Welcome to Wine and the Word Wednesday! Tonight I’m looking at the only recorded story from Jesus’s childhood (Luke 2:40-52). I’ve wondered so many times why no one recorded any more stories. I’m not talking about the non-canonical stories. I think they were omitted for good reasons. However, as a kid, I wanted to be able to identify with Jesus by envisioning Him as a child. I love that there is at least this one picture of Jesus as a child.
Luke notes that going to Jerusalem for Passover was an annual trip for Joseph and Mary, along with their friends and extended family. Clearly Mary and Joseph established a household with a consistent commitment to relationship with God, a life of worship. Women weren’t required by the law to go to Jerusalem, although many did go for Passover. I think the fact that Mary made the three-day trip each way each year says something about her level of commitment to her relationship with God and her desire for her entire family to have the opportunity to experience God and know Him.
There’s no reason to think this was Jesus’s first trip, so why did he decide to stay behind this time and not before? Could it be that his understanding of His mission grew as he did? When we only focus on knowing Jesus as an adult in His ministry, it’s easy to forget that since He took human form, His understanding and knowledge would have to grow and mature as He did. That’s very encouraging to me as I grapple with learning how to hear God’s voice and understand His direction for me. Jesus understood His mission by the time He was twelve. At twelve, I was just trying to survive my family, being the pastor’s kid, trying to live up to the expectations of my legalistic church group. How amazing to think of Jesus at twelve already developing such a deep understanding of His mission!