I’ve always found it interesting to think about what Christ thought of himself as he grew up. To what extent was he aware of his divinely appointed mission? What did he know about his heritage and what did he not know? How did he feel as a youth growing up, did he feel more mature, different than everyone around him? So many interested questions that we have little to no knowledge about from Biblical Accounts. We have accounts of Apostles writing about the divinity of Christ but nothing written by Christ himself about his life or mission. In our own Mormon literature, Jesus the Christ offers some insight into some of these possibilities but beyond that we don’t have much.
The first chapter Paradise Regained offers an interesting perspective on some of these questions in a narrative written from the perspective of Christ. I think Milton did a fantastic job at diving into these questions and creating a persona that I could see as a very possible reality for what the young Jesus may have thought.
“When I was yet a child, no childish play/To me was pleasing, all my mind was set/ Serious to learn and know,” (1:201-203)
Exceptional interest in the word of God
“The law of God I read, and found it sweet/Made it my whole delight.” (1:207-208)
Inner Prophetic Calling
“Flamed in my heart, heroic acts, one while/To rescue Israel from the Roman yoke/Then to subdue and quell o’er all the earth/Brute violence and proud tyrannic power/Till truth were freed, and equity restored” (1:216-220)
Taught by Mother of Divinity
“For know, thou art no son of mortal man…Thy father is the Eternal King.” (1:234,236)
Discovering of Self in Scripture
“This having heard, straight I again revolved/The law and prophets, searching what was writ Concerning the Messiah…and soon found of whom they spake I am” (1:259-263)