(Painting: "St. Joseph the Carpenter," by Georges de la Tour, c. 1640, oil on canvas)
39.) Jesus as a Developmental Being (Fully Human and Kenotically Divine) - Little is known about Jesus’ childhood, youth, and early adulthood, outside of a few hints from Luke’s Gospel. Those hints tell us a few things—Jesus was aware, at the least, of a special relationship with God the Father, such as no one else had. But Luke also tells us that Jesus “grew in wisdom and knowledge.” Though this might be too sparse a description to read much theological meaning into, it does seem to suggest that Jesus experienced a real human childhood—learning from his parents, learning about the world, and only gradually awakening to the knowledge of who he really was. No doubt he would have worked with Joseph his father, learned a trade, and entered into the cultural life of his village—a firm example of God saying his Yes to human culture, family life, and work. These reflections also lead us to a kenotic theology—that Jesus, though being indeed “fully God,” emptied himself of certain divine prerogatives, and perhaps even of the full awareness of certain divine attributes during his earthly life.