Big Hill Bible Studies
13 March 2018
Luke 2:40 tells us, "The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him."
Lets begin today with the Feast of the Passover when Jesus was 12. This is recorded for us in Luke 2:41-52. Read this account and then let's consider a few things.
Twelve years had passed in Jesus' life since our reading yesterday. Mary and Joseph had traveled back to Jerusalem to the feast of the Passover. Jewish law required male Jews to attend three annual festivals each year in Jerusalem. The women were not required by law to attend, but they often did. After the seven day event the family joined a caravan to return to Galilee.
It's difficult for us to imagine Jesus apart from his parents for a whole day without them knowing where He was. They weren't traveling in the same SUV or car, and there were no cell phones. Under the Jewish covenant theology, the children belonged to everybody. Along with being a child of his parents, a Jewish child was also a child of God, and in Nazareth, the families lived actually practicing this belief in their daily lives.
As they traveled home, typically the women and children would travel in the front of the caravan, followed by the men and boys. Perhaps Joseph believed the Child was with His mother, while Mary believed the boys were with the men. Whatever they thought, at the end of the day Jesus was nowhere to be found. Luke 2:45 tells us they returned to Jerusalem and after three days (it is thought - one day in travel away from Jerusalem, one day returning to Jerusalem, and finding Him in the temple on the third day). Imagine the sight - they find Jesus in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening and asking questions of them (2:46). Here again we see that "common thread" scripture tells us in 2:47, "And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers." Consider this - what would your reaction be to finding your son, who had been missing for three days, among the temple teachers, asking and discussing scripture with them - your 12 year old boy?
After scolding Him, Jesus responds to His parents, "Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father's house?" Notice in this passage what follows. They didn't understand what He had said. But they left for Nazareth and Jesus went with them and "He continued in subjection to them." But I particularly like what follows. Just as the Nativity story closes, we see again, "and His mother treasured all these things in her heart." Imagine what it must have been like to be the earthly parents of Jesus.
Are you amazed again at Who Christ is? To be the 12 year old Son of Mary and Joseph, yet the eternal Son of God? Wouldn't you like to know what Jesus discussed with the teachers? What do you think they discussed as Jesus left the temple with His parents and began the trip home? What impact did He have on the teachers lives as they continued to teach? What do you take from this account of scripture?