks of his divinity. Christ was sedate, self-denying, gentle, cheerful, kind, and ever obedient. He avoided display, but was firm as a rock to principle. YI February 1, 1873, par. 7

There is an important lesson for parents and children to learn in the silence of the Scriptures in reference to the childhood and youth of Christ. He was our example in all things. In the little notice given of his childhood and youthful life is an example for parents as well as children, that the more quiet and unnoticed the period of childhood and youth is passed, and the more natural and free from artificial excitement, the more safe will it be for the children, and the more favorable for the formation of a character of purity, natural simplicity, and true moral worth. YI February 1, 1873, par. 8