This passage is not so unusual. A set of parents taking their son to participate in a big event. Jesus is now of the age to begin His entry into manhood. Up to this point, as a traditional Jewish boy, He had been a student of the Tanakh (scripture collection of the Old Testament), memorized the five books of the Torah (the law), and has possibly began His studies in the Talmud (collection of teachings and ethics). It becomes very evident from His three day stay in Jerusalem and His knowledge of Scripture later in life, that Jesus was passionate about the ways of His Heavenly Father. “…I must be about my Father’s business.”
My son has a love for cars. At age 15 he purchased his first car for $750.00, a 1969 Mustang. He poured two years into its restoration and about $7,000. By the age of 18 he owned an additional 4 cars; a 67′ convertible Mustang, a ’95 convertible Mustang, a ’79 Z28, and a ’05 Focus. He worked at a cookie store and paid cash for all but the Focus. Instead, he paid the five year payment off on it in less than 3 years. Within the next two years I had to stress to him how important it was to focus on one project car and get rid of the rest. My driveway had become a car lot.
Today, between his ministry trips to Romania, he works 60+ hours a week as an auto mechanic. He has a passion for cars and a second love for Romania.
At the age of 12 Jesus’ passion was already evident. He loved the Word of God. He loved to talk about the things of His Father. He was already, at this age, aware of what His Heavenly Father’s business was and wanted to be a part of it.
Separated from His parents for three days, would it not have dawned on Him that His parents might be stressing over His absence? Where did He sleep? Who fed Him during the days?
He was a normal 12 year old lost in His growing passion. The last verse of this chapter describes Jesus as increasing in wisdom. How many wise 12 year old boys do you know? None and Jesus was a human boy. But, how many 12 year olds already have a passion? Some do and Jesus was one of them.
Therefore, I do not believe that this was His last trip over the next 18 years before His ministry. But, this may have been the last time He sat and talked with the leaders for three days like this.
If he did not talk about the greatness of God and the conflict of God’s Word and their modern culture with these leaders anymore, then who did He discourse with? Joseph? Mary? Neighborhood boys? His local Rabbi?
For the most part, I believe that much of it Jesus kept bottled up, ready to explode it upon a people who are hungry to hear what He has to say. For this, He will need someone to work the crowd. Someone who will spread a single word, “Change.” And John the Baptist one of the few who did this effectively. “Repent!”
It has been 10 years since my son’s first car and he still has it and the ’95 convertible. He collects facts, attends classes to advance his career, is making plans to do a second restoration on his first car, and knows more about his field than most his age.
We may not have anymore glimpses into the life of Jesus until He enters into ministry, but you can be assured that His passion for the Father and the Word always set the stage for any conversation and any collections He may have had.
If He was truly 30 years of age when He began His ministry then He spent most of his childhood, his teen years and his young adult life preparing for the moment that He would pour His wealth of collection into a small group of men. Jesus’ investment into their lives would change them forever and thus change the world.
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