Monday, May 2, 2016

Did Jesus Do Miracles As A Boy?

I can understand why people fantasize about Jesus doing miracles as a boy. It makes a good story - a good novel. There's even a movie depicting the boy Jesus doing miracles. There are a couple of things that disturb me about this if it's not true. One, if it's a fallacy, then it's exploiting Jesus, and should be offensive to Christians. Secondly, if it's taken as true and it's really false, then this position that Jesus performed miracles as a boy will contradict scripture. So is it true or not?

The problem I have with this idea of Jesus doing miracles as a boy is that there is actually one Bible verse that stops it in it's tracks. If it wasn't for this one scripture, then maybe. But for me, the truth is simply stated.

"This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him." (John 2:11 NKJV)

This verse is talking about the first miracle Jesus did - turning water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana. That was the "beginning" of his miracles. His first one. 

As the New Living Translation puts it: "This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him." (John 2:11)

I take the Bible as the only source of truth - the revelation of God written by men who were supernaturally inspired on what to write and how to say it. I've heard it said, in a negative tone, that the Bible is written by men. Yes, it's written by men, however, these men were touched by the Holy Spirit on what to write.

As far as the New Testament, it's sacred collection of books, called the Canon, was well established by the beginning of the second century. We can be confident that our New Testament, the proper and complete collection of inspired, sacred letters, is legitimate because of three main reasons: 1) Historical accuracy, 2) Second century writers who refer to this collection, and most importantly, 3) Ancient manuscripts that confirm our New Testament as the accurate collection of inspired writings. 

Any other writings are considered non-inspired, and even heretical. There are some who claim that an ancient book, "The Infancy Gospel of Thomas", is proof that Jesus performed miracles as a boy. It describes the Him doing various signs. Be cautious. This book is not part of the inspired New Testament books. It was even considered non-authentic and heretical at the time of it's writing. 

For me, the Bible is the sole source of truth. Anything else is not. And as far as the Bible, it only briefly describes Jesus as a boy. The only important record we have of Him as a boy is when He was in the temple at 12 years old, asking the teachers questions (Luke chapter 2). They were amazed at his understanding. But there is no mention of miracles by Jesus as a boy in the Bible. The only description of the child Jesus that gives us a good indication of His early years is this verse. "And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 2:52)

The real change for Jesus, the transition point that was pivotal, was His baptism. He was 30 years old by then. This happens to be the age when, according to the Jews, a man can become a Rabbi or teacher, so His age was significant. There is something much more significant - His baptism. It was a huge transition point in the life of Jesus. At His baptism, "the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)

Before His baptism, Jesus did not begin His ministry, He did not make disciples and call people to follow Him, and He did no miracles. After His baptism, His ministry began, He chose disciples, and He began performing miracles. His baptism was a transition point. So it's no wonder that He would begin performing miracles only after His baptism.

I put my confidence in this one verse, "This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him." (John 2:11)

That settles it for me. His first miracle was at Cana. It was the beginning of His "signs". It was the first time Jesus reveal His glory - who He was. To think otherwise is to disregard scripture. Jesus did not do miracles as a boy. Don't fall for the fantasies. And don't get too caught up in it. It's not really important anyway. What's really important is your daily walk with Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Are you following?