As a 40 day baby Jesus proved sovereign in authority. At age 12 he proved sovereign in perspective. (Chapter 2 of the author’s Face to Face with Jesus has a fuller account. Chapter 1 re-creates the epiphany Jesus enjoyed as the basis of Chapter 2.)
The Passover Feast over, all children 12 and older found their families and with them joined caravans heading home. Except for 12 year old Jesus. He stayed near the Temple in Jerusalem, informing no one of his decision. Thinking he had departed with relatives, Joseph and Mary had no fear leaving without him.
Only after the day’s travel, and all children found their family camp and camp fire did their anxiety burst into terror: Jesus couldn’t be found. Returning to the city the next day they searched--keep the word in mind—every place they could think he might be. To no avail. To increasing dread and despair. The next day—the third—in desperation they entered the women’s court of the Temple to look.
What to their astonishment did they see but their 12 year old sitting among the teachers as a peer, not only listening to them but asking them questions. Some specially-gifted youths would be welcome as listeners. Posing questions to learned doctors astonished them. And when they asked him questions their mouths fell open before his profound understanding.
In an agony of relief Mary clattered forward, grabbed the boy and hugged him. Then, remembering the nerve-wracking anxiety he caused, pushed him arm’s length and scolded him: “Why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you!” Luke 2:48. They never expected the answer he gave, but be on guard. What he said to them astonishes us still. Even as a boy Jesus held his own against Jewish Doctorates. What chance would ours have against him? End Part II