Continuing with the exploration and reflection through a series of articles written in a conversational language about Catholicism, about God, about Jesus, about the Church and many other faith related topics. Here we present:
Question 13 – What is the importance of the hidden life of Jesus?
The Gospels* tell little about the birth of Jesus* and much about his public life, at the end of his short existence. We hardly know anything about the period in between. These years in the life of Jesus are called his ‘hidden life’. Evangelist Luke summarises this long period as follows, ‘Jesus grew up, and he became wiser and wiser. God* loved Him, and so did many’ (Lk 2:52).
It is usually assumed that Jesus spent that time in Nazareth, a small village in Galilee, a province with little prestige. He probably lived there with his parents. According to tradition He worked as a carpenter, just like Joseph*, his father.
Was Jesus’ great project in storage all this time? Wasn’t he yet fully the Son of God during those years? Can something be learned from those thirty years or did so little happen in that period that there is actually nothing to tell about?
Christians believe that during his ‘hidden life’ Jesus was already Son of God and therefore completely God. In the period in which he grew as a human being from child to adolescent, and from young adult to an adult man Jesus was completely God. Christians think this is important. It means that an ordinary, unobtrusive life – about which there is little to tell – is so important to God that he himself, for many years, wanted to experience it. The most famous man in history was completely unknown for most of his life. In other words: even a simple, unknown life in all humility is valuable. It can be a divine life.
– How do you imagine the hidden life of Jesus?
– Do you know inconspicuous people in whose lives you believe that God is really at work?
Feel free to leave your thoughts, reflections or comments below.
Watch this space! Coming up: Question 14 – What is the message of Jesus?
Follow these links to go back to Question 1 – Is believing exceptional? , Question 2 – Is Faith for simple souls? , Question 3 – Can you be a Christian and yet doubt your faith? , Question 4 – Can a believer be critical? , Question 5 – Can faith and science get along? , Question 6 – Are you born a Christian?, Question 7 – Can a human being meet God?, Question 8 – Did God create the world in seven days?, Question 9 – What did God do before he created the world?, Question 10 – Is God a man or a woman? , Question 11 – Can you be a Christian without believing in Jesus?, and Question 12 – Did Jesus really exist?
If you wish to learn more about this resource follow this link “52 Questions and Answers about faith”
About the author:
Nikolaas Sintobin, SJ, joined the Society of Jesus in 1989, following a short career as a lawyer. He was trained as a Jesuit in Brussels, Paris, and Santiago de Chile. Today he is a spiritual director who is keenly interested in online ministry and discovering new ways to help people find God.
This text is republished with the permission of Messenger Publications, Ireland. To buy a hard copy of the book click here.