Summary: We all know that Jesus was the son of God, but he was raised by Joseph.
Father’s Day 2012
(Video for Luke I am your father)
“I am your father” probably one of the greatest scenes in movie history. For most of us we know who our dad is, or at least we assume we do. My father used to tell me that I belonged to the Milk man in Chatham NB, he said that he became suspicious when we moved 300 kms away and had the same milk man. But if you have ever met Burton Guptill you would have no doubt at all that he sired me. The funny thing is that a number of years ago an elderly lady at the Berkeley looked and me kind of thoughtfully and that then said “You remind me of a milk man I used to know.”
Luke thought he knew who his father was, but obviously he was wrong. That is if Darth Vader could be trusted. Come on, the guy had just hacked off his own kid’s hand.
Most of you are familiar with the story that was just read from the book of Luke. The majority of the commentators agree that this was a pivotal point in Jesus’ life. It was here that God interrupted his son’s childhood and said “Jesus, I am your father.” And it was at this point that he became aware of who he was and the task that lay before him. There are all kinds of stories, legends and tales of Jesus as a child but this is the only biblical account of Jesus’ childhood. Up to this account the sum total of what we know about the Jesus as a child is summed up in these words in Luke 2:39-40 When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favour was on him.
We don’t know all of the intricacies and mechanics that went into God becoming man but somehow I doubt if he had a full awareness of who he was before this stage. If he was to truly experience what it was to be fully human what do you do that with awareness that you are God at the age of three? Seriously, most three year olds already think they are god, for them the shock would be discovering they weren’t God.
And it is in the book of Luke that we find the only accounts of Jesus as a child and in one of those short snippets we read about the time Mary and Joseph lost their oldest kid. I’m sure that Mary and Joseph told the story of their trip to Jerusalem on many occasions, recounting the horror of that day. With the passing of time it may have become something they could laugh at, but at the time it was no laughing matter.
The story starts in Luke 2:41-42 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual.
Culturally we are told that it was required by Jewish law that every adult male who lived within 20 kms of Jerusalem should go to the temple in the capital city for the Passover celebration. It was also decreed that under Jewish law that at 13 a boy became a man. So this was a very special occasion for Jesus. We know that this wasn’t the first time that Jesus had been in Jerusalem for the Passover, but it would be the last time he would celebrate the feast as a child and I’m sure he was looking forward to next year.
The Passover celebration lasted for several days and culminated in the Passover Feast; it was the biggest holiday in the Jewish faith and was a major celebration. Mary and Joseph and their family would have been there with friends and extended family from Nazareth and we are told that they weren’t traveling alone but with a group.
Those in the know tell us that in all probability the women and children would have travelled as a group and the men would have travelled as a group. You only have to go to a social function today to realize that things haven’t changed much. We are also told that the women and children would have left earlier in the morning and travelled slower while the men would have left later but travelled faster, and everyone would have ended up at the destination around the same time.
Because of Jesus’ age he could have travelled with either group, he was really neither fish nor fowl. Young enough to still travel with the women and children if he wished but old enough to tag along with the men. And that is where the trouble began, because it would appear that when Joseph got ready to head out with the men he assumed that Jesus was with his mother, while Mary had assumed that Jesus would follow with the men and older boys. One Sunday when we were pastoring in Truro I was getting ready to lock up the church and go home when I realized that I had an extra toddler. Her folks had come in two vehicles and the both assumed that the other one had Keely. And you know what happens when we assume right? That’s right sometimes we are wrong.