He was born in Nazareth in Galilee – thus not only called a ‘Nazarene’ after a mystic sect – and taken by his father at a tender age, along with his mother, to Egypt where at that time his father’s craft was well remunerated. From this actual event later arose the legend of the ‘Flight into Egypt’. – (Matthew 2:13-23)
Having returned after some years to his home town, he helped his father with his work, as soon as he was old enough. In this way he learnt, almost through play, to assist with those tasks appropriate to his capabilities.
As a young adolescent he became his father’s assistant and worked as a carpenter. In those times that meant not only learning to construct in wood, but also knowing how to make all the more basic tools needed for household and agriculture.

To acquire even the smallest measure of external learning he had neither the time nor was it custom and tradition for a poor, young artisan to strive for these things.
Once his spiritual development – of which I shall soon speak – was far behind him he acquired through instruction provided by his educated friends the art of writing in the characters of his mother tongue.
His spiritual development took place in this wise:

From his father he had only heard the prayers traditionally prayed by every pious Jew.
Every Sabbath he would listen to the usual exposition of the Law which had been passed down from ancient times.
Here too, as he could not read the Scriptures himself, very little was opened up to him.

However, from his early youth, having returned physically tired but not spiritually wearied from work and as he rested awake on his humble bed, he would receive mysterious spiritual instruction which he strictly concealed even from his parents. Through this instruction he believed he could see more and more the wisdom of the Law which, – so he thought, – all those who could read the Scriptures themselves already knew.
From time to time he betrayed himself, when he listened to the elders of the congregation speaking on the Sabbath or on high feast days about questions relating to the Law and found the right answers from his inner instruction; so that the subsequent legend recounting how the boy taught among the scribes in the temple (Luke 2:41-52) in Jerusalem is based in essence on real events, although the priests in the temple at Jerusalem were not the first to hear his wisdom. –

His first encounter with one of the ‘Luminaries of the First Light’ whose exalted brother he was to become, since as one of their kind he had belonged to their circle long before his earthly eyes had seen the light of the earth’s sun, was during his late adolescence in Capernaum. There he had been living with his father’s relatives as he worked on a commission for his father for several weeks.
At first he did not know who it was he encountered by the lake in that evening hour after work. But he met frequently at the same spot the one who could gradually open his heart and enlighten his vision into the innermost Being.
Encounters of the same kind soon increased, so that he scarcely saw anything unusual in the fact he was receiving such revelations from these teachers, evidently members of the same circle. But he kept everything secret, as he had been charged to do.
So it was that he spent some years while his inner knowledge continued to grow unabated. On one occasion one of those men he knew now as old friends – though he bowed in reverence before them, told him: that it was now time for him to begin regular schooling; though this did not mean that his daily work should in any wise be interrupted.
The purpose of this schooling was described to him; through it he would become able not only to know the wisdom of the Law in its last detail for himself but also to show others this very wisdom, so that many who were looking for spiritual sustenance in the Scriptures would find more than the arid interpretation of the scribes which resembled giving a stone to a hungry man asking for bread (Matthew 7:9).
From this time onwards he was under the continual spiritual guidance of those to whom he essentially belonged.
His day to day work could not hinder him from pursuing this schooling and passing every test required as part of it.
As soon as he began to stumble, or anxious doubts menaced him, one of his teachers would come unnoticed to his side, strengthen his belief and ward off the demonic world which sought to terrify him.

After many years of spiritual schooling he was now mature enough; the last scales fell from his eyes, and he could now see himself in his exalted mission. 
On a clear starry night, on a rocky crag not far from where he lived, he was consecrated as a master of light-filled knowledge, as a Man of Love within the Light, as a Luminary among Luminaries…
Now he knew himself as ‘Way’ – now he knew himself as ‘Truth’, – now he knew himself as ‘Life’ from the sun of all suns, from the light which illuminates eternity. – (John 14:6)

From: The Wisdom of John PDF pages 31-39