Why did the people of Nazareth run to the synagogue to hear Jesus speak when He had reached the age of 30 years? What was the big deal? If Jesus had been living among the villagers of Nazareth since childhood, why then did they experience the sudden excitement of His presence among them? Why the sudden fame of Jesus in the region of the Galilee? If He had been with them all of his life, then, it would not have been a big deal. As a matter of normal religious life, in Nazareth and the surrounding towns, Jesus would have read the scriptures to them in the synagogue, many, many times, as a natural matter of course, over the 17 years since He was accepted as a man. (Which usually occurred circa age 13 in that culture.) In fact, from age 13 until age 30, the Gospels make no mention of Jesus, except to say that He grew in favor with GOD and man.
ST. LUKE 2:51 and 52
" 51 And he went down with them [ i.e., his parents ], and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with GOD and man."
Verse 51 shows that Jesus was subject to his parents authority, [ In other words; Jesus was living with his parents as a boy -- which means that He had not yet reached the age of majority -- which usually happened at about age 13. ], and verse 52 indicates that he was growing up. Jesus was going through the normal course of development for a human existence -- from childhood to manhood for our benefit -- even though He was already perfect.
1 CORINTHIANS 13:11
"11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
This was to help people relate to him, and thereby, to follow his example. If Jesus had just materialized straight from Spirit -- which He could have done -- then, people would have had to acknowledge His Divinity; however, they would not have been able to relate to Him. They would have said that they could not be expected to follow His example, because, He was perfection 'ready made' so to speak. So, by going through the normal process of human life, Jesus set the example for all to follow. Moreover, if He had just materialized before people as a perfect man -- i.e., the "son of man," the "Son of God," the Christ -- then, even the scribes and Pharisees would have, 'caught on,' and, would not have dared to ask the Romans to execute Him. And, without the sacrifice of the crucifixion, there is no resurrection.
Isn't it odd that Jesus never married? In the normal course of human events in that society, once a boy was recognized as a man -- the need to marry, and especially the pressure to marry -- would have been overwhelming, because the universal expectation at that time was that a young man would marry, and have a family, so as to fit into the accepted social order. Moreover, such a wonderful and unique young man as Jesus who was: of the House of David, whose family had received many miracles surrounding His birth and childhood [ not to mention gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, from the mysterious magi from the East ], as well as the prophetic recognition when He was presented at the Temple as a baby, such a very special young man would have been loved by everyone who met him, and would inevitably have been at the top of the 'short list' for every family in the region with an eligible daughter who could be given in marriage to form an alliance with that most excellent family, from the lineage, and the House of David.
Of course, one good way to avoid the unavoidable social pressure to marry, would be to leave home, and, once Jesus was 'officially' a man, He could then leave without permission. But where would He go? What would intrigue Him? For instance, why would He not be interested in returning the visit of the 'wise men,' the magi? If, for no other reason than to say, 'Thank you!' for their efforts to save His life, and probably the lives of His family, as well. Not to mention saying, "Thanks!" for the very valuable gifts of frankincense, myrrh, and gold.
In fact, it was probably that very timely gift of gold, that would have made the flight into Egypt possible. Moreover, that gold could have supported His family for many years, even allowing them to set up a household and a small workshop when they settled in the village of Nazareth. Finally, does anyone really think that the Lord Jesus Christ would neglect to say, "Thank you!" -- to those who had helped and honored, His family and Himself, so very much?
A great saint ( who spoke to Jesus often ) has revealed that there are records in India, stating that Jesus did in fact spend the missing years there. Moreover, the 'silk road' was very famous and was traveled frequently by caravans of traders and merchants. Needless to say, the silk road ran through India.
There are rumors that a sort of 'open secret' exists among the best scholars and Priests who study the Vatican archives, (i.e., HE went to India.) Or, we can accept the contrary theory that Jesus was 13 years of age; and then, a very big miracle happened, and Jesus was suddenly a full-grown man of about 30 years! That would certainly qualify as a miracle that would make him suddenly famous. And then, one day, He just decided to go out preaching and working miracles, after having lived very quietly in a very ordinary life. Except, how could it be ordinary, not to marry?
ST. LUKE 3:23
"23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being. (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,"
Why wait until age 30? Why not start at age 23? Why did Jesus suddenly become famous? After living quietly among the people of his village for most of his life, did He decide to surprise them one day by saying, "Hey, ya wanna see a cool miracle? - There! See? Bet-cha weren't ready for that!" But, if His fame didn't happen like that, then, what did transform someone they presumably knew very well into a superstar? Did Jesus keep his miraculous powers hidden from all of His neighbors for all of his life until age 30? Why would He do that? Why wouldn't He have helped the suffering of those around Him? Would the Christ have ignored the sick and dying, especially if they were his family, friends, and neighbors? If Jesus had been among them all of His life, then, why were all of the people in the region suddenly aware of Jesus? Why was he famous overnight? Presumably, this unique and Holy young man had lived in their presence for nearly his entire life. So, why wasn't he famous before age 30? Why weren't most of the people in the area, aware of Him ~ before?
