Sunday 30 December 2012

Bible Book:

"Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?" (v. 49)

Luke 2:41-52 Sunday 30 December 2012


According to the teaching of the Old Testament, all adult maleJews were required to be in Jerusalem three times a year for majorfestivals: the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feastof Tabernacles. Here the holy family are described as travelling upto Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover when Jesus was 12 years old(verse 42).

We don't know why Joseph and Mary were unaware of the fact thatJesus was not with their party when they began the return journey,though the fact that it happened should not be deemed impossible inthe light of what happened recently to David and Samantha Cameronwhen they left their daughter behind by mistake at a pub!

When Jesus was eventually tracked down, he was found in thetemple discussing religious matters with the teachers of the law.Jewish boys normally committed themselves to obey the law at theirbar mitzvah ceremony at the age of 13, so Jesus was perhapspreparing himself for that step. At all events, he clearly showed aremarkably deep understanding of the Law (verses 46-47).

More interesting still, however, is Jesus' reply to his parents'rebuke, which may be translated either "Did you not know that Imust be in my Father's house?" or "Did you not know that I must beabout my Father's interests?" (v. 49). In other words, Jesus showsalready, at the age of 12, an awareness of God as hisheavenlyFather and also an awareness of the need to put his allegiance tohis heavenly Father above his allegiance to his earthlyparents.

Luke's Gospel presents Jesus' sonship to God as unique (Luke1:32), but it also teaches, through the Lord's Prayer (Luke 11:2-4), thathis disciples can share in that relationship, in a secondary way,through him. What a privilege!  

To Ponder

  • How strong is your consciousness of God as your heavenlyFather?
  • Are there any points in your life at the moment in which yourallegiance to God stands in tension with other allegiances? If so,how can those tensions best be resolved? 
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