LUKE 2:41-44 NEW LIVING TRANSLATION
“Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first, because they assumed he was among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends.”
According to Mosaic Law every Jewish male was required to go to Jerusalem 3 times per year. Since Jesus was nearly a man at 12 years of age, it would be only natural according to their custom to be involved in this, the most important of the three annual festivals held by the Jews. Passover commemorated the night God killed all of the Egyptian’s firstborn, yet passed over the home of the Israelites.*
When families went long distances they normally traveled in caravans with the women and children up front and the men taking up the rear. This provided protection from robbers during their trek thru the desert and as they passed remote outposts. After the festival was over, Jesus stayed behind, unbeknownst to his parents, to speak with the Rabbi who were in the Temple courtyard. Jesus fascinated these men mainly due to the wisdom by which he spoke. He asked questions of them and listened intently to their answers.
Like any parents, they were frantic when they realized their son wasn’t with either traveling group. They rushed back to Jerusalem only to find Jesus conversing with the religious teachers. It was where he belonged. It was his Father’s house. We can learn something from this story. First, we need to have a heart for the truth of God and sincerely want to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord just as Jesus did. Secondly, we need to understand that fellowship with God is far more important than anything or anybody else in our lives. It doesn’t mean we become arrogant, rude, inconsiderate or disrespectful to anyone as a result of our commitment. It does mean that we must seek his will and his way in our life so that we end up following the path HE has set before us. To Jesus it was only natural that he would be at the Temple speaking about the things of God. We should study the life of Christ and imitate it as best we can with the help of the Holy Spirit. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible; The Matthew Henry Commentary of the Bible.
* Exodus 12:21-36