“Lost” in the Temple
Luke records the scene of Jesus in the temple in order that we might learn at least three things from the young Christ:
1- At the early age of twelve Jesus was aware of the intimate relationship He shared with the Father; a relationship unlike any other had ever had.
2- Jesus felt that others, at least his parents, should at this point understand his nature and mission in light of his age, behavior, and the prophecies that had and continued to surround him.
3- Jesus felt compelled to engage in spiritual matters for he “must be about” his Father’s business. What a difficult thing it had to be for Christ to understand his role and yet have to wait for time and people to catch up to you. The temple scene marks the beginning of the Lord’s preparation period that would last eighteen years.
Food for thought: If Jesus was not compelled to be about his Father’s business until he was twelve years of age, though possessing tremendous spiritual knowledge, why would we think it acceptable to allow children under that age to engage in such? We often speak of an “age of accountability” yet never know when such an age occurs. Is this passage not revealing through inspiration when Jesus felt accountable to His Father’s work and can we not take a cue from it?
Wayne Jackson’s analysis of the small amount of Scripture dedicated to the pre-baptismal years of Christ’ life is worthy of consideration. He states,
“Verses fifty-one and fifty-two (of Luke chapter two) summarize the next eighteen years of Jesus’ life. No strictly human write would have bypassed these years; but inspired authors were constrained by the Holy Spirit in restricting their material to areas of redemptive interest. This is a subtle evidence of divine inspiration.”
The gospel writers did indeed limit their remarks on the life of Christ to those touching upon his redemptive mission; Luke 2 is no exception. May we never discount the importance of the narrative of the young Jesus in the temple, but rather treasure it up in our hearts as did Mary.