The Childhood of John

About six months before Jesus was born a relative of him was born, John, later calles John, the Baptist. About his childhood we know even less than about that of Jesus. This is all the information that we have:


“I tell you when your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby in my womb leapt for joy.“ (Luke 1, 44)

Maria, the mother of Jesus had a relative called Elisabeth. She visited her when she was just at the beginning of her pregnancy. At that time Elisabeth was about in the sixth month pregnant when she said this.


“And you, my child, shall be called prophet of the Highest, for you will be the Lord's forerunner, to prepare his way.” (Luke 1,76)

These words Zechariah, John's father said, when the baby was just a few days old and was taken to the temple according to the Jewish tradition.


As the child grew up he became strong in spirit; he lived out in the wilds until the day when he appeared publicly before Israel. (Luke 1,80)

This is the only general information about the child John that we find in the Bible.


When looking at their baby often parents wonder what might this child be like when having grown up. According to the natural instinct it should be the case that parents love their children, that they care for them and that they try to bring the up in the best possible way. Most unfortunately in our modern world in many cases this natural instinct often is being pushed away by egoism and selfishness of the parents, and the children are being left to be taken care of by other people. Wealth seems to have become more important than valuable education of children.

In the case of John we can be sure that his parents brought him up with the best possible care. For sure he went to school in the synagogue and there learnt a lot about God, the prophets and the old scriptures. Yet from the very beginning John obviously was different. Economic wealth was not important to him. He preferred to study the old scriptures and there read that some day the Messiah, the Redeemer will come. Mankind should be prepared for this coming. People should start thinking that inner values are more important than superficial affairs.


How do we bring up our children today? Do we live in a way that shows them that a new car and HD-television are very important? Or do we live in a way that shows them that helping others and good behaviour from the bottom of the heart are important?


On the one hand every child is born with his own very special gifts. He has a certain amount of intelligence, of musicality, he has his very special physical abilities and a lot more. But children are also intensively influenced by their environment. Here we may support the child in a positive or negative way. We – parents, teachers and every person that is in contact with children may help to support developing the talents of a child, or we may neglect them. What are you doing in this respect?