3. The boy Jesus in the temple
THE child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. When Jesus was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
They fulfilled the days, and as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. They, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey and [then] they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. When they found him not, they turned back to Jerusalem, seeking him.
After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking questions. All that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
His mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. Jesus said unto them,
How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
And they understood not.
He went down with them to Nazareth, and was subject into them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
Do you recognize your Father in heaven? Jesus went up to the temple for his first Passover at the dawn of his manhood (usually the age of twelve for Jewish males). It was at this key turning point in his earthly life that Jesus took the name “father” from Joseph and addressed it to God his Father in heaven. Just as the prophet Samuel heard the call of the Lord at a very young age, Jesus in his youth recognized that he has been given a call by his heavenly Father. His answer to his mother’s anxious inquiry reveals his trusting faith and confident determination to pursue his heavenly Father’s will. Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house? While Jesus recognized his unique call, he, nonetheless, submitted himself with love and obedience to Joseph and Mary and waited for the time when his call would be fulfilled. Our Heavenly Father calls each of us to a unique task and mission in this life. We may not discover or understand it fully, but if we cooperate with God he will use us for his purpose and plan. With the call God gives grace — grace to say “yes” to his will and grace to persevere through obstacles and trials. Do you recognize God’s call on your life and do you trust in his grace?
“Lord, in love you have called me to live for your praise and glory. May I always find joy in your presence and trust in your grace and in your wisdom and plan for my life.”