Some of the answers say that he went to India, to England, to Alexandria, and to other places as well. They say he studied Buddhism, Hinduism, Egyptian wisdom, etc.
Those Years Are Not Missing
It is not true to say that those years are missing. When we say that something is missing what we usually mean is that it cannot be found or it is lost. For example, we say that we miss our pet dog, meaning that we cannot find it or it is absent from where we are. We also say, We missed the train, meaning we lost our chance to ride that train.
But in the case of Jesus those 18 years between the time he was 12 years old and 30 years old, are not really missing because they are not lost and we can easily find them. Those years are recorded properly. First, Luke wrote that he was 12 years old when he was lost to his parents and then found in the temple. Then a little further he wrote that when Jesus began his ministry he was about 30 years of age. 30 minus 12 are 18 years. We found those 18 years by simply deducting 12 from 30. They are not lost years.
What is missing is not the years but the description, as most readers would want it in a story, of what Jesus did during those years. This is what we do not find in the Gospels of the Christian Bible.
The Gospels Are Not Mere Stories
The desire to know what happened in Jesus’ life during those 18 years arises from a misunderstanding of the Gospels as we have them in the Christian Bible. Our tendency is to read these Gospels as stories about Jesus’ life or his biography. We do not realize and perhaps we will never realize that these are not ordinary stories or biographies of Jesus, unless somebody tells us so, and shows us why they are not stories or biographies.
Those Gospels are what they are, gospels, not biographies.
The meaning of Gospel is announcement of good news. That is what the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are. They are announcements of the good news of Jesus. They are not a collection of stories about Jesus’ life to merely inform or entertain us. They are a public announcement of events and words which if believed benefits the listener in a life-changing way.
How I Discovered That the Gospels Are Not Mere Stories
I myself did not grasp this fact about these gospels although I had a formal training in theology. In my theological studies about the Gospels I was taught that they are indeed Gospels. But still the idea persisted in my mind that they were stories or portions of the biographies of Jesus.
The realization that the Gospels are announcements of the good news of Jesus came to me much, much later in life. It dawned on me while I was listening to an audio version of the Gospel according to Mark. I heard this Gospel read on the Internet and the tone of the reader was that of a person who was announcing a very important, life changing news. There and then I realized what is meant that the Gospel of Mark is an announcement, not a story telling. As a boy I read it like a Bible story. During the time I listened to this audio version the words were still the same, but now they were proclaimed as components of a good news.
The So-called Missing Years Are Fully Contained in the Gospels
Viewed as an announcement the 18 years of Jesus are fully contained in this description of Luke: And he went down with them (his parents) and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them; And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and years, and in favor with God and man.
The So-called Missing Years Are Present In Us
Secondly, those years are not really missing when we relate our life to that of Jesus. We carry those years within us. The reason for this is because Christ is our life, as Paul says in his letter to the Colossians. If Jesus is our life, the life of Jesus is in us, and therefore his life before the creation of this world, his life after creation including his human life, is also our life and those years, from the time he was 12 to 30 years old, are also within us. This will take another full article to explain but for now we can see already the truth of this, if we have indeed the life of Jesus in us.
Jesus said that he is the vine and we are the branches. In a plant the same life flows from the vine to its branches. The same life of Jesus the vine flows to us the branches, including his life the time he was 12 years old to 30 years old.
The so-called missing years of Jesus’ life are no longer missing. We have found them if we realize the Gospels are announcements of good news and if we realize that the life of Jesus still flows in us and through us.
So, those 18 years are not really missing. We found them by subtracting 12 from 30. What Jesus did during those years is fully proclaimed by Luke in 2 verses in the Christian Bible. And the reality of those 18 years is within us. We have found those 18 years. They are in us. We continue living them.
Here are my other blogs which may be of help to you:
http://bit.ly/spiritdev for your spiritual growth
http://bit.ly/alterhealthcare for your health
http://bit.ly/novotrends for learning about the new trends around us
http://bit.ly/bepaidonline for earning some income from the Internet
Here are your links to download the e-books for FREE. To download a copy of A NEW CHRIST by Wallace D. Wattles click this website http://bit.ly/anewchrist. To download a free copy of A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle click this website http://bit.ly/ebookanewearth. I hope that you enjoy reading these free e-books and profit much from them, as I have also profited greatly from them.