Sudden fame presupposes that there is something new to excite public interest. A return home after a long absence, is one thing that always creates interest in family, friends, and the general public. Most people will gather eagerly to hear news of adventures in distant lands, and, the more exotic the destination and the longer the duration of the adventure, the greater the fascination. The alternative explanation is problematic, because, if Jesus really had spent all of His life in Nazareth, without doing anything to elicit public interest, [e.g., some miracles to help his family, and friends] then, He would be in the awkward position of denying help to people in need. Whereas, if He had given them miraculous help, then, Jesus would have been famous much earlier than age 30.
Could the Lord Jesus Christ have been indifferent to the needs of His family and friends, for His miraculous intervention, for nearly 30 years? For example, when Jesus healed a blind man near the Temple, who was incidentally, a stranger, didn't Jesus say that, as long as He was in the world, He was the Light of the world?
ST. JOHN 9: 4 -- 6
"4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay."
If Jesus would help a stranger, then, how could He have failed to help the people of his own village? And, in so doing, how could He have avoided fame at an even younger age? However, since we know that Jesus could not fail to heal a blind stranger by the wayside, it's obvious that He could not have neglected the many needs of His own family, friends, and neighbors. And yet, if He had actually performed even one miracle before the age of 30 years, then, everyone in the region would have known of it, and He would have become famous long before His 30th birthday. Nevertheless, Jesus only became famous after his 30th birthday. So, either He was 'holding out on them' -- i.e., withholding miraculous help from His own family, and friends and neighbors (which would have caused many hurt feelings when they had finally discovered that, He could have helped them earlier, and didn't), or, -- Jesus was indeed able to work miracles, but, He was away for a long time, for some reason. In which case, His absence would not have caused hurt feelings. For example, Jesus was not held responsible, by Martha and Mary, for allowing Lazarus to die, because Jesus was not present at the time of death.
ST. JOHN 11:21 -- 23
"21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again."
More to the point, when Jesus changed the water into wine, He did so at the request of His mother. In a charming insight, the Gospel recalls that she 'over-ruled' her Divine Son by insisting on the miracle to save the wedding feast of a new bride. Does anyone doubt that if Jesus had been available to give Divine intervention on other important occasions -- in the missing 17 years -- that His mother would not have insisted on His helping others even earlier? And, as we have seen, Jesus couldn't say no to His mother, even over fixing a relatively minor social event by turning the water into wine; so, how then, could He have said no to Her on other, perhaps more serious occasions? And, if He had done as she asked, and performed any miracles earlier, then His fame would inevitably have spread earlier. So, either He refused to respond to the needs of His family, and friends, and neighbors, and even denied the requests of His own mother, or, He was away for some reason, and therefore, He could not be badgered into doing miracles to make a wedding feast a success for one of His mother's friends.
ST. JOHN 2:3 -- 5
"3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it."
In this case, it is easy to read between the lines. Jesus is protesting that it is not yet time to start doing miracles, and his mother is only concerned that a bride's wedding day is not spoiled. His Mom won! Jesus turned the water into wine for his mother, because He could not refuse her request, even though it was for social occasion, that was not nearly as important as the healing of the sick, or the raising of the dead. So, if Jesus had been living in Nazareth, or even nearby, there would have been many emergencies of a serious nature -- a sick child, a broken arm, a complication with a pregnancy, and on and on -- and, no doubt His mother would have asked Him to intervene in those serious situations, just as she had asked Him for help on the purely social occasion of a wedding feast. Little has changed in two thousand years. Women still regard weddings as supremely important events, and they still require their men-folk to help make those celebrations a success -- or else. Jesus couldn't say no to His Mom, even though it meant starting His ministry earlier than He had planned. Since He could not say no to her over a social event, He most certainly could not have said no to her in a matter of life and death -- if, He were present -- that is. And in doing as she wished and healing a sick child, for example, He would have been known as a miracle worker long before age 30 -- if, he had been living in Nazareth -- or even nearby. And, in that case He would have been famous before age 30. And, the people of the area would have known all about him. Even without the miracles, they all should have known Him very well. There should not have been any surprises -- if -- He had been with them for all of His life, because, that is the way small villages are -- very close knit -- with almost everyone living in everyone else's backyards.
ST. LUKE 4:14
"14 ¶ And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all."
[ "14 ¶ And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee...." So, apparently he wasn't in Galilee, for some period of time. And there isn't a lot of land to the West of Galilee, because of the Mediterranean Sea. Isn't it just a bit odd, that, after presumably living in Nazareth -- for almost 30 years -- suddenly, all of the people in that region became aware of Jesus and HE became very famous? ]
"16 ¶ And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read."
[ "16 ¶ And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up...." From this quote it seems apparent that he wasn't in Nazareth, for some period of time, either. Bearing in mind, that there is even less land to the West of Nazareth -- than there is land to the West of Galilee -- because the village of Nazareth, is even closer to the Mediterranean Sea, than is Galilee. However, there is plenty of land to the East. ]
"17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias [Isaiah]. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?"
[ So, if he had been with them for nearly 30 years, and if he had read the scrolls to them many, many times over the years, then, why were they so surprised? ]