When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival 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, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
“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.
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 man.
Image if you will for just a minute that you have been the great privilege of raising the Savior of the world, because that is the task and the privilege that Mary and Joseph got. And that is what today’s passage gives us a glimpse of, because in today’s passage we get to see a glimpse of what Mary and Joseph experienced as Jesus went through the entire process of physical and spiritual development. We get to see that Jesus kept increasing in wisdom as God’s favor was upon his life. We get to see that he was perfect in his human nature—unlike any one else—developing exactly as God desired in every way. And then we come to the highlight of today’s passage, which is where we are going to spend the rest of our time together looking at.
Image that you have been given the privilege of watching everything that I have just described happening, and just watching but getting to take part in the development process of the Savior of world. And you take him to Jerusalem, like you always do, for Passover, but when you leave you don’t realize that this incredible young man that you have been given the privilege of helping grow and develop is missing. You franticly search everywhere for him, but you can’t find him, and it is at this point in time you decide that you most go back to Jerusalem. When you get back to Jerusalem you find Jesus in the temple not only having a discussion with the religious leaders, but amazing them at his understanding of God’s Word. For you see that is the story that is depicted for us in Luke 2:41-52.
For you see Jesus did not stay in the temple to defy his parents or knowingly cause them any inconvenience, whether Jesus understood that this was a time when his higher mission in life took priority over what was to his parents convenient. If you will note Jesus contrasted “my Father” (God) with Mary’s “Your father” (Joseph). Jesus was not being disrespectful here to his parents because even at the age of 12 Jesus was aware of his unique relationship to God. Yet, he still obeyed his parents when they came to take him home.
Today’s passage end in these words, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). This is all the Bible tells us about Jesus’ teen and young adult years. Between this verse and the first verse of chapter 3 approximately eighteen years of Jesus’ life passed. Yet, this brief statement gives us a good overview of Jesus’ overall development. From other passages describing the later years of Jesus’ life, we get a further glimpse of his life. From Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3, we learn that Jesus grew up in a large family, that his father was a carpenter and that Jesus learned the trade. Since Joseph is never mentioned again in the Gospels, it is likely that Jospeh died before Jesus began his public ministry and that Jesus provided for his mother and younger brothers and sisters. The carpenter’s trade included household repairs, furniture making and constructing tools used for agriculture, such as plows and yokes. During all these years, we are told that Jesus became a very well-rounded individual, developing mentally (in wisdom), physically (in stature), socially and spiritually (in favor with men and God)—fully conscious that God was his Father.
Tomorrow’s Bible Readings:
Numbers 26:52-28:15, Luke 3:1-22, Psalm 61:1-8 and Proverbs 11:16-17
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