Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast and when he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast according to the custom. While his parents were returning home after the Feast was over, Jesus, just a boy, stayed behind in Jerusalem – but his parents didn’t know it until they had traveled a day’s journey from Jerusalem. Then they started a search for him among their kin and friends. Not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem and continued to search for him.
After three days of looking, they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us this way? Your father and I have been greatly worried while trying to find you!”
“Why were you trying to find me?” he asked. “I must be in my Father’s house. Didn’t you know that?” But they did not understand what he meant when he said this.
Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. Mary, his mother, treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew up in wisdom and age, and was in good-standing with God and people. (Luke 2:41-52 DSV – Young Jesus in the temple)
1. What all is involved in the celebration of the Passover feast? Is there anything in particular of significance as to the celebration of this feast (as opposed to other feasts) that is of significance to grasping the meaning of this passage in Luke?
2. This is one of the few times Jesus’ age is mentioned. He is twelve years old. What did twelve year old boys do in that culture at that time? What was life like for them?
3. To find teachers teaching in the temple courts was apparently a common thing. What sort of activities would someone have found typically happening in the temple courts?
4. The teachers of the Law were amazed at this twelve year old’s understanding of the Law. What sort of training had Jesus received from his parents, others, his own inquiry, etc. to have such learning? What sort of training had a typical Jewish boy been exposed to
by the age of twelve?
5. What would a typical teenager’s life been like in that culture and time and in what ways would that have been similar to/different from the obedient teenage years of Jesus?