LOOK at the young boy talking to these older men. They are teachers in God’s temple at Jerusalem. And the boy is Jesus. He has grown up quite a bit. Now he is 12 years old.
The teachers are very surprised that Jesus knows so much about God and the things written in the Bible. But why aren’t Joseph and Mary here too? Where are they? Let’s find out.
Every year Joseph brings his family to Jerusalem for the special celebration called the Passover. It’s a long trip from Nazʹa·reth to Jerusalem. No one has a car, and there are no trains. They didn’t have them in those days. Most of the people walk, and it takes them about three days to get to Jerusalem.
By now Joseph has a big family. So there are some younger brothers and sisters of Jesus to look after. Well, this year Joseph and Mary have left with their children on the long trip back home to Nazʹa·reth. They think that Jesus is with others traveling along. But when they stop at the end of the day, they can’t find Jesus. They look for him among their relatives and friends, but he’s not with them! So they return to Jerusalem to look for him there.
At last they find Jesus here with the teachers. He is listening to them and asking questions. And all the people are amazed at how wise Jesus is. But Mary says: ‘Child, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been very worried trying to find you.’
‘Why did you have to look for me?’ Jesus answers. ‘Didn’t you know that I had to be in the house of my Father?’
Yes, Jesus loves to be where he can learn about God. Isn’t that the way we should feel too? Back home in Nazʹa·reth, Jesus would go to meetings for worship every week. Because he always paid attention, he learned many things from the Bible. Let’s be like Jesus and follow his example.
Joseph and Mary are frantic when they cannot find Jesus, while he is surprised that they did not immediately know where to look.