January 2, 2011
Text: Luke 2:40-52
In today’s Gospel lesson from Luke chapter two, we hear a story from the childhood of Jesus. The Bible tells us very little about the life of Jesus prior to the beginning of His ministry at age thirty. Curiosity has led many people to concoct various tales and legends about His early years, but the Scripture only give us a few glimpses and today is one of them, when Jesus was twelve years old.
It was customary for pious Jewish families to celebrate Passover in the city of Jerusalem and to offer animal sacrifices at the Temple. Jesus and Mary and Joseph lived up in the town of Nazareth, about 65 miles north of Jerusalem as the crow flies. The average person walks about 3 miles an hour, so that would be 30 to 40 miles a day. You could walk from Jerusalem to Nazareth in 2 or 3 days, depending on the terrain and how many times you stopped along the way.
The Scripture says that Mary and Joseph travelled for about a day before they noticed that Jesus was not among their company. And immediately they became alarmed and hurried back to Jerusalem. They retraced their steps wondering where he might be. It would be terrifying for any parent to lose a child like this, but especially if your child is the foretold Messiah and you and your spouse had be specially selected by God to protect him and raise him to become the Savior of the world.
“After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.”