We never hear anything about the toddler Jesus. I’ve never read The Bible, so maybe I’m totally wrong. We hear stuff about the baby Jesus and his manger and animals and frankincense, but from 1 week old to 20 something, the apostles didn’t have much to say about the savior. The supposed son of God wasn’t born looking like the lead singer of Creed; he learned to walk (first on land and then on water), he probably peed on stuff, sat on the cat, covered his face in hummus and sucked at hide and seek. Like all young kids, he was an adorable pain in the ass to his mom, Mary. By the way, there’s no way “Mary” was her real name. Again, if this stuff is all in The Bible, I apologize.
I think it helps, especially as we’re poised to celebrate the day of his birth, to remember that even Jesus – who was frequently called Jessie by those close to him – wasn’t always awesome. There was a period before his sweet, giving and peaceful nature took hold when he was a selfish little kid who whined for candy and puppets, or whatever toddlers did for kicks in Bethlehem circa the year 0002. I bet 2 year old Jesus terrorized the local goats and refused to get in his highchair at restaurants.
Jesus went through an awkward phase too. You think he always had six-pack abs and gorgeous hair? For a whole year, that hair was long enough to be falling in his face all the time, but too short to put in a pony tail. Can we all take a moment to think about Jesus in a pony tail. I guarantee it happened – like after he got out of the shower, or while he was working hard on his carpentry projects. He was a wood worker (and a darn good one, I hear). You can’t have your hair falling into your work, or risk getting it caught in a lathe. He must have tied it back, perhaps with a scrunchy or beret.
In his teen years, I bet he had a really awkward relationship with Joseph. I mean, once they told him that Joseph wasn’t his real Dad, he must have wanted to meet his father. Man, I feel like all this stuff might be in The Bible, but I’m sort of on a roll, and don’t have time to read that 5000 page beast right now. When Jesus found out his real Dad was God, he must have had a big time Superman moment. Remember when Superman first discovered that he had crazy powers and those farm people weren’t his real parents? He did some hard core soul searching. At some point, I promise you, Jesus said, “But Mom, I don’t want to be the son of God.” I guarantee that happened. I don’t have a good feel on how Mary might have reacted, but I sense she was pretty hard on him. “Shut up and finish your supper.” Something like that. I assume all parents were mean before the invention of cereal and television.
I’ve ended up confusing myself here a bit. If Jesus was the son of God, but the Christian God wasn’t really a concept until after Jesus was older, how did everyone know his dad was God. God didn’t exist yet as an idea, right? I mean according to the story, he’s always existed, but no one knew about him yet. Was it a different God, like from Egypt or Rome or something?
Wow, I’m kind of a moron. Again, I don’t know anything about religion. Please don’t let my lack of proper schooling offend you. These are all honest questions (though not ones I particularly want answered).
I think this Christmas, if you’re the type of person who thinks about Jesus (I wasn’t until about 25 minutes ago), you should celebrate the young Jesus. Might I suggest you (we) dedicate this holiday season to the teen Jesus? The one who had trouble talking to chicks because his voice was changing? That version of Jesus doesn’t seem to get much love these days.
If you’re 16 or 17 and starting a band, might I suggest the name “Teen Jesus?”