I haven’t seen many movies about Jesus as a child nor is their much scripture found on the early years of Christ. I was curious to see if this film supported what little I did hear about the life of Christ as a boy. I recognized a couple of incidents as being similar to stories I’d heard before but most were new. I found it strange that bullying exited among the children as strongly as was depicted in The Young Messiah. I always thought the children were more disciplined in that era and environment. I was surprised that Jesus (Adam Greaves-Neal) was picked on and frequently beaten up. My understanding of Jesus as a small boy raising another boy from the dead was when he caused the boys death but in this adaptation, Jesus had nothing to do with the boys death even though he was accused of causing his demise. The Young Messiah is a name change from the original book written by Anne Rice as Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. “This new title better conveys how our film seeks to present a realistic portrait of Jesus as a child both grounded in faith and consistent with the adult Jesus revealed in the Bible.” (Quoted by the new writers, Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh and Nowrasteh).
From another source, I’d learned that Jesus fixed the size of the wood his father carved to fit when it didn’t, in order to complete a project they were working on together. This did not appear in the movie, however Jesus healing Joseph’s dying brother in front of the village did. There were other miracles performed by Jesus as a young boy depicted in this film up to Jesus disappearing for three days before being found in the Temple by his father Joseph (Vincent Walsh) and mother Mary (Sara Lazzaro). Throughout the movie, Jesus was hunted by Severus (Sean Bean) sent by King Herod’s son (Jonathan Bailey). Also, a Demon (Rory Keenan) appeared whispering in the ear of various persons who made every situation harder for Jesus. Mainly, at the age of 7, when Jesus returns from Egypt to his home in Nazareth with his family, he discovers the truth about his life. He realizes he is the Son of GOD, sent by GOD, to be the savior of humanity.
I thought given the amount of information the new writers had to work with, the film not only held your attention, it gave forth some validity to Jesus’ young life while sending a profound message about the people of that time. I can’t say The Young Messiah lends any new information to the Jesus’ life as a boy because as I mentioned, there is little to no scripture about Jesus as a child. Other than what’s in the Bible already, movies like this only offer speculation. The acting was brilliant and The Young Messiah was spot on and is available on DVD and Blu-Ray. Check it out!