What Did Baby Jesus Know?

He is God, so I’m certain He knew the plan to be born, die to save all humans, conquer sin and death, and live again.

But what knowledge did He possess as a newborn and a child? Was He cognizant of everything and yet still acted as a human?

I’m overwhelmed by the vast love it took to go from ruling the universe in peaceful safety, to a helpless newborn in a harsh world where His enemy revels in evil and the destruction of anything good.

From the pristine perfection of heaven, to filth and disease and sorrow and chaos.

And the amount of love required to stay on earth, remaining steadfast and obedient to His Father. A Father who wanted Him to be obedient to imperfect earthly parents and earthly governments run by flawed humans.

Then the unfathomable love to take on all of the evil and pain to save every person ever created. Whether or not they acknowledge and accept Who He is.

There’s no mention in scripture about Jesus’ day-to-day life as a child. After birth and the wise men worshipping Him, the Bible says Jesus grew.

The next Biblical reference is when He was twelve. In Jewish tradition, that age is shortly before boys go through a rite of passage where they become accountable for themselves.

At age twelve, Jesus said He had to be about His Father’s business. By clearly stating His identity, He accepted accountability for all humankind.

I don’t if know if Jesus knew Who He is His whole life on earth. Or if it would have been too overwhelming for the human Jesus to comprehend the entire plan.

After age twelve, the Bible is quiet about Him for another eighteen years. Growing and learning. Experiencing life as a human adult.

Perhaps God the Father revealed it to Jesus as His human life unfolded.

However it happened, I’m certain Jesus knew He had to be obedient every second of His earthly life to save us — the people He loves.

What do newborns know?

Some people would say, “They don’t know anything. They come into this world as blank slates. All they do is sleep and eat and mess up their diapers.”

But every newborn knows the most important things:

— They’re entranced by light and are aware of the world around them.

— They fight the darkness — the unconsciousness called sleep — where they aren’t aware of what is going on.

— They’re fascinated by the wonder that surrounds them.

— They exude love and inexorably draw the love of others.

— They cry or get upset when something is wrong.

— They’re comforted when people care for them.

— They live in the moment.

— They strive for what they want, and they don’t give up.

— They are who they are created to be.

What does Jesus know?

Others might believe that Jesus was like every other newborn.

He was human. And He is God.

— Jesus IS the light and is aware of everything.

— He has vanquished all darkness.

— He is the Word that created all the wonders in the universe.

— He is the source of love and draws others to Him.

— He sees the wrong and sets it right.

— He is the Comforter.

— He lives in every moment for all time.

— He gives us our dreams, and He never gives up on us.

— He created us exactly as He wants us to be.

What do I know?

If it was important for me to know what Jesus knew when He was young, it would be in the Bible.

When I reach heaven, the mysteries that stump me now will be revealed if I need to understand them.

For now, and for eternity, the only essential knowledge I need, is that Jesus’ goal has always been for us to know Him, and accept that by His obedience, He paid our accounts in full.

What helps you gain insights about Jesus?

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Joni Vance is an award-winning author of fiction, essay, and poetry. She loves mystery, history, and how God reveals Himself every day.


May God reveal the mystery of His love in your life story.

6 thoughts on “What Did Baby Jesus Know?

  1. Of course the Bible helps me gain insights about Jesus, but I found your list of what newborns know very interesting. The Bible tells us we should be like children to enter the kingdom of God.

    We should actually live each day doing what your newborn list describes. Looking for light, fighting darkness, enjoy the wonders around us, loving others and accepting their love, know it’s ok to cry when something is wrong, live in the moment, strive for what we want and not give up, be who God created us to be. Your post was very helpful to me today as I look at this list of how I should live:)

    • Thanks, Jane. I agree – focusing on the important things God put into us when we were born is what I need to do.

  2. Thank you, Joni. Love your thoughts on Jesus. I agree. God tells us what we need to know and He’ll share more as we need it. Merry Christmas!

    • Thanks for commenting, Tim. I’m grateful I don’t know everything all at one time – it would be overwhelming.

  3. This is beautifully written, Joni. love reading your insights especially on this Christmas Eve morning.

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