Jesus as a Boy in the Temple

(Luke 2:41-52)

Jesus went with his parents to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover when he was about twelve years of age. But when his parents left to return to Nazareth, Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without their knowledge. They had travelled a day’s journey thinking he was amongst the company of people travelling, but when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem. After three days they found him sitting in the temple with the teachers, listening to them and asking questions.

boy jesus in the templeHow different things were in those days compared to today. Anyone who has children or grandchildren in their care pretty much wants to know where they are 24/7 and if they are missing for even a few minutes or hours start to get worried or concerned. But here we see Jesus missing for a full day before they realised he was gone and then they had a further days journey back to Jerusalem and three more days hunting high and low for him before he was located. How different, and worse, the world has become today!

Now the teachers in the temple were amazed at the answers and understanding Jesus had. His parents were equally astonished at finding him amongst the teachers. But all who heard him in the temple were quite stunned at the wisdom and insight he had in his answers to the questions.

At this point in time we begin to see the working of God and how he was with Jesus. we also see his childlike innocence as he responded to the anxieties expressed by Mary, his mother. She asked him why he had treated his parents in such a way and that they were anxious for his welfare. But Jesus, like any child might answer said, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Verse 49)

Jesus knew who his real Father was, that is, God. And like a child he responded saying in effect that he was at home in his Father’s house, as if it was the most logical and natural thing in the world. But his parents did not understand the meaning of his words. Jesus then left and went with them back to Nazareth in obedience to their wishes.

We find this one small glimpse into the life of Jesus as a boy and it is revealing of who he was and was to become. The final scripture in this chapter then says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man.” (Verse 52) It is evident that he was being taught and instructed by the Holy Spirit as he grew and became prepared for the ministry he was to carry out and we see just one small glimpse of the pre-training in this short section of the book of Luke.

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