Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

Jesus the Teenager


… the Spirit of truth … dwells with you and will be in you.  John 14:17


A visit to the temple in Jerusalem at age 12 is the only event Scripture records about the life of Jesus between his early childhood and the beginning of His ministry. We can know, though, some things about Him between the time of the temple experience and the beginning of His ministry—including His teenage years.


Jesus was born without a sin nature—and was always filled with the Holy Spirit. When he said to the Apostles that the Holy Spirit was with them, He meant that because the Holy Spirit was in Him He was with them (John 14:17). Scripture describes a Spirit-filled person.


Matthew 20:28 quotes Jesus saying of Himself, “… the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve …” Galatians 5:22 says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love.” As a teenager, Jesus surely went about doing good as He did during His earthly ministry (Acts 10:38). Many in Nazareth benefited from the loving service of Jesus. His kind deeds must have left the community blessed and amazed at His spirit of humility, gentleness and servant hood.


John 14:16 quotes Jesus as saying, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter …” (KJV). The comforter is the Holy Spirit. We can assume that Jesus’ stepfather Joseph died during Jesus’ teenage years. Not only did the Holy Spirit comfort Jesus, but also Jesus became a comforter to Mary and the entire family. There is no doubt that in many other difficult times Jesus was comforted and was a comfort to the family.


The fruit of the Spirit is “joy” (Galatians 5:22). As a teenager, Jesus went about Nazareth spreading joy because the Holy Spirit filled Him with joy.


In a fallen world, there certainly were those who overlooked the outstanding character of Jesus and always thought of Him as that illegitimate child of Mary. He would have known this. People probably said that to His face. However, He heard the words of criticism with patience (Galatians 5:22).


In these and many other ways, Jesus was the model for all God-loving teenagers today. Let us not fail to tell the God-loving teenagers of today how to be filled with the Spirit. They can handle it and will be grateful to hear it.