Sunday 27 December 2015

Bible Book:

“‘Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he said to them.” (vv. 49-50)

Luke 2:41-52 Sunday 27 December 2015

Psalm: Psalm 148


This is Jesus' backstory; we are intrigued to learn a littleabout Jesus' life before his ministry and so was Luke, he is theonly Gospel writer who tells us anything about Jesus between theevents of his birth and his adult ministry. This is also acoming-of-age story, at 12 years old Jesus would have undergone hisBar Mitzvah, officially becoming a man in a ceremony which involvesreading from the Hebrew scriptures. However, here we see him not asa beginner, though perhaps exhibiting adolescent characteristics,as he outdoes the rabbis and theologians.

Nevertheless, the occasion here is the Passover (verse 41), soperhaps more than his own personal rite of passage this is actuallya challenge of traditional religion at a key moment in thereligious calendar.

For the modern reader this passage may immediately have usthinking of safeguarding issues - how did his parents manage to goa whole day (verse 44) before they started looking for him? Ofcourse the focus is not on them, they are incidental to the story,except when they feed Jesus the line - 'what are you playing at?' -that enables him to respond with the punch line, "Didn't you know Imust be in my Father's house?" As often happens, friends, familyand followers do not understand him (verse 50) and he responds witha particular kind of exasperation.

After this the Gospel writer may be worried that a picture ofJesus as troublemaker is taking shape, so he takes pains toemphasise Jesus' behaviour as an obedient teenager - "Then he wentdown to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them" (v. 51).

To Ponder

  • What image do you have of Jesus as a teenager? How can we seeJesus as a typical child of his time, not just the one whochallenged the rabbis?
  • How much creativity is there in the portrayal of Jesusinteracting with other characters in his story who mainly serve thenarrative and message of the writer?
Previous Page Saturday 09 January 2016
Next Page Monday 28 December 2015