As Jesus began to grow up, He knew that there was something different about Himself and this difference began to show it’s importance when He was still very young. As Jesus grew older, there is only a short mention of how He grew and became strong in spirit, and filled with wisdom and that the grace of God was upon Him.
The next mention of Jesus in His childhood was that every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first, because they assumed He was with friends among the other travelers.
But when He didn’t show up that evening, they started to look for Him among their relatives and friends. When they couldn’t find Him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for Him there. Three days later they finally discovered Him. He was in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, discussing deep questions with them. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.
Why do you think they were amazed?
His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son!” His mother said to Him. “Why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.”
But why did you need to search?” He asked. “You should have known that I would be in my Father’s house.” But they didn’t understand what He meant.
Then He returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them; and His mother stored all these things in her heart. So Jesus grew both in height and in wisdom, and He was loved by God and by all who knew Him. Jesus had been to Jerusalem several times. He pretty much knew His way around as it was according to God’s law that every male was required to go to Jerusalem three times a year for the great festivals. His father Joseph would have taken his family to all three through each year. In the Spring, the Passover was celebrated by the week long Festival of Unleavened Bread. The other two visits during each year was at the Festival of Harvest and the Festival of Shelters.
Why do you think Jews went to these festivals?
At the age of 12, Jesus was considered almost an adult, and so He didn’t spend a lot of time with His parents during the festival. Those who attended these festivals often traveled in what is called caravans for their own protection from robbers who travels the same roadways. We know from the book of Acts that not only Hebrew tribes attended these festivals but so did Gentiles who came from the Parthian Empire because they observed the Feast’s of the Lord. These feasts are not Jewish Feasts as many people think. These feasts were commanded by God to all who came out of Egypt and when we read the truth that is written in the Bible, we find that Gentiles came out of Egypt too.
They were called sojourners. They were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel The Bible clearly tells us that these are His Feast’s. Jesus went to the feast with His family but even after He grew and had His ministry, He continued to be obedient to the command of God.
It was customary for the women and children to travel at the front of the caravan, with the men at the rear. A 12 year old boy could have conceivably been in either group, and both Joseph and Mary may have assumed that Jesus was with the other one. But when the caravan left Jerusalem, Jesus stayed behind and had been absorbed in His discussion with the religious leaders.
The Temple courts where they found Jesus that day were very famous though out the land as a place of learning. At the time of Passover, there would have been many rabbi teachers who would have been discussing great truths amongst themselves and perhaps Jesus overheard them and engaged in their conversation.
Because of the difference that Jesus had recognized with in Himself and no doubt the upbringing by His Judean parents, (Jesus was from the tribe of Judah) Jesus would have become very knowledgeable about the topic of the day that the Rabbi’s would have been discussing. The great topic of the day at that time and probably the most popular was the coming Messiah.
Why do you think the topic of the day might have been about the coming Messiah?
Jesus would have been eager to listen and to ask questions. But it wasn’t His youth, but the depth of His wisdom that astounded these teachers.
When Jesus was eight days old, His parents had taken Jesus to a purification ceremony where a devout man by the name of Simon had already told His parents that Jesus would be the Savior given to all people, a light to reveal God to the nations and that He was the glory of the people of Israel. Not the nation of Israel because it certainly had not even been established until 1948. The people of Israel are so called through out the Bible because the man named Jacob who wrestled with the angel, his name was changed to Israel and it was he who was the father of the children of Israel, because the 12 tribes were named after his sons. Ergo, the nation or the children of Israel.
So when His parents had noticed Jesus missing that day they both knew how important it was that they find Him and they were frantically searching for Him. Mary had learned that day a very valuable lesson. She had to let go of her son and let Him become a man. Fearful that she hadn’t been very careful enough with this God given child, as she looked for Him, she had been searching for a boy, not the young man who was in the Temple, astounding the religious leaders with His questions.
Why was Mary was so worried?
Although Mary had come to this realization, this was the first mention that Jesus himself had come to the awareness that He was God’s Son. But even though He knew His real Father in the heavens, Jesus did not reject His earthly parents. He went back to Jerusalem and lived under their authority for another 18 years.
