Jesus Speaks with the Teachers

41Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. 42When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. 43After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first, 44because they assumed he was among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends.

45When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. 46Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 47All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.

48His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.”

49“But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”d 50But they didn’t understand what he meant.

51Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart. 52Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.

Jesus as a teenager does something nearly every teenager (or someone who remembers being a teeenager) can relate to. Jesus visits the Holy City during the holiest Jewish holiday – Passover – and gets lost in his own world. People of earlier times matured earlier than we do now and Jesus would have been squarely between a child and man. He is obviously passionate about his spirituality and is simply swept away by the whirlwind of activity, and splendor, and depth of the moment. He sees himself as old enough to take care of himself and his future is clear to him. He sees no reason to take his time – he wants to get started now. What teenage boy has felt that way? Of course his parents see things a little differently and it appears neither understands the other. Typical parent-teenager relationship.

Yet, as typical as teenager Jesus is, he is so very different too. He knows who his true Father is and where he really belongs. He appears completely comfortable with adults with authority. He seems to have mastered the art of teaching by asking questions, and answering questions without causing those in authority to find you threatening or annoying. Most of all, he obviously has developed an amazing amount of spiritual knowledge and wisdom. Where did that come from?

Simply saying “well he was God” is a copout. Jesus grew as humanly as we did. He would have been schooled exactly like any other 12 year old boy. I doubt he had access to more scrolls than most because his family was VERY poor and scrolls were VERY expensive. I think Jesus answers the question in “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

We have all heard the phrase, “its not what you know, but who you know, that counts.” It seems to be right again. Who do you know the best in your life? Do you need a manual to guess what they will say about this subject or that? Can you predict their next action sometimes or even imitate them so exactly that everyone else know who you are imitating? And I’ll bet the person you know so well is someone you have spent a lot of time with. Knowing God is like that.  

Holy Spirit, stir in my all day every day, like the breath I take. Help me to know your presence and be with you, and know you better than anyone else in my life. Help me to take the quiet morning moments to truly hear you and talk with you and just be with you. Change me so when I say “my Father’s house” we both know I am speaking of God the Father and the home I will return to when this adventure on Earth is complete.

Your welcome home party is already planned!


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