DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: This past Christmas, I got to thinking about what might have happened to Jesus while he was growing up. Does the Bible tell us? I’ve seen articles saying he went to places like Tibet or India to learn about philosophy and religion. Is there any truth to this? — D.G.
No, there’s no truth to such stories. Not a word in the Bible gives any support for them, nor do any later works from the early centuries of Christianity. Articles like you read may sell magazines to people standing in the supermarket checkout line, but they have no historical basis.
The Bible doesn’t give us many details about Jesus’ early life because its purpose is to tell us about his public ministry, including his death and resurrection.
It seems clear, however, that Jesus spent most of his life in the little town of Nazareth, working in his father’s carpentry shop (although Joseph wasn’t actually his father, since Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary and God). “Isn’t this the carpenter?” some of his enemies said scornfully (Mark 6:3).
But Jesus was more than a carpenter. Jesus (the Bible tells us) was God in human flesh — fully man, but also fully God. And that’s why he didn’t need to sort through the world’s philosophies to decide what he’d believe; he was the embodiment of all truth. The Bible says that in him “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).
Why is this important? It means that Jesus is worthy of your faith. More than that, it means he is worthy of your commitment — both now, and for all eternity. Don’t choose the wrong road, but give your life to Jesus, who alone is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).