Was the infant Jesus fully aware of who He was? Did He look with bemused eyes at all the adults around Him as He played the part of a child? Was He fully capable of speaking (as the Quran claims He did), but simply refrained for appearance’s sake?
It is possible, but I seriously doubt it. This would mean that Jesus’ human experience was only a sham.
Paul says, He emptied Himself (Phil. 2:7) – a logical part of that emptying would be to empty Himself of His self-awareness. In effect, He gave Himself amnesia.
His self-awareness grew as He grew up -- for “He grew in wisdom and favor with God and with man”. However, even as a boy He did have a special sense that God was His Father. But it’s not really clear how thoroughly He understood His own nature.
It would appear that His baptism was a breakthrough in His own self-realization. The Father’s words spoken from heaven, “This is my beloved Son”, blossomed in Jesus’ mind, and He recollected who He was.
Did Jesus become the Son of God when He was baptized (as some claim), or was He always the Son of God? This is merely a question of words. Did David become God’s chosen leader for Israel when he was anointed by Samuel, or before? Either answer is equally valid. Suffice it to say that when David was anointed, he became aware of his destiny. When He was baptized, Jesus became aware in a fuller, more immediate way of His own nature and His role in human history.
That is exactly why the Devil tempted Jesus immediately following His baptism. Satan prefaced his temptations with, “If you are the Son of God”. To the young man Jesus, these words had just taken on new significance. Satan was probing to see if he could corrupt Him in the newness of His self-awareness.
The two most important questions in life are: “Who are You, Lord?”, and “Who am I?”. The one cannot be answered without the other – for I am in Him, and He is in me.
Lord, show me who You really are, and show me
who I really am.
Copyright © 2003 CrossPollen
Last Revised: February 16, 2003
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