If the Infancy Gospel of Thomas is to believed, Jesus was kind of a dick as a kid. My favorite stories about Jesus are contained within this Gnostic text that was not included in the Bible. It has a lot of interesting stories, but my favorite starts off with Jesus and a few kids playing on a roof.
The building Jesus and his friends were playing on was two stories tall. One kid was messing around and pushed another kid. That child fell off the roof and died. The rest of the kids saw this, got scared, and they ran. Jesus was the last one left on the roof. The parents of the dead kid heard about what happened and ran up to the building. They saw their child dead on the ground and Jesus standing on the roof alone.
They make the assumption that Jesus was the one who threw the kid off the and they were (quite obviously) pissed. Jesus jumped down from the roof of the two-story building and landed by the dead kid’s (Zeno) head.
Jesus says, “Zeno, did I throw you off the roof? Get up and answer.”
Zeno then gets up and says “Lord, it wasn’t you, but you did raise me from the dead.”
Now, there was a reason (other than Jesus being the last one on the roof) that Zeno’s parents and the other adults believed Jesus threw Zeno off the roof. Jesus did have the reputation around town of being more than a little bit of an ass. For example, he spent a lot of time killing other kids.
There was one time where the son of a man called Annas the scribe was standing around with Jesus’s earthly father Joseph. Annas’s son grabbed a branch and messed up some puddles that Jesus had made. Jesus, upon seeing this, loses his temper and cursed the poor boy. Annas’s son then proceeded to whither up and die. The boy was then taken to Joseph who was blamed for what Jesus had done.
After that, Jesus was walking around the village and another kid was running around and hit him in the shoulder. Jesus, pissed that someone hit him said “thou salt not finish thy course.” The poor child immediately fell down dead and Joseph was blamed again for what Jesus had done. That death was the straw that broke the camel’s back for the village. The villagers went to Joseph and said “You cannot stay here with this asshole child. Either teach him to bless and not curse people or you gotta go.”
So Joseph, tired of people blaming him for the asshole shit Jesus does, takes him to a teacher. Joseph is like “Can you teach him to not be a dick?”
Zacchaeus, the teacher, says “Give him to me and I’ll teach him scripture and he’ll be fine.”
When Jesus hears this, he starts laughing. He. Goes. IN. He’s like “You talk like you know what you saying, but I know more than you. I am before the world. I know when your granddaddy was born and I know when you’re gonna die.” (Keep in mind that Jesus is five at this point.)
Then Jesus is like “What? Y’all surprised I know when you’re gonna die? I know when the world was made! Oh, y’all don’t believe me? Ok then. Y’all gonna believe me when you see me on the cross!”
At this point, Zacchaeus and Joseph are just like
At five, Jesus was an little asshole. He was an ass that could kill you if you pissed him off and had no problem using his knowledge to tell you all about yourself. It kinda makes sense he was an ass too. He had too much power. He was healing and raising people from the dead before the age of six. What would you have done if someone pissed you off and you were a five year old with the power to kill them with a word?
By eight though, Jesus was becoming a better person. Someone more like the Jesus we know from the canonical Bible. There’s a story where, at eight, Joseph was contracted by a rich guy to build a bed for him.
Joseph goes out to gather some wood and Jesus comes with him. Joseph cut some wood and set them down to measure them. He sees that one is too short and gets upset. He goes out to get some more wood to start again. Jesus sees this and is like “Hold up, sit these two pieces of wood beside each other.”
Joseph is confused (obviously) but does it anyway. Jesus then says “Hold the short beam.” Joseph does it. Jesus then takes the end of the short beam and pulls it so it’s equal in length to the longer one.
Then he says “Don’t be mad anymore, do your work without issue.” And Joseph says in his head “I’m blessed God gave me this son.”
I love The Infancy Gospel of Thomas because it gives Jesus some character development. It’s easy to forget that Jesus was a man. It only makes sense that someone with that much power wasn’t always an altruistic being. He had to learn how to do good just like you and I. If Jesus can learn to become a good person, can’t we all?