We’re continuing our study of the Gospel of Luke. In today’s post I’ll be looking at Luke 2:41-52.
This event happens when Jesus is in His pre-teen years.
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.
It’s important for us to see that Jesus was raised in a family that steadfastly observed Jewish worship. We also have to realize that He was not an only child. After the birth of Christ, Mary and Joseph had other children.
According to Scripture, Jesus had at least four brothers and two sisters. That must have been quite a feat of coordination to go to Jerusalem faithfully, every year. I’ve seen some families who can’t manage to get themselves and two children to church every week. It’s obvious to me that we can accomplish what’s important to us. Is a godly family important?
I believe that the Holy Spirit put this event in the Bible for a reason. Now that Jesus was twelve, the Passover was an important milestone in His life.
It was a custom in Israel, that when a boy turned twelve, he was to be brought to the temple. While there, he went through some ceremonies where he was taught about fasting and other requirements of the law. This prepares him for full entry into adulthood at thirteen years of age.
The spiritual responsibility was upon the parents until a child was twelve years old. Now that Jesus was twelve, He was responsible for His own walk before God.
That really is an eye-opener. In our society, we usually think of someone being a child until the age of eighteen. Very few churches give these teenagers any important responsibilities. More than once I’ve heard them referred to as “the church of the future.”
I believe that at this age, these young men and women can understand and apply the spiritual principles of what they hear. They can start to walk in the spiritual disciplines they’ve seen demonstrated. It’s unfortunate that so many people write them off as too young to serve God effectively.
Look at the example of Jesus. The feast at Jerusalem lasted for seven days. Now that He was considered a responsible adult, Jesus was allowed to be on His own.
When the feast was over, Mary and Joseph rounded up their children and made the assumption that Jesus knew it was time to leave. At sunset, they went looking to see where He was among the group that they traveled with. But, nobody remembered seeing Him.
So, Joseph and family went back to Jerusalem where they searched for another three days.
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.
Now that the Lord was considered an adult, He was allowed to spend time with the great teachers of Jerusalem. What we have to realize is, that in Hebrew tradition, the one asking the questions is the one who’s teaching. That’s why everyone was so amazed. Jesus was literally teaching the teachers.
Of course, parents being the worriers they are, Mary was a little upset that Jesus didn’t tell her what He was doing. They were more than a little inconvenienced by His absence. His response is important.
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
Now that the Lord was an adult, He had an understanding of who He was, and the mission He was called to accomplish. At this point, His parents didn’t understand the full scope of His calling, but they would someday.
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.
Question: Why do we expect so little, spiritually, from our teenagers in this society?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi