Messages to Young People


Chapter 19—Strength of Character Through Conflict

The first thirty years of the life of Christ were passed in the obscure village of Nazareth. The inhabitants of this village were proverbial for their wickedness, hence the inquiry of Nathaniel: “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” The evangelists say but very little in regard to the early life of Christ. With the exception of a brief account of His accompanying His parents to Jerusalem, we have the simple statement only, “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him.” MYP 78.1

Christ is our example in all things. In the providence of God, His early life was passed in Nazareth, where the inhabitants were of that character that He was continually exposed to temptations, and it was necessary for Him to be guarded in order to remain pure and spotless amid so much sin and wickedness. Christ did not select this place Himself. His Heavenly Father chose this place for Him, where His character would be tested and tried in a variety of ways. The early life of Christ was subjected to severe trials, hardships, and conflicts, that He might develop the perfect character which makes Him a perfect example for children, youth, and manhood. MYP 78.2

Children and youth are frequently situated where their surroundings are not favorable to a Christian life, and they quite readily yield to temptations, and plead as an excuse for pursuing a course of sin that their surroundings are unfavorable. Christ chose retirement, and through a life of industry, keeping His hands employed, He did not invite temptation, but kept aloof from the society of those whose influence was corrupting. Christ placed His feet in the most uneven path that children and youth will ever be called to travel. He did not have allotted to Him a life of affluence and indolence. His parents were poor, and dependent upon their daily toil for sustenance; therefore the life of Christ was one of poverty, self-denial, and privation. He shared with His parents their life of diligent industry. MYP 78.3