Jesus Visits the Temple

Christmas 2013

Luke 2:41-52

This is the only story we have about Jesus between His infancy and the beginning of His ministry roughly at age 30. Of course there are theories and tales galore, but this is the only reliable record of that period. One thing is clear about young Jesus; He knew who He was.

After the Passover was completed, His family set off for the return trip to Nazareth. It was a large party, and everyone seems to have assumed that 12-year-old Jesus was in the group, but after a day, Mary and Joseph headed back to Jerusalem to find Him; ah yes, 12-year-olds will get into mischief!

After three days they finally found the boy in the Temple sitting with the teachers listening, asking, answering… Everyone there was amazed that such a young boy had so much understanding. Here’s the part that’s telling:

His mother asked Him: “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” I would suggest that this would be a reasonable question, one that most mothers would be yelling under the circumstances. Here is Jesus’ reply to His mother:

“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (2:49)

Oh yes dear reader, Jesus knew who He was; had His poor parents forgotten? Luke tells us they didn’t understand what he was saying…

Can’t say that I blame them, come to think of it; it couldn’t have been easy to be a parent of the Son of God.

All three returned home, and Jesus continued to grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men. Mary treasured all of these memories in her heart.


About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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6 Responses to Jesus Visits the Temple

  1. Pete says:

    It is a lttle amazing that this isthe only story of His childhood given that He knew who He was. The humility to keep it to Himself until He was 30 is astounding in a teenager and 20 year old. Anyone else would be shouting from the housetop – Hey guess who I am!

  2. dwmartens says:

    This is the second time Luke says that Mary treasured these things in her heart. This and the other details mentioned, strongly suggests, to me, that these first 2 chapters are mostly Luke’s report of an interview with Mary herself. What more valid eye witness of such things can there be than Jesus’ own mother?

  3. Off the subject a little, but did you know the previous year, Archelaeus Herod killed thousands in the temple? Later that year, Caesar decided to get rid of him, and exiled him to Gaul. Finally, it was safe for Mary and Joseph to take their children with them to Jerusalem.

  4. Pingback: Jesus Visits the Temple | The Life Project | Re-theologizing

  5. jimbelton says:

    There are additional stories in the apocryphal Infancy Gospel of Thomas ( Apparently this gospel was well known, since some of these stories about Jesus are also found in the Quran (yes, Jesus is in the Quran, though he is demoted to a mere prophet). But Luke’s story is the only one that made it into the Catholic canon.

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