Our family had just arrived at the Kansas City Zoo. We gathered inside the gate...then had that sinking feeling almost all parents experience at some point: One of our children was missing. Perhaps he’d rushed ahead to see his beloved giraffes. We prayed and spread out to look for him. Thankfully, he was found just a few minutes later. For the rest of the day, we never let him out of our sight!
My wife and I only worried for a few minutes. By contrast, Mary and Joseph spent three days looking for the twelve-year-old Jesus! This was His first recorded Passover. Luke may have heard this anecdote from Mary herself, given his knowledge of her thoughts and feelings at the time (v. 51).
When Mary and Joseph found Jesus, He was discussing Scripture with the rabbis in the Temple (vv. 46–47)! It’s not really surprising that the Author of Scripture would amaze people with “his understanding and his answers,” but what about His questions? If you’re like me, you would love to know what they were!
The way Jesus learned as a child was more complicated than it is for us. He never stopped being fully God, so He was all-knowing, as seen in His ability to instruct the scholars in the Temple. At the same time, Jesus was fully human, so He was born as a baby and developed as a child, growing or increasing “in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (v. 52).
Interestingly, verse 52 alludes to 1 Samuel 2:26. As a boy, Samuel was raised in the tabernacle. It was literally his home. Similarly, the Temple was “my Father’s house” for Jesus in a unique way (v. 49). He thought His parents should have known He would be there. This episode shows that even as a child He understood that God was His Father.
>> Whether we’re children or adults, learning and growing should still be spiritual priorities. In what areas of life are you continuing to grow? How might God use that for His glory?
We praise You for the growth we see in our lives! We worship You, omniscient Father! You know exactly what we need and when we need it. You provide, and Your timing is perfect.