Jesus Spilled the Milk.

Envision kid-Jesus lugging that goat’s milk. Poor kid probably spilled it. Imagine him learning carpentry from his earth father and accidentally making one leg too short. He probably burned his hand at the hearth. At the age of two he may have torn through the street naked giggling with glee. As a baby he cried when he was hungry or sick or lonely just like any other baby. After all, a baby that does not cry would be downright disturbing let alone deprive the mother of much needed cues. All of these things I suppose happened because Christ was also mortal and these things are not sinful.

What we do know about his youth is that at the age of 12 kid-Jesus ditched his parents, and the company they were traveling with, to hang out at the Temple and teach the scholars there.  His family left, traveled a day, and eventually realized that he wasn’t with them or their traveling companions so they went all the way back to Jerusalem. They finally found kid-Jesus at the Temple and his mother basically said, “how could you do this to us! We were worried sick about you!” You know, the typical freaking out a parent does when their child is missing for two days, probably having envisioned some gruesome death, after finding him. Kid-Jesus basically said, “Chill mom, no need to search for me, I gotta do God’s work yo.” His parents didn’t take any of that and were like, “dude, it’s time to go home.” Kid-Jesus didn’t argue and went with them.

Then scripture tells us, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” -Luke 2:52 (emphasis mine)

This tells us two things. First, what we think of as sinful is not always sinful. Christ was 12 years old and should have known better than to ditch his parents. He should have said, “Hey Mom, Dad, God is directing me to hang out a bit with these guys at the Temple can we stay a few days longer?” But did he do that? No. Was it sinful of him not to do it? No. Thoughtless maybe. But not sinful.

Second, Jesus increased in wisdom, meaning he was not always wise. Not being wise is not the same as being sinful. It was unwise of him not to inform his parents about what he was doing. But it was not sinful. He learned to be wise.

Sin is often used as a simile to a mistake. Many mistakes are not sins and using the two words as though they mean the same thing can easily make a child believe that spilling a cup of milk is a sinful thing to do. I know because I’ve seen that sort of thing happen with my own child and I had to talk to her about this very thing. It wasn’t until I explained that Jesus probably spilled the milk that she started to laugh at the imagery and feel better. A person sins when he or she breaks the commandments of God. No where does it say, thou shalt not spill the milk or  thou shalt not make a miscalculation. We are told to love God and to love others and that all other commandments hang on those two things.

Jesus was perfect, not because he never spilled the milk, not because he was never unwise, and not for any other childish misunderstandings or awkwardness, but because he was without sin – perfectly keeping the commandments of God.