A friend of mine, Heather, asked me this question the other day. I love these kind of questions because often it is hard to wrap our mind around things that happened in ancient history, especially Biblical things.
Q: “What happened to Jesus between the ages of 12 and 30? Is there a gap in the story? Please advise”
A: I do not believe that there is a gap in the story. God revealed, through His son Jesus, indeed, God in the flesh, what we need to know in order to understand His love for us and, just as important, how we can partake in the blessed life that He intended for us to live (similar to the life that mankind shared in the Garden of Eden). This life on earth, just like that life in the Garden, was intended for eternity with Him.
“Except for His birth, infancy, and His interaction with the elders in the temple at age 12 (Luke 2:41-50), Jesus life was lived in virtual obscurity. Even the Scriptures are silent as to any notable happenings before His baptism by John at age 30, though He apparently lived a life that was considered respectful: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). Nevertheless, to many who knew Him, He was merely Jesus, the son of Joseph the carpenter, no surprise that He was rejected by those in His own hometown (Mark 6:1-6).”
I can see a significance here. I believe that following Jesus has little to do with knowledge and more to do with faith. We can have knowledge and not experience true relationship and faith in God. While Jesus “grew in widom and stature” during this time period, and while it is clear that He had a clear understanding of His calling (Luke 2:49), it was not by God’s design, the time that He chose to reveal what was revealed in the person of Jesus. God has given us what we need to share this life, to find fulfillment in our experiences and trials and to share in an eterninty with Him.
The apostle John may have also summed it up best, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (John 21:25).