No one is perfect. Not you, not me, not even Santa Claus. Everyone makes mistakes, big or small. Even the most lovable and trustworthy people in our lives will occasionally say something hurtful or insensitive, let us down when we need them most, or take advantage of our trust. As a result, imperfection is an unavoidable part of life – even for Jesus Christ. In the Bible, there are several references to Jesus as a child that raise questions about whether or not he was perfect at that time in his existence as God’s only son. The gospel of Luke records that Simeon looked intently upon Jesus and said “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and a glory to thy people Israel” (Luke 2:32). After prophesying about Jesus being a light for the Gentiles and a glory to Israel, Luke explains that Simeon then lifted up his eyes and “saw also” Jesus; who was standing there beside them (Luke 2:33-35). So if Simeon saw Jesus standing there beside them at this point in Scripture; what does this mean? Is it possible that while he is God incarnate as an adult man with no blemishes; before He ever became flesh he existed as a child?
Bible Verses about Jesus’ Childhood
The Bible says several things about Jesus as an infant or as a child. These verses can be found in the Gospel of Matthew (2:16, 18, 23), the Gospel of Mark (2:12), and the Gospel of Luke (2:40). Here are some examples: “And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for him in the inn.” “The shepherds returned, and prepared for themselves sheep-skins and goatskins, and when they saw him they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child.”
Was Jesus perfect as a child?
The question of whether or not Jesus was perfect while a child is partially answered when you look at the above verses. Jesus undoubtedly had human emotions and weaknesses as a child. After all, the Bible tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. If Jesus had been without sin, he would never have been tempted to disobey, he would never have suffered the agony of the cross, and he would not have been able to pay the price for our sins. If you’re expecting your young child to live a perfect life of obedience and never make a mistake, you will be greatly disappointed. If you expect your child to be perfect, you will likely be very disappointed. But if you expect your child to be growing and developing, and you love him or her unconditionally even though he or she makes mistakes, you’ll be a much happier parent.
Why is it important to know whether or not Jesus was perfect while a child?
A lot of people wonder why it is important to know if Jesus was perfect or not while he was a child. After all, isn’t it enough to know that he was a perfect man? The reason this is important is that it tells us what we can expect from God. If he was perfect as a child, we can expect him to be perfect as an adult. If he was perfect as a child, he is willing to be patient with us as we grow and mature in our faith. If he was perfect as a child, we can trust him as an adult. If he was perfect as a child, he will always have our best interests at heart. If he was perfect as a child, he will never leave us alone in our struggles. As a parent, how would it make you feel if you had to be perfect from the moment your child was born? How does it make you feel if you can make mistakes and still be a great parent? God knows this challenge and has provided a way for us to be able to relate to him despite our imperfections.
Proof that Jesus was always perfect while he was a child – The Bible teaches that we are all born sinful.
The Bible teaches that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” This means that we are all born with a sinful nature that is inclined toward breaking God’s law. Think about it – if Jesus had been perfect from the moment of his conception, then he would never have been tempted to sin – and thus he would not be truly human. One of the defining characteristics of human beings is that we are capable of sin. If Jesus had been perfect from the moment he was conceived, then he would not have been truly human. He would not have been tempted to sin. He would not have experienced doubt. He would not have experienced weariness. He would not have experienced hunger or thirst. He would not have experienced grief. He would not have experienced pain or death. In short, he would not have been fully human.
Don’t let your idea of “perfection” keep you from believing in the mission of Jesus Christ.
There is a very common tendency to assume that because Jesus was perfect as an adult, he must have been perfect as a child as well. But this is not the case at all. When people assume that Jesus was perfect as a child, they often find it more difficult to relate to him. When they think of perfection, they think of a person who is flawless and incapable of making mistakes or feeling pain. A perfect person is simply not very relatable. When we think of Jesus as a young child, we can relate to him better. We can all remember being young children, and we can remember making mistakes and feeling pain. We can imagine how it would feel to be rejected by our own family and then sent off to die in a strange land. We can imagine how it would feel to be simultaneously loved and hated by so many people.
The truth is that despite all the divine attributes that set him apart from us, Jesus was always capable of making mistakes, and he did. We see this in his youth when he is tempted by the devil, we see this in his old age when he is exhausted and hungry, we see this in his humanity when he cries while cradling his friend’s dead son, and we see this in his death when he gasps out a desperate prayer while being crushed by the weight of our sins. The truth is that Jesus was always perfect, but he was also always human.