What does the Bible say about how Jesus spent his childhood?
Increased in wisdom and stature and favor.
Some later, non-biblical sources tell stories about Jesus performing miracles as a child, but the Bible doesn’t support this. John 2:11 tells us that Jesus performed His first miraculous sign as an adult in Cana of Galilee.
Luke 2:52 tells us that “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men,” while Luke 2:40 says Jesus, “grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.”
So the Bible tells us that Jesus spent His childhood increasing in “wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.” Isaiah 50:4 gives us some insight into how He did this:
“The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.”
From 1 Corinthians 2 we know that the Holy Spirit helps us understand spiritual truths. In the case of Jesus it seems He received unique, personal training.
Truly God and truly man.
Now it’s very important to understand that verses like these are referring to Jesus’ human nature. Jesus is fully God and fully Man. As God He’s unlimited in His power and knowledge, but Philippians 2:7 teaches that Christ “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant” when He became a Man. Jesus willingly laid aside His heavenly position.
The Chalcedonian Creed describes the two natures of Jesus this way:
“Our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body.
Of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin.”
As a child, Jesus needed to grow physically, mentally and spiritually. Jesus, as Hebrews 4:15 tells us, was “tempted in every way, just as we are — but was without sin.”
Jesus never stopped being God, but when He took on a human nature, willingly limited Himself to save us.