A most promising pupil: Day thirteen
Please enjoy today's reflection from our September-December issue of New Daylight.
A most promising pupil
Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travellers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
Luke 2:41 - 47 (NRSV)
At the age of twelve a boy is prepared to enter the religious community as an adult and, at Passover time, whole families travel to Jerusalem, swelling its population from around 25,000 to up to 100,000. Little wonder, then, that on that first day’s journey home, Mary and Joseph do not miss Jesus among the crowd of friends and relatives, especially as there are younger siblings to look after. Luke tells it in a matter-of-fact way, but we can imagine their anxiety and frustration at having to travel back and search among the crowds; is the temple the first or last place they think to look?
This is the only glimpse we have of Jesus as a boy, but here we see already the work of the Holy Spirit, preparing him for what lies ahead. Often people speculate as to how much Jesus understood of God’s calling. It seems that, as it is for us, it was a step-by-step revelation as he responds to the promptings of the Spirit. Evidently he feels drawn to those who can explain those scriptures which, uniquely, he is to fulfil, and they recognise in him a depth of understanding that astonishes them in one so young. There is no indication, however, that any of them as yet either know or recall the words of Simeon and Anna and therefore suspect that here, indeed, is their Messiah.
Lord, help us to recognise and encourage your work in the lives of our children and young people.
Written by SHEILA WALKER
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