My nephew asked this question regarding Jesus:
Dear Uncle Chris,
I have been wondering, do you think Jesus knew he was God and the purpose he was on earth for when he was very young? If so, how do you think he knew? If no, how do you think he found out?
I apologize for now responding sooner. Your question regarding the Lord Jesus is an important one. You’ll have to really turn on your mind to think about this one. Have your mom help you think about some of the big words. (Just for fun, I put up a picture of your mother with Jamie and me when she was not that much older than you are. I was in seminary at the time. Your mom was probably about 11).
When Jesus submitted to the Father and was willing to be born (Philippians 2:5-7)- – - here is a big phrase we use in theology – - – “he temporarily set aside the independent use of all of his divine attributes” – - – meaning that he chose for a time not to exercise all of his power and omniscience. Though he NEVER ceased being God nor were any of these attributes ever anything less in Him.
But for a time Jesus chose not to use all of his divine attributes. Mary really did take care of Him.
It was only as Jesus grew and became strong and was filled with wisdom (Luke 2:29-40) that Jesus brought into clarity his identity and call. By the time he was about 12, I think he understood in his humanity his identity (Luke 2:41-52) with an emphasis on both verses 4:49-52.
(You might want to think about the implications of Luke 2:51 for your relationship with your mom and dad!)
Your question has many practical implications. For example, “was Jesus truly tempted in every way just as we are? (Heb 4:14-17).” The answer is “yes”. But if he was not truly human (without ever ceasing to be God!) than he would not have been tempted in every way.
We ought also to think about Jesus’s example in being so humble. Paul said that this “mind” should be among ourselves. That has a lot of application for how you relate to your little sister, Eden! (See Philippians 2:5-7).
It is important in answering your question to emphatically stress that Jesus in no way ever stopped being God. From the first Christmas on, he was 100% God and 100% man. Still Jesus did increase in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. And Jesus was always, and will always, be God.
I think I have answered your question correctly. But you may want to compare my answer with your pastors or other theologians. We will also see if anyone weighs in on my blog to sharpen my answer just a little.
You might also want to read this post about what happened in May of the year 325 (which was before even your grandmother was born)
I hope to see you in a little bit if my back is up to the trip. I was planning to come back for the funeral tomorrow. But when I put my suitcase in the car, my back seized up a bit. . . .I am, indeed, an old uncle.