The Boy Jesus and the Teachers
family of Jesus was very devoted in observing the religious ceremonies of
their people. In those times, as today, a most important festival of the
Jews was the Passover. This is the time when thanks are given to Cod for
leading the Jews out of Egypt, where they had lived in bondage as slaves.
year Mary and Joseph traveled all the way from Nazareth to Jerusalem, the
capital city, to celebrate the Passover in the Temple. Most people made the
trip together, in groups, for travel in those days was hard and dangerous.
the end of the Passover, the large caravan of friends and relatives set out
to return to Nazareth. Jesus was by this time a strong, capable boy,
unusually thoughtful, so His parents did not watch over Him all the time. He
did not always travel with them, but often walked with friends or relatives
in the caravan.
and Mary thought nothing of it when they did not see Him during the first
day on the road. But when the caravan stopped for the night and Jesus did
not appear for supper, they searched the camp for Him. When they discovered
no one had seen Him that day, they returned to Jerusalem as fast as they
three days the worried parents went about the city, looking for their son.
Finally they found Him.
was sitting in the Temple, surrounded by the wisest teachers and scholars in
the country. And they were discussing the most serious ideas of religion
with the twelve year old boy. When these learned men heard the answers Jesus
gave to their difficult questions, they were astonished at the boy's
knowledge and understanding.
and Mary were also astonished, when they saw their twelve year old son
surrounded by learned men, and holding their interest. Mary was upset, as
any mother would be. She told Jesus how anxious they had been, looking for
Him, and she asked Him why He had caused them such worry.
seemed surprised that they did not know where He was. "Did you not know
that I would be in my Father's house?" He asked. His parents did not
really understand what He meant, although Mary knew deep down in her heart
that Jesus would have to leave them one day, to carry out God's plan. And
she and Joseph realized, that day in the Temple, that this was no mere
went back with His parents, and did everything they asked of Him, without
question. And he remained with them in Nazareth, working as a carpenter with
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