JESUS BECOMES AN ADULT
Lord, You are my model for submission.
Read LUKE 2:41–52
The Boy Jesus at the Temple
41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[a] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
a Luke 2:49 Or be about my Father’s business
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I too may increase in wisdom and in divine and human favor.
This story, the only one recorded of Jesus’ early years, has always bothered me. What set of parents wouldn’t have been distressed upon discovering that their twelve-year old was missing in action? How could Jesus have done this to them? As I ponder this question, I wonder if Jesus has not fallen into a situation we can all understand—caught in a dilemma where he must choose between two unwelcome alternatives: either staying with his parents and missing the opportunity to interact with the teachers in the temple, or seizing that opportunity and worrying his parents half to death. This difficulty is resolved, however, when one asks some sound exegetical questions. Why was this story preserved? Why did Luke include it in his account? Why the emphasis on his parents’ distress?
Jesus is at a critical age, about to enter adulthood. In this story he seems to transfer his self-understanding from being the son of his supposed parents to the son of his real Father. His comment is ambiguous. The Greek just says, “I must be in my Father’s…” Whether “house” or “business” is meant, clearly his primary allegiance is now to his heavenly Father. (Notice the play on the word “father” in verses 48 and 49.) Concurrently, the teachers in the temple notice that his wisdom is well beyond his years. Again, Luke records their amazement.
From the point of view of Luke’s narrative, Mary now has even more to treasure up in her heart, pondering events that at the time she does not understand. Luke emphasizes that this incident is not an assertion of juvenile independence by closing with a report of Jesus’ return to Nazareth with Joseph and Mary and obedient submission to them.
Holy Spirit, I pray, fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Lord, make us more willing to be about our heavenly Father’s business as we don’t neglect to take care of our earthly business.
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