For centuries people have wondered what happened during Jesus’ “missing years.” If you are unfamiliar with this, let me enlighten you. In the New Testament of the Christian bible, there are mentions of Jesus’ birth & up until he’s 12. Then the storyline picks back up when Jesus is 30. There is no narrative for those years. This is what I’m discussing in this blog post!
So as I stated between the ages of 12 & 30 (that’s 18 years) the life of Jesus is unknown. He only had a 3 year ministry. There is only one mention of Jesus’ life after his birth, as a 12 year old boy in Luke 2:41-52, until he reaches the age of 30. This passage talks about Jesus “preaching” in the temple during Passover.
Follow me now. I’m going to be circling back to the point. But I have to set it up.
There’s evidence that Jesus was a blue-collar worker, not poor, but middle class. Even by the standards of the day. “Is this not the carpenter’s son?” This seems to be against what he taught: to give everything & follow him. And if he was middle class, why did Mary Magdalene & other women financially support his ministry?
Jesus was also educated. He spoke Aramaic (which was the language of the area of the world that he lived in) & he also probably could read & write Aramaic since he could speak it. He also could speak, read, & write Hebrew. After all, Jesus was Jewish. He KNEW how to read because in the Luke passage in mentioned he goes into the temple & reads the scrolls. He also debated religion with the rabbis & others in the temple. Also there are claims that Jesus knew how to speak a few other languages (more to come on that).
The Sea of Galilee is where Jesus found 4 of the 12 disciples. Jesus may have known these 4 disciples. They lived so close in area. This is also the spot where the Sermon on the Mount happened. He also performed miracles there. Jesus would’ve been there often in the missing years, according to one theory. Another theory is that Jesus went to India (thus him knowing how to speak a few other languages & being educated) & the Middle East to study with all kinds of spiritual leaders & gurus. There’s a legend of Jesus going to India learning from monks, gurus, & masters. That’s where he got most of his teachings, according to the legend. But he wanted to preach to all the social castes but this didn’t sit well with the gurus. So they pretty much chased Jesus out of India. Thus he made his way to the Middle East.
Jesus also had a large family. Yes folks! The Virgin Mary had more kids AFTER she had Jesus! Mary, mother of Jesus, wasn’t a perpetual virgin. The New Testament of the Christian bible mentions 2-3 brothers & 2-3 sisters. There were/are people who want(ed) to keep the perpetual virginity of Mary. So the theory behind Mary’s perpetual virginity is: Jesus’ siblings were/are step-siblings. The siblings are only Joseph’s kids from his first marriage. Thus making Joseph out to be an old man who’s a widower. When some paintings depict Joseph as a younger man, being quite able to have kids with Mary after Jesus was born.
Jesus had to deal with Joseph’s death during those missing years. Joseph is mentioned before he was born, during the birth, & other instances. But he’s not mentioned at all at the start of Jesus’ ministry. It’s almost the same case for Mary, mother of Jesus. However, she is mentioned at Jesus’ crucifixion & death. Joseph is not mentioned at all after Jesus’ early childhood. Jesus tells Peter (I believe. My bible says “…the disciple whom he loved…”) to take care of Mary, his mother. Because Jesus even says “Dear women, here is your son.” & “Here is your mother.” So Joseph either died, was disabled (if you subscribe to a young Joseph), or was too old to properly take care of Mary. And depending on how old Mary was, she might’ve been too old to take care of herself, especially if Joseph was died.
John the Baptist, or John the Dipper in some circles, may be an important part of the missing years. The story starts in the book of Luke (1:57-66; 2:1-40). John was born 6 months before Jesus. This is why Catholics made St. John the Baptist Feast in June, 6 months before Christmas. Jesus & John were 1st cousins through Mary. The reason why John may be so important to the missing years is because John was considered by most of the time to be the Messiah. Even after Jesus started his ministry & John’s death, there was a John the Baptist “cult.” They believe that John was the Messiah. Even though he never came back from the dead, like Jesus. There are still very small pockets of this “cult” still kicking around. John had an established ministry before Jesus started his. John had a massive following. John’s followers thought that Jesus was a fake. They thought, after all, whom baptized whom. After John’s death, some of his followers did go & follow Jesus. It’s also speculated that both John & Jesus went to China, Asia, & the Middle East to study under spiritual gurus, advisors, & leaders. Together they learned from these people & incorporated it into Jewish prophecy. Then go on to create one of the world’s greatest religions. It was taboo, in all cultures at the time, to preach/teach to the poor, the sick, etc. John also introduced baptism to the world & not ritual bathing like the Jewish community did back then.
The missing years could also be explained in a VERY controversial theory. Jesus could have been married. And not necessarily to Mary Magdalene. Jesus was of the Jewish faith & race. He was also a human being. It was completely in the realm of possibility that he could’ve been married. At that time, if you weren’t married (& had a couple kids), there was something seriously off with you.
And thus this now gets into Jesus’ ministry!