The Hidden Life Of Jesus

By Johnny Tatum



We know that Jesus had a divine nature and a human nature, and the two natures did not co-mingle.  The Word of God (the Son of God) never lost His position as the second Person in the Godhead.  In His divinity, He never had to learn anything because He was totally, perfectly, God from Eternity [past] who never stopped functioning in Eternity [present].

How do we know that?  In the book of Colossians, we are told that the Son of God holds the universe together:

He is before all things, and through Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17)

When the Son of God took on human form as a Man in this world, somehow in heaven this Person of the Godhead kept functioning—kept holding the universe together.

In His humanity (incarnate Son of God), He was a Human Being (Jesus of Nazareth) and He did not cheat (He did not use His divine prerogative).  So Jesus lived as a Human Being without using His divine nature, meaning Jesus had to gradually learn who He was.  Frankly, that sounds strange to me; does it to you?

Let Us Examine This: In heaven, the second Person of the Godhead never stopped functioning and He never lost His omniscience (knowing everything).  However, the human being Jesus was born in Bethlehem and He, the Infant in the cradle, did not know anything.  Otherwise, it would have been sort of a sham (a person assuming a false character, an imposter); if Jesus was lying in a manger and was fully aware of what was happening, then it was not real—He could not have been our Substitute.  However, Jesus did gradually learn who He was in the human sense, because He—the little Baby in Bethlehem—did not know who He was.  And Jesus is like any other child—He has no more knowledge and no more awareness than any other child—except He is sinless.  A few years pass and Jesus, like every child, wonders from where He came.  Really, Jesus did not know!

Presented In The Gospels:

During His ministry in Galilee, a woman came up in the crowd behind Jesus and touched His cloak; and Jesus asked:

“Who is the one who touched Me?” (Luke 8:45)

Do you know why He asked?  Jesus did not know!

Jesus did not know from where He came.  The problem was: the Boy, although He was fully human, was not totally normal.  For most children, parents can give them a fairly adequate explanation of where they came from.  However, Jesus’ parents could only tell Him to a point.

Of course, Joseph (Jesus’ legal father) and Mary (Jesus’ biological mother) could tell Jesus about the following events:

q       The promises Gabriel told Mary—

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one!  The Lord is with you.”  But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was.  The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”  Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”  The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.  And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month.  For nothing will be impossible with God.”  And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.”  And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38)

q       The birth of Jesus explained to Joseph—

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows.  When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with Child by the Holy Spirit.  And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, wanted to send her away secretly.  But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-21, 24-25)

q       The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem—

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.  This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.  And all were proceeding to register for the census, everyone to his own city.  Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.  While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.  And she gave birth to her firstborn Son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-7)

q       The witness of the shepherds—

And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.  And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a Baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”  And it came about when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they came in haste and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the Baby as He lay in the manger.  And when they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.  And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. (Luke 2:8-19)

q       The circumcision of Jesus—

And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. (Luke 2:21)

q       The presentation of Jesus to the LORD—

And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.”  And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon Him.  And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your Salvation, Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A Light of Revelation to the Gentiles, And the Glory of Your People Israel.”  And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him.  And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed—and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”  And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.  She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four.  She never left the temple, serving night and day with fasting and prayers.  At that very moment she came up and giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.  And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth. (Luke 2:22-39)

q       The visitation of the Magi—

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?  For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.”…And Herod sent them to Bethlehem, and said, “Go and make careful search and worship Him.”  And having heard the king, they went their way; and lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was.  And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.  And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother and they fell down and worshipped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.  (Matthew 2:1-2, 8-11)

q       The royal family fleeing into Egypt—

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise and take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.”  And he arose and took the Child and His mother by night, and departed for Egypt; and was there until the death of Herod. (Matthew 2:13-15)

q       The royal family returning to Israel, to Nazareth—

When Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Arise and take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.”  And he arose and took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.  But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there.  And being warned by God in a dream, he departed for the regions of Galilee, and came and resided in a city called Nazareth. (Matthew 2:19-23)

As we have just seen, Joseph and Mary could tell Jesus [somewhat] about His miraculous birth, but that would just go so far.  Why?  His parents were human, but Jesus was a superhuman Child; He had a superhuman origin.

So how did Jesus learn who He was?  He learned the Scriptures.  How?

o       Jesus would have been taught the Scriptures by His father and mother.  He learned things in a normal way like any other human being who is raised in a God-loving family.

o       Jesus read the Scriptures and Holy Spirit illuminated (impressed upon Jesus’ heart) passages that had particular meaning for Him.

o       Jesus read the Scriptures and, without cheating [in His humanity], He got more understanding than we get.  Why?  Jesus had no sin nature, so there was no barrier between He and God.  Remember, the Lord God tells us Your sins have separated you from Me (Isaiah 59:2).  However, this young Boy—barely conscious of who He is as a Person—does not sin, so He does not have that blockage in His mind and He can get more understanding than normal humans.

What is the result?  Jesus learns He is a special Person.


Jesus is born in Bethlehem and He is taken to Egypt to live for a brief time. He is taken back up to Nazareth where He grows up and He lives His life as a young Boy. In Isaiah 49 through 53 and in some of the messianic Psalms, we listen in to Jesus’ mind as He is meditating on (contemplating) the Scriptures.  For a while, He learns who He is in the same way we do—through learning the Scriptures—except that He does not have a sin nature; therefore, as He reads the Scriptures there is no blockage so Holy Spirit can clearly illuminate passages to Him.  [That is why, as a Child, He knew more than we do; it is not that He cheated (He did not use His divine nature); it is that He just learned with a pure, sinless heart.]

And the Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. (Luke 2:40)

Father, we thank You for Your word. As we study the hidden life of Jesus, we ask that You would open our eyes and that You would not let us get away from Isaiah 49 through Isaiah 53, from some of the messianic Psalms, and from the Gospel accounts without seeing Jesus.

We want to have the mind of Christ, so would You open our eyes to these passages through the power of Your Holy Spirit—the same Holy Spirit who wrote the Bible and who led and taught Jesus?

Father, we are not sinless, because we have sin natures.  However, we thank You that, because we believe Jesus is our Savior, You wash away our sins, You forgive us, You purify us, and You will keep our sins from blocking our reception of Your word during this time of study.

We pray these things in the name of Jesus.  Amen.


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