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#19 Child Development

After Herod’s death, Joseph was directed to return home to Nazareth. In this poor mountain village, Jesus developed naturally according to the stages of childhood.

Significant is the brief account of His early years. “The child grew …strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and…in favor with God and man.”

Two statements that speak of the simplicity and balance and human development of His life, and ten verses about the Passover trip when he was 12,  are all there is in scripture. But we know from his character as a man that he learned patience, courtesy, and kindness. His thinking developed a depth and a breadth beyond his years, a firmness and an unshakable identity.

He didn’t choose to come to a home of wealth where privilege and insulation would have made His life easier. He showed that ease and plenty are not the best environment for a child.

In planning his path through our world, he chose a simple life. He learned from his parents and from God in nature. Loving, honest parents modeled dependence on, and connection to God, as well as necessary, useful work–indicating the elements most needed for child development.

Simple, free, and joyful, yes, but not easy. Jesus’ childhood days were shadowed by every scheme Satan could devise to trap him in conflict and make his life hard. Satan took offense that even one life on this planet should be free from evil on the inside, so he did his worst to make him miserable on the outside.

Luke 2:40  Luke 2:52

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