Son of the Covenant
Son of the Covenant
Words of Faith 3-5-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.  And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.
 Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover.  When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom.  After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.  Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.  When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.  After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.  Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.  When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you."
 "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?"  But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
The truth is, we know very little that is specific about the life of Jesus as a child. The few verses in Luke are all that Scripture gives on the topic. Mary Joseph and Jesus returned to Nazareth to live a normal Jewish life. Other children were born to this family. They are spoken of later in the Gospels. Jesus surely grew up learning the Scriptures in Hebrew and in Greek because of where they lived.
Jesus would have studied with the rabbi the ways of God and then learned from His father the trade of carpentry. Jesus would have learned to attend to prayer several times a day. He would have attended the family festivals and gatherings, the wedding and the funerals. He would have observed the Shiva, or solemn time of mourning at the death of Joseph. And during His childhood, every year, His parents would have gone to Jerusalem several times for the three big feasts including the Feast of the Passover. Every year Jesus would have made several journeys to Jerusalem that took several days.
When Jesus was twelve years old he traveled with his parents to Jerusalem for the Passover. This may have been a very special time because it meant he was almost a man in the view of Judaism. At age 13 a boy is Bar Mitzvah-- a son of the Covenant and officially a man in the faith. Jesus was almost there.
After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. How could this be? People often traveled in caravans for safety and they traveled grouped as women and men. How can you lose a 12 year old in a large group? Pretty easy, actually. When they realized Jesus was missing it must have been a frantic search. They finally found Him not playing with children but debating with the Teachers in the Temple! Though he was only 12, not quite yet of age, he was obviously Bar Mitzvah-- a son of the Covenant. He was listening to the teachers and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. So they were asking Him questions. He was engaging in rabbinical debate with the best of them.
When Mary and Joseph arrived the answer regarding His absence came in the form a question: "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what He was saying to them. There was something much deeper in that statement.
We often think of Jesus either as a baby or as a man. We miss this part. Jesus grew up in a family and as He was coming of age, He expressed a depth that was revealing of His nature and mission. We can rejoice in the life and family of our brother Jesus.
Father God, I give thanks for the many wonderful gifts that You have provided in family and the journey of growing up. I give thanks for Jesus and the precious moments shared with His family. Touch my life with an appreciation for those tender moments. In Jesus' name.