The person we were all just learning about is the person I want you all to get to know. I want to share with you my experiences and for you to share with me your experiences as we meet here each week to discuss who Jesus was, why He came, who He was then, and who He is now and what He means to us as individuals and what He means to us as a nation of people who live in the world, and what He means to the entire world.
Most importantly, I want to show you how He can become your best friend. Someone you can trust and rely on when everyone else seems to let you down.
In order to trust someone, we have to get to know them better before we can trust them. During the next few weeks, I want to show you how to get to know Jesus so that you can learn to share your problems with Him.
There are times in all of our lives when we have something come up and we just don’t know who to turn to. Jesus will keep all of your secrets. He won’t judge you or condemn you. He won’t dump you along side the road and forget all about you.
When you need Him, He is always there. He is not going to hurt your feelings by telling your other friends what you said. He will not hurt you or your feelings. He will not call you names or make you feel stupid for the way you feel. He won’t make fun of you at all. He won’t laugh at you or tease you and Jesus will never, never lead you astray into something you should not do.
In fact, He will help you to know deep with in your heart, your mind and your soul, who you are, who you can be, who you are supposed to be. He will eventually help you to know, what your purpose is in this life.
There isn’t anything that you will ever go through in your whole and complete life that you can not find the answer for in the Holy Bible. There are stories of trials and triumph. There are stories of people making mistakes and God fixing them. There are ups and downs in the Holy Scriptures just like there are in real life and every one can to relate to someone or some story of something that happens in the Bible.
We will learn how the Bible came about in the first place. We will learn how to use and read the Bible. We will learn all about how to live in this world now and in the future with the help of God’s inspired book called The Holy Bible. We will learn about His Son, who will help you in everything you do or need and He will never stop loving you. Jesus is crazy about you and wants to be your friend. He wants to have a relationship with you and He wants you to trust Him, because Jesus will never ever let you down.
The most important thing Jesus wants you to know is that He loves you and cares about the very same things that you care about.
In this quick and brief story about Jesus growing up we learned a bunch of valuable lessons.
We learned that just like God raised up Jesus to be who He was to become, God had to involve parents who would raise Him up on earth. We also learned that Jesus approves of adoption and step parents.
We learned the importance of the role of His parents and how they were responsible to train Him and teach Jesus and protect Him so that Jesus would meet His full potential. We saw how they watched out for Him and had His best interest in their heart and when He wondered off, they became frantic and went looking for Him because they loved Him and were His parents and were responsible to protect Him. We also learned that His parents, even at the age of twelve, trusted Jesus in the city, but yet still kept and eye out for Him. He didn’t mind that. He didn’t reject their concerns for His life. He respected them.
We learned about a small part about His culture and traditions and how His parents kept those traditions, just like we do with our own families. We learned that Jesus was not only obedient to His parents but He was obedient to God as well.
We learned that Jesus was interested in being taught and paid attention to folks and wasn’t afraid to ask questions.
We learned that as His parents, it wasn’t easy to let go of Jesus, which teaches us that things that we love are sometimes hard to let go of. It can sometimes be hard to let go of things, or people or projects that we have started or worked with, to let someone else carry on that torch.
We saw where Jesus came to the awareness of who He was and still chose to go back to Nazareth with His parents and live in obedience to their authority over Him. His parents didn’t know or understand His mission in life but they knew Jesus was unique.
You are unique in your own special way and you are unique to your parents, just as you are unique to your family, friends and to God. We are all unique to God,.
We learned that Jesus was unique, but yet He had a normal childhood and adolescence. In terms of development, He went through the same progression we do. He grew physically and mentally, He related to other people and He was loved by His family, friends and also, Jesus was loved by God.
A full human life is not unbalanced. It was important to Jesus and it should be important to all people to developed fully and harmoniously in each and every key area of our life. Physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.
Look at your thumb. Do you know that no one else on this entire planet has that very same exact thumbprint. Do you know why?
Because God created you to be uniquely different from every body else because to Him, you are
Proverbs 3:1-4 ¶ My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.