Like many other Jewish families, Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem every year for the Passover feast. When he was twelve an unusual thing happened. When the week was over the family and their friends started home. Jesus was not with them. He had become involved with the religious leaders in one of their many discussion groups. His family, after some searching found him in the temple, participating in the discussions. This was allowed when boys reached twelve as Jesus was.
What was significant was that Jesus as a twelve year old was able to hold his own with these learned men and if what the story hints is true, answer and question with unusual ability for one so young. This should not surprise us. We already knew he was growing in wisdom and was full of the Spirit. Not only was he well taught in his own synagogue but he had an unusual ability to grasp the true meaning of the text.
His family, as we would suspect, were a little taken back by the whole thing. When he went missing they had the same panic attacks any parents with a lost child would have. When they found him sitting in the temple courts acting as if nothing had happened they were a little upset. His mom spoke right up, “Why have you treated us this way?” She puts the blame on Jesus. His answer is somewhat strange and we may not know what to make of it.
“Why were you searching?” is Jesus reply. Its as if he was saying, why look all over, you of all people should know where I would be. Then he follows with this cryptic question, “Don’t you know that I had to be involved in my father’s business?” Jesus already had a sense of what his life was about. His family was still working on it. Jesus would often be amazed that people didn’t understand what he was doing. The religious leaders as well as others thought it was all about him. He kept telling them it wasn’t. “I’ve come to do my Father’s will.” “What my Father tells me that’s what I do.” These are the things we hear from Jesus.
Question. Have we figured it out yet? Do we know what we’re supposed to be about? Are the Father’s affairs our top priority? Why have we come? To do our will? To take care of our affairs? Something to think about, isn’t it?