Bible Question:

What was God [Jesus] doing between the ages of 9 and 33?

Bible Answer:

The life of Jesus Christ is like many of our lives. There are official records of our births and many pictures of us around the times of our births, but often as we grow older, the pictures decrease.

Jesus’ Birth

The same is true of Jesus. From the gospels of Matthew and Luke in the Bible, we are told that Jesus’ father was Joseph and His mother was Mary (Matt. 1:18-25). His birth was unusual because His mother was a virgin. He was actually born supernaturally by the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:35).

. . . behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.” (NASB) Matt. 1:20-21

We are told that on the day he was born, angels announced His birth to some shepherds and then about two years later some magi from the east honored Him with gifts. You can learn more from the Christmas Story – Biblical Accounts

Circumcision and Dedication

When He was about eight days old, He was circumcised according to the Law of Moses (Luke 2:21) because He was a Jew. Some months later His parents went to the temple in Jerusalem to have Jesus dedicated (Luke 2:22-35). When they arrived, a righteous man named Simeon took the infant Jesus in his arms and said this,

For my eyes have seen Thy salvation, Which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, And the glory of Thy people Israel.” (NASB) Luke 2:30-32

Also, a prophetess named Anna thanked God for Him (Luke 2:36-38). Jesus was a wonderful infant!

And the Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. (NASB) Luke 2:40

Dedication-to-Twelve Years

The next glimpse of Jesus Christ comes at the time He is twelve years old. His parents had taken Jesus to Jerusalem every year for the Passover. This was more than just a trip. It was like a festival. But this year was different because Jesus stayed after the Passover was over to ask questions of and listen to the teachers in the temple.

And His parents used to go to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast . . . And it came about that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them, and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. (NASB) Luke 2:41-42, 46-47

Jesus was a very unusual child.

And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (NASB) Luke 2:52

We understand that Jesus had some brothers and sisters.

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him. (NASB) Mark 6:3

We do not know if His sisters and brothers hated, teased, or loved Him.

Twelve-to-Thirty Three Years

We know nothing about Jesus’ teenage years or His twenties. We believe that He did not have a formal education since He was a carpenter (Mark 6:3). When Jesus was about thirty years old, He started preaching. This was the age at which a man could become a Jewish priest.

And when He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age . . . (NASB) Luke 3:23

Jesus preached, taught, healed, and performed miracles because He loved us. He cared for the physical health of people. But that is not the reason He came to this earth. He came to die for us so that our sins could be forgiven.


The Bible does not tell us very much about Jesus’ early life because the most important truth about Jesus is that He came to die. He died so that you and I can have our sins forgiven. He died for all of us. Anyone who believes that Jesus is God and wants Him to forgive his/her sins, will have their sins forgiven. What was Jesus doing between the ages of 9 and 33? He was getting ready to teach us truth and then die for our sins. He was victorious for millions and millions of men and women have turned to Jesus. They have found their lives transformed and their sins forgiven. They are going to heaven. Are you? Visit the page Searching for God to find out.

Suggested Links:

Christmas Story - Biblical Accounts