The Hidden Life Of Jesus

By Johnny Tatum



Starting in Isaiah 49, I think we see the first recorded thoughts of the Human Being, Jesus.

Note: The prophet Isaiah [inspired by Holy Spirit (God breathed) penned Isaiah 49 about 400 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea; only God can give such a unique picture of the life of a Man who had not been born yet!


1 Listen to Me, O islands, and pay attention, you peoples from afar.

In antiquity, O islands referred to distant lands about which they did not know—they assumed there were far away lands.  Basically, He is saying The whole world, wherever you are, listen!

The LORD called Me from the womb; from the body of My mother He named Me.

At some time as a Child, Jesus learns:

Beginning in verse 2, we are going to start seeing the life of Jesus as a Boy, including what His thoughts were, what God the Father was saying to Him, and what Jesus was saying back to the Father.  Again, these are Jesus’ thoughts as a Child, and some of His thoughts here certainly correlate with what we know from the Gospel accounts of His life as a Child.

2a He has made My mouth like a sharp sword,

Jesus, the first born, is growing up in this family with [half-] brothers and [half-] sisters; and, in a way, He is like them.  However, Jesus knows that, because He is different from other people, there will be problems.  As He is growing up, though He does not mean to, Jesus causes conflict.  [We know He did not cause conflict on purpose, because that would be a sin and Jesus never sinned.]  This is a young Boy who:

When Jesus sees His [half-] brothers and [half-] sisters doing something wrong, without trying to be a tattletale, He calls out That is sin; that is wrong; that is unrighteousness; that is ungodliness.  Again, He is not trying to be a smart aleck; that is just His nature—producing a sword.

Note: What His family did not know, and what Jesus Himself did not know, was that it was God the Father speaking through the Person of Holy Spirit, so what the Boy, Jesus, was saying was profoundly beyond His years.

Presented In The Gospels:

Later in His teaching ministry, Jesus told the 12 disciples:

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)

I am wondering if Jesus is remembering the early days when, as a small Boy, He was producing a sword, causing trouble in His own family.

So Jesus is a special Boy—He knows something is special about Himself—but He is in obscurity (condition of being unknown):

2b In the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me; And He has also made Me a select arrow, He has hidden Me in His quiver.

Jesus is hidden away, even in the small town of Nazareth.

Presented In The Gospels:

In Mark 6, Jesus is fully into His ministry, and He goes back to His hometown, Nazareth, which was not a large city:

Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown; and His disciples followed Him.  When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?  Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?  Are not His sisters here with us?”  And they took offense at Him. (Mark 6:1-3)

The locals were saying Who is this person?  Wait a minute; is that not Jesus, the son of Joseph?  Is that not Mary’s son?  Is he not James’ brother?

That proves that even when Jesus was a Child growing up in Nazareth, the townspeople did not notice anything unusual about Him, or know Him very well, because He was hidden away.

Note: Jesus’ family did notice unusual things about Him.

As a young Boy, Jesus is learning the Scriptures—through the teaching of His father and mother and through the internal witness of Holy Spirit mixing with Jesus’ human spirit—and He is gradually learning that He is a special Child.  And, I believe, for quite a while, that is the only way Jesus learned things about Himself.

Then one day something happened.  We do not know exactly when it was, but, I think, it must have been just before Jesus turned twelve years of age, and it probably startled this young Boy at first:

3 He said to Me, “You are My Servant, Israel, In Whom I will show My glory.”

[I think-] This is the first time the Father speaks directly to Jesus; this is the first time Jesus hears the Father’s voice directly.

Transition: WORD OF GOD

Here, I believe, it shows the difference between the following words:

  1. Logos, which is the written word of God

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (Psalm 119:109)

—is also used as Jesus, the Eternal Word of God (the Logos), as follows:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

  1. Rhēma, which also means word, is a different word than the written word of God.  It is the same word used in Romans 10:

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

That is the rhēma (word) that means the spoken individual voice (word).

Note: Today, we do not hear a spoken voice, but we hear the direct voice of God the Father in our own way.

That is the transition we see here: Prior to this point, Jesus knew the logos of God; now Jesus starts hearing the rhēma of God.

Again, before Jesus turned twelve years of age, all of a sudden the Father breaks in directly and says:

3 You are My Servant, Israel.

Notice that the Father calls Jesus Israel.  Why?

Let Us Think About This: Where would God the Father start teaching Jesus about who He is?  First, the Father wants His Son to know that He is a Representative of Israel.  Is that not interesting?  Certainly, God the Father does not tell Jesus about the Cross or even about the Kingship first.  No, the first thing is You are going to represent Israel.  God the Father says that Jesus will be identifying with the nation of Israel first.  Later, the identification with all the nations will come; but first, He wants His Child to know He is going to identify with Israel.

What is the next thing He says?

4 In whom I will show My glory.

Glory is a very religious sounding word, however, it is hard to know what it means.

Question: What Is The Glory Of God?

God has many attributes, including God is:

There are many—maybe innumerable—attributes of God; however, if we could picture each of His attributes as one part of a rainbow, then His glory would be the [entire] rainbow.

The glory of God is the total of all His attributes!

Look how God the Father is breaking the news to His Son—You are My Servant, You are going to represent Israel, and through You I am going to show My glory.

That would mean a lot to this Jewish Boy who had studied the Scriptures, because He had certainly read about Moses, who asked to see the glory of God:

Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” (Exodus 33:18)

But the Lord responded to Moses:

“Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.  Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 33:20-23)

God says I cannot show it to you.  You can see the back of Me, and He shielded Moses.

Now this young Boy, Jesus, hears God the Father’s voice saying I am going to show all My glory in You.  Do you think Jesus catches on that maybe He is going to be more important than Moses?  It did not matter that Moses could not see God’s full presence, because nobody could.  However, to Jesus, the Father says Son, I am going to show You all My glory.

[I believe-] The first communication that Jesus receives from His Father is You are going to identify with the nation of Israel, and in You, I am going to show all My glory.  Jesus had studied the Scriptures and He had read about the messiah—there is the hint that Jesus Himself is the Messiah.  But now the Father breaks in and says I am going to show My glory in You; and You will represent Your nation, Israel.

Do you think the eleven-year-old Boy knew He was the Messiah?  I do, because many times in the Old Testament Messiah is identified with the people.  Plan A was that the nation of Israel would accept Messiah and they would become unified as one with Messiah—when you said Israel and when you said Messiah, you were saying the same thing.  So Jesus knew He was called to a special ministry to Israel.

Even though Jesus knows He is the Messiah, He does not yet know the full implications of that.  There is a lot of confusion that even a sinless Person, influenced by Holy Spirit, would have had.  Frankly, there are messages about the Messiah that seem contradictory in the Old Testament, including Messiah will:

Though this Boy of eleven years of age does not have a full understanding of that, He is learning that He is the Messiah.  Things are starting to change.

Presented In The Gospels:

[I believe-] Directly after this, another significant even happens: Jesus and His family go to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover, as we see in Luke 2:

And His parents used to go to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.  And when He became twelve, they went up according to the custom of the Feast; and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem.  And His parents were unaware of it, but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day’s journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances.  And when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for Him.  And it came about that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them, and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.

Joseph and Mary start back to Nazareth, and at day’s end, there is no Jesus.  They are frantic, so they run back to Jerusalem.  After three days, they find Jesus teaching people in the Temple complex:

And when they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way?  Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.”  And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me?  Did you not know that I had to be about the Father’s business?”  And they did not understand the statement which He made to them.

Now it seems like all these things Jesus has learned from the Scriptures, and all these things God the Father has told Him finally have come to pass because at the age of twelve, He is in the Temple teaching other people.

[I believe-] Jesus must have felt much more comfortable in the Temple than He did back in His parent’s home in Nazareth, and in His mind, Jesus had no intention of going back This is it. This is My new home.

Jesus is starting to think more like God, however, His parents tell Him to come back to Nazareth.  Of course, Jesus was not able to disobey [because if He were to disobey that would be sin, and Jesus never sinned]…

And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth; and He continued in subjection to them. (Luke 2:41-50)

Question: What Would Have Happened If—

When Jesus Was Twelve, His Parents Had Said Jesus You Can Stay In The Temple?

Jesus would have stayed, because at that point Israel was accepting Him—it was only when Jesus started offending the Pharisees and Sadducees that Israel was not accepting Him.

Question: How Would That Have Frustrated God’s Plan For Jesus’ Full Ministry?

Jesus would have been the King, Israel would have called Him Messiah; and He would have been contained right there in the Land of Israel.  And that is why Satan did everything he could during Jesus’ ministry to make Him an earthly King.  If He made Jesus the King of just Israel, then Satan would have been perfectly content.  The entire scenario would have been different.

No matter what Jesus thinks about the state of His ministry, He cannot sin.  So Jesus willingly goes back to Nazareth with His parents, and He starts working with His father, Joseph.


What did Jesus and His [legal] father, Joseph, do for a living?  They were, according to the traditional meaning of the word, carpenters.

Note: I always get a picture of Jesus and Joseph working in a small shop and making a crummy, little chair.  Actually, the Greek word means something different; it means architect or master craftsman, and it refers to master builders.  Apparently, there were not very many of these people; and normally, the word was used for people making big buildings.  At that time, the only big buildings in Israel were synagogues.  That was the business Jesus was in.

Speculation: When Jesus went into the synagogues around the Sea of Galilee, such as the synagogue in Capernaum, I wonder if He was going into the synagogues that He had built?


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