Friday, November 14, 2008

Christ - A prodigy of righteousness

40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. (Luke 2:40-45)
I always wondered why it was that Mary and Joseph could go one day’s journey back from Jerusalem and THEN go looking for Jesus among their kinfolk. It almost seemed to me like it was neglectful somehow. If my parents were in that situation, I couldnt' seem them leaving Jerusalem without checking to make sure all the kids were present and accounted for, especially in the crowded chaos of a major religious celebration.

Today I realized that it wasn’t that they were neglectful; Jesus was such a good, dependable, and obedient child that they automatically assumed that He would be where He was supposed to be at the time He should be there. He had proven His trustworthiness so many times before that they gave Him a lot of freedom and they didn’t worry about Him until.. this time they couldn’t find Him.
46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, [and they were hearing him, and asking him questions.]
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. (Luke 2: 46-48, JST substituted)
No wonder they were so sad; they felt He had violated their trust and it was such a shock to them after those twelve years of perfect obedience and responsibility.

And can you imagine that three day search? I wonder where they looked for Jesus? In the markets? In the synagogues? Among the children?

And then they found Him. In the temple. Teaching. Of all the things that a twelve-year-old might do in a big city without parental supervision for three days, that is what He gravitated toward. I love it.

But they still felt He had violated their trust. I wonder how Mary said those words? “Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.”
And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? (Luke 2:49)
Such an interesting reply! “How is it that ye sought me?” Jesus wondered why they even bothered to look for Him when He knew that they knew His incredibly dependable character. They should have known He would eventually come home. He was taking care of His Father’s unfinished business after the Passover, starting to take on His responsibilities to minister and teach. Maybe some people thought that serving the Lord starts at a much older age, but Jesus knew that kind of thing starts as early as knowing what His Father’s business is.

This is the Savior we depend on.


S.Faux said...

Facinating interpretations.

I also wonder whether Jesus was a little irritated at his parents, not because they were looking for him, but because they did not go directly to the temple to look for him.

I have wondered how a 12 year old would get the attention of uppity adults in the temple. Jesus must have been teaching some extraordinary stuff. I only wish it was recorded somewhere.