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Childhood of Jesus

Childhood of Jesus

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY T. VINCENT TYMMS, D.D.



"And the child grew, and waxed strong, filled with wisdom :
and the grace of God was upon Him." LUKE ii. 40.
BY T. VINCENT TYMMS, D.D.



"And the child grew, and waxed strong, filled with wisdom :
and the grace of God was upon Him." LUKE ii. 40.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 21, 2013
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CHILDHOOD OF JESUSBY T. VICET TYMMS, D.D."And the child grew, and waxed strong, filled with wisdom :and the grace of God was upon Him." LUKE ii. 40.APOCRYPHAL histories of the infancy are full of marvellous tales ; but none of these is trust-worthy, and nearly all are glaringly false. Thereare many blanks in the narratives we possess,but it appears that after the presentation of Jesusin the Temple, Joseph and Mary returned toBethlehem, where, before long, the Magi foundthem living, not in the village inn where the Childwas born, but in a private house, as Matthewincidentally mentions. When the wise men haddeparted to their unknown country, Jesus wascarried into Egypt, whence, after the death of Herod, He was brought back into Palestine, andplaced in one of the most beautiful and retiredvillages of the northern province. In azareththe Child grew up in quietude as a healthy,happy child, strong in body and in mind ; andmen saw that grace, or rather, the beauty of 36In ChildhoodGod, the Divine beauty of holiness, was uponHim. This brief, but most significant, memorialcontains in outline the story of twelve years,during which " the arm of the Lord" dwelt inthe lowly home which His heavenly Father hadchosen as the most suitable of all the homes
 
then existent on the earth." The Child grew." Many read this statementwithout perplexity ; but in all ages of the ChurchThe reflective minds have felt the difficultyGrowth of of harmonising the idea of progressJesus with that of Divinity. The difficultyis undeniably a real one and may not be ignored ;yet there would surely have been far moredifficulty if Luke had said or implied that theChild did not grow ! The Incarnation is amystery which transcends our powers of explana-tion ; but when once we have been told, and havebelieved, that Jesus was born and that Jesus died,we have left ourselves no excuse for doubting thatthe interval between these two events must havebeen filled up with years of normal human life.The two terminal facts compel us to confess thatthe Infant, who was born at Bethlehem, must haveslowly grown up into the stature of a mature man.There may be little practical help in this logical37The Private Relationships of Christadmission, but it will not be useless if we allow it todiscourage all evasive methods of interpretation.But if growth in stature is found perplexing,there is probably more difficulty in conceivinghow the Son of God could advance in wisdom.Here again, however, the difficulty is onlyaggravated by attempts to explain away the clearmeaning of the evangelical record. If the storyhad run that while lying in the manger Jesus
 
had told the parable of the Prodigal Son, or haddelivered one of the great discourses preserved byJohn, it would have provoked incredulity, because,like the mythical tales of puerile miracles, itwould have been glaringly untrue to the Divinemethod. If asked to believe in an infant preacher,we should have said, " If God had sent His Soninto the world to talk immediately like a prophet,He would have sent Him in fashion as a matureman and not as a babe." It is utterly incrediblethat God would humble His Son to wear theouter semblance of infancy without making allthe phenomena to correspond with each other andwith the inward realities of His conscious life.We cannot sufficiently admire the simplesincerity with which all the marks of truehumanity are related in the Gospels. When38In Childhoodtimid, half-believing men presumed to supportChrist's Divinity as Obed tried to save the Ark from falling, they produced an absurd monstrosity,a being neither human nor Divine, an unchildlikechild, a creature devoid alike of the winsomenessof infancy and the dignity of manhood. TheChurch soon became ashamed of such devicesin their most ancient and crudest forms, but, inprinciple, the same evil has reappeared in ancientand modern attempts to eliminate some essentialelements of humanity from the Person of Christ.The Scriptures convince us of their truthfulnessbecause, regardless of all theological inferenceswhich may possibly be drawn from their frank statements, they depict no artificial glory round

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