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"Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, ĎSon, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.í ĎWhy were you searching for me?í he asked. ĎDidnít you know I had to be in my Father's house?í But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 2:41-52)

Maybe itís because heís a doctor and probably a pediatrician, but this story only occurs in Luke. Itís inclusion indicates that he was interested in the Lord as a boy as well as a man. He gives a pretty detailed version.

Jesus is 12 years old at this point. We donít know much about his childhood. They werenít "silent" years as some believe. We just donít have much recorded information.

I believe that Mary and Joseph were raising a normal, healthy child. He certainly didnít run around with a halo on doing sissy stuff. I have a love and appreciation for art even though I canít draw flies! (g) I believe the artists of the Middle Ages had some strange conceptions about the Lord Jesus, both as a child and as an adult.

In those days people traveled in companies. When the time came to leave Jerusalem, the folk going to Galilee gathered together at a little town right north of Jerusalem to begin the journey home. It was at that point that they missed Him.

I can imagine Joseph saying, "Hey, Mary, where in the world is Jesus?" I hear Mary replying, "Look, Joe, I thought He was with you." They looked for Him among all the people they knew, and when they discovered that He really was missing, they returned to Jerusalem. They looked for Jesus for three days, and where do you suppose they found Him? He was in the temple.

When Mary and Joseph finally found Jesus in the temple, He was standing in the midst of the learned doctors of that day, both hearing them and asking them questions. It appears that He was asking them questions they couldnít answer. In addition, they were astonished at His answers. Keep in mind; He was only twelve!

Would you have been provoked with Jesus? I know a family with seven children. They left a rest stop on an Interstate and traveled nearly 100 miles before they realized one of their sons was missing. They hooked up again, thanks to the help of the Highway Patrol. I think it is clear that Mary and Joseph were a little provoked with Him.

Jesusís answer revealed His surprise that they did not realize He should be about His Father's business. Now, if Joseph were His father, he could have stepped up and said, "Well, what are you trying to do - get some carpenter work here in Jerusalem?" However, His father is not Joseph. Jesus is speaking of the business of His Heavenly Father. I donít believe that Mary, at this point, exactly appreciated who He was and what His work entailed, but she pondered these things in her heart.

Donít misunderstand. Jesus was subject to His parents. This may be interesting to you in light of the fact that young people today seem more rebellious and demanding than at any previous time in history. Kids today seem to think we ought to listen to them.

This Boy, Jesus, the Son of God, obeyed His parents and was subject unto them! Dr. Luke gives us a report about those silent years when Jesus was growing to adulthood. He grew in wisdom (mentally), in stature (physically), in favor with God (spiritually) and man (socially). In every area, the Lord Jesus Christ was growing into perfect manhood, a well-rounded, fully developed person.

INSIGHT by Jerry Meyer
Copyright ©1998-2002 Jerry Meyer. All rights reserved.

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Last updated February 6, 2002
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