Where did Mary and Joseph find Jesus in our story today? (in the temple)
What was Jesus doing in the temple? (teaching people about God)
What did the people learn about Jesus as he was teaching them? (Jesus is extra-special.)
Read: Luke 2:41-52
This is the only story recorded in the Bible about Jesus between infancy and when he began his public ministry at the age of 30. At 12 years old, we see Jesus not only in close relationship with his earthly parents, but also already intimately connected with his Father God.
Jesus was not mischievous or disobedient when he stayed back in the temple after his parents left. He was simply recognizing and beginning to fulfill his role as Son of God. Jesus spent three days in the temple before Mary and Joseph found him again. During that time, we see that Jesus had great wisdom and ability, taking the role of teacher; but he also had humility and respect, taking the role of a student as he listened and learned from his elders. He knew time spent with his Father God in the temple was most important, yet when Mary and Joseph came back for him and asked him to return home with them, he obeyed, knowing that obedience to his earthly parents was also necessary and important. Jesus lived in the tension between being human and being God because he was fully both.
The deeper we get into the relationships in our own lives, the more we find ourselves wrestling with a similar tension. We have to decide when to speak and when to listen, when to lead and when to follow, when to teach and when to learn. And the more we learn to balance that tension, the more like Jesus we will be. Jesus chose wisely when to submit and when to lead, when to speak and when to listen, when to teach and when to learn. And as Luke 2:52 tells us that because of this, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
Even 12-year-old Jesus knew intimacy with God was important. What can you do this week to spend more time in God’s presence?
Think about your closest relationships. Where do you need to speak less and listen more or speak more and listen less? Lead or follow? How can you model Jesus in those tensions?