Sunday

‘Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.’ (v. 48b)

Luke 2:41-52 Sunday 26 December 2021

Psalm 148

Background

The voice of concerned parents. Jesus at age 12 had been missing for three days. The details of this story raise more questions than they solve. I am sure that Luke would be aware of some of the issues – how could a family travel a day and not miss a child? Where was Jesus sleeping for three days? We can speculate all we like about these questions; they aren’t explained by Luke, and we have to cope with the gaps.

This is the only account we have of Jesus between his birth and his public ministry. It is an account that reminds us of the relationship of Jesus and God. It is also an account that helps us to understand the obvious wisdom and learning of Jesus in his public ministry. It helps us to understand that Jesus grew and developed – just like we all do.

Mary’s question of Jesus resonates for me. Jesus was 12, that in-between age of dependence and independence. We have given you responsibility why have you let us down and made us worry for so long? I do wonder if the three days is symbolic, looking to the death and resurrection of Jesus, but the parental anxiety is palpable. Mary and Joseph knew there was something special about Jesus – their experiences at his birth confirmed that. The response of Jesus to their concerns (v. 49) reminded them that Jesus had a wider purpose beyond being part of an ordinary family in Nazareth. In a snapshot we are reminded of the significance of Jesus , which was not fully revealed until his public ministry 20 years later.

To Ponder:

  • Why does it matter that we see Jesus growing up?
  •  How might an understanding of the early life of Jesus change the nature of our faith in Jesus?
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