When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they didn’t understand what he meant. Luke 2:42-50 (NLT)
Raising a son like Jesus could not have been a boring experience
Jesus' mother and father must certainly have been confused at times. On
his first to Jerusalem as a boy, Jesus stayed behind when his parents left. When they finally realized he was not in
camp, they retraced their steps and caught up with him at the temple.
The elders were sitting with their chins scraping the ground in amazement. Jesus was teaching the teachers, the religious elite of Israel. They'd never heard such wisdom, especially from a boy. Mary and Joseph were also amazed, worried and confused. Jesus seemed to treat it lightly; “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
We would be tempted to say that Jesus confused them. However, it is more accurate to say they were confused. It is also more in line with Scripture; For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Trace the life of Jesus backward from the temple incident about 10 years. See Jesus as a two-year-old, toddling around the carpenter's shop. Watch as he nears the bench where Joseph is putting together a chair – one of eight for a large order from a rich merchant. Inquisitively, Jesus begins to pick up one of Joseph's sharp woodcarving knives. Jesus…son…No! Don't touch those...they will hurt you. Can you see the face of Jesus as he looks at his father, looks back at the knife, smiles ever so demonically and sticks his tongue at Joseph?
Can you see the Christ child stomping his feet and saying NO! Of course you cannot.
Even though Jesus was a two-year-old at one point, he never acted like one. Certainly he had to learn language and to like green beans; he had diaper issues too. Jesus did not however, have sin or Adam’s seed of rebellion.
Therein is the root of the confusion for Mary, Joseph, and the rest of us humans; Mary and Joseph, like you and I, expect two-year-olds and twelve-year-olds (and fifty-year-olds) to be rebellious, selfish and self-absorbed.
Jesus never was any of that; the confusion was (and is) ours.
We expect things to go wrong – to see hatred, envy, planes fly into Trade Centers and Pentagons. That is the nature of a fallen world. When we see Jesus who is love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness – it confuses us.
As a believer, your purpose and call is to follow Christ and be His disciple.
Remember, the world will not understand. They will be as confused as Mary and Joseph and the temple elders.
But the confusion is theirs – be about your Father's business anyway!