Jesus as a 12 Year Old Boy

2016 05-May 10 (9)

Luke 2:41-52 New International Version

Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 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. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.


This post is satire – please take it as such.


Twelve and thirteen year old boys are strange creatures. They know everything. They’re loud and messy. They’re physically awkward. They make strange noises. They’re in your face, a lot. And they have no idea that what they’re doing is rude and even offensive.


I think the translators got some of these verses wrong. Specifically, I think the original versions (which are lost to history) stated that Mary and Joseph were absolutely tired of a know-it-all, loud-mouthed Jesus and decided they’d leave him in the temple. After all, God gave them Jesus so they were just giving him back. It worked out well (for the most part) for Samuel so it should work out okay for Jesus. “God, we raised him for 12 years; he’s a man now so he’s all yours. We’re done!”


Then Joseph and Mary began walking back to Nazareth. I guess that after three days their guilt got the best of them and they returned to Jerusalem to get Jesus. They probably didn’t want to but there were enough questions from other travelers that they couldn’t explain Jesus’ absence easily. They realized they’d have to put up with their teenager for several more years. Six days after leaving Jesus, they’re back in Jerusalem.


When they found Jesus, he was nonchalant, as if nothing happened (just like a teenager!). He hadn’t missed his parents at all (which made them second guess their decision to come back for him). His parents tried to embarrass him in front of the temple leaders but he threw it back at them. He said, “I’ve been right here in the temple. Right where you left me.”


The section ends where it says that Jesus “was obedient to them.” That was surely the first miracle that Jesus ever did – an obedient 12 year old!


If you’ve ever had a middle school boy, you’ll understand this post. If you haven’t, well, God Bless Your Heart.


Lead